For most people, engagement photos are the first professional photos they have taken since their senior year. It can be unnerving and even slightly terrifying to some, especially if your previous photography experiences have been a bust. Aside from finding a photographer who you vibe with, we have a few tips to help you get the best experience out of taking your engagement photos:

1. Step away from the Pinterest board.

No, seriously. When you come into a shoot with a head full of posing tips and cliché ideas, you are missing an opportunity to connect with your partner and have your photographer capture that connection. If you choose a photographer whose work you are in love with, you should be able to trust that photographer to give you the best results without offering a Pinterest board full of ideas for him/her to copy.

2. Wear clothing that you would normally wear.

We’re not saying that you should pull something out of your pajama drawer for your shoot, but when choosing clothing be sure to stay true to your style. If you’re the kind of person who prefers hoodies to button up shirts and blazers, then find an outfit that speaks to that. Likewise, if you can’t walk in high heels without serious risk of injury, why would you wear heels to your shoot? You’ll want to look back on your photos in 5, 10 and 20 years and think, “Yes, that’s exactly who we were then” instead of “Oh dear, we really look uncomfortable in these clothes.”

3. Focus on your partner.

If you find yourself thinking too much about what the photographer is doing or whether or not you look okay while being photographed, refocus on your partner. Think about all the reasons why you guys are getting married and about your future. Those warm fuzzies will carry you through your photo-phobia and give you real, meaningful photos (win-win!). Plus, your photographer is already keeping an eye out for your flyaways and wardrobe malfunctions for you.

4. Familiarity is comforting.
If you’re really feeling nervous about the idea of being photographed, try instead to think about your shoot as a date. Go to your favorite bar for a drink and have your photographer capture that. Or have your photographer come to your home and photograph you hanging out with your pets. Your photos are something special for you to hold on to as the years pass, so don’t feel pressured by what’s trendy right now.