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How to Prepare for your Engagement Session: What to Wear, How to Pick Locations and Prepare day of!

Engagement sessions are SOO MUCH FUN! However…they can be super nerve wracking at the same time!! 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:

how to choose locations

picking out outfits

how to get into the right mindset!

Being prepared and knowing what to expect, can make this process much easier and so much less stressful! I want you to show up to your engagement session, ready to have fun and spend some time with your lover! It's really that easy.

how to choose locations

As a photographer, I will help you choose locations! I have a ton of experience with lots of local options! When planning your session, I'll ask you where you are living and how far you are willing to travel for epic photos! If you wanna stick close to home or if you're down for a little road trip! Based on your answer, I'll give some suggestions that match both your vibe and depending on distance!

Most importantly, I want the location to FEEL like you guys. The best way to do this, is to decide if there are any sentimental locations that have meaning in your relationship.

Where did they propose?

Location of your first date?

A place you often go together a couple?

An engagement session is more than just pretty photos, but engagement photos can be a wonderful way to preserve and capture your relationship in this beautiful stage in your relationship. If you are an ultra sentimental person (like me!) incorporating a location that has meaning to your relationship can make the photos really special!

But if you don't have any sentimental spots, that's okay too!

My next step would be to look for some inspiration pictures! I'm a big fan of Pinterest and often make a collab board with my clients! By looking around and finding photos that you love and are obsessed with is a good way for your photographer to figure out your vibe!

What do these photos have in common?

Are they all in the city?

Do they all involve movement? (Spinning, running, walking etc)

Try to figure out what exactly in the pictures you are drawn to! And then send that to your photographer! Based off that, they can suggest some options that will correlate well with your vision!

how to pick out outfits

Most of my clients have a love/hate relationship with this part of the planning, and that's okay! I promise that it's normal, it might feel like a lot of pressure but that's why it's important to pick out that you are comfortable and confident in!

1. When picking outfits, consider is movement! Every photographer is different and has different styles and prompts, but I love adding motion to my engagement photo session! Walking, sitting, spinning etc. Make sure you consider movement when choosing your outfits,

can you move in this dress?

Are these pants too tight on him?

can I walk in these shoes?

2. Bring an outfit change! It's up to you and what is included in your session, but I would recommend planning 2-3 outfits! It can add a ton of variety to your gallery! I recommend picking one casual outfit and then one dressier option!

3. Dos and Don't, while choosing your outfits, as a general rule, make sure the clothing does not have too many patterns!

If you are not sure, have only one of you wear something with a bold pattern or color! Think about it as one pop of interest and one complimentary piece. So you don't want to both be wearing flashy, bright colors, typically you want to compliment each other! I would recommend choosing one item of a bolder color/pattern and then pair that with neutral items!



Flower dress and black dress shirt

Neutral tan skirt and neutral shirt and paisley shirt and jeans


Flower dress and striped shirt

Polka dot skirt and paisley shirt

It’s great to mix textures like linen, denim, corduroy, knit etc for a little bit of interest, but I would be careful about too many fighting colors or patterns! Try choosing one main color and then the other compliment!

Also for timeless photos, I recommend avoiding big wording, brand names and logos!

4. Get some inspiration! Again, I always recommend going on Pinterest for some inspiration and create a board! Try to pin things that you have in your closet or similar pieces you have so that you don't have to go out and buy a ton of new outfits! Here is a Pinterest board I share with my clients to spark some inspiration on outfits that I know would photograph well and compliment my style in their engagement session!

how to get in the right mindset

Alright, you have the outfits + locations, now it's time for the session!

Here's some practical ways to get into the right mindset while preparing on the day of your session :

1. Make a playlist beforehand! Music is a great way to

Picking out some songs together (love songs are great!) and then creating a playlist for the photoshoot! Make sure to coordinate this with your photographer to bring a speaker, but having some of your favorite songs play throughout your session can be a great way to help feel more at ease and comfortable!

2. Arrive early! Plan to leave 10-15 minutes early for your session, in case you run into traffic or if you tend to run a little late to appointments! The last thing you want to do is rush over to your engagement session, stressed and frazzled! And most photographers plan their sessions according to the sunset time, so if you are late, it will limit the amount of photo taking time! It's a good idea to show up a few minutes early to chill in the parking lot for a few minutes and relax before the session!!

3. Plan a date after the session! You can make dinner reservations at your favorite restaurant or go see a movie together! Beyond your engagement session, it gives both of you something to look forward to once the session is over! And successfully completing your engagement photos is totally worth a date night out!

All in all, the most important thing for your engagement session is for it to be fun and authentic to you!

If possible, it's great to do your engagement session with your wedding photographer because it is a great way to get to know each other and get familiar with their style of posing, directing and a sample of the experience! Remember to arrive with an open mind and ready to have some fun hanging out with the love of your life!

I hope these tips are helpful to you while planning your engagement session and if you're looking for an engagement/wedding photographer in the Oregon/Washington area, I'd love to connect with you!


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