Prepping for an amazing Engagement shoot

I have written before about why having an engagement session with your photographer is vital to achieving amazing wedding photos. Now, I wanted to share some tips on how to prep for an amazing shoot.

First, picking a location & time. When thinking of a place to go for your engagement shoot think of these 4 things: does it have significance to y’all, accessibility/travel time, what purpose will these photos serve and does it attract crowds. Did you and your fiance met at a coffee shop, church, bus stop, merry go round, or college? Why not go back there? Do you enjoy a night in playing board games? Why not do that for your engagement shoot? If your engagement photos are only to be printed and hung in your home (not for save the dates) think about the colors and textures in your home. You can choose a location that has a similar color scheme to your decor. If your location is a very popular spot for tourists or locals you may want to strategize when the least likely time people will be visiting it. The less photobombers the better. Do not be afraid to choose a crazy idea or something unique. Generally photographers have a creative brain and enjoy when their clients have out of the box location suggestions.

Second, timing. I suggest doing your engagement session at least 3-6 months before your wedding. Sometimes my couples have a specific season they want their engagement photos that lie inside/outside of that 3-6 months and that’s fine. Often times your photographer will only schedule engagement shoots during the weekdays because weekends are reserved for shooting weddings and family time. Do some research ahead of time (and your photographer will know as well) on what time sunset/sunrise is for that season. The online farmers almanac is impressively accurate on telling you sunrise/sunset times for dates in the future. The best and most magical lighting occurs during those times and photographers try their hardest to schedule appropriately.

Outfits are a big component and often the most overwhelming part of prepping for your shoot. Some tips to keep in mind:

 – Try to coordinate outfits and accessories and not be identically matching. Again, think of where these photos will be used and shown. If they will end up in your home pick outfits that compliment the colors in your home. Try to avoid clothes that are super flowy or baggy. Unfortunately they don’t often have the slimming effect on camera that you hope.

– Do a hair/makeup trial run. It’s a great way to finalize your wedding day look and you will look even more flawless in your engagement photos. Nothing beats that little extra self esteem boost.

– Be mindful of the location you have chosen in regards to shoes. I have suggested to couples that have a more adventurous location or will require a lot of walking to bring comfortable walking shoes and then cute shoes that they actually want to be wearing in the photos. flip flops and slip on tennis shoes are great examples.

Finally, these last tips are to help you and your fiance’s mentality about the engagement shoot. Be on time. If it is a sunset shoot the sun will only be out for so long and you don’t want your photographer to have to be rushed and get less shot because the sun set and there is no light to work with. Arriving early is even better because it allows for y’all to take a couple deep breaths and be in the best mindset to enjoy your shoot. You don’t have to be a pro at posing or modeling. Your photographer will be guiding you through the entire session. Enjoy this time together and make a date out of it. Plan dinner afterwards and celebrate.

To really get a good idea what to expect (and especially if you/your fiance is nervous) spend some time together scrolling through a few blog posts on your photographers website, this will allow y’all to gauge what your expectations should be. I also recommend that you go in with an open mind and trust that your photographer will take care of you.


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