Engagement Session | Tips and Tricks

Hello friends! Welcome back to my blog! Today I am going to talk about the tips and advice for your engagement shoot! You definitely will not have to apply EVERY tip and trick that I give you, just use this post as more of a guidline to achieve that light & airy look that I know you love and want for your photos. My brides are generally really good about picking out outfits and letting their groom know what to expect. However, I have received the occasional email from the bride asking how they should be dressed and other tips for their engagements and so I thought a blog post may be helpful to you.

When you’re booked and its time to start getting prepared for your engagement session, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • This is is just a practice run and we are going to be having fun! This is the shoot with no pressure. On the wedding day we will be running around, crunched for time, your dress won’t be able to get dirty and there won’t be time to chat and get to know one another.  Your engagement session is your chance for us to get to know each other and get comfortable with how I work. Now don’t get me wrong, your wedding day will be the time of your life! However, it’s so helpful to have a great engagement session before the big day so that you know what to expect in terms of my posing system, what I am looking for when we are moving around, and little things like the “nuzzle”! My couples that have an engagement session are PROS by the wedding day and it really shows in their photographs!


  • After you book with me,  you’ll need to start thinking about when you want your engagement session to be done. Some couples prefer to have their engagement photos done in the season opposite of the season of their wedding. So if you’re getting married in the summer, an engagement session in the winter would be a nice time. Most likely, you’ll be booking your engagement session 6 months before your wedding date so that way you have them for save the dates and such.

Without further ado, here are the tips and tricks for you to have the most successful and FUN engagement shoot:

1. Outfit Inspiration : Most couples like to have two outfits, one casual and one that is dressier. This will provide you with a lot of variety in your images. The BEST advice I can give about outfit selection would be to try to COORDINATE instead of matching. If your are too matchy, you will tend to blend rather compliment each other. Try to stay away from really tiny patterns, they tend to not translate well and can play weird tricks of the eyes. Bold jewelry, scarves, and colored shoes are a plus to have! Just make sure you look like YOU and feel comfortable!

2. Preparing your Groom: This is crucial to a successful engagement shoot, afterall, your man will be in these photos too. You know your fiance better than anyone else and only you can help prepare him for this. If your fiance’ is completely unaware of what goes into this shoot, he is going to think it’s really strange when I tell you two to “Nuzzle” or get “Nose to nose”.  He’s going to be expecting a few pictures smiling at the camera, showing off the ring and that’s it! So make sure to explain to him why you love this style of photography and help him know what is going to go down! I suggest sitting down with him and showing him 2 of your favorite engagement sessions that I have done to give him an idea of what he’s about to experience!

3. Be on Time: This is one is really important. What most couples don’t realize is that natural light photographers such as myself are 100% dependent on the sun and if their couples are late, they will lose that amount of time during their session due to the lack of light. Now I realize that things happen beyond out control like massive amounts of traffic and accidents (living in southern California we all feel that one hard).  If at all possible, try to leave a little earlier than your map says so that you don’t lose any of your shooting time and pretty glowy light that we all love!

4. Time and Location: The best time to shoot any session is usually 2 hours after sunrise or 2 hours before sunset. This applies to any time of the year. When picking the location for your photos, I love shooting engagements in locations that mean something to my clients! So, if you are a beach person, let’s do a beach shoot, if you love greenery and nature (like me) we will do it in a national or regional park. I understand that this isn’t always possible to pick find a place that you love but I like to throw it out there just in case!

5. Relax & Trust Your Photographer : As you’re preparing for your engagement session,  remember that I (your Photographer) don’t expect you to be a pro at this. I work with normal, everyday couples most of the time. I hardly ever work with models! I like to tell my couples that it takes a good 20 minutes to warm up at the beginning of their shoot. You’re going to feel awkward but as you continue to learn and do the poses, your fears will subside and you will start to get good at them. So relax and don’t be nervous! You’re going to do fantastic! Trust your photographer, allow me to be creative and you’ll have an amazing shoot!

6. Ring, Makeup & Hair:  I am going to be taking closeup photos of your ring, so make sure you take this opportunity to get it cleaned so it will look nice and shiny in the photos! As for makeup, I have seen some brides get their trial makeup done for the shoot. That way you will get to see what your makeup will look like on your wedding day and your engagement photos will look that much better! The same can apply for your hair. If not, a classic wave or straighten will do the trick. If you want to do your own makeup, just make sure you apply your eye makeup a little heavier than normal for your pictures.

I really hope all of these tips have been helpful in getting you prepared for your engagement shoot with me! get excited!!!




Wedding Wednesday

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