For most couples when the photographer says that an engagement shoot is included in their package, they aren't overly excited by it. As a whole, most people don't like being in front of the camera or being the center of attention. This is absolutely normal in that most people have never had a professional photographer take their photos (at least outside of the JC Penny portrait studio...thanks Mom).
As I always tell my couples, this is just like the rehearsal for your wedding. You wouldn't skip your rehearsal and you shouldn't skip out on doing this. You will get great photos and more importantly you will get comfortable with your photographer taking your photos. After all, they will be doing that all day long on your wedding day so get the nerves out now.
With that in mind, here is some of my best advice to help you get great engagement photos that you will want to share everywhere and will love forever.
1. Invest in a professional photographer
We all have friends that are great at taking photos at our family barbeque. We might even have some friends that do photography as a side business. That is great to have when you are just hanging out with friends. But these photos are something you will cherish for a long time. You KNOW your Aunt Milly will have it on her wall for the next 50 years so it better be something you aren't embarrassed by. Having a professional photographer capture your engagement photos will not only make the process easier for you, but the quality will also be better. They are able to pose you in ways to not make you look awkward, know what lighting will and will not work, and help with location ideas that you would never have thought of. They are absolutely worth it.
2. Pick a meaningful location
The photos aren't just about you showing your love for each other. It is also about showing what you love. In the above photo Mattie and Steven met at Wake Forest University. It was an important part of their love story and it just made sense to incorporate their favorite places at Wake into their photos. Having a location you are familiar with such as where you had your first date, got engaged, met, etc helps make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera and it will show.
3. Come comfortable
Let's be honest. We might look good in 4 inch heels or a tuxedo but we probably aren't the most comfortable in them. Choosing an outfit that you feel good about yourself in makes you feel more comfortable in your photos. Get your hair and makeup done so you aren't continuously thinking about "did I put enough lipstick on?" Also, plan on having several different outfits. Some that are more formal and some that are for playing in. You want your engagement photos to be a reflection of who y'all are as a couple.
Ending up with amazing engagement photos you love doesn't happen by accident. It takes some thought, planning, a professional photographer and a lot of fun.