Is your fiancé dreading the engagement photo shoot? If so, join the club.
About half the brides who hire me for engagement shoots have one thing in common; their fiancé is camera shy and not looking forward to the shoot. First off, we know that no matter what, you will look fabulous and can probably adjust to almost any location. What we need to work on is creating a comfortable atmosphere and vision to make this shoot appealing for your fiancé.
The following are my soulful ideas from a photographer’s perspective.
• Let’s make a plan. Pre-plan the shoot with the photographer. Chat with your photographer and let her/him know your fiancé’s concerns and see if you can work out a location that would be best for your fiancés’ comfort level.
• One hour is enough time. The actual shooting time should be no longer than one hour. Pre-planning will take a few emails back and forth with the photographer and maybe one phone call but if all is planned correctly, actual shooting time should be no longer than one hour. Let your fiancé know this ahead of time and he will feel more comfortable about the shoot and throw you a big smile.
• The photo shoot is on a vacation day. Since the photo shoot will more than likely take place on a Saturday or Sunday, it should be planned like a vacation day. Pick a location that feels comfortable to your fiancé, as this will ease him into the day knowing it’s happening somewhere familiar. Pre-planning a lunch or dinner after the shoot with your friends at his favorite restaurant is also going to help him feel more at ease. He will then know that shortly after the shoot he will be completely in his comfort zone with you and friends.
• Brad Pitt or Bradley Cooper – does it really matter? Part of his shyness could be attributed to him feeling he needs to look like one of the Brads mentioned here. This is understandable since ultimately he wants to please the one he loves, you. I suggest that your fiancé wears his favorite and coolest outfit that compliments yours. Accessories are important if he normally wears them. If he is comfortable and normally wears hats, bring his favorite hat as well. It is vital that he does not wear clothing or shoes that are not his normal style because this will be noticeable in photos.
• Beer, wine, vodka, and tequila always help. If your fiancé likes the occasional drink, this is the best time to have one. A glass of wine for each of you is not only romantic but it helps loosen you up for a relaxed photo shoot.
Finally, I have some location ideas for you.
• Beaches. A ‘prior to sunset shoot’ or a ‘sunset shoot’ is best for lighting on the sand. Bright sunlight during the middle of the day for an engagement photo shoot in Los Angeles never produces a good shoot. If it must take place during the brightest hours of the day, find shade. Shade provides the diffusion you will need when the sun is at its brightest. • Where you met, how romantic. Go back to the place where you first met and let the sparks fly. If it’s an establishment, you may want to call them ahead of time and explain the photo shoot and ask permission. More than likely they will say yes because of the romance factor but you may have to work around special times of the day. Another option is to walk in unannounced as explained below.
• Your fiancé’s favorite bar, restaurant and/or hotel. It’s fun to walk into a restaurant, choose an open area during the hours of 3pm – 5pm and do a shoot. Most of the time, the hostess will be happy you are in the establishment having fun. I would recommend that you don’t call ahead because catching the hostess off guard is better. If you ask permission ahead of time over the phone, they can’t see your lovely face and could say no. My couple’s and I usually walk in during the slow times and ask permission from the hostess. It is best to order a drink, soda and/or and appetizer after the shoot just to thank the establishment properly. The customer’s enjoy watching it all happen and usually create a happy atmosphere for you and your fiancé.
• That car is hot! If your fiancé is a car buff and you can swing it, have the photo shoot in front or in his favorite automobile. If he loves cars, he will know how to borrow one for the photo shoot.
• Pay homage to great architecture. Two people in love standing in front of a beautiful building can create a striking image. Take a look around town and choose your favorite building. Make sure that the buildings’ most intriguing parts are at the bottom of the building and not the top because the bottom is where you will be placed for the photograph.
If you have questions or want more ideas for a fun engagement photo shoot in Los Angeles, please contact Kristine Ambrose at 310-429-2184 or visit their website at www.AmbroseWeddings.com.