how to get ready for your engagement session

June 29, 2020

you’re engaged––ahhh congratulations! now it’s time to start thinking of the celebratory engagement photos you want to take to share the happy news with family and friends.

engagement photo

taking engagement photos is the first of many photos you’ll take throughout your wedding process, from trying on dresses and first-look shots, to the vows and first dance.

if you’re wondering where to get started, then keep reading for tips to plan your engagement session! as a wedding photographer, i’ve outlined the basics to taking theeeee best engagement photos!


how to pick outfits

engagement photos should first and foremost show you and your fiance’s unique personality, which often comes through with your own style. after you’ve decided on casual versus formal photos, dressing the part should come naturally! don’t be afraid of being yourself. it’s always my favorite when couples show up in an outfit they would be in for a casual date night out – fav jeans and a cute top are always a go to and truly show off who you two are on a daily basis (which is what most of your relationship is!)

while many couples get new clothes for the photoshoot, it’s important that the clothes are comfortable enough to move around in and pose naturally. after all, you’ll likely be hugging and frolicking through fields, and snuggling – so wear what you can move and breathe in! don’t let a new, pinchy pair of shoes put you in pain that could show through on your photos. try on the outfits beforehand so that you know how they feel.

you’ll also want to dress for your location and weather. stiletto heels can be a recipe for disaster if your shoot is in the middle of a field or climbing over rocks! likewise, a heavy coat on a warm day is bound to make you hot (and you don’t want a shiny forehead in your pictures!!)

coordinated looks, not matchy-matchy, are perfect for photos. fabrics with lots of texture like lace and tulle can add a beautiful element to your photos without being overdone. try and avoid large prints and stay away from logos. if you’d like to have wardrobe changes, make sure that each outfit works with your partner’s. you can also avoid a complete outfit change by wearing layers!

i have an extensive style guide i created just for my couples, so they don’t have to stress about a thing! make sure to talk to your photographer about it all too, we love to help choose!


where to do your engagement photos

when it comes to picking a location to shoot your engagement photos, there are several options.

first, you can make it a destination photoshoot! a new and exciting place can bring just the right amount of energy to your photos. there are so many fun options for places to go. tell your photographer what kinda vibe you’re going for, and he/she should have some great suggestions!

engagement photo

another option is to use a super sentimental place as the backdrop for your pics. you can use the place you met, got engaged, or even your home for lifestyle shoots! (if you’re someone who isn’t comfortable with people watching you, home is a great option).

want an outdoor option? great! i have some favorite locations all around town, from open foothills to evergreen parks and stunning views – we can get it all! if a permit is needed for your ideal location, i will request all of that for us! a fee for permits will be added though so be aware!

engagement photo

my final piece of advice when it comes to choosing a location is to be open to changes. i will make sure to visit the location several times before the photo day or do tons of research on what it looks like and you may be surprised that a beautiful field has been cut, that last storm has flooded the area, or the lighting is just terrible!!

so while a beautiful spot is great, if it’s got something to muck it all up it can change the whole situation! but, it’s better to figure that out sooner than later so i can help you choose another location! i am always here to help you choose! if you have no idea where to start, let me know and i can ask some specific questions and send galleries from past sessions in locations i think you might like to help you choose!


should you include props? 

“props” can be tough. while some consider pets as props i consider doggos to be mandatory! i love including pets in engagement sessions because most of the time they are a part of your love story! for pets, i always recommend bringing a friend who can drive separate and wrangle the dogs becuase we wont need them the whole time!

other props can get cheesy quickly, to be totally honest! i love a picnic set-up with a bottle of wine or champagne and a blanket if were in a natural setting – go with props that make sense! it’s not that a prop itself can be cheesy, but if it’s in the wrong setting it can go south! so let me know what your ideas are and i can make sure it works well!! 

also accessories aren’t props!! hats, scarves, warm coats and cozy looks aren’t props at all – they’re a whole setting!! i have a whole clothing guide i send each of my couples once we book our date, promise i can help with every detail!

breanna and drews bright spring engagement session in south bend nebraska

engagement photos are about displaying the love and connection that you as a couple has and to me that means being YOU in every way!! no matter what, choose what makes you happy and feel good!

engagement photos are the first of many photos to come and so my advice to you is enjoy it from the start, don’t take yourselves too seriously, and have fun!

if you aren’t already one of my couples, check out my photography services here. i would love to serve you!


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