Prepping for Your Engagement Photo Session

Congrats on getting engaged! And now you’re probably wondering about the bazillion other things in planning your wedding, right? Or maybe not. One thing for sure is whether or not you want to have an engagement photo session, whether it be for save-the-dates or just a way to commemorate this milestone in your relationship.

Getting married in the spring? You might want to consider scheduling your session in the autumn. Many photographers are booked at least 2 to 3 months in advance so it’s helpful to start talking to some you like earlier. Also consider that many photographers only shoot engagements sessions on weekday evenings to keep weekends free for weddings and other special events.

Once you’ve found a great photographer to work with (and of course, it doesn’t have to be me!), here are some tips that can helpful in preparing for your photo session:

1. WHAT TO WEAR?:  Most sessions usually last about an hour or so you have time for usually up to two outfits - usually casual and one that is dressy. What works really well is trying to coordinate your outfits rather than matching. Please, just say no to “matchy matchy.” Solid and saturated colors look great on camera and keep the focus on you, not your clothing.  Additionally, wearing bold jewelry and colored shoes can photograph really well! More importantly, make sure you feel like YOU and are comfortable… in the best version of yourself.

2. BEST LOCATION + TIME: The best location is at a place that means something special to YOU and your partner. Your home. Your favorite cafe. Your favorite hike. There are endless possibilities and a good photographer will be willing to go there with you. Once you decide on where to hold your session, best times to photograph are normally 2 hours after sunrise or 2 hours before sunset. It doesn’t matter the time of year.

3. PREPPING YOUR PARTNER: If your partner is anything like my spouse, they may hate getting photos taken. You know your partner better than anyone else and so only you can help really prepare them for this shoot. If they are completely new to this style of photography, your partner may be really caught off guard when I ask him to “nuzzle into your neck like a cat” (I have funny tricks up my sleeve to make you guys laugh). I I suggest taking a few minutes to show a few of your favorite engagement sessions that I’ve shot to give him an idea of what he’s about to experience! And don’t worry, I won’t make you do anything I wouldn’t myself.

4. SOME OTHER PREP… HAIR, MAKEUP, ETC.:  Some couples like to do their makeup test-run before their engagement session so that they can see what their makeup will look like in pictures before the wedding day. I can’t recommend this enough. If you’re doing your own makeup, make sure you apply your eye makeup a little heavier than normal for your pictures. I know, weird, but it will definitely show up better on camera. Since I also take photos of your ring(s), I recommend cleaning them ahead of time so it’s extra blingy for our session.

5. SHOW UP ON TIME: As with many other natural light photographers, we are 100% dependent on the sun and if our couples show up late, they will lose that amount of time during their session due to the lack of light. By showing up on time, you’ll be sure to maximize your shooting time and the awesome sunlight for awesome photos!

6. RELAX + TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER: Don’t worry, no photographer expects you to be a pro at this. It can take a good 15 minutes to warm up at the beginning of your session. If you can, I recommend couples grab a beverage together ahead of time to get in a zen place. You’ll be great! By letting go a bit and trusting your photographer to be creative and direct you, you will have a stellar shoot.

Congratulations again on your engagement, and I hope you found these tips to be helpful!