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7 Awesome Engagement Shoot Tips ...

My own engagement shoot was nothing short of an amazing experience, thanks in part to the helpful engagement shoot tips our photographer – Damien Smith of Los Angeles’ Damien Smith Photography – took the time to share with us ahead of time. Want to make sure your own shoot is just as awesome? Read on for a sampling of Damien’s expert engagement shoot tips, along with some added advice of my own.

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1. Make Plans to do One

Okay, so this part might sound totally obvious, but the first on my list of engagement shoot tips is to get out there and actually do one! Engagement shoots are a great way to get to know your photographer better while also capturing gorgeous images you can use on everything from save-the-date cards to keepsake canvas prints. If an engagement shoot isn’t already included in your professional photography package, talk with your photographer about adding one. The beautiful memories and practice time in front of the camera will definitely make this money well spent!

2. Choose the Perfect Spot

Choosing a great location is one of Damien’s top tips, and something my fiancΓ© and I certainly took to heart. Whether you prefer to head back to that special spot where you got engaged, or would rather ask your photographer to snap shots at your favorite local hangout, work with him or her ahead of time to come up with the best game plan. Don’t have any ideas of your own right off the bat? Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for creative suggestions, too. He is a pro, after all!

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3. Time It Right

Always dreamed about doing your shoot in the middle of a winter wonderland or while surrounded by beautiful springtime blooms? Depending how long your engagement is and when you’ll want to have your photos, your photographer can help determine the best time to schedule your shoot. Damien also put a lot of thought into which time of day would mean the best lighting for our outdoor photos, making the results even more impressive.

4. Look Your Best

From hair and makeup styling for girls to a nice haircut and shave for guys, your engagement session is definitely one time to focus on looking your best! Damien also suggests bringing along a touch-up kit, plus two different outfits – maybe one casual and one dressy – to add variety. Thinking about wearing white while your fiancΓ© wears black? Don’t! Wearing contrasting colors can make it hard for your photographer to keep all of the different shades intact, so Damien suggests sticking with colors that are similar.

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5. Show Your Hands and Nails Some Love

Speaking of looking your best, your engagement ring is guaranteed to be front-and-center in many of your photos, so follow Damien’s advice and make sure you get a manicure ahead of time. Having well-moisturized hands also helps, as does having your ring cleaned, either at the jewelry shop where you bought it or with the help of an at-home solution. Take advantage of the moment, and show off your bling in style!

6. Relax

If this is your first-ever session with a professional photographer, the experience can definitely be a bit nerve-wracking to start. Choose a photographer you have a comfortable connection with, and then focus on letting loose with your fiancΓ© rather than obsessing over where the camera is. Photographers like Damien will often help make this easier by stepping back and taking some of the photos at a distance, giving you all the space you need to zero in on each other.

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7. Bring along a Few Fun Props

Do you and your fiancΓ© love books, or is wine-tasting your favorite thing? Work in a few fun props that symbolize your relationship and also work well with your location, like cotton candy at a carnival or surfboards on the beach. This is a great way to make your shoot even more fun and memorable, while also capturing a vibe that’s truly "you."

Have you scheduled your engagement shoot yet? What are a few engagement shoot tips you love that aren’t already listed here?

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