How to Plan for Your Paris Engagement Photoshoot

Paris engagement photoshoots are my favourite! It is a moment where you take your love’s journey to the next level. I love the renewed sense of togetherness. I love the fresh feeling of belonging. It is a celebratory and light hearted time with the prospect of being Mr and Mrs soon.

I want to capture these feelings into beautiful photographs. An engagement deserves celebration and the memories kept tangible. Your first pretty heirloom should start with an engagement album. After all, photos are what is left of us when memories fade away by the passing of time.

So how do you make the most of your Paris engagement photoshoot? Here are some suggestions to inspire an awesome engagement photo making session for you.

1.Research for the right Paris Photographer

Paris photographer's camera

An obvious. However, it is not just the portfolio that needs to be captivating your hearts. It should also be how your photographer connects and communicate with you. Having a rapport with your Paris photographer enact trust between you.

You need to feel relaxed and happy during your photoshoot. You need to know that your Paris photographer understands what you are looking for and have the confidence that you are in good hands. A genuine smile is the best accessory you can wear for soulful and timeless engagement photos.

2.Communicate what You Want Your Engagement Photos to Show

Paris engagement photoshoot by the River Seine and Eiffel Tower
Paris engagement photos at the carousel and Eiffel Tower

If you have a strong vision or style for your engagement photos, be sure to tell your Paris photographer. Tell him/her at the enquiry stage, not a few minutes before your engagement photoshoot is about to begin. This enables you to select the right Paris photographer who can resonate with you.

Need guidance on vision and style? There are plenty from magazines, books, movies, Pinterest and Instagram. Create a Pinterest board or a file on your phone where you can store the visuals that you like.

Be sure that your vision and style reflects the best and true versions of yourselves. Select pics that reflect quiet and intimate moods if you are a quiet introverted couple. Select playful and cheerful pics if you are an extrovert big on grand gestures. If you are a couple who wants your faces face the camera in every single photo, tell your photographer.

Send the inspirations to your Paris photographer as a guideline. This way, expectations are set. Your Paris photographer can turn up to your engagement photoshoot with great ideas to use.

3. Decide on your Engagement Photoshoot Location

Paris romantic photoshoot by Paris photographer Shantha
Paris couple photoshoot by Paris photographer Shantha

Eiffel Tower is understandably a popular choice for many loved up couples. But, consider a multiple location photoshoot for a chance to insert more of who you are into your Paris engagement photos.

What do you love as a couple? Lazy brunches in cafes, long strolls by the river, horse riding, cycling, picnicking, gardening or just watching the world go by on a bench?

What do you see yourselves doing in Paris? Can you fit any of them into your Paris engagement photoshoot? Discuss them with your Paris photographer. Paris along with your photographer are capable of setting the scene for you.

4. Time your Paris Engagement Photoshoot for magical light

Paris engagement photo at the Eiffel Tower

Golden soft magical light happens about 20 minutes after sunrise and about 40 to 30 minutes before sunset. Choose a sunrise or sunset photoshoot and try to avoid photo sessions in the middle of the day. Unless it is a cloudy day which are many during the autumn and winter months in Paris.

Midday sunlight especially during the spring and summer months is unflattering and harsh. Not to mention sweat marks and squinty eyes in your photographs.

Choosing to do your engagement photo session in the morning will also help avoid the CROWDS. Waiting around for a nice spot to clear or photobombed isn’t a fun way to have your engagement photoshoot.

Not a morning person? I don’t have a remedy for that. It is a once in a lifetime engagement photoshoot you are going to do in Paris , so the effort is well worth it. Think of the hearty French breakfast at a typical bistro afterwards. And the beautiful Paris engagement photos you will have!

5. Posing for Your Paris Engagement Photos

Eiffel Tower Engagement Photoshoot by Paris photographer Shantha
Engagement photoshoot in Paris with Paris photographer Shantha

Fret not if you’re not a poser. A good Paris photographer will be able to guide and ease you into poses that feel natural to you.

Think of posing as a set of actions. I normally show the actions to my couple and then step back. This is to give them space to follow and fall into the actions in the way they feel comfortable.

Overthinking for perfection will put yourself and your beloved under unnecessary stress. It should be a fun experience for your engagement in Paris. It is a time to enjoy your personal photoshoot experience without the rush of your wedding day. Trying too hard to do poses that do not feel natural to you will not give the desired feel to your engagement photos.

When in doubt, kissing and cuddling always break stiffness. These actions will connect you back to your fiancé. They remind you of the miracle that you have met and fell in love. The reason for documenting this special time of your lives.

6. Dressing for Your Paris Engagement Photoshoot

Paris engagement photoshoot at Pont de Bir Hakeim
Engagement photo session in Paris with Paris photographer Shantha

When you are comfortable with what you are wearing, you will look stunning in your photos.

If you have to readjust, pull up or down, crease out your outfit every time you move, then it isn’t the right one for you.

Your outfit needs to fit and move with you. Your outfit needs to flatter your body shape. You should not need to ask your Paris photographer to photoshop out this or that part of your body.

If you are conscious about certain parts of your body (we all have that!), it is important to tell your Paris photographer. He/she should know how to pose you. Or, cover up strategically. I always help my clients with how to dress when asked.

So, ladies, choose dresses that flows nicely with you when you move. Wear heels if you can. Men, be smart with crisply ironed collared shirts, blazers and polished shoes. New outfits should be worn beforehand, test them out – sit, stand, run and if you can stretch in them – perfect!

Moisturise your hands, body and feet. Manicure nails (fingers and toes for the ladies) and keep them clean. I use hands a lot on close up engagement photos, so make them delightful to see. Moisturise your lips and keep hydrated with plenty of water as I also focus on the lips when I do kissing shots.

There’s a blog post on What to Wear for Your Paris Photoshoot here, if you want to read more on this topic.

7. It’s all in the details

Paris necklace
Diamond engagement ring

Aside from dressing for a timeless look, powerful story telling in your photos are in the details. Use your engagement photo session to peek into your love story with subtle details.

Your engagement ring here is a no brainer. Meaningful gifts such as ear rings, cufflinks, the silk bow tie from your Sicilian trip. That scarf he bought for you from your first holiday together. That necklace you haggled for like crazy in that Portuguese antique market. That bracelet from his grandmother, anything that helps tell your love story.

8. Hair and Make up for your Paris Engagement Photos

Hair & make up for your Paris photoshoot

Consider hiring a professional hair and make up artist. The pampered feeling and then looking fabulous is such a good way to start your Paris engagement photoshoot.

I have a list of trusted professional hair and make up artists for you to make direct arrangements with once you have made a booking with me.

If you decide to do your own make up, try to use products formulated for photography. Photo make up products are best to diffuse light and give your face a softer dreamier look.

Do use make up that are weather appropriate. Paris summer can be stuffy and hot. You do not want runny mascara or foundation that starts to shine and melt on your face.

9. Embrace Imperfections for Outdoor Paris Engagement Photoshoots

Outdoor Paris engagement photoshoot by Shantha Delaunay
Indoor Paris engagement photo session

There are many outdoor elements that are beyond our control. It can rain unexpectedly. There may be scaffolding put up the day before your photoshoot. An event may pop up or in the case of Paris recently, strikes by disgruntled people disrupting your chosen location.

So come with the attitude that there are always a work around in these situations. We can reschedule, go to another location, wait it out etc. All that is required from you are flexibility and acceptance.

I once had to change location for a couple who had booked to shoot at the Palais Royal. It happened to be a day where Tom Cruise was filming Mission Impossible. The location was closed off. My couple, were thankfully, relaxed and unfazed by the need to change. We shot at quaint little streets surrounding the Palais Royal and then on to the Louvre nearby. They loved the results of their engagement photoshoot!

10. Consider the Feelings of Your Fiancé

Paris engagement photoshoot at Jardin de Luxembourg in the autumn.

You may have a less than enthusiastic fiancé to do your engagement photoshoot and this is quite common. Respect his discomfort by keeping your session sweet and short. Usually an hour’s session time for one location is enough time not to feel rushed. It leaves you time to walk from one spot to another for a good mix of background for your engagement photos. Keep it fuss and props free. Simplicity is the best in situations like that.

One of the ways to close the stranger gap and break the ice with your Paris photographer is by chit chatting. Engage in conversation and steer it towards what you fiancé likes talking about.

Take it easy on the afternoon and evening before your engagement photoshoot day. You will look well rested and be mentally ready to have a great experience.

Voila!

Finally…

An engagement photoshoot is usually tailored to reflect who you are as individuals and to each other. It has a more laid back approach compared to your wedding day photos. The key is be relaxed and take the experience in your stride.

Imagine the excitement of selecting photos for your announcement and save the date cards. Imagine having nicer photos displayed in your homes and kept as part of your heirloom.

Congratulations on being engaged. Wishing you a sweet and precious engagement time. Thank you for reading down this far! Please share away this blog post.

If you would like to have a Paris Engagement Photoshoot booked, I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch here.

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Comments

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Shantha delaunay

Paris photographer for loved up couples & sassy individuals