Things you need to think about before your engagement photo session

Preparing for your engagement photo session can seem daunting, but it is truly one of the best parts of the wedding planning process! It is probably the first time you and your now fiancé have ever been photographed professionally together and it is an amazing way to get comfortable with your wedding photographer and feel more comfortable on your big day. Many couples also use their engagement photos for save the dates and items such as guest books or displays at their wedding reception.


These photos will live on and be something to look back on for the rest of your lives so I always encourage people to choose a “theme” that fits with their lifestyle and represents them as a couple. For example, my husband and I live on a little hobby farm in Wisconsin and love being outdoors. An engagement session in downtown Minneapolis in an industrial building would not have worked for us! (We had amazing sunflower field engagement photos taken in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. See a couple of our images below, courtesy of Jenna Larsen Photography.) Think about your hobbies, what you like to do together, where you live and try to have that in mind when planning what you’ll do for your engagement session. I also love it when couples incorporate meaningful locations, their pet or other things that mean a lot to them. I’m a crazy dog mom, you’d better believe our dog was involved in our engagement photos!


Your photographer can always help with this once the theme part is figured out. If you have a special location where you had your first date, where you first said I love you, or something like that and it makes sense to take photos there, go for it! I also love when there are multiple locations included in engagement sessions, so try to think of somewhere you can easily walk or quickly drive to another spot. Keep in mind things like crowds and popularity of the location. Some couples don’t want to have a lot of people watching them get their photos taken – and they don’t want a bunch of strangers in the background either!


What should we wear for our engagement photos? This is probably the number one question photographers get when planning engagement sessions. Here’s my number one response. PLEASE do not perfectly match. Wear outfits that compliment each other and a color pallet that works together. Trust me when I say if you both wear jeans and plain black t-shirts, your pictures will look like engagement photos from 1995. It’s also best to avoid bright, neon colors and really loud patterns. They distract from the rest of the image and can sometimes project weird neon shadows on skin. No one wants neon orange skin in their engagement photos. Finally, bring two outfits. One casual and one dressy is pretty common, but go with outfits you feel beautiful and comfortable in. It will be really obvious in the photos if you are uncomfortable!

Extra tips

A few little extra tips to keep in mind:

• Clean up the “little things”. What do I mean by this? Nails, hair, facial hair, shoes, etc. NOT JUST THE LADIES either! Guys, clean the dirt out from under your fingernails (hands in general get photographed a lot in engagement sessions and on wedding days) and make sure there isn’t mud on your boots. That kind of thing goes a long way!

• Be flexible on timing for your session. Almost all photographers will recommend outdoor sessions happen at a certain time of day because of the light. Trust them. Indoor sessions are a completely different ballgame in regards to best light for photos.

• Try to relax as much as you can. Natural smiles and genuine interaction between couples make engagement photos so much more beautiful.