The Expert Guide to Taking Chic Engagement Photos
Engagement season is upon us–you know, that sweet spot in the calendar between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day when the majority of soon-to-be newlyweds pop the question (and prepare for wedding season, which occurs in the warm weather months). But, once he (or she) has gotten down on one knee and put a ring on it, an engagement announcement and/or party is soon to follow–and that's where we've seen couples begin to lose their way when it comes to keeping basic bridal "musts," like engagement photoshoots, elevated.
Let's get real, we've all seen the cheesy versions of these shots–think couples clad in a suit and little white dress twirling in the middle of an intersection, kisses exchanged on mountain tops, proposal recreations and an array of other cheesy, mushy and gushy ideas that make us (and we bet you) cringe. On the heels of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's expertly executed engagement shoot, we thought we'd share some tips of our own. So two months before their wedding day, we tapped Alaia Baldwin and Andrew Aronow for a session at New York's St. Regis hotel that felt unique to their relationship and outlined the basics for an editorial-inspired engagement shoot that will make your friends swoon rather than eye-roll. Here,BAZAAR Bridal'sRules of Engagement (Shoots).
Get dressed up, go out—and take your photographer with you. Your mannerisms on date night, when you're both at your most flirty, will make for the sultry, confident, street-style-inspired shots you'd likely attempt to recreate during a photo session with your new fiancé.
Monique Lhuillierdress, price upon request, moniquelhuillier.com;Aquazzurasandals, 5, . Andrew wearsTom Fordthroughout.
Use this session as an opportunity to get some stunning photographs of you both on your own. Trust us, you'll want those memories just as badly in the long run.
Zone everyone else out. Being conscious of the photographer in the room (unless you're posing for portraits) won't do you any good. Make like you're the only two people in the room.
Gabriela Hearst dress, ,595, mytheresa.com; De Beers earrings, price upon request, debeers.com; McTeigue & McClelland cocktail ring, price upon request, mc2jewels.com.
Sure, capture those sweet moments—but do it authentically. If you're going to dance, put on your favorite song and enjoy the moment. If you're going to dress up, go bold. Expert tip: Don't pose while you kiss. Kisses, like your emotions during your wedding ceremony and your surprise at your proposal, should be genuine.
Carolina Herrera gown, ,990, ; Colette earrings, price upon request, colettejewelry.com.
WEAR THE PANTS
Infuse strong fashion elements that speak to your personal style, and don't be afraid to borrow from the boys. Nothing is sexier than a woman in a Le Smoking-style suit.
Alexandre Vauthier velvet jacket, ,277, and , ,664, ; Jimmy Choo pumps, 5, .
Use each other to get the most out of each frame. Tap into how relaxed and confident you feel when he looks at you, and capture that mood—rather than a stiff, posed portrait.
Fleur du Mal bodysuit, 5, fleurdumal.com.
Mirrors are a handy way to stay in the moment, while giving your photographer more authentic moments to work with. Staring into a mirror (like Alaia and Andrew are in this image) gives you little opportunity to make eye contact with your photographer. In the looking glass, get inspired by poses, styling and moods from old films or photographs to channel the sultry look of history's most enviable couples.
Jonathan Simkhai top, 5, ; Tiffany & Co. earrings, price upon request, tiffany.com; De Beers necklace, price upon request, debeers.com.
When in doubt, just do you. Recreate the times you love spending together–like your Saturday mornings reading the paper over coffee in bed. A familiar environment will make you feel that much more like yourself, and produce some of the most genuine on-camera moments.
RULES OF ATTRACTION
Not every shot of the two of you needs to end up on a mantle. Don't spend your time aiming for portraits that mimic the likes of royals, politicians and celebrities–unless you are one yourself. Instead, get comfortable, close and embrace intimacy. Don't get vulgar, but those images of you feeling at home in an embrace, looking at one another lovingly or feeling comfortable in your own skin will become ones to cherish.
Gabriela Hearst knit, 3, ; Vera Wang wool high-waisted trouser briefs, price upon request, .
And when you are looking to create something for the (family) history books–go big or go home. Invest in a wow-factor dress, opt for a regal piece of furniture, and choose effortlessness over full-on glam. Balance your full-throttle look with a bit of ease on his part–moments that juxtapose formality with a casual flair will make for a more convincing and covetable shot.
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