We have seen plenty of engagement images on Instagram and Facebook. We have an idea of how the images should look (unless you have a creative idea or your photographer does). The fake proposal, the “I said yes” with the ring shot. You know the images I am talking about. 

That being said there is nothing wrong with these images, and also not what this blog is about. As a St Louis wedding and engagement photographer, I truly want what is best for my clients.  

St Louis Wedding Photographer McKinley Griggs

So how should your Engagement shoot go?

During my engagement shoots, this is normally the first time I am meeting couples, that is one reason why I am an advocate for engagement shoots, as it allows me and the couples to ease into things and get to know one another as people. I can see how they act around one another and it gives my couples the opportunity to ask me any questions and get to know me as well. 

St Louis engagement photos castlewood state park

Well into the Engagement shoot.

Now once we are into the engagement shoot things start getting a little more interesting. By the time we have broken the ice, I push your boundaries. Will she jump up on his back? Are they comfortable kissing a ton in front of my camera? These are the type of things I will pull out of my couples and make mental note of. 

St Louis engagement Photographer forest park

When I give my couple commands (walk holding hands, whisper in her/his ear, etc) any of my questions I give my couple the opportunity to opt-out. Tell them “if I am asking you to do anything that you don’t feel comfortable with, please let me know”. I believe that gives them a sense of security and helps them to feel more relaxed. That was we can get the most important images…the ones that are genuinely them, the ones where they forget that I am there and live in the moment, the ones that scream I love this person and I am going to marry the hell out of them. 

It’s all over, and that was not hard at all.

That is what I like to hear, I want them to have so much fun living in the moment that time flys and it is over. So when I am asked where would you like to have your engagement images done. My couples normally say “where you think is a good spot”. That is when I step in and ask “where did you get engaged, what is something fun you two like doing together, etc”. From there we build on what is natural to my couple. If they say ‘I got engaged on a bluff in a park close to St Louis”, well that is where we might end up. If they say “we love this little bar cade known as Up-Down in Downtown St Louis”. Well, then we will make that location work.

St louis engagement updown st louis

Whatever works for my couple and gets them to show their true selves works best for me because at the end of the day it is not just about amazing photos.

Sure you will get that, but it is more about the moment. The moment that will bring you back as you age, the moment that brings all those nostalgic feels, and the time you were fearless enough to step in front of my lens and become your true selves. These moments deserve and need to be captured. 

St Louis engagement Photo by McKinley Griggs

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