Engagement Session Tips

Are you curious about engagement photo sessions? Want to know what they’re like and why you should have one, or do you need ideas on what to wear to your session or what to do with the photos? I’m here to help!

Top reasons to have an engagement session:

  • Celebrate! You're engaged, you're going to commit to spend the rest of your life with someone you love, and you need beautiful pictures of the two of you to announce it to the world :)
  • Photo variety: Typically, your wedding photos will show you dressed up and at a location that was rented just for the occasion. For your engagement photos, you can dress more casually and choose a location that means something to the two of you.
  • Be yourself: Portrait time on the day of a wedding can often be brief and feel a little unnatural. I truly want you to be yourself and feel comfortable in front of the camera that day. Learning what to expect and getting a feel for each other’s personalities is really helpful!
  • You’ll feel more at ease and trusting of me with your wedding photography. You’ll know exactly what to expect from my style of posing and direction and have confidence in my ability to deliver great photos.
  • I give personal use rights to my clients with all of their photo files. You can use them in a variety of ways, to celebrate your upcoming wedding or even to decorate the wedding itself (see more specific ideas later in this article!)

Where and when to have an engagement session:

  • Somewhere meaningful: Is there a park where you’ve spent a lot of time together? A spot where you got engaged? The center of the town where you met? You might even want to consider a “lifestyle” session at home for a really low-key and meaningful set of photographs.
  • Your venue: It can be just as much fun to have your session at your wedding venue. Obviously, it will become a meaningful location for you both in the near future!
  • About 6-12 months before the wedding is the average time frame for engagement session. But it’s never too late in my opinion! We could have the session the day before your wedding if you’d like!
  • Season: Here in Ohio, you can get a lot of variety in photos by choosing opposite seasons for your engagement session and wedding. Think about mixing Fall engagement photos with Spring wedding portraits, or Summer engagement photos with snowy Winter wedding ones.

What to wear to your engagement session:

  • Coordinate your outfits, but don’t be matchy-matchy. Don’t wear the exact same color or the exact same pattern as your fiancé. Wearing a different shade or wearing a pattern that contains the same color usually looks great.
  • Make sure you’re both casually dressed, or both dressed up, or somewhere in between. Think of it as a date, and make sure your outfits look like you’re going to the same place.
  • Be comfortable! If you can’t relax and move freely in your clothes, they’re probably not the best choice.
  • Choose your colors from the same family. Warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow go great together. The same is true for cool colors such as purple, blue, and green. Neutrals such as black, white, gray, and brown are always a safe bet.
  • Avoid neon colors. They create difficult situations in photo editing, reflecting bright color onto parts of your faces or making your skin tone look too neutral.
  • Need a little visual inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board by clicking here!

What to do with Engagement Pictures

(The possiblities are endless... But here are a few suggestions)

  • Use them for save-the-date cards that you send to your guests in the mail or share electronically on social media
  • Purchase a photo album of your engagement photos with white space designed throughout, to use as a guestbook at the wedding.
  • Print and display them with your reception centerpieces, or incorporate them in other ways throughout your wedding decor. I once had clients who framed their engagement session photos and hung them from garden lantern hooks lining the path from their parking lot to their wedding ceremony.
  • Post one per day on social media, counting down the days to your wedding.

Check out some of my favorite engagement photos here