• Nina Bashaw

Tips for your engagement session


How to take great engagement photos!

As I have stated before, as a Columbia, SC photographer, engagement sessions are some of my favorite to shoot. Often my clients are nervous about having their photos taken, but I am here to reassure you that you can still have amazing engagement photos even if you are not one that likes to be the center of attention. Here are some tips to help you prepare for you up coming e-session.


- Meet with your photographer before hand

As your Augusta, GA photographer I like to build a strong connection to all my bride and grooms. One way to strengthen that relationship is lots of client meetings. So I like to sit down a week or two before you schedule session (over coffee or a glass of wine) to talk about your expectations during your engagement session. In this meeting we talk about everything from how you guys met, to what you want to wear for your engagement photos. The better communication we have the better the outcome of your photos. That way when the day comes for you shoot we are all on the same page and prepared for you engagement session.

- Carefully chose the right location

I always like to ask my clients if they have a certain place in mind that they would like to have their photos taken at. For a couple different reasons. 1: If there is a location that has special meaning to you. Perhaps your first date, first kiss, where he purposed, something that you have an emotional connection with. 2: You might know of some hidden gems that your photographer might not be aware of. I am new to the South Carolina area, so I am always looking for new locations to shoot at in Charleston, Columbia, and Augusta. And I am by nature an adventurous person, and that is why I encourage my clients to let me know of any new or out of the box places that you like. I love checking out new places and spaces, so if you know of any cool places by all means let your photographer know! 3 : In my experience there are a few very popular places that a lot of people like to have their pictures taken at. There is nothing wrong with trendy locations, but you want your photos to be unique and reflect your personalities. There might be a random field, a cool downtown street, or even a coffee shop that would make for a great backdrop for you photos. Keep an open mind and trust your photographer.


- What to wear

One of the most poplar questions people ask me is “What should we wear during our shoot?” Personally, I don't like "matchy matchy" looks for family shoots or engagement shoots. However, I do like when peoples outfits "go" but not necessarily match perfectly. My personal style is classic with a modern twist. So when styling a photoshoot, I gravitate to classic pieces and then add a funky shoe, a statement piece of jewelry or a bright nail polish. Granted you want your engagement pictures to look pulled together and well thought out, but this doesn't mean you both have wearing the exact same colored shirt and matching pants. Think monochromatic with putting your outfits together. Most of all, be yourself and dress in something that you love and will makes you feel great and beautiful. I put together some outfits that could coordinate for an engagement session. Check out my Pinterest Board to see examples of what to wear during your next photo shoot!

- Pose Ideas

With Pinterest making such a huge impact on the photography world there is an endless supply of gorgeous photos to drool over. With that said, I discourage people to get too stuck on any certain pose. Yes, there are some really gorgeous photos on Pinterest, but nine times out of ten, most of the photos that people show me are candid, in the moment shots. Those type of photos are very hard to recreate without looking awkward or stiff. And from a photographers stand point, I would never want to copy another artists work. So yes, we can use photos as a reference point and figure out what your couples style is. But my goal as your photographer is to produce classic photos, (yet unique) that reflect your individual personalities. For example, some poses simple will not work if there is a big height difference between the couple. I also take into consideration body type and facial structure when directing and posing my clients. And for me personally I am short, so most people are going to be several inches taller than me. So in order to get the most flatter angle I always bring a step stool so I can either be at the same eye level or slitty higher. After all the whole “low angle, double chin” look is never flatter no matter how thin or how defined someones bone structure is. During your shoot with me I will pose you, but then I take a step back and let you create the magic, while letting me document your love for each other while in flattering and natural poses.


- Try to relax

Take in a couple deep breaths and just shake it off. It can be intimidating to be in front of the camera and be the center of attention. But try to remember that this is such special time in your lives and so try not to over think it and cherish those little moments. Do things that will help each other relax., even if it’s an inside joke, or a silly look. Getting a natural and sincere laugh or smile, always translates well to the camera.

- Make a date night out of it

This one is more for the guys. Most girls love getting dressed up and feeling special. So why not make a day of it! After the engagement session take her out to dinner, go for a nice walk, anything that you guys enjoy doing as a couple.


Columbia, SC wedding photographer | Charleston photographer | Charlotte photographer

Augusta, GA wedding photographer | Greenville, SC photographer


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