How to Get Engagement Photos that Look As Good As Meghan Markle’s
We asked the pros.
A collective “awwwww” was emitted in the FASHION office after Kensington Palace released Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s engagement photos this morning. The photos depict the royal couple posing formally, with Prince Harry in a blue Burberry suit and Markle in a mesh and gold foil gown by Ralph and Russo, as well as an intimate black-and-white close-up shot where Markle caresses her husband-to-be’s ginger beard, custom rock on full display. But what exactly is it that makes them so sweet? And how can you go about replicating them for yourself? We asked the pros for their perspective.
“Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement photos are positively swoon-worthy for a number of reasons,” says Alison McGill, editor-in-chief of Weddingbells magazine. “The photographs are fresh and modern in their simplicity…they really are about this couple who are clearly besotted with each other. They are relaxed, warm and radiant.” She also remarks on the photos’ pointed focus on the ring. “I also love that Meghan’s ring is front and centre because let’s be honest, most newly engaged women want to showcase this most precious and personal piece of jewellery – and in this case we the adoring public also want to admire it!”
“The images are true portraits in that they are giving us a little hint of just who these people are,” adds wedding photographer Jessica Blaine Smith. “While they are obviously very posed, they are also natural. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle look comfortable with each other and really show that they are in love,” she says. “We look at them and think, ‘Hey, there’s our pals Harry and Meghan.’”
McGill and Smith offer the following tips for couples who want their engagement photos – or perhaps if you’re feeling fancy, everyday couple shots – to look as good as the royals-in-waiting.
- Keep it natural
“You want images that represent you as a couple and you want that experience of making the images feel good. Because when you look back at the images in ten, twenty, forty years, you want to see yourself in them,” says Smith.
“Harry and Meghan look easy and breezy. Though Meghan is wearing a gorgeous couture gown by Ralph and Russo in two of the photos, it’s not the first thing you notice. We see a happy, beautiful couple in love…exactly what a perfect engagement photo should be,” says McGill.
- Keep it simple
Your engagement photos “should be natural and comfortable and really represent who you are as individuals and as a couple,” says Smith. “Forget the props and silly additions – things like balloons and banners, couches in forests, coloured smoke bombs – let’s bring the images back to what they should be all about: you, as a couple in love. You should be the focus of the portrait and any of those additions distract from that.”
- Style yourself
“Wear clothes that you are comfortable in and that you would wear in any other normal occasion. You know that outfit or colour that you often get complimented on when you wear it? That’s what you should wear for your engagement session. Wear what makes you feel good, because if you feel good at the time that the images are created, you will love the photos that much more later,” says Smith.
- Pick a sentimental location
“My best engagement sessions are the ones where we wander around a neighbourhood that has significance to the couple – whether it be the area that they first met or the one where they live,” says Smith. “These sessions then end at the couple’s favourite bar or restaurant, all cozied up and cheers-ing with a drink. The resulting photos truly represent the people in them because they have been documented in their normal way of living, the places that are familiar to them.”
- Leave it to the pros
“Choose a photographer you love and who will virtually fade into the background during your shoot, letting you be you,” says McGill. Your engagement photos are meant to display an elevated version of how you look every day, so don’t skimp, and make sure to hire a professional photographer whose work you feel inspired by.