How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

Welcome to my little side of the internet. My name is Vanessa, and I am an engagement photographer located in South Florida. I take my camera and capture love stories in West Palm Beach including Jupiter Beach, Boynton Beach, Royal Palm Beach, and occasionally Miami. I have photographed many engagement photo sessions, so I hope you enjoy my “How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session” blog post.

How to Prepare for Your Engagement Photo Session

Engagement sessions are such a fun photo session to capture. The love is so pure and the couples so full of joy and are truly ready to start their lives together. I have photographed many engagement photo sessions, and many of my brides-to-be ask for my top tips on preparing for their photo session.

Book your engagement photo session in advance of your wedding.

Typically, brides book their engagement session about seven months before their wedding date. This gives the photographer time to edit and deliver the images, and the couple time to create, print and mail their save the dates. Sending out save the dates early is so important because it gives your guests the chance to save and prepare to attend your big day.

Book your hair and makeup trial and your engagement photo session on the same day.

Most makeup artists will offer a trial run session before your wedding. Schedule your trial run for the same day as your engagement session. This saves you money, and you can also treat this like a date and go out after your photo session.

Choosing the Right Location

This part can seem daunting and stressful to do. As your photographer, I help with location ideas that are based on your vision. My top tip is to pick a spot that is most important to you such as: where you had your first date, where you met, your favorite coffee shop, the farmers market (imagine how cute this would be!), local park or consider a lifestyle photo session in your home.

When choosing a location, I take several factors into consideration such as parking, day of the photo session, how congested it might be.

If you have an idea in mind, make sure to communicate that to your photographer. Some locations need permits and those permits can take some time to get approved. I also love hearing my clients’ ideas, and I give them the pros and cons of the location. For example, I love photographing in Palm Beach Island, but so much planning goes into this. I like to get specific ideas from my couples so that we can plan your engagement photo session efficiently.

Plan Your Engagement Photo Session for Sunrise or Sunset

Timing is everything! I shoot during sunrise or one hour before sunset. I do not shoot during the day, unless it’s at an indoor location. There are photo studios available, at an additional cost.

What to Wear to Your Engagement Session

Once a location is picked, it’s time to pick your engagement outfit! One of the biggest tips I tell my couples is to consider the location when coordinating your outfit. For example, when my couples choose my favorite location in Royal Palm where there are no distractions and it’s just an open field with lots of golden light, I tell them to coordinate with the golden light. Golden light is a warm temperature so colors like yellows, oranges, red and brown go beautifully (see photo below).

If you are going for a city vibe like Palm Beach Island, I tell my clients to go with neutral colors such as creams (avoid white!), black and gray. Choose outfits that go with the city vibe such as silk dresses with slits for women and jeans/cream shirt for the guy.

More tips:

  • Comfort is key! If you are going to wear fancy shoes, make sure to bring a pair of sandals to use in between photo spots.
  • Coordinate with your partner, do not match!
  • Tell the guy to the leave the baseball cap at home and shop for a non-logo shirt.
  • If you wear glasses, consider using contacts. Some photographers do not edit out glares because it is tedious work.
  • Say no to tanning unless you are tanning at least a week before the photo session. Trust me, this does not translate pretty in photos.

Be Confident and Have Fun!

It is so important that you are confident in yourself! Wake up that morning and look in the mirror and say “I AM Beautiful!” I tell my clients to let me know of their insecurities ahead of time, however, I cannot always keep track during a photo session. During a photo session, it is important that I capture you and your partner in love. I want you to look back in twenty years and remember how hard you laughed that day and how in love you both were!

Remember to get silly with your partner. Move with your partner. Drink with your partner to help ease the stress, if that would help. Don’t be hard on yourself. We got this. We are going to play silly games, and I will use prompts to help ease the awkwardness.

Click here to see an engagement session gallery.

Things to Bring to Your Engagement Photo Session

Here is a list of things to consider bringing to your photo session:

  • Blotting sheets
  • Your make-up for touch ups
  • Water
  • Bug Spray (this is super important if you decide to do your photo session in a woodsy area such as Delray Oaks)
  • Outfit two (if there is time for an outfit change, I welcome it!)
  • Champagne, if you want!
When planning a wedding, there are so many things to think about and plan, that’s why I created this How To Prepare for Your Engagement blog post to guide you for your engagement photo session. I hope my “How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session” blog helped. You can also check out a bridal boudoir photo shoot I did where I was featured in Unscripted. Contact me here to book your engagement photo session with me.

March 9, 2023

  1. Lee says:

    Love your how to’s!! These will definitely assist any client in being fully prepared for their session.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *