Engagement Tips for Brides and Grooms

Engagement Session Tips for Brides and Grooms

You are entering a very exciting time of your life, and likely the one in which you’ll be the most highly photographed! For most couples opting for an engagement session, this is the first time they are being professionally photographed as a couple.  It’s a lot of fun, but also cause for a little nervousness! Below I’ve listed some tips that should help to set your mind at ease ;)

cm_img02eng Engagement Session Tips for Brides and Grooms

What do we wear?
This is the question I hear the most! Many of my couples opt for two outfits, and change halfway through the session. My advice on what to wear is to look coordinated without matching, and avoid competing patterns. If, for instance, your fiance is wearing a long-sleeved shirt with a checked pattern, a solid-colored dress in one of the colors on his shirt would look fantastic! Usually one of the outfits is casual, and the other is slightly more dressy. I also recommend staying away from large patterns or screen-printed tees (unless that’s the theme of your shoot). These types of elements can be distracting and draw attention away from what should be the focus – you! :)


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If you have a shared hobby, it’s a great idea to bring it to the shoot! I loved working with Tina + Cory, who are both athletic and wore their workout gear the first half of their engagement session!

cm_img02eng Engagement Session Tips for Brides and Groomscm_img02eng Engagement Session Tips for Brides and Grooms

No matter what you wear, make sure you feel comfortable! If you’re not worrying about your outfits, it will help you relax and be yourselves during the session.

Should I get my hair and makeup done?
Many of my brides use their hair and makeup trial run for their engagement session. This is just something else that will make you feel more confident when my lens is 3 inches from your face ;) If getting your hair and makeup done isn’t an option, I would recommend using a slightly heavier hand when applying your own makeup. This should help your features pop a little bit more!

Where should we shoot our engagement photos?
I’m always happy to help clients find a location! I ask them what type of backgrounds they’d like to see in their photos, and it’s usually split into urban and rural environments. Occasionally we can do both. For instance, when I shot Tina + Cory’s Dana Point engagement session, we shot a portion of it in downtown Dana Point, and finished the rest in a small park close by.  Stacy + Kevin’s Laguna Beach shoot was done partially in a field, and we finished the rest at the beach, which was within walking distance. The key is to not only find a background that suits you, but not to be too ambitious! I time all of my sessions so I’m shooting an hour before the sun sets (the most flattering light), and having to get in a car and drive to a new location halfway through interrupts the flow of the session. It’s also important to check with your photographer to see if he or she has any restrictions before making a final decision on your shoot location.cm_img02eng Engagement Session Tips for Brides and Grooms

My fiance doesn’t like having his picture taken! Help!
Trust me, I hear this all the time! Keep in mind I am a photographer and even MY OWN HUSBAND doesn’t want his picture taken, and I have to get approval before I upload anything to social media! Yet he was pretty great about getting his pictures taken during our engagement photos and wedding.

First of all, don’t underestimate what your fiance will do to make you happy! Secondly, a good photographer will help you to feel comfortable and have fun. I give my couples a lot of space during the shoot. I definitely provide them with direction, as it’s awkward to have a camera pointed at you and at first, you just don’t know what to do! So I help out with loose posing, but then back away a bit and allow you to get some natural interaction together. Hopefully, any couple that works with me is okay with having things shouted at them such as, “Oh my god! Keep doing that!” “You two are so cute, you’re kind of making me sick!” “Okay, now give me some Blue Steel!” Sometimes the result of this “encouragement” is laughing, and those are some of my favorite shots of the day.

Overall, just remember to have fun and be yourselves! You really can’t go wrong with that :)

cm_img02eng Engagement Session Tips for Brides and Grooms


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