Plan for your Engagement Session

There is so much that goes into planning your engagement session! I put together a few tips that I hope you find helpful in the planning process. We will talk about everything from what to wear for your engagement session to how to bring your fur baby into your pictures. If you have any other questions how to plan for your engagement session, just e-mail me and I am more than happy to help!

I include engage sessions as add-ons to my wedding packages at a discounted rate for my clients! So, if you added an engagement session to your wedding collection, you can choose up to two outfits during our time together for a 60 to 90 minute session. Most of my couples choose to wear two outfits for their engagement session. But, if you would prefer to wear only one, that is perfectly fine, too! If you go with two ensembles, I recommend one outfit be more dressy while the other is more cocktail or casual attire. This will give some more variety to your images.

Scroll down for some valuable tips for your engagement session!

bluemont engagement at bears den overlook

1. Clean your ring!

I am going to photograph that gorgeous diamond of yours! It definitely looks best when it is most sparkly. Take it to the jewelry store for that extra shine, and I will photograph it either at the end of our session. Or, if you have two outfits, I will photograph it while you change to your second ensemble.

2. Hair and Makeup

Splurge a little bit! These are such special photos, the investment is an extra great way to celebrate. If you are planning a practice hair and makeup session prior to your wedding, you can even schedule it so that the trial is before your engagement session. That said, if you have a sunrise session or scheduling this just won’t work, but you still want a little something extra, fake eyelashes can make a HUGE difference in your images. There are tons of false eyelash choices ranging from hardly there to Beyonce, and I would recommended leaning to the more natural side of that spectrum.

3. Selecting Your Outfit

old town alexandria engagement portraits

There is a lot that goes in to planning what to wear for your engagement session, but these would be my biggest tips for you:

  1. Err on dressier rather than casual. I recommend leaving any t-shirts and cargo shorts at home, and men should wear close toe shoes!
  2. Neutrals such as blush, tans, link pinks, faint blues and teals, creams, grays and whites will always result in more of a light and airy look to your images. These colors photograph softer and more romantically. That said, I would avoid having both of you wear white as that takes contrast out of your images.
  3. Coordinate instead of match outfits. What does this mean? It means that if you are wearing a beautiful blush colored dress, your partner can wear tan pants or light gray pants with a white shirt. Or, either of you wears a lighter colored pattern, the other person can wear a solid color that is a bit darker and offers more contrast.
  4. When in doubt — dress it up. Literally. Whether you want a shorter, more flirty dress, or a longer more flowing dress, the camera loves these! The movement of long, flowing maxi length dresses photographs beautifully in a very soft, feminine way.
  5. Avoid patterns smaller than a dime. This can create a weird chromatic aberration in cameras that can make your images look a little funky. Best to avoid!
  6. The most important thing: wear something you feel comfortable in! There is probably nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable during our session together! We all have our insecurities. But, if you are insecure about your shoulders or your arms (it’s definitely the arms for me), then I recommend not wearing a strapless dress or a dress without sleeves. If you are nervous about your midsection, maybe a long, flowing dress is a better option for you. Whatever you choose, I want you to feel BEAUTIFUL and COMFORTABLE so that we can have some fun.

4. To bring or not to bring furry friends

virginia in home engagement portraits with pizza and cats

I absolutely love to photograph furry friends! I absolutely adore my cat, but I love dogs, too. If you would like to bring them to your session, I recommend one of two things: 1) Have a friend come pick them up after the first 10 minutes, or 2) Have a friend come along to take care of them during the rest of your session. It can take a lot of time to tie up your dog to a tree or post every time we move to a new location, and some animals really struggle to watch you have fun without them! It works best if we photograph your fur baby during the first 10 to 15 minutes, and then say goodbye until we capture the two of you.

Lastly, bring some treats and/or a squeaky toy to help me get their attention, and you will love the result!

Helpful Tips

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February 8, 2022

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