Do you dream of engagement photos that drip with luxury? Does your wedding vision include portraits that make you look like a million dollars? (Or at least ones that make it look like you spent a million dollars on them?) If so, we have some tips for you. Let two experienced professional photographers tell you a few keys to getting the elegant engagement photos you are looking for.
Ever hear someone say that the clothes make the man? Well, the same is true for engagement photos! If you want to look elegant in those images, it helps to dress accordingly. What you wear goes a long way toward creating the look and feel you want in those images. Pretty straightforward, right? Do you want casual, fun portraits outdoors? Then a summer dress or cute top and nice jeans are good choices. Is something a little smarter more your style? Then something closer to business casual is probably a better choice. And if fancy engagement photos are what you are going for? Then evening wear is going to be best for setting the right mood.
The image featured here is a great illustration of what we are talking about. This lovely couple’s engagement photoshoot was actually one of the more unusual ones we have done in our careers. We had just finished photographing a wedding at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. We had packed up our gear and were heading to our car. As we were leaving, this couple stopped us in the venue’s ornate lobby, mentioned they had recently gotten engaged and asked if we could take a cell phone picture of them.
We told them that that was their lucky day, because they had just asked two engagement photographers! So we took out our gear and took some professional photos of them. As luck would have it, they were at the Omni Shoreham for a swanky benefit and were therefore dressed to the nines. That meant their attire was perfect for fancy engagement pictures. His tux and her evening gown could not have looked more luxurious on film.
What you wear certainly goes a long way in determining how your engagement images look. But they cannot set the entire mood by themselves. You also need the setting to be right. Evening wear definitely looks elegant. But in a picture of you and your future spouse walking through the woods? It just looks out of place. So the second key to getting classy engagement photos is picking the right location.
Finding the appropriate setting for elegant engagement pictures is not terribly difficult. It will most likely be indoors. It is possible to do an elegant photoshoot outside, but the conditions have to be just right. Typically, you would need to do it in an urban setting. As beautiful as the Northern Virginia countryside is, it just does not have the right feel. You would also need to find a backdrop that looks elegant. Fortunately, Washington DC is full of luxury hotels, historic museums and buildings with gorgeous facades. All of them give engagement images a very classy background. Especially at night. There is something about portraits taken after the sun has set that makes them look particularly elegant.
For this couple, the setting of their impromptu engagement session was the aforementioned Omni Shoreham Hotel lobby. As we said, you could not ask for a better location for elegant engagement photos. The space is expansive and grand, and at the same time dripping with luxurious little touches. You can see hints of its exquisite chandelier behind the couple in this photo.
The final ingredient in engagement photos with an elegant look and feel is a little harder to describe. To look elegant, you need to feel elegant. Because if you do, it comes seeping out of you when you are in front of the camera. It is written on your faces and obvious in your body language.
With that in mind, the important question is how do you make sure that you feel elegant during your engagement photoshoot? Some of it has to do with your clothes and the location, obviously. If you are all dressed up and hanging out in a posh hotel, you are going to feel more elegant. But neither your attire nor the venue are enough by themselves. You also need to feel at ease in both. You need to feel like you are meant to be in both. If you do, the elegance of your clothing and of the location will amplify how you look in your images. And then you will get the elegant engagement pictures you are looking for.
You can see what we are talking about in this image. The couple is wearing a tuxedo and evening dress like it is the most natural thing in the world. They are hanging out in a luxury hotel lobby like they live there. The smiles on their faces as he dips her show that they are relaxed and at ease. And nothing produces elegant engagement photos better than that!
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