Austin Engagement Photos 101 | Where to Shoot, What to Wear & Who to Book
by Maria February 18
Taking engagement photos is easily one of the most fun to-dos in the planning process! Who doesn’t want to spend an afternoon dressed up and cuddling with their sweetie?! Below, we’re sharing our advice on everything from what to wear to your shoot, where to take your Austin engagement photos and even who to hire! Read on!
Photo // David McCandless Photography
How to choose your engagement photographer
There are so many local Austin engagement photographers and different types of photography! The best place to start is to find photographers who specialize in wedding and engagement shoots (here’s our preferred list). From there, check out the photographers’ websites to find a style you like and check the amount they charge for engagement shoots and day of pictures – this likely will require a direct inquiry on their site or via email. Once you have narrowed it down, check the availability of different photographers, and see who works best with your wedding date.
Read our complete guide to finding the right wedding photographer here!
How far out from the wedding to book
After the engagement, it is crucial to start looking for photographers within the first one or two months. This is a great way to get familiar with your wedding photographer before the wedding. Using a potential wedding photographer to take your engagement pictures helps them get to know you, your style, and the types of images and poses you like.
When deciding on your wedding and engagement photographer, it is essential to consider:
- Do you want studio pictures, outdoor pictures or a mix of both?
- Do you like candid pictures or more posed?
- Do you like brighter pictures or warmer tones?
- Do you want photos of you and your fiancé doing things you love?
- What poses are you and your partner’s favorite?
It is totally acceptable to call it quits with your engagement photog after the shoot if you’re not feeling it. You should get along well, communicate well and feel like friends by the end of your engagement session. Remember, your wedding photographer will be with you ALL DAY on the wedding day, and believe us when we say if you aren’t feeling it, they likely aren’t either. Just be sure to read your contracts closely!
What to wear
Deciding what to wear for timeless pictures can seem daunting, but we are here to help! The most important thing when determining your engagement picture outfits is to be true to yourself. If you and your partner usually wear simple pieces, now isn’t the time for over-the-top ensembles. You need to wear what makes you feel most comfortable and beautiful.
It is also essential to coordinate outfits between you and your partner. Picking a color scheme for your shoot that matches the season and photoshoot location is a great way to get started with deciding what colors you want to wear. For example, for a fall shoot, you may wish to have more warm tones. Opposed to a spring shoot where you may want to lighter colors. No matter what season, your pictures are sure to be beautiful!
Lastly, some fun ways to make your photos pop! It can be exciting to incorporate accessories or unique fabrics. While sticking to your color theme, textured clothing can make the images come to life and create depth. Adding accessories for women can add a final touch to the look. An accessory like a chunky necklace, hat or scarf can complete an outfit and make the pictures striking. Layering is an excellent way for men to add dimension to their outfit and match their bride even better, too.
Engagement Photo Locations
Traditional engagement shoot locations
Traditional engagement photo locations are tried and true for a reason. Below are some of our favorite traditional Austin engagement shoot locations.
- Golden hour in a field
- Lakeside by Lake Travis
- Downtown Austin
- Zilker Metropolitan Park
- Zilker Botanical Garden
- The Capitol
- Sekrit Theater
- Austin’s many art murals
- Your wedding venue
Unique engagement shoot locations
This is the time to be fun and let you and your partner’s personality shine! Do you two love to surf? Take pictures on the beach. Do you love to hike together? Take pictures hiking through a beautiful forest or on your favorite trail. You can be as creative as you want with these pictures. More ideas for unique photoshoot locations are:
- A destination photoshoot (like at near ocean or at a Disney Park)
- Your favorite restaurant, bar or coffee shop
- The place you first met
- On a boat
- In your home
- The fun interactive exhibits made for photos around Austin
These are just a few examples, but there are so many more. You have the freedom to be as unique as you want! Who doesn’t love a unique picture that you will smile at years from now? Plus, don’t forget your props! Some of our favorite include:
- Colorful smoke bombs
- Fireworks or sparklers
- Champagne or sparkling wine
- Picnic elements
How to get comfortable in front of the camera
First, you are gorgeous! We know it can be intimidating taking pictures because you want them to be perfect. However, engagement pictures are all about you, your fiancé, and the love you share. Some tips on how to feel comfortable in front of the camera are:
- Be yourself
- Wear something you feel confident it
- Get your hair and makeup professionally done
- Express to your partner that you are nervous and see how they can help
- Pick a photographer that will help you find poses you like
- Chose a location you feel comfortable in
- Practice posing with your partner in a mirror at home
- Finally, embrace your beauty and the excitement of your engagement shoot!
Using engagement photos in save the dates
Many couples use their engagement photos in their save the date cards! This is one reason it’s so important to book the photographer early on in the engagement period. Save the date cards are usually sent out about 6-8 months before the wedding, so it’s great to have your gorgeous and romantic engagement pictures in the works as soon as you find a photographer you love.
If you have already decided on your wedding theme, it can be fun to reflect your wedding theme in your save the date cards. For example, if you have a destination wedding, you could incorporate travel into your save the date. There are limitless possibilities with save the dates, and what matters most is that you and your fiancé’s personalities are represented!
Now that you’re read all the advice we have, we’re handing to the torch over to you! Check our our very favorite local wedding and engagement photographers as you begin to make your selection. Happy planning!