By Erika, Fashion Expert
First, let me apologize. If you follow the YCS or my personal Instagram, you have been subject to the slow leak of our engagement photos for the last two weeks. I can’t tell you how many people have texted, DM’d or emailed me asking for the full gallery of our photos! But, because we wanted to share them with you guys first, we’ve only been sharing a limited amount of photos on social media. Today, the wait is over!
Now, on to the important stuff – the Engagement Photo Shoot! You have probably heard me gush ad nauseam about our wedding photographer Terri Baskin of Terri Baskin Photography. But trust me, she is worth every, single glowing word! As I mentioned in my post about choosing vendors, I had seen a LOT of Terri’s work via my friends who have used her and also by following her on Instagram. I KNEW I had to work with her.
One of the perks of booking a wedding package with Terri is that it includes an engagement shoot. A lot of people – especially men – don’t understand why engagement shoots are necessary. Well, there are a lot of reasons, five of which Terri so eloquently outlines in her own blog post “5 Reasons Why Engagement Sessions are Important.”
For us, the two most important reasons for our shoot was to get comfortable with Terri (she is, after all, going to be spending the majority of one of the most important days of our lives with us) and to get comfortable in front of the camera (not an issue for me, but Roger HATES taking photographs). Terri spent a few hours with us shooting at Howard University and at Historic U Street in Washington, DC. After a while, Roger and I were totally comfortable being silly and crazy and even forgot the camera was around during some moments. Terri was totally a friend in my head before our shoot but we’re bonafide buddies after the shoot. Roger even said it was “enjoyable and she made it a really good time.” And remember, that is coming from a man who HATES taking photos!
When you’re going to take your engagement photos, there are a few factors, besides your photographer, to consider:
- Location, Location, Location – Roger and I knew that we wanted to shoot at Howard University. That was a no brainer. We went to college there and it was a friendship from Howard University that brought us together several years after we graduated. But, even up until the day of the shoot we hadn’t landed on where we wanted the locale for our 2nd outfits to be. As Roger was dropping me off to get my hair and make-up done he suggested we shoot at the various murals on U Street. It was such an “a ha!” moment that I KNEW we had to try it! Lucky for us, not only is Terri an amazing photographer, she’s incredibly flexible!
- Hair and Make-Up are Must Haves – Even for the super laid back and casual bride, hair and make-up are a must for your engagement shoot. Even if you want something natural that looks like you on any given day, you should still have your hair and make-up professionally done. For photographs, you need to turn up the volume, even for natural looks. A professional will know exactly how to help you achieve a fully glam look, a “no make-up” make-up look, and anything in between! And having healthy, flattering hair will only ensure your photos look gorgeous for years to come! Oh, and you can’t forget your manicure for all of those close-ups of your ring!
- Grooming Matters – Professional services aren’t just a must for the bride-to-be; they’re also important for the groom. Make sure your guy gets a hair cut, beard trim or fresh shave ahead of the photo shoot. These photos are equally important for him!
- Styling – While I would obviously love for ALL brides and grooms to call me to help style them for their engagement shoots (check out Veronica and David, whom I did help!!); even if you don’t have a pro, what you wear is important. Most couples have a dressy and a casual look for their engagement shoot. You’ll want to consider clothing that is complimentary and whether you want your outfits to coordinate. Bright colors photograph really well; however, in our case, because we were against the pops of color on the murals, black on black worked well for us. Also, consider your groom. While I would have loved to have taken our photos in ball gowns, I know Roger is only putting on a tux for REALLY special occasions (like our wedding). We landed in the middle with him rocking a suit with a elegant but chill vibe by ditching the neck tie! Both of you guys should be comfortable for the shoot!
- Have Fun! – This kind of goes without saying but remember to have a good time during your shoot. Roger and I spent much of our engagement shoot laughing, giggling, and just having a good time. Much of the time it felt like Terri was simply documenting us sharing our own inside jokes or secrets.
Before I share a few more photos with you guys, I definitely want to highlight the vendors who made our engagement photo shoot possible. We had an excellent team and these photos would not be what they are without them!
Locations: Howard University and Historic U Street, Washington, DC
Photography:Terri Baskin Photography
Hair & Make-Up:Corps D’Elite
Styling:Your Chic is Showing