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Capture precious moments in an engagement photo shoot

Capture precious moments in an engagement photo shoot

An engagement photo shoot is a session that revolves around capturing the essence of a couple's love story through the lens of romantic photography.

In this article, we delve into the artistry of engagement photo shoots, exploring the boundless creativity and passion that professional photographers Gradisca Portento, Valeria D'Angelo, BrancoPrata, Carolina Sandoval, and Andrea Gilberti infuse into their work. These visionaries in the world of romantic photography generously share their insights, unveiling the secrets behind capturing the essence of love in every frame. We'll explore engagement photography tips from the expertise of these talented professionals to craft a perfect narrative for your love story. Let’s unravel engagement photo shoot ideas that promise to transform your moments into timeless treasures.


Engagement photo shoot – the epitome of romantic photography

This specialized form of romantic photography focuses on creating images that reflect the deep emotional connection between partners, often emphasizing intimacy and genuine moments. These pre-wedding pictures serve as a visual narrative, telling a tale of love and commitment. An engagement photo shoot is an opportunity for couples to express their personalities, showcase their bond, and create lasting memories before the wedding day. Romantic photography encapsulates the individuality of a couple's relationship in a series of beautifully crafted images.

An engagement photo shoot freezes the joy and anticipation of this special time. It's a chance to create timeless memories, express your unique love story visually, and embrace the excitement of your journey towards forever. Cherish the moments with a magical engagement photo shoot—celebrate your unique connection and the exciting chapter ahead.


A beautiful love story captures / Gradisca Portento

Gradisca Portento loves engagement photo shoots because they are real photo shoots, and she can have fun in a relaxed and unhurried atmosphere together with the couple. She always recommends doing an engagement photo shoot because it is a really enjoyable experience that the couple should have. Beyond having beautiful pictures and capturing candid moments, the important thing is to live that experience with your loved one. As Gradisca has observed, you only notice the  photographer in the first half hour, then you don't think about it anymore, and the fun begins.

In Gradisca’s experience, there have been couples who knew exactly what they wanted and sent her specific references, which she loved. Other times, she proposes ideas and develops the concept together with the couple. A creative process of continuous exchange of information and references develops between her and the couple because her preparation is also part of the experience. As in a journey – everything that happens beforehand is as electrifying as the journey itself. During this process, she encourages her couples to step outside the box and daydream to create a unique engagement photo shoot.


Speaking of picturesque locations, Gradisca says that the most popular locations for engagement photo shoots in  Italy are Tuscany and Apulia, Rome is also very popular. She advises considering interesting outdoor settings, such as glamping in the desert, tree houses, places with Land Art or unusual neighbourhoods in famous cities.

Gradisca Portento does both proposal and engagement shoots. Proposal shoots naturally feature more candid moments because it is a surprise. In the engagement shoot, there is a planning of the photography style, while in the proposal shoot, you plan the surprise. As Gradisca explains, she likes to maintain an editorial style inspired by fashion shoots but keeps the spontaneity of the couple.

Her wish for the couples planning their engagement photo shoot is to remain themselves but in the best possible version of yourself and don’t forget to have fun and play with the photographer.


Creating timeless memories / Valeria D’Angelo

The aspect Valeria D’Angelo likes the most about engagement photo shoots is that she, together with the couple, can decide everything about the shooting – where and when to do it, what kind of outfits to wear, everything! As she explains, this is so nice because couples are comfortable, which is often not the case on the wedding day for a thousand reasons (there are so many people around, the bride is wearing a very important dress, and there are many things to do in a short time). This is exactly the reason why she recommends couples to do an engagement shoot. Thus, she and the couple can get to know each other in a more relaxed way, experimenting with creative poses, having fun together, and figuring out likes and dislikes.

Valeria D’Angelo says that she wants couples to be comfortable. Thus, during the photo session planning, she asks if there are places they prefer and care about, and based on that, together they decide on the location. As she has observed, if the couple feels comfortable, they will be more spontaneous, willing to shoot creative poses, and less shy. To achieve that, she always tries to joke and ask them to tell how they met or how the proposal was, this puts them at ease and gets them into the romantic mood.


Valeria D’Angelo often shoots in Venice but in other locations too. Sometimes couples have planned a sort of engagement trip to Venice, which they like to immortalize in romantic photos. In other cases, Valeria is contacted directly by the future groom to shoot a surprise proposal, and then they decide together the place and time for a surprise. The moment of the proposal should be spontaneous and authentic, so she decides, together with the future groom, the right area and time to do it. The area should not be crowded; the light should be right. So, for planned engagement photo shoots, she often proposes the sunrise; in the cases of surprise proposals, she can't do that because it would be much more difficult for a surprise. So she, together with the groom, often chooses sunset in a not-too-crowded area of Venice, which is full of magical places, without necessarily going to San Marco Square. After the proposal, the rest of the photo shoot will always be spontaneous but with a few posed pictures.

Valeria D’Angelo sees a lot of proposals set up with flowers and candles, and she finds it very nice, but in her opinion, it has to be in a hidden place not to attract too much attention. As she explains, if she was the bride, she would not like to be surrounded by people at such an emotional moment. Of course, she accepts that we’re all different. For example, some weeks ago in Paris, she saw a big area of Bir-Hakeim Bridge covered by flowers with a huge sign that said "Will you marry me?". In her opinion, a proposal should be a more intimate moment.


For outfit inspiration, she recommends clothes matching in style or colours. If the couple has ideas on the location and attire, she listens but also makes suggestions. For example, she would advise against a sunflower field with fancy clothes and heels.

One cannot put too much emphasis on choosing the right location for a proposal or engagement photo shoot – it has to be a place you both like and that is important to you because it will remain in your most important memories. Additionally, Valeria kindly advises you to enjoy the moment because it will be unique and magical, only for you two, without the attention of the family and wedding guests. And to finish with a good bottle of wine in a romantic restaurant is always a good idea, especially in Italy.


Carefully capturing emotions / BrancoPrata

For André Teixeira, from the studio BrancoPrata, the most important thing in an engagement photo shoot is the opportunity to get to know the couple on a whole different level. Just having fun with them is stress-free, being able to capture such an important moment in their lives. As he explains, BrancoPrata always focuses on the wedding day, but the whole process leading up to that moment is also tremendously important, including the engagement photo shoot. André Teixeira has experience with capturing surprise proposals as well – every time it happened, it was all quite natural and very organic, he just let everything flow naturally.


Speaking of posed vs candid photos, an engagement is best captured through candid moments. That’s why during the session, André Teixeira always has great conversations with the couple and tries to make them at ease so they feel comfortable in front of the camera. Which is great preparation for the wedding day. Also, communication before the shoot is key, BrancoPrata always tries its best to know what is important to the couple, what is their style, and what kind of images they like.

When talking to them, they observe the way they are with each other, their body language is probably one of the most important things to explore. By doing so, BrancoPrata will make sure to put the couple at ease, not just with each other but also with the studio. As André Teixeira explains, more important than to look at them through the camera is to see them as they are and then capture it for them to see themselves in the images.


Accordingly, the whole aesthetic of the engagement shoot must reflect the couple. That is why, for BrancoPrata, it's so important to reflect on the type of imagery they want for their engagement photos. From the location to the styling, every single detail counts and adds to the story they want to tell together with the photographer. For BrancoPrata, this is not just about beautiful natural lightning and beautiful backdrops, it needs to go deeper, that is why they always have their creative director helping out couples so they can come up with a visual mood board for the shoot. To achieve authentic imagery, the BrancoPrata team helps them choose not just the right location but also the makeup artist, hair designer, fashion stylist, etc.

The most important engagement photo tips from André Teixeira are to plan, reflect on what you would like for your engagement photos, and communicate with your creative team. Don’t hesitate to go the extra mile and be bold if it is something you feel like it's you. And don't worry about doing things you've seen before, don't focus on trends that easily go out of style. In short – have fun, disconnect, and enjoy.


A glamorous engagement photo shoot / Carolina Sandoval

Carolina Sandoval possesses an extraordinary talent for crafting glamorous engagement photos that transcend mere imagery. With an adept eye for style and an innate understanding of the couple's unique essence, Carolina transforms each shoot into a visual masterpiece. Her lens captures not just moments but the very spirit of love, evoking glamour and sophistication. She weaves an enchanting narrative through her lens, portraying couples in their most dazzling and romantic light. Carolina Sandoval's work is a testament to her artistry, making every engagement session an opulent and timeless celebration of love.


Shooting precious candid moments / Andrea Gilberti

Andrea Gilberti, a maestro in the world of photography, possesses a prowess for elegantly capturing candid moments in engagement photo shoots. With an exquisite blend of artistry and intuition, he immortalizes the genuine, unscripted emotions that define a couple's journey toward marriage. His lens expertly frames the authenticity of love, transforming fleeting instances into timeless treasures. Known for his keen eye and unobtrusive approach, Andrea seamlessly weaves a visual narrative that reflects the raw beauty of human connection. Each engagement session under his guidance becomes a delicate dance of emotions, rendering every photograph a poignant, heartfelt reflection of the couple's unfiltered joy and affection.


Engagement photo shoot – an opportunity to explore and experiment

An engagement photo shoot, steeped in the artistry of romantic photography, stands as a poignant prelude to the wedding day. These captured moments not only immortalize the unique narrative of a couple's love but also serve as a powerful conduit to connect with their wedding photographer. Beyond documenting the journey towards marriage, these pre-wedding pictures forge a collaborative bond between the couple and the photographer. By sharing intimate moments and expressing individuality, couples lay the foundation for a seamless and personalized wedding photography experience.

Author: Renāte Berga

Photographers: Gradisca Portento, Valeria D’Angelo, BrancoPrata, Carolina Sandoval, Andrea Gilberti


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