January 26, 2023

How to Prep For Your Engagement Session

So you’re engaged!! And you’re planning an engagement session to capture this special moment. Luckily, I’ve shot a few and have some tips & tricks on my favorite ways to prep for your engagement session.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

What do you want to get out of this session? If you just want some pretty photos, that’s great. However, I encourage you to embrace this as a time to come together, reflect, and revel in the fact that you’re getting married. I want these photos to mean more to you than just photos for save the dates, I want them to be something you can connect to (truly connect to) when you’re 60 and looking back on your lives together. Prepare yourselves accordingly! I can only document what you give me, so think about how you two can make this meaningful. Maybe read letters to each other, wear a special outfit, bring something to do that’s special to you guys. If you want these to feel like more than a photoshoot, you have to work to make it more that just a photoshoot.

Choose a Date, Time & Location


First things first, we’ll talk location. This is so important because these photos are a representation of this season of your lives together and should reflect who you are as a couple. I know it’s tempting to look into Pinterest posts and random couples photos to get some inspiration, but I encourage you to sit down together and talk about what you like to do together. Where do you feel most connected? What do you look forward to doing together? Engagement sessions should be so much more than just a time for photos – they should be a time for connection.

Maybe you love to hike & camp? In that case, let’s do them in a national park. Or maybe you spend your days at the beach, swimming and surfing most days. Your favorite neighborhood bar or restaurant is another great choice. The more unique to you guys, the more you’ll love the photos and think “that’s so us”.


What time should we take your engagement photos? It really depends what type of light you’re drawn to. If you’re planning on shooting somewhere busier, like a restaurant or a busy beach, you may want to have your engagement session scheduled earlier in the day. During the busy summer months, sunrise sessions are a great way to get the beach to yourselves & not have to photoshop a million people out of the backgrounds, haha. Sunrises also have a brighter, white light as opposed to sunset. However, if mornings aren’t your jam, I recommend about an hour before sunset for that golden glow.


Lastly, when do you pick a date to book your engagement session? Typically we recommend booking your engagement session around 6 – 4 months before your wedding day to avoid any stress. However, if you’re planning on using your engagement photos for your save-the-dates, wedding invitations, or rsvp’s I suggest doing it as soon as possible to avoid any ordering delays.

Picking Out What to Wear

Finding what to wear for your engagement session can be a challenge. However, there are a few suggestions when it comes to choosing your engagement outfits that will help make this decision a bit easier.

When In Doubt, Do You

If you’re ever doubting on what to wear to your engagement session, I always recommend 2-3 outfits! One a little dressier if you’d like, and two more casual. Again, you want these photos to be a reflection of you so make sure you represent who you guys are through your outfits! A dress that you’ve been dreaming of getting, some shoes that make you feel amazing, your favorite sweater + fav pair of jeans. Doing you is always best.

Color-wise, I always say earth tones & neutrals are a safe bet. Greens, tans, browns, whites, creams and blacks go with just about everything. However, if you have a color you love on you and it isn’t in those recommendations, wear it! These are only suggestions and I want you to feel 100% your best.

Avoid Heavy/Distracting Patterns & Logos

Have you ever looked at a photo and thought, “something doesn’t look quite right?” or maybe you’re a bit distracted by what someone is wearing? This can happen when you wear clothing pieces that either have heavy or distracting patterns and logos. Think about the location and what might blend well with those colors and textures. I recommend smaller, quiet patterns if you’re going to opt for one!

A good rule of thumb is if one of you is wearing a pattern, the other one should just wear solids.

Wear Clothing Pieces That You Can Move Around In & Feel Confident

The most important thing for me to express to my couples is to wear clothing pieces that you feel confident in. For your engagement photos to look as candid and natural as possible, we are going to be doing quite a bit of moving. Choosing clothing items that you can move in will help guarantee that you are not only feeling good, but looking good as well.

If you’re someone who doesn’t like wearing tight clothing, don’t wear it just for your engagement session. If you’re someone who is uncomfortable in dresses, don’t feel the need to buy one for your engagement session. These are your engagement photos and the most important thing is how you feel about yourself. The best thing is to be yourself and dress like yourself so you feel the most confident!

Hair & Makeup

Once again, I want you to feel like yourself! If you love getting your hair & makeup done and know you’ll feel so bomb on the day of the shoot, dooo it. However, if you’re a minimal makeup/hair person and you just feel like you should because all your friends did for their photos, I don’t recommend it. Do what feels natural and makes you the most confident.

Clean Your Ring

I always suggest giving your ring a little shine up before your session if any ring photos are important to you!


The theme of this post is doing what you want & what feels natural for you! I sometimes have clients opt to include their favorite things in their session to bring in a little more of their personalities. These could be:

  • Flowers
  • Your pet (just make sure you have someone along to watch them while taking solo couples portraits)
  • Bikes (or motorcycle)
  • Your favorite drink
  • A picnic blanket or basket
  • A car or van
  • Skateboard or surfboard

Make Your Engagement Session A Date

I’m huge on making a day out of your photoshoot and using it as a time for connection. If you’re already getting dressed up and your hair & makeup is already done, head out to dinner or somewhere fun afterwards! This is a time to enjoy, relish in this season of engagement, and think about why you’re getting married in the first place 🙂

How to Prep For Your Engagement Session

At the end of the day, remember that this is a celebration. It can be easy to get caught up in the perfection of it all and making everything go “just right”. The whole point of an engagement session is to document your unique love and this next journey for you. Hopefully with a few tips on how to prep for your engagement session you’re just feeling that much more excited and ready to have the best time!

For some engagement inspiration, check out this blog next!

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