With breathless anticipation you open your long-awaited photos from your engagement shoot: That one seems a bit off. You don’t love your smile in that one. Your S.O. looks so uncomfortable there. Wait, there has to be at least one that you love, right? If the answer is a resounding no, take a deep breath and remember that your money hasn’t gone completely to waste. Here’s how to deal.


1. Sleep on it. First impressions aren’t always quite right, and you might have a bad initial reaction simply because of the expectations you had in your head. Give it time, and you may come around and realize that the photos are much better than you originally thought. (Photo via Vicki Grafton /Lover.ly)

2. Remember that you’re your own worst critic. It’s so easy to find flaws in photos of yourself, but most people probably don’t see what you see. For a little ego boost, ask your fiancé, family and friends for their opinions of the shoot. Chances are they’ll think you look as gorgeous as ever.

3. Pinpoint what it is you don’t like. There are plenty of reasons you might dislike your photos, but unless you figure out exactly what’s bothering you, you won’t be able to make any worthwhile changes or decisions. Do you think the posing is awkward? Think your outfits totally clash? Hate the lighting or the location? Determine those factors first so you can avoid them for your wedding.


4. Talk to your photographer. Now that you know what you don’t like, you can politely communicate that to your photographer. While you may or may not get a second photo session, at the very least, this photographer will understand what you do like and can help find images from the shoot that you’ll want to show off. That’s especially important if they’re shooting your wedding too.

5. Do some Photoshopping. Ask your photographer if she can make some tweaks to the lighting or cropping. Or, if you’re skilled in Photoshop or have a talented friend, you might be able to take matters into your own hands. It’s amazing what a little bit of editing can do — especially if you’re after a more modern aesthetic. After a few clicks, you might fall in love with your engagement photos. (Photo via Captures for Keeps/Lover.ly)

6. Decide whether you want the photographer to shoot your wedding. Many couples use engagement photos as a sort of “trial run” with the photographer. If you don’t like the end result and the photographer isn’t responsive in making you happy, consider hiring someone else.


If, after all this, you still can’t stand looking at your photos, you’ve got more options. You could schedule another session with a new photographer or ask a talented friend to take some photos. Worried about busting your budget? Take one-year anniversary photos instead. Then you’ll have something fun to look forward to! (Photo via dolgachov/BigStock)

(Original reporting by Kristin Doherty)

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