Education for Couples

How to Prepare for your Engagement Session

How to Prepare for your Engagement Photos

So, it’s time to take your engagement photos. Your nervous, you don’t know what to expect, what to wear, how to pose, anything! But don’t worry! I am here to help.


What do I wear?

Most couples have two outfits for the session. One casual and one dressier. Try to coordinate your outfits but don’t get too matchy-matchy. Busy small patterns are not going to photograph well or show up in the images. T-shirts with logos and busy patterns are best to be avoided. Accessories are always a plus as they photograph well and add to your personalities. But bring a change of shoes as in some locations we are walking quite a bit and you need to be comfortable! Feel free to bring extra options of tops, dresses and shoes and I will give advice and suggestions.

Beautiful couple snuggling at sunsetBeautiful couple kissing in river at their engagement session

Other tips on Styling:

For the brides….

  • Be sure that your hair and make up are done.  Bring along your make up that way you can touch it up throughout the session. If you’d like, now is a good time to schedule a makeup trial!
  • There will be detail and hand photos so make sure that your nails are either free of polish or freshly polished.  No chipped polish.
  • Shine up that bling! Clean your ring before the shoot. I highly recommend Bling Wipes!
  • Be sure you don’t spray tan or go to the beach at least 2-3 days prior to your session.

Sunburst behind couple with man kidding woman on cheek

Hudson Valley NY Photographer-1545

For the grooms…. 

  • Be sure your clean shaven (if that’s you, some guys like to rock out the scruff)
  • I don’t expect you to run out and get a manicure but make sure your nails are free of peeling cuticles and are clean.  In other words, no working on the car half hour before the session!

For Both:

  • Make sure your pockets are free of cell phones, chapstick, keys, etc (we can carry around a bag with those items if needed between shots)

Where should we have our session?

If you don’t already have a special place in mind, communicate to your photographer about what you’re looking for in an engagement shoot. Some couples choose to have their engagement session share their interests or hobbies or favorite activities. If you like hiking, breweries, football or gardening…show it off!

If you don’t know where to go for your engagement session, give your photographer some ideas about what you like to do together or what you envision for your photos and wedding day. For example, if you love nature and see lots of greenery and rustic qualities for your wedding day, consider a field and forest for your session.

Broken Bow Engagement session with a couple drinking beer togetherCouple wearing football jerseys at their engagement sessionCouple at boathouse wearing vintage gear

Couple fishing by a riverside


What is the best time of day to have my session?

The best time of day is 2 hours before sunset or as it’s best known “the golden hour.” This means we could be starting as late as 6:30pm in the summer, or as early as 2:30pm in the winter. If we are shooting in a location with mountains and hills or deep in a forest, we may need to adjust our time for a little earlier.

Being on time…

This is really important. Photographers are dependent on that sun and even showing up a few minutes late can cut into that ample light time. Plan for the worst and set your clocks to arrive at least 15 minutes early. I always arrive about 15 minutes early too to get set up and make sure I haven’t run into any traffic or issues. Being on time means the best pretty light and more time to shoot in general!

What if it is bad weather?

Very few engagement sessions have to be postponed due to bad weather. Please don’t stress over the weather app’s predictions. One of my favorite engagement sessions had predicted thunderstorms all evening. Our only other reschedule date had high winds of 35 mph. We decided to go for it and it ended up not thundering at all, but rather we had the BEST sunset! Your photographer will know what weather is best to shoot in and which is not. High winds and hail are some good reasons to reschedule. But if it is fog or light rain or even cloudy skies, go for it! Cloudy skies means the most even light! And rain means cuddling under umbrellas.

Couple against a large log in gray lightHudsonValleyNYPhotographer-8457-2

Relax & Trust Your Photographer

The best advice I could give someone is to be themselves and have fun with it! I don’t expect you to be a pro and it will take at least 20 minutes to warm up! But it’s not every day that you get to spend time together doing nothing but staring into each other’s eyes, holding hands, hugging, kissing and being super sweet to one another! So take advantage!  I want this to be fun and romantic for you both! We play games, laugh and sometimes you may even forget the camera is there! Try not to be too nervous!

Also, trust in your photographer, whether it is me or someone else. Allow them to see the moment and be creative. Be willing to hear them out on suggestions and thoughts and bring up your own as well!

I also suggest scheduling a romantic dinner after to enjoy even more of each other’s company!Couple hugging and laughing in beautiful sun

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