What do you want to use the engagement photos for? (Save the Dates, Invitations, Decor, etc.)

If you want to use the photos for a Save the Date, It’s best to book your engagement session at least 8 or 9 months before your wedding date! Why? Because depending on who your photographer and designers are for the Save the Dates, it takes time to process your photos and design & print the Save the Dates! Save the Dates are typically sent out 6 months in advanced for those who need to travel! I would suggest this same timeline if you’re doing a Photobook that serves as a guest book! Of course if you ran out of time, you may be able to rush-order both! But keep in mind that it may cost more.

If you’re not doing that and just using it for invitations, it’s best to get them done at latest 6-7 months in advanced. Again,  depending on your photographer & the processing time, it gives you time to get them printed and put into your invitations, which are usually sent out  two months prior to your wedding! If you’re just printing the photos separately from your actual invitations, you can get away with having them taken 4-5 months in advanced, but the sooner the better.

Preparing for YOUR Engagement Session

Hi guys!

I can’t wait to  capture some great photos. I know we covered most of the following during the initial consultation, but I send this to all my clients to ensure we’re on the same page for the shoot... you’re already WAY ahead of the curve so let’s get started.

I want you to be armed with the most helpful information so you come prepared and ready for fun  take a detour and check out some inspiration boards on Pinterest I’ve compiled with wardrobe suggestions.


  • Please be on time! I’m a natural-light photographer, so the sun dictates how long I can photograph you. Please make proper considerations for traffic, hair delays, and fashion emergencies! ;) An average shoot lasts 1-3 hours. If  you show up 30 minutes late, the session is not extended, but, rather, ends at the regularly scheduled time. Please don’t think ill of me I just want to be honest in advance and let you know I want the BEST photography experience for you. And being on time achieves exactly this! :)
  • Be sure to check out the blog for engagement sessions and engagement slideshows before the shoot. I’ve also discovered that when the prospective couple views a gallery in advance, it helps them feel comfortable in front of the camera. Some  of us are more comfortable in front of the camera.  Those who are not as comfortable in front of the camera can get some ideas if they see some of my images and poses beforehand, they know that I’m only there to make them look extra handsome. 
  • Don’t hesitate to check out photo shoot locations beforehand. I know we spoke about this, but if something else has popped up or you have a cool idea, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I encourage you to find a spot that reflects your love and a place you’ll both feel comfortable. And please note that there is no such thing as an ‘ugly’ location there is beauty everywhere. 
  • It’s always fun to bring along props. I view every engagement session like a mainstream shoot--complete with models and props and scenery. I want every engagement shoot to look like it could be in a magazine, so feel free to bring things along that really reflect your fantastic personalities. For instance, I’ve had a couple bring along a soccer ball because they met on the field. Another couple bought cotton candy and had fun eating it together. The list is endless! Suggestions: Bikes, polaroid camera, a favorite journal, magazines you like reading. Anything! :) Don’t hesitate to bring anything that truly reflects you individually or as a couple.
  • Some folks will have their practice run regarding hair and makeup for the engagement shoot. This helps them feel a little more ‘done-up’ for the shoot and boosts their confidence. I’m not saying you should do this AT ALL!! 

How to Select Your Outfits

  • For the Simple Portrait Session you’ll have 1 outfit, but I suggest bringing a back up or two.  For the Classic Portrait Session, we’ll select three for the various themes/storyboards that I’ll come up with before hand.  Bring an option or two per look on the day of our session and I’ll help finalize wardrobe with you.  Always think “back up plan” -last thing you want is to arrive and realize you’ve spilled coffee on something and now you’re severely limited in your wardrobe selection.
  • Think Color Palettes. You don’t have to be too matchy-matchy (highly technical word) but you don’t want to contrast each other two much.  High contrast (ie: one person in white, the other in black) can overwhelm the picture.  Try to coordinate but don’t get too caught up on looking like you just walked off a department store display.

  • Fill Out Your Outfit. Accessorize.  Shoes can be an awesome part of your shoot (I’m a huge fan of feet shots) so dress your whole outfit.  Think jewelry, belts, scarfs, hats, shoes -whatever makes a finished outfit for you.

  • Avoid Writing. Unless it’s your favorite shirt and there’s an inside joke about it that you both agree should be documented, leave the logos at home.

How to Pick Your Colors.

  • Choose colors that make you look alive, that bring out the best in your features, that enhance you.  If a color washes you out or makes your skin look pasty, choose the color on the opposite side of the color wheel and you should look much more “with the living.”  NOTE: If you have a reddish complexion or had the misfortune of getting sunburned, please avoid wearing red tones.

How to Look Good.

  • Try your clothes on first (both of you.)  Do a 360 check in the mirror.  Look for any problem areas and opt for outfits that flatter you from all sides.  Be aware if your bra strap tends to show in that dress, if you need a slip, if you need a different size in jeans, if a shirt hugs you a little too much, dips too low, etc.  You can look smashing just the way you are, but the key is in the clothing.  Plus, you need to be comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing.  If you love your clothes, you’ll be more relaxed and your shots will turn out even better!
  • Keep it Clean. Make sure your clothes are washed, pressed, fresh, and stain/pill-free.  Unless you’re going for “Deralique” (Zoolander reference, anyone?)

Ideas for Props

  • Flowers: a bunch, loose stems, wildflowers
  • Balloons: a bunch, multi-color, or single unique balloons that make a statement
  • Activities: hoola hooping, baseball/softball, bowling, boating, cycling, country dancing, golf, tennis, karaoke, fishing, cooking, etc.

Your Must-Have Kit:

  • Water/Beverages
  • Pack a snack (I love Zone bars and trail mix.)
  • Make up for touch ups (lips, blotting paper, powder, blush)
  • Hair brush and accessories to change hair styles (clips, bands, etc.)
  • Hankie to dab perspiring faces
  • Boots (if we’re shooting in rustic areas/fields)
  • Comfortable shoes for walking (if you’re mainly bringing high heels)
  • Sunscreen

Well, you’re set!  Let me know if you have any questions on how to get ready for your session.  I’m at your service!