1. Have Fun: This is the most important "rule" of a successful engagement shoot. If you take yourselves too seriously, you’ll risk looking ridiculous and becoming fodder for things like AwkardEngagementPhotos.com. Relax, be silly, act natural, and don’t be afraid to get a little messy.
2. Bring Your Pet: If you own a cat or dog together, why not include them in your engagement shoot? Their presence will help lighten the mood and help with jitters (if you have them). Your pet is something you naturally bond over, so it's a no-brainer when it comes to including it in your photos. (Just make sure your photographer is OK with having an animal on set!)
3. Plan an Activity: What do you love to do as a couple on the weekend? Whether it’s riding your bikes or hitting your local farmers’ market, get out and do something for your photo shoot. Doing something that you both love will help you relax in front of the camera and is a unique expression of who you are as a couple.
4. Coordinate Your Outfits: Note the emphasis on "coordinate"! As much as you love wearing matching PJs at home, this is no time to expose your inner clone couple. Choose outfits that compliment each other (you might want to start with a color palette that you both like) but avoid anything that's matchy-matchy.
5. Act Natural: If your photographer asks you to do super-cheesy poses that you know you would never do in "real life," you can politely decline the idea. You don't have all day for your engagement shoot, so you want to make sure you optimize your time by having the photographers capture you in poses that feel natural to both of you. There's no point in attempting the Dirty Dancing lift if you know it's going to result in bruised egos or physical injury. And absolutely no fake smiling!
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