Expert Advice: Engagement Photos

Now that spring is here, many of our couples are interested in scheduling their engagement shoots. During the planning process, these five questions always come up. 

Why are engagement photos suggested? Getting to know our couples before the wedding makes such a difference. Trust and a high comfort level are key ingredients to photography. You want the peace of mind that your photographer is on the same page with you stylistically and can creatively capture the chemistry between the two of you. The couple's time together helps us hone in on what is important and how best to photograph them.

What days, times and locations are ideal?  In Chicago, we find that Tuesdays and Wednesdays work best because there are significantly less people out and about in the city. We love photographing during magic hour when the light is soft and flattering. Magic hour occurs after sunrise and before sunset. In our case, it is the evening light that we seek out. We like to photograph our couples in meaningful places like their neighborhoods, where they had their first date or got engaged. Sometimes it is simply a beautiful area that incorporates the architecture of the city or our lush gardens and parks.

What should we wear? Try to be on the same page with each other; meaning you’re both dressed casual or dressy and coordinated. You don’t have to match exactly but you also don’t want to distract from each other. Avoid patterns that are too busy. Wear colors that compliment your skin tones and that you feel good in. Finally, the biggest tip is to ensure that all of your clothing fits perfectly. If either of you have clothing that is too big or too tight, you won’t look and feel your best. Make sure everything is pressed and that your undergarments don’t show through. If your engagement shoot is outside, be mindful of how your dress or blouse will react to wind.

How should we prepare? Most of our couples meet up with us after work. Everyone needs time to transition from their work-life to their personal life. If possible, take at least 15 minutes to sit down together with your favorite beverage and enjoy a snack. Taking the time to transition out of work is especially important before a photo shoot so you can reconnect with each other. One of the main purposes of the engagement shoot is to showcase your chemistry and love for each other. If you are rushed, stressed or hungry it is hard to feel happy and connected.

What should we be doing during the shoot? Relax, be in the moment and have fun. Silence your phones, forget about work for a while and try to focus on your time together. If you are relaxed and feeling connected, the shoot will be more enjoyable and your connection will show through in the photos.

Being engaged is a very special time. Taking the time to connect and support each other as you prepare for marriage is one of the most important things you can do. With all of the to-do lists and timelines, it is essential to stop for a moment and savor this time.


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We feel fortunate to live and work in the beautiful, Chicago neighborhood of Logan Square, among many talented artists and entrepreneurs. We believe in the beauty of blending historic with modern. Built in 1916, our European style live-work building, is land-marked by the city of Chicago, full of character and modern style. It is a dream come true to have a charming studio, surrounded by beautiful boulevards, as the foundation of our creative endeavors.

"It is a pleasure to get to know our couples, become part of their inner circle, understand their connections, and hone in on what matters most. Every celebration has its own personality, vibe and feeling. To interpret and translate the feeling, love and joy, we look for the split-second glances, tender touches, belly laughs and genuine smiles. Emotionally connected, we sense magical moments; one must first feel, and then see to be able to interpret. This is the foundation of our creative process."

"Inspired by all art forms: paintings, architecture, fashion, cinema, music and food, we incorporate our sensibilities into everything we do. Blending emotional imagery with a modern and elegant viewpoint is how we tell very personal stories in a nuanced way. We do this so that you may savor your celebration, long after it ends, and remember those feelings forever. It would be our privilege to interpret your unique story."

Heather KingenSmith