If you’re here, you’re probably rockin’ a nice, new piece of jewelry on your ring finger… or you’re trying to leave a hint for your fiancé ;) Either way, the engagement period is something to celebrate! It’s a time when you can’t help but feel excited and giddy about starting a life with your other half. & there’s no better way to remember that love through engagement pictures! Your engagement pictures should convey your relationship in a way that others can see and feel your love radiating from the pictures. To do that, let’s talk how to prepare for your session.

1. Choose a Location!

Where you choose to do your engagement pictures has a lot to do with the mood and vibe you are envisioning. Wanting a super passionate, intimate session? This kind of session is perfect in the comfort of your own home, with all the lifestyle pictures of you both doing your thang. If you’re more about some fun, lovey dovey pictures, then maybe take a look at local parks or some city streets to get the atmosphere you are going for.

As a photographer, I always help my couples with location ideas for where they can do their session. Here’s some of my favorites: a local coffee shop, your future wedding venue, where you first met, or even at a local park filled with greenery. The options are quite literally endless, but the main idea is that you choose a location that feels right to showcase your love in an authentic way. Don’t be afraid to talk to me about any ideas you may be thinking of!

2. Browse Pinterest for a color scheme.

Ah, Pinterest, a girl’s best friend, right? Seriously though, Pinterest is SUCH a great resource for planning your engagement session and getting some inspiration from outside sources. I recommend first looking at other engagement sessions to try and figure out a color scheme that you would like to use. Again, the colors you use should be true to who you are at the core of your relationship. In other words, if you the epitome of your relationship is laughing and joking around, it wouldn’t be fitting to wear dark, moody colors for your session. As a general rule, neutrals are a great place to start when planning your colors. Other colors that look great in front of the camera are: mauve/blush, sage green, mustard yellow, and other lighter, soft colors. Make sure to also take into account that you want your outfits to coordinate, not match perfectly. It’s seemingly impossible to completely match on camera, so unless you’re superrrr risky, I wouldn’t recommend perfectly matching your colors. Instead, try to complement each other with the colors you choose to wear. 

3. Shop, shop, shop!

If you were looking for a sign to go out and get that new outfit you’ve stalking on your favorite boutique, this is it! Nah, totally kidding… kinda. You only get to be engaged once, which means that you only get one go-around at engagement pictures. So, go all out! Feel free to shop around at your favorites stores and choose an outfit or two that really exhibit your personality. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even get your hair and makeup done the day of. There are dozens of hair stylists and makeup artists that will cater your hair and makeup to whatever you are envisioning for your day. Plus, professional hair and makeup always looks better in front of the camera!

4. Make a date out of it!

Your engagement session should be FUN. Yes, even for you men who hate getting your picture taken ;) Something that I always recommend my couples do is to plan a whole date day/night around your engagement session. This makes the day that much more memorable and allows you both to connect on a deeper level for your photos. Try and grab a morning brunch before getting ready for pictures and heading off to your location. You can even go to dinner at a local café and enjoy the feeling together. Your engagement period will go by quicker than you can imagine and taking the time to have a date night together is something that you will cherish… trust me. 

5. Communicate with your photographer.

This is a BIG one, y’all! I’m a firm believer that your photographer should be in tune with who you are as a couple. I want to know all the things! Part of this connection is communicating clearly with them what poses you love, what poses you want to stay away from, etc. Your engagement session should feel comfortable, natural, and elicit genuine feelings. However, if your photographer is making you do poses that you don’t feel comfortable with, it’s going to show in your pictures. Talk with your fiancé about your thoughts on PDA or how you feel about posing in front of the camera and then relay all that information with your photographer. My goal is to make your session feel true to your personalities, so, it is SO much better to communicate your needs to me rather than me making assumptions and your pictures feeling forced. 

6. Plan ahead!

Let’s be real… getting ready to get your pictures taken can take some time to prep and often times may lead you to be late. How do you fix this? Plan ahead. Always. Most engagement sessions will be scheduled around sunset for that beautiful, golden hour lighting. However, plan to leave your house at least 15 minutes before you’re wanting to so that you can arrive early at your location and prepare. By leaving some wiggle room in the schedule, it allows both of you to take a breather before stepping on camera and fully relax. If you’re constantly rushing around to get ready and pull up right before your session begins, you’re going to feel tense and uncomfortable. Plan accordingly ahead of time on when to begin getting ready, when to put on your outfit, when to leave the house, etc. It will make your engagement session 10x smoother!

7. Relax, have fun, and leave it all in the hands of your photographer.

Take a breather, you made it! It’s going to take a few minutes to feel comfortable in front of your photographer, and that’s okay! It’s also important to know that as a photographer, I work with dozens of couples who are all different. I don’t in any way expect you to be perfectly posed models and know exactly what to do right off the bat. I will give you fun prompts to try and bring out genuine emotion, but ultimately, just be you around each other. Crack jokes with each other, talk about your wedding day, do all the things that you would do as if you were just hanging out together. Leave all of the posing, angles, and location choices to me, all you need to worry about is making this a fun event that showcases your love for each other.

In sum, as you’re prepare for your engagement session, these are some fundamental tips and tricks that work magic for your pictures. I hope these tips allowed you to feel more comfortable and at ease for your upcoming engagement session. As your photographer, it is my goal to help you through every step of the preparation process. I am always, always, always up for a phone call, email, or text message to chat any worries, concerns, or random thoughts you may have for me. Enjoy this beautiful time in your engagement and take in all the joy that comes in the process! 

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