Engagement Photo Tips and How To Make The Most Out Of Your Session!

Its engagement season friends! Meaning most of you who just got engaged will be looking to book your engagement session sometime soon. This is my absolute favorite type of session to photograph. It’s a chance for me to really capture your true essence as a couple. So, here are some things to consider before your session…

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Being engaged is by far one of the most exciting times of your life. You have just opened the door to a new chapter in your love story, and its absolutely worth documenting. So what are some ways to make sure that your engagement session goes well? Here are some tips just for you on how you can have the best engagement session you could imagine…


#1. Hire a Photographer Who’s Style You Love

Style.. Thats the word that many people throw around in this industry, and importantly so.  We all have a unique style. Mine leans more on the documentary side focusing on capturing your true essence and the emotions you two share. Most of us when we think of having our photos taken have an entire idea in our heads of how we want them to look. Just make sure that when you pick someone to take these photos, their work falls in line with your vision.

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#2. Find A Location That You Adore, And Don’t Be Scared To Be Adventurous.

Where do you see your images being taken? Think about locations that would totally scream “THIS IS US!”. Don’t be afraid to adventure to locations no where near where you are based. Just because you live somewhere, doesn’t mean thats necessarily where you should do your portraits. Do you want your photos to be on the edge of a cliff somewhere? On the beach with beautiful sunlight and ocean waves splashing at your feet? Do you have that urge to go get your photos taken on top of a mountain? DO IT! There is no better time for you to take advantage of being able to pick a kick ass location for photos of you and your partner. On your wedding day, there are often time constraints that will limit you on where you can go and shoot your portraits. With engagement sessions, you can plan in advanced so you have the photos your heart so entirely desires. Take advantage of that and choose a location that speaks to you two as a couple, somewhere that just feels right. I am always down to adventure wherever your heart desires!

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#3. Remember Why You’re Doing This.

What is the objective with your engagement session? To capture your love. You have opened the door to a new chapter in your life and we are there to document that. So don’t focus so much on my camera. Just hang out. Be yourselves. I am not there to just capture pretty photos of you two, I am really there to capture the interaction and the emotion you two share. The laughter, the romance, the goofy-ness, and maybe some tears of joy. Lets tell your love story like it should be told!

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#4. Wear Something That Represents You Two.

Of course you want to look amazing for your session. But I always tell my couples, don’t worry too much about what you are wearing, just wear something that truly represents WHO YOU ARE. Be stylish, but don’t go overboard. If you typically wear alot of patterns or layers, do that for your session. If you two are fairly simple and wear shorts and t shirts every day, wear that and spice it up a bit with some jewelry or some nice shoes or a belt. And DO NOT feel like you have to conform to what everyone else is doing for their session either. Be as unique or weird as you want to be! Or don’t! This is fully up to you.

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#5. Day Date it Up!

Thats right! Make an entire day out of this and invite your photographer along. Maybe this means starting at your favorite book store having a cup of coffee, or heading to your favorite pub for a brew. Or bring your photographer over to your house and start there. Have dogs? Bring them out for a hike! No matter what you choose to do, its a great time for photos and can really me a chance to capture who you two are as a couple at multiple locations that you love!

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#6. Think About The Light.

So this is vital to good photography. You have probably heard the saying “Golden Hour” when it comes to professional photography. But in case you haven’t… this is the hour or so before sunset when the sun is low, and the light gives that golden glow. It is the absolute best time for photos as the light is soft and will allow for some absolutely stunning photos. I also am a HUGE fan of sunrise. While yes, its freeking early… the light at sunrise is absolutely to die for. Also, don’t be nervous if your photographer puts you in direct sunlight. Sometimes that direct sun can be magical.

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#7. Be Vulnerable.

Vulnerability and being open is the best thing you can do for yourselves at your session. This really allows for us to capture the true emotion and romance that you two share. For my sessions,  I really love to be able to capture your true interactions with each other. Yes I might pose you a bit, tell you how to sit, or where to put your hand, but ultimately these images I capture are just me documenting your reactions to each other. Don’t hide who you are. Be weird with each other if you want, make each other laugh, and really just embrace those intimate moments.

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#8. Embrace the Elements!

What do you do when life gives you lemons? MAKE LEMONADE! Same thing with the kinda crappy weather…  And by ‘kinda crappy’… I really mean ‘not ideal but also really great’. A little rain or snow during your session can make for some seriously rockin’ images, so embrace it! Don’t cancel your session right away because the forecast isn’t perfectly sunny. And not just the weather, but embrace other things, like the hiking trails your on, the rock formations your next to, or the wind. Wind can give us some bad ass crazy hair and I am all for it! Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty either!
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  • January 2, 2018 - 5:20 AM

    Hilary - My best friend just got engaged tonight so glad I saw this post so that I can show her. You gave some great advice and I’m sure newly engaged couples will really appreciate this post. I’ll have to remember it for when I eventually get engaged.ReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2018 - 9:56 AM

    Fran Jorgensen - What a great post!! So much information! Thank you so much for sharing these great tips! Your work is so beautiful and soulful! love itReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2018 - 2:37 PM

    Sarah Davis - These are such good tips for getting the most out of engagement sessions! I love the images you shared throughout!ReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2018 - 3:03 PM

    julia - what a great post cara! you offered some really helpful advice for couples planning their engagement sessions 🙂ReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2018 - 3:44 PM

    Aida - These truly are some solid tips. I think it is so important to provide clients with such tips, because that way, they will get the best out of their photos. And the pictures that you shared are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2018 - 5:46 PM

    Emily Moore - These are excellent tips for newly engaged couples! I especially appreciate that you tell couples to wear clothes that are representative of them. I know first hand that there can be a lot of pressure from photographers to dress up, even if it’s what you’re wearing doesn’t feel like your style. Thanks for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2018 - 6:45 PM

    sarah F - I love how you have laid out all the steps for couples to take to help them have perfection in their portraits! Just another way you are such a talented engagement photographer!ReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2018 - 7:25 PM

    Laura P - All very good tips for engagement sessions. I found myself saying “yes” “so true” as I was reading through them.ReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2018 - 7:56 PM

    Claudia, A Day To Remember - Such excellent tips! Thank you for sharing…I may have to bookmark this to share with my clients!ReplyCancel

  • January 2, 2018 - 9:23 PM

    Hafsah - Such a beautiful blog post! Thank you for some amazing tips… I think this helped even for me as a photographer, so one day I can do an engagement shoot!ReplyCancel

  • January 3, 2018 - 7:15 AM

    Alyssa Kellert - Such great tips!! This post is perfect for anyone who is engaged and looking for a photographer. Your photos are gorgeous.ReplyCancel

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