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‘Tis the season … to think engagement photos

The Christmas/New Year’s holiday season is prime time for engagements. What better way to celebrate this happy event by scheduling an engagement photo session. You and your finance are the “who” – Dawn Gardner of DG Photography gives us the why, how, where and when of engagement session photography.

WHY: Any good reason is a good reason to have your picture taken, but engagement photos are an excellent way to document your feelings for each other. It’s also a great opportunity for you to see your photographer in action and build a relationship before your wedding. An engagement session also provides a good time to do a trial run with your wedding day hair stylist and makeup artist.

There are many uses for engagements photos – save the date cards, your wedding website, or a photo book to share at your reception. A matted photo from your engagement session is a terrific way to have your friends and family sign your “guest book”.

HOW: It’s very important to convey to your photographer what kind of images you would like to have from your engagement shoot. One way to do this is to think of three to five adjectives that best describe the way you want your photos to look and feel. Are you looking for sexy, fun and natural images or elegant, classy and urban? Share the adjectives with your photographer to open up a dialogue to discuss your vision.

What should you wear? Embrace your personalities! It’s better to be coordinated than “matchy-matchy”. Instead of wearing jeans and white shirts, complement each others looks. Maybe your bracelet complements his tie or your sweater is the same color as a stripe in his shirt. And consider the style of your outfits – a cocktail dress and tattered jeans may not be the best coupling. Make sure the clothing you select makes you feel good and reflects who you are – both as individuals and as a couple. And don’t be afraid to incorporate props that have significance to you or the location of your shoot.

WHERE: Select locations that are meaningful to you (like the place you met) or best describe you as a couple. Maybe a location represents your hobbies or an activity you both enjoy. Let your photographer know as soon as you can about your location choices as there may be equipment limitations. And ask your photographer for location recommendations.

WHEN: The “golden hours” are best for outdoor shots – early to mid-morning and late afternoon. These times offer the best lighting and, of course, they will vary with the season. Go online to find the sunset time for the season and plan to have your photos taken at least 1-1/2 hours before – you can still take photos at other times, but it gets a little trickier for getting the best light. And also think about the time of year. There really isn’t any right or wrong time to have your photos taken. For variety, if you are having a summer wedding, you may want to schedule a fall or winter engagement shoot. Most couples opt for about three month in advance of the wedding date.

Thanks for the great advice Dawn! Are you looking for a wedding photographer? To learn more about Dawn and to see her work, visit www.dawngardner.com.

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