Engagement Session Prep Tips

Oh, my goodness! Alrighty, folks. Your engagement session is going to be a ton of fun. You’ll get some super cute pics, and I’ll get to know ya’ll a bit, which will help make your wedding day go swimmingly. And you’ll get to know me, your super cool and simultaneously not cool at all wedding photographer. Since this is perhaps your first professional photo shoot, these tips will help you be camera-ready – preparing helps you look and feel your best on the day of your session, which allows you to feel comfortable and confident!

Here are a few engagement session prep tips!

Selecting the Location

Take some time choosing an engagement shoot location. This should be a location that represents you as a couple. Some options may include the place where you had your first date, the spot where you got engaged, or areas that have special meaning to you as a couple.

You may also want to consider hobbies you share (watching sports, hiking, enjoying wine) and how that could influence your engagement session location.

A few other things to consider: Will there be a lot of people around? If so, would that be a problem? Are there fees associated with the location? Should you call to get permission to be there? No matter what place you choose, make sure it is someplace where you feel comfortable.

Picking Your Outfits

Your location and the theme of your shoot should play a leading role in the outfits you choose. Select apparel that is appropriate for the area. Most couples bring two options – one dressy and one casual. This gives you more variety of final images. You might have to change in the car, so just be up for the adventure!

I always recommend that you coordinate outfits by selecting a primary color and weaving it into both of your looks. Always make sure you look like you’re both going to the same place. Avoid crazy patterns, ripped apparel, and anything with blatant branding (don’t need that Nike Swoosh going across your chest)! This will help bring attention to your faces!

Fresh Cuts

Schedule hair appointments. Once you have a session date on the calendar, schedule hair appointments for a week before. Make sure your trim and highlights are on point!

Get Your Nails Done

There are bound to be some close-up shots of your hands, so it helps to have your nails done. If you do not have time to get to the salon for a manicure, a simple home polish will work! Gents, you too! Trim and clean your nails.

Clean the Bling

Your beautiful engagement ring will be highlighted in some shots, so make sure that it’s clean and sparkly for your shoot. I use a unique lens for close-up images of your ring, which means I can capture even the smallest speck of dirt or tiniest hair on it.


While planning your outfits, don’t forget to include some accessories that coordinate. This can range from a simple necklace and earrings to hats, scarves, jackets, etc. Not only will these items add layers to your photos, but they also give your hands another thing to do (think grabbing the edge of your jacket, tip of your hat, etc.).

You can always accessorize with your dogs, too. 🙂


This is one time when you want to go a bit heavy on the make-up. Simply put, light make-up will not show up as well in your photos. It will feel like a lot, but you’ll photograph very wonderfully. Please don’t forget about touch-ups. You never know when you may need to touch up your lipstick or blot your face to get rid of excess oil and sweat. Come prepared in terms of make-up and blotting paper.

Engagement Session Prep Tips Checklist

  • Choose a location that represents you as a couple.
  • Plan for one dressy and one casual outfit.
  • Get a fresh haircut and hair color.
  • Clean your ring – I recommend doing this at your jeweler, but you can also buy one of these for at home cleanings.
  • Get a manicure or do your nails at home.
  • Plan accessories (necklaces, earrings, scarves, jackets, etc.).
  • Apply heavier make-up than usual.
  • Bring extra make-up, a hairbrush, and blotting paper for touch-ups.