The Complete Guide to Help You Prepare for Your Engagement Pictures

The Complete Guide to Help You Prepare for Your Engagement Pictures

The Complete Guide to Help You Prepare for Your Engagement Pictures

Taking a couple’s engagement pictures is actually one of my favorite parts of being a wedding photographer. It’s one of my favorite parts of my time with my couples because it gives you and your fiancé a chance to be in front of my camera before you get married, and it gives me the chance to get to know you both. I get to learn the little things like your “best side” (even though I’d argue you have two of those!) and what poses or actions I give you that feel the most comfortable. We get to take our time and really enjoy the process, whereas on your wedding day you’re likely to be on a tight schedule. It’s like a practice run for the wedding day, and it’s going to make your wedding day experience in front of my camera that much more seamless and comfortable.

Not only that, but we get to create something so special together. You are going to be married for a lifetime, but you only get to be engaged for this short period of time. It’s exciting! And I’m excited to capture the only time in your life when you get to be each other’s fiancés. I created this guide specifically for my couples, but I hope that anyone who is getting ready to take engagement photos can read this and get something out of it.

Here it is! The complete guide to help you prepare for your engagement pictures.

Choosing time and date

I love utilizing natural sunlight for my engagement sessions. I believe that the natural light, from the sun and its reflections, creates photographs that feel fresh, timeless, and true to life. The best time of day to capture this light most beautifully is during the “golden hour,” when the sun is close to the horizon and its light is at its dreamiest. This means that I try to schedule all of my sessions during the hour right before sunset, or right at sunrise.

Style tips for amazing engagement pictures: coordinate your colors.

Use a sunset calculator online to determine the scheduled sunrise or sunset for the date and location you’d like to do your session. If you choose to have a sunset session (the most popular time) just subtract two hours to figure out your start time. Remember, the sun rises much later and sets much earlier during the colder months of the year and during the warmer months it rises early and sets late, so make sure to factor that in when choosing your engagement session date, especially if you’re taking off work or have plans afterward. To get the most out of your session, plan a buffer when getting ready so you can arrive a few minutes early to your session and be ready to start on time. If you’re wearing two outfits, save your favorite one for the second half. If you’re wearing one, arrive in that.

Choosing the location

I have a whole other blog post where I go into detail about selecting the location for your engagement photos. To summarize, though, the first thing you want to decide is the landscape you’d like to feature. Many of my couples like to feature the natural beauty of the state they’re getting married in (or sometimes, a destination with a landscape they’ve always loved!) You can choose to do your engagement photos in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, or perhaps you’d prefer to stick to urban areas like in downtown Denver. Maybe there is a special brewery or coffee shop you love to go to on dates together, and you’d like a few photos there. There is no shortage of unique locations in Colorado or wherever you go, and I’m always up for exploring a new spot together.

Choosing the location for your engagement pictures.

Click here for more help on choosing the location for your engagement pictures.

Choosing your outfits

Again, I have another detailed blog post designed to help couples choose their engagement photo outfits, so check that out for a super helpful break down! The main idea is to select one or two outfits that coordinate well together and that you absolutely love. I personally love when my brides choose a long, flowy dress for some of their engagement pictures because it makes your photos dynamic and fun, and it makes you feel beautiful! Your engagement photos give you the perfect excuse to dress up! But I also always tell my couples to bring along a more casual outfit as well, especially if you tend to be a more casual person. I still want you to feel like you in your photos.

Style tips for amazing engagement pictures: outfit ideas.

Check out this blog post for more style tips and ideas on what to wear for your engagement photos.

I mention this in the blog post linked above as well, but I also highly recommend taking the time to get your nails done and make that ring sparkle with a fresh cleaning! After all, you’re going to be showing off that ring finger in many of your engagement photos. And finally, getting professional hair and makeup done can also make you feel extra fabulous in photos, and it’s a good opportunity to do a little test run with the hair and makeup team you are thinking of hiring for the wedding.

Personalizing your engagement pictures

I know you’re scouring Pinterest for ideas on what to wear, what to bring, and what to do for your engagement pictures to make them as great as you want them to be. That’s totally okay, and a great place to look for ideas! I just want to warn you against trying to copy someone else’s ideas for photos exactly. The best engagement pictures are the ones that incorporate something personal to you as a couple. I’m not a big proponent of using cheesy props everywhere, but I’ve had some couples use really cute and unique ideas for sharing their wedding date, perfect to use for save-the-dates.

Personalize your engagement pictures.

Here are just a few ideas for ways to personalize your engagement pictures:

  • Is there an activity you and your fiancé love to do together? Find a way to incorporate that activity into your session!
  • Do you have a favorite sports team? Lots of my couples have worn jerseys for a handful of their engagement pictures just because it’s a special part of their bond. And there are lots of ways you can incorporate your wedding date with sports, like writing the date on a football or baseball, or using jersey numbers
  • Involve your pet! Your fur baby is a big part of your lives, and I will never say no to bringing them along for some photos.

Tips for choosing the location for your engagement pictures: head into the mountains.

I have another blog post all about personalizing your engagement pictures to jog even more ideas for you!

And if you are thinking about involving a pet in your engagement photos, definitely check out this blog post with tips for bringing a pet to your engagement photo session.

After the session

Don’t forget to plan a dinner date! You’re already going to be all dressed up! Why not take advantage of it? I know the wedding planning process can feel all-consuming, so take some time after the session just for the two of you to relax and have some fun together. You deserve it!

Style tips for amazing engagement pictures: coordinating your looks.

One final note

I know I just gave you a lot to think about. I created this guide to help make your experience taking engagement photos something you’ll look back on fondly for years to come. At the end of the day, though, the location you choose and the outfits you select won’t matter nearly as much as the memories you make together. Your future marriage is the most important thing, and I want your engagement session to be a time for you to just be yourselves and enjoy it. Have fun together. Laugh a lot!! And I’ll take care of the rest. ;)

Style tips for amazing engagement pictures: wear clothes you feel comfortable in.

So, here’s your engagement session checklist:

  • Set the date, time, and location for your engagement photos with your photographer (that’s me!)
  • Review this style guide for style tips and gather ideas for how to personalize your photos
  • Schedule your hair and makeup appointments
  • Choose your outfits
  • Get your nails done
  • Clean your ring
  • Pack a bag with:
    • Flats or flip-flops for walking between photo spots
    • Your second outfit (including shoes and accessories)
    • Touch-up makeup
    • Water bottle (for warmer sessions)
    • Coat or cover-up (for colder sessions)
    • Pick a fun post-session date night spot

 

And don’t forget to check out my other blog posts filled with tips to help you prepare for your engagement pictures:

Style Tips for Amazing Engagement Pictures

Choosing the Location for Your Engagement Pictures

How to Personalize Your Engagement Pictures

Favorite Colorado Mountain Locations for Adventurous Engagement Pictures

Tips for Bringing a Pet to Your Photo Session

Also check out my Pinterest board for more engagement photo inspiration. And if you liked this post, PIN IT below!

The Complete Guide to Help You Prepare for your Engagement Pictures

Taking a couple’s engagement pictures is actually one of my favorite parts of being a wedding photographer. It’s one of my favorite parts of my time with my couples because it gives you and your fiancé a chance to be in front of my camera before you get married, and it gives me the chance to get to know you both. I get to learn the little things like your “best side” (even though I’d argue you have two of those!) and what poses or actions I give you that feel the most comfortable. We get to take our time and really enjoy the process, whereas on your wedding day you’re likely to be on a tight schedule. It’s like a practice run for the wedding day, and it’s going to make your wedding day experience in front of my camera that much more seamless and comfortable.

Not only that, but we get to create something so special together. You are going to be married for a lifetime, but you only get to be engaged for this short period of time. It’s exciting! And I’m excited to capture the only time in your life when you get to be each other’s fiancés. I created this guide specifically for my couples, but I hope that anyone who is getting ready to take engagement photos can read this and get something out of it.

Here it is! The complete guide to help you prepare for your engagement pictures.

Choosing time and date

I love utilizing natural sunlight for my engagement sessions. I believe that the natural light, from the sun and its reflections, creates photographs that feel fresh, timeless, and true to life. The best time of day to capture this light most beautifully is during the “golden hour,” when the sun is close to the horizon and its light is at its dreamiest. This means that I try to schedule all of my sessions during the hour right before sunset, or right at sunrise.

Style tips for amazing engagement pictures: coordinate your colors.

Use a sunset calculator online to determine the scheduled sunrise or sunset for the date and location you’d like to do your session. If you choose to have a sunset session (the most popular time) just subtract two hours to figure out your start time. Remember, the sun rises much later and sets much earlier during the colder months of the year and during the warmer months it rises early and sets late, so make sure to factor that in when choosing your engagement session date, especially if you’re taking off work or have plans afterward. To get the most out of your session, plan a buffer when getting ready so you can arrive a few minutes early to your session and be ready to start on time. If you’re wearing two outfits, save your favorite one for the second half. If you’re wearing one, arrive in that.

Choosing the location

I have a whole other blog post where I go into detail about selecting the location for your engagement photos. To summarize, though, the first thing you want to decide is the landscape you’d like to feature. Many of my couples like to feature the natural beauty of the state they’re getting married in (or sometimes, a destination with a landscape they’ve always loved!) You can choose to do your engagement photos in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, or perhaps you’d prefer to stick to urban areas like in downtown Denver. Maybe there is a special brewery or coffee shop you love to go to on dates together, and you’d like a few photos there. There is no shortage of unique locations in Colorado or wherever you go, and I’m always up for exploring a new spot together.

Choosing the location for your engagement pictures.

Click here for more help on choosing the location for your engagement pictures.

Choosing your outfits

Again, I have another detailed blog post designed to help couples choose their engagement photo outfits, so check that out for a super helpful break down! The main idea is to select one or two outfits that coordinate well together and that you absolutely love. I personally love when my brides choose a long, flowy dress for some of their engagement pictures because it makes your photos dynamic and fun, and it makes you feel beautiful! Your engagement photos give you the perfect excuse to dress up! But I also always tell my couples to bring along a more casual outfit as well, especially if you tend to be a more casual person. I still want you to feel like you in your photos.

Style tips for amazing engagement pictures: outfit ideas.

Check out this blog post for more style tips and ideas on what to wear for your engagement photos.

I mention this in the blog post linked above as well, but I also highly recommend taking the time to get your nails done and make that ring sparkle with a fresh cleaning! After all, you’re going to be showing off that ring finger in many of your engagement photos. And finally, getting professional hair and makeup done can also make you feel extra fabulous in photos, and it’s a good opportunity to do a little test run with the hair and makeup team you are thinking of hiring for the wedding.

Personalizing your engagement pictures

I know you’re scouring Pinterest for ideas on what to wear, what to bring, and what to do for your engagement pictures to make them as great as you want them to be. That’s totally okay, and a great place to look for ideas! I just want to warn you against trying to copy someone else’s ideas for photos exactly. The best engagement pictures are the ones that incorporate something personal to you as a couple. I’m not a big proponent of using cheesy props everywhere, but I’ve had some couples use really cute and unique ideas for sharing their wedding date, perfect to use for save-the-dates.

Personalize your engagement pictures.

Here are just a few ideas for ways to personalize your engagement pictures:

  • Is there an activity you and your fiancé love to do together? Find a way to incorporate that activity into your session!
  • Do you have a favorite sports team? Lots of my couples have worn jerseys for a handful of their engagement pictures just because it’s a special part of their bond. And there are lots of ways you can incorporate your wedding date with sports, like writing the date on a football or baseball, or using jersey numbers
  • Involve your pet! Your fur baby is a big part of your lives, and I will never say no to bringing them along for some photos.

Tips for choosing the location for your engagement pictures: head into the mountains.

I have another blog post all about personalizing your engagement pictures to jog even more ideas for you!

And if you are thinking about involving a pet in your engagement photos, definitely check out this blog post with tips for bringing a pet to your engagement photo session.

After the session

Don’t forget to plan a dinner date! You’re already going to be all dressed up! Why not take advantage of it? I know the wedding planning process can feel all-consuming, so take some time after the session just for the two of you to relax and have some fun together. You deserve it!

Style tips for amazing engagement pictures: coordinating your looks.

One final note

I know I just gave you a lot to think about. I created this guide to help make your experience taking engagement photos something you’ll look back on fondly for years to come. At the end of the day, though, the location you choose and the outfits you select won’t matter nearly as much as the memories you make together. Your future marriage is the most important thing, and I want your engagement session to be a time for you to just be yourselves and enjoy it. Have fun together. Laugh a lot!! And I’ll take care of the rest. ;)

Style tips for amazing engagement pictures: wear clothes you feel comfortable in.

So, here’s your engagement session checklist:

  • Set the date, time, and location for your engagement photos with your photographer (that’s me!)
  • Review this style guide for style tips and gather ideas for how to personalize your photos
  • Schedule your hair and makeup appointments
  • Choose your outfits
  • Get your nails done
  • Clean your ring
  • Pack a bag with:
    • Flats or flip-flops for walking between photo spots
    • Your second outfit (including shoes and accessories)
    • Touch-up makeup
    • Water bottle (for warmer sessions)
    • Coat or cover-up (for colder sessions)
    • Pick a fun post-session date night spot

 

And don’t forget to check out my other blog posts filled with tips to help you prepare for your engagement pictures:

Style Tips for Amazing Engagement Pictures

Choosing the Location for Your Engagement Pictures

How to Personalize Your Engagement Pictures

Favorite Colorado Mountain Locations for Adventurous Engagement Pictures

Tips for Bringing a Pet to Your Photo Session

Also check out my Pinterest board for more engagement photo inspiration. And if you liked this post, PIN IT below!

The Complete Guide to Help You Prepare for your Engagement Pictures

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