Marriage is the blending of two families. Sometimes, challenges arise in both wedding planning and life afterward when children are part of the blending. Pictures that include children can go a lot way to set the tone for the new family.
An engagement photo shoot can be a way to create memories during this special time of life, but it can also serve as a way to include children in nuptial activities. A little sister or a step-child may be feeling left out of planning since everyone has been busy for several months.
A engagement photo shoot that includes children, whether or not they are in the wedding party, can also prepare them in a more casual environment for all the formal pictures they will be involved in on your wedding day. It also gives you a good picture of important things, such as their attention span, emotional outbursts, and how quickly they tire. This is helpful in planning your wedding day pictures.
Some ways to include children in engagement photos are to take casual one-on-one pictures of them with each of you. This showcases the relationships you are building. Other ideas include getting casual shots of both of you playing with them as a family or of you, as parents, doing a photo role reversal. For instance, you can be playing on swings with your children pushing or spinning the swing.
Other ways to include children in your engagement photo shoot is to have the photographer capture the moment you give them a wedding gift, like a necklace, cuff links or a framed picture. A picture showing their response will be something you will love for the rest of your life.
Just because you are including children in your engagement photo shoot doesn't mean you should sacrifice romantic couple's pictures for the two of you. Be sure to keep some time to allow for that. It is your day and pictures highlighting your love will also be a positive example for the children.
There are some things you can do to make for a great engagement photo session. Suggestions include:
Take some time to pick out your outfit. The attire you wear for your engagement picture, even if it is casual, is the most important clothing you will wear outside of your wedding day. Outfits do not have to match, but should complement each other. That goes for the children also.
Try to relax and avoid posing. The engagement shoot is less formal than wedding day pictures and should be a fun time to get to know each other. It's fine to make mistakes! Laugh it off and try again. It should be easier to be comfortable with this photo session because it is just you two, the kids and the photographer rather than all the wedding guests watching or waiting in the reception area.
Pick a beautiful location. You can get personal and pick a place you hold dear, such as the first place you met or where you got engaged.
Another idea is to pick a venue that is totally opposite of wedding day plans. If you are getting married in a church, then opt for a countryside engagement shoot. Those getting married in spring may want to do their engagement photo in the fall with all the color of the leaves. This gives you two totally different looks for your wedding album.
The biggest piece of advice to create the perfect engagement shoot is to simply enjoy it. It's your time to celebrate your love.