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What’s more exciting than getting engaged and having your photos taken by a great photographer? Getting them taken by a great photographer at an incredible location! Here are some tips on how to pack and prepare for engagement photos abroad!
Packing for Engagement Photos
Written By: Haddie Vawter
Mother Nature isn’t always on our side. Weather is one factor we cannot control, yet we should take it into consideration. When planning your photos, check your location’s weather conditions and ask yourself these questions:
What are the typical averages for this time of year?
What is the forecast for my visit?
In addition to checking past weather averages, be sure to check the conditions during your visit. Keep an eye out for any sudden changes to help you make the best decisions.
For example, photoshoots near a coast should take into consideration the changing ocean winds. Mountainous engagements are similar. Weather that travels over peaks could break up into nothing or build into something menacing. Colder regions could have abrupt snowstorms or freezing rain.
Being flexible is the key. Keeping your photographer in the loop will eliminate any disappointments or misunderstandings.
Read these tips on how to pack for transitional weather.
2. Temperatures and Climate
Conditions may be outstanding in warm, sunny places, but these factors can change quickly in any region of the world. Take into consideration things like wind, humidity, precipitation, and more to build a clearer picture of what the setting will be while you visit.
When choosing clothes, consider wind. You don’t want to fight to keep your dress below your waist the entire shoot. Hats and scarves can also be a hassle in strong winds.
Rain and precipitation can happen when we least expect it. Though this is frustrating, a little rain can actually make images stand out. The clouds offer great lighting by blocking out the bright sun and will make any landscape more colorful. Greener grasses, bluer waters, and the vibrant color of your outfit will enhance your pictures.
This is what to wear on a rainy day!
3. Clothing Choices
Clothing is one of the biggest decisions in an engagement session, but even more so when you choose a location abroad.
Each season and each country calls for an entirely different look. If you are looking for a romantic winter shoot, then be prepared with clothes that will keep you warm while you’re posing. We can only endure so much for the perfect picture!
For a warm coastal shoot, bring items such as sandals to protect your feet, sunscreen to avoid burns, and a hat that can act as a prop but also shield your face from the sun.
Use clothing hacks to help make the ordeal more tolerable. Wearing a thick coat between locations will help keep you warm and comfortable during the session.
Likewise, leggings under a dress in the winter will discreetly keep your legs warm, while a hat and gloves will help when walking from one location to another.
This is how to wear one dress many ways (perfect for variations in weather)!
4. Props are Your Friend
When traveling in outdoorsy locations, props can be useful and even helpful. They add a fun dimension to your photos by showing personality. For a cold weather or mountaintop shoot, a blanket can add color while a beach towel or sarong will work by the sea.
Laying down a blanket will keep your clothes dry, and wrapping the blanket around each other adds great color contrast, too. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to snuggle up for a cute picture and keep each other warm!
For coastal or forest shoots, scarves are a great addition when they flow in the wind and block the sun from burning you. A hat will help in the same way: it can keep your hair in place during a windy shoot and help avoid squinting in the sun.
Hats also work in a forest or wooded setting. They keep your hair from snagging on branches and keep bugs away. They may keep humidity from showing on your face or keep your hair dry if a drizzle drops by.
Wondering which packable travel accessories to bring on your trip? Read these tips!
5. Shoe Choices
Choosing shoes is one of the most difficult choices because we want both comfort and fashion. Make sure the shoes complement the outfit, but if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking between photos, bring an extra pair for comfort.
Mountainous or rugged locations require a pair of cute boots, but those should be accompanied by hiking boots. Nothing is worse than twisting an ankle walking from one peak to another in-between shots.
Coastal shoots call for bare feet. This makes photos look natural and relaxed, but the sand is often hot or hiding sharp objects like shells or rocks. Bring a light pair of sandals for walking and then remove them for the photos.
Winter shoots are harder to plan. For these, you’re probably going for a cold-weather theme and despite your style choices, getting a practical pair of winter boots will ensure you keep your toes.
Read this post on how to choose the best travel shoes for any trip!
6. Locations & Sites
Plan the locations you would like to be photographed in, how you’re going to get there, and where you’ll go after. Build in some travel time to get to each place, too. No one wants to rush around on a trip that’s supposed to be stress-free, right?
The beauty of an engagement session abroad is that it can be a mini-vacation. Only visit a few places in a day; that will be more than enough. After shooting is done each day, enjoy the time by relaxing outside the camera lens.
Adding in flexible time will make outfit changes easy and give you a chance to adjust your hair and makeup after being outside. A little planning ensures everyone involved enjoys their time. On average, couples plan for three to five days for these shoots.
Want to know exactly what to wear to your destination? Read our packing lists!
7. Take Advantage of a Fun Time
Although engagement photos might be the motivation for this mini-vacation, they don’t have to be the only focus. Use this time to enjoy yourselves and make it a pre-honeymoon!
Whether the location is new or an old favorite, it’s a great opportunity to just be together and capture your best moments. Engagement sessions shot abroad are growing in popularity–one of our very own writers was recently engaged and had her pictures taken in Iceland!
Do your best to prepare and then have fun. Make good planning and clothing choices and you will have memories that last a lifetime!
What are your packing tips for an engagement photoshoot abroad? Comment below!
For more packing tips, please read:
- 10-Step Packing Guide to Stop Overpacking
- Traveling to Remote Locations? Here’s How to Pack
- How to Pack for Transitional Weather
- Packing Tips for Travel Photographers
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Author Bio: Haddie’s a risk taker. She’s living a frugal life, planning to retire early, and plans to be lost in a national park someday for good. She has traveled to 6 countries and has been lost in each of them. Read more about her at her blog: To Dare Greatly.