couple at the omni homestead resort standing together while he kisses her forehead

Sep 25, 2021

Engagements, Hampton Roads Engagement Photography, Proposal Photography

5 Engagement Photography Session Tips

So, you are now engaged AND planning your engagement photography session! How exciting!! Now, here comes the pressure, right? Not necessarily! Working with many couples over the years, I have found there are some great ways to prepare for the best session you can have.

These tips and tricks are the cornerstone to creating amazing, effortless photos.


The first thing to do is to plan plenty ahead of time. I like to tell my couples to write a list of words describing their dream session. And don’t hold back! If you think you want it, add it to the list. We can condense later once we are in the groove. Also, if you are crafty or love Pinterest, create a mood board with the colors and styles you really love. That will give you plenty of options to work with and it will allow me to see what you are envisioning.

  • Clothing: Choose outfits that that makes you feel 100% confident and comfortable! More on this topic below.
  • Hands: Make sure that your nails and hands look their best for those up close and personal ring shots. Consider getting a hand massage and your nails done prior to your session!
  • Hair and Makeup: This is a great opportunity to find a hair and makeup artist that you love and start building a relationship with them – especially if you are jumping right into wedding planning. If you are getting a haircut, be sure to schedule your appointment for a week or two in advance so you have time to figure out how to seamlessly style your hair. If you are having it styled the day of, make sure you leave enough time to get to our session on time.
  • The night before your session, make sure to set out your clothing and items you will be bringing to your session. Don’t forget to iron out the wrinkles in your clothes. Removing them prior to the session is much easier than removing them in each and every single picture.
  • Make sure to eat well and hydrate in the upcoming days before your session. We will be doing a lot of walking, sitting and standing so you will want to make sure you are feeling energetic!


This biggest priority is comfort, hands down.

  • Choose an outfit that allows you to move easily. Tight fitting clothing can restrict your movement and cause to become uncomfortable during your session. The downside? You won’t feel as confident and this can carry over into your photos. I recommend T-shirts with graphics be kept to a minimum; they can distract from your session if tees are your main outfit.
  • Focus on coordinating outfits that complement each other, but don’t wear the exact same colors. Stick to combining neutral, light and dark hues that work well together. Also, incorporating textures, instead of patterns, will help bring diversity into your style seamlessly.
    • Please avoid bright, bold colors such as neons. These colors can sometimes create a bright color cast on your skin.
  • One last thing – Decide on the level of fanciness you’d like to be together. Match each other’s level so your photos look dreamy and consistent.
  • One more last thing — Bring a few changes of clothing to your session so you have a good variety of colors and styles.


In choosing a location for your engagement photography session, I will work with you to find exactly what you are looking for. There are some questions to consider when selecting where to go.

  • Is there anywhere that is sentimental to you as a couple? Consider choosing a place that has meaning behind it so that you feel connected and comfortable being there. Home is always a great choice, as well. So, if you can’t think of anywhere you’d like to go, don’t worry – staying in is also a great idea. Whatever you decide – I will help.
  • Sometimes, I have couples who want to change it up and go somewhere they’ve never been before to make a new tradition. Maybe this is you – if so, here are some ideas to get ideas rolling:
    • A park in a neighboring city
    • Going to the mountains for the weekend
    • Adventurously visit a city you’ve never been
    • A new-to-you cafe
    • Try out a different winery or brewery
    • A Drive-In
    • Schedule a picnic on the beach
    • Visit a trail and do a hike together

No matter where you decide, the choices are endless and incredible. However, this can be one of the most exciting parts to planning your photography engagement session.


It is really easy to put a lot of pressure on yourselves to nail your session. The best thing you can do to reduce stress is remember – this session is not meant to be perfect because you are also not perfect. You are you – so don’t be too hard on yourselves with expectations. You are literally documenting who you are together, and how you and your partner spend your time in the most genuine ways.

  • Make your photography session literally a date. It’s easy to place focus on being together, when you are actually focusing on being together. Sounds silly, but you don’t have to worry about what to do with your hands, if you are busy being all over each other. Hug each other, kiss often, and hold hands! You’re engaged. Let the endorphins fly. I promise – it works.
  • When taking your photos, I will gently guide you through each part of our session. At the end, you will be surprised at how comfortable it was, and how natural you really are.
  • Just show up – literally. If you are one of those couples who needs a bit of guidance, just rely on me and I will get you through. But honestly, about 10 minutes in, you are going to forget the nerves.


So, you are almost ready. But there is a small list of items that are almost too simple, yet ohhhh so important. We aren’t talking about props – you won’t need those for your engagement photography session, but you will need these:

  • A bottle of water – No matter the season, staying hydrated is always a good idea.
  • Snacks – Nothing too crazy, maybe some crackers, or granola bar to hold you through.
  • Mints – In case you want minty fresh breath for kissing.
  • Makeup – In case you want to touch up a bit.
  • Hair Supplies – Hairspray, brush, bobby pins, etc for unforeseen flyaways or tiny hair emergencies.
  • Comfy shoes and a change of clothes if you want multiple outfit ideas.
  • A small towel in case you sweat.
  • Bug Spray – for those pesky gnats and mosquitoes.
  • Medicine – headache or allergy medicine if you have seasonal allergies.

Use this as your checklist and guide and you will see just how much stress falls away. Also, I will be right here to help you as well so you aren’t overwhelmed.

So, now that you are ready – let’s get your date scheduled here.

And, follow me on Pinterest!

You deserve the BEST wedding experience, so it's important to make sure we work well together!

In order to give my best to each couple, I do not take on every wedding that comes my way, although I really would love to!

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