Engagement Photo Tips: How To Prepare For Your Session

Engagement sessions are SOO MUCH FUN! However…they can be suuuuper nerve wracking at the same time!! Especially if you’ve never taken photos before, or have had bad experiences in the past. Getting in front of the camera is scary – trust me, I know! So today, I’m giving you my top engagement photo tips + how to prepare for your engagement session. I’ll be walking you through:

  • Choosing the right location
  • Picking out your outfits
  • & how to get in the right mindset

 

If you’re prepared and know what to expect, it’ll be SO much less scary being in front of my camera! No more nerves – I just want you to have FUN with your engagement session. So let’s get right into it!!

 

Choosing the Right Location

As your photographer I’ll help you choose your location! I’ve got tons of experience with different environments, lighting scenarios, scenery, weather, etc. BUT it’s not going to just be me picking my fave spot – your location should feel like YOU GUYS!!

Are you adventurous and love hiking? Let’s take your photos in some mountains or nearby trails. Love the beach? We can go to a beach near you! Or maybe you love being in the busy downtown – how about we find a parking garage with a sweet rooftop and walk down the streets of your hometown?!

Let’s also focus on thinking outside of the box, too! Are you two edgy and into skateboarding? Do you have any special date memories at a certain location that we can re-create? ORRRR do you love to travel and want me to tag along to capture you in your element, exploring new places + views?! Let’s freaking do it!!

Once my clients give me an idea of the type of style/environment they’re after, I’ll suggest a few spots I think would be a great fit. Then you can tell me what you think and we’ll pick out a location + start chatting details (what time we’ll meet, what time sunset is, etc.)!!

 

couple sitting in greenhouse

couple standing in front of wall

 

Picking Out Your Outfits

Once we’ve picked out a location for your session, then we can talk OUTFITS!

To be honest, most of my clients have a love/hate relationship with this portion of the planning. And that’s totally okay + normal! Outfits are suchhh a big part of being confident in front of the camera, so it might feel like a lot of pressure trying to pick the right ones.

Here are my top tips I share with my couples when it comes to outfit selection:

 

1. Comfort is KEY:

And by that, I don’t necessarily mean wear your grubbiest clothes or old sweatpants, haha. But I don’t want you worrying about your dress being too short the whole time either, or having pants on that don’t fit you right.

Wear clothes that you feel your MOST confident in! That way you can focus your attention to lovin’ on your sweetie throughout your session instead of worrying about your outfit looking perfect.

And remember – these items might already be in your closet!! There’s no need to buy a whole new wardrobe for your session if you don’t want to 😉 But if you don’t feel like you have outfits that’ll make you feel like your best self, here are a few places that have great clothes for photoshoots!!:

 

 

couple having snowball fight

couple giving piggy back ride

 

2. Bring options:

I always tell my couples to bring an extra outfit option or two! Even if it’s just extra accessories like a hat, jackets, or more shoes. Sometimes we may get inspired by a new combo of clothes for a certain look at your specific location!

 

couple walking in the streets couple drinking couple holding hands in front of mural

 

3. Think simple textures:

I LOVE a good mix of textures: a chunky knit sweater, some corduroy pants, a silky blouse. . . I’m here for it all! It adds so much dimension when layered!

And remember that simplicity is key when it comes to textures + patterns. Simplicity doesn’t mean boring, but maybe skip the super busy floral pattern. Opt instead for a textured solid or some layers of solids. Patterns are tricky, and they can be done well – but the most timeless photos usually have less of those trendy/loud prints.

 

downtown engagement photos couple snuggling

 

4. Neutral colors for the win:

Neutrals neutrals neutrals! Now this may be a personal preference of mine, but especially with my style of work and locations, more subdued color tones photograph the best. I love to color-match your outfits with the scenery around. This allows YOU to stand out and not distract the whole image with bright neon pink. 

Now when I say neutrals, I don’t necessarily mean all whites, tans, and blacks. While those work and are awesome – you can totally add in some color – I just recommend a bit more relaxed color. Think rust/burnt orange vs. bright orange. Olive green vs. Kelly Green. Dusty blue vs. bright baby blue. Mustard vs. cheery yellow… you get it 😉

 

couple sitting in greenhouse

 

5. Keep movement in mind:

Movement!! Ahhh my fav. Anything the wind can catch is stunning!! Now, we don’t need long flowy dresses always – so another way to think about this is wearing things that allow YOU to be the movement in the shots. With some comfy jeans and going barefoot, you can run, jump, lift, twist away without worrying about your clothes!

 

couple running across street

 

6. Lastly, remember it’s ALL ABOUT YOU!

I always want my photos to tell YOUR story. I’m happy to offer advice from what I’ve seen work great, but let’s be real – these are YOUR photos and YOUR memories. These are not for your photographer’s portfolio. . . so if you REALLY want to wear neon, go for it. Be authentic to YOU. If you usually rock vintage band tees all week long, wear those! Do you loveeeee old-school Jordans? Please wear them!

 

couple kissing

 

Getting in the Right Mindset

Showing a bunch of PDA in front of someone you don’t know super well can be intimidating – I totally get it. Photos also might not be your partner’s fav activity…. so here are some ideas of what to do ahead of time!

  1. Make sure your outfits are ready to go in advance – you don’t want to be ironing two minutes before you have to leave. It’s like getting your clothes out the night before an early morning so you’re ready to go! Avoid all potential stress if possible.
  2. Go out for apps or drinks beforehand! Make this a fun date night so you’re in a fun-loving headspace when you arrive. A couple margs never hurt ;). You can even bring a few drinks along if that’s your style – let’s hang out for a few minutes before and get you loosened up + feeling comfortable and confident!!
  3. Write notes to each other and read them right before. The hurry of getting to the session can add some stress. . . plan to arrive a few minutes early to swap love notes! This will get you in the MOooOOOood for all the loving on each other you will be doing! 😉 

 

 

PHEW, how are you feeling after all those engagement photo tips?! I know it was a lot to take in, but I hope those tips helped you feel more confident going into your upcoming engagement session! I’m always here to answer any Q’s you’ve got + reassure you as much as possible if you’re nervous. So don’t hesitate to text me before your shoot if you’re feelin’ the feels – I got you covered!!

 

Here are a couple of recent engagement sessions if you want some inspo!!

Michigan Fall Engagement Session

Carefree Michigan Engagement Photos

 

+ I’ve got some more outfit inspiration for you on this Pinterest board!

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Engagement session ideas, couple snuggling on grass, fun engagement photos

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