Before Your Engagement Session

couple kiss in a country field near a fence

In Preparation for Your Engagement Session!

A big, messy worry that gets in the way of many couples’ excitement about their engagement photos is that they just don’t know what to wear.  They’re looking forward to a special portrait session celebrating an exciting time in their lives – but at the same time, they dread their session because they worry that they’ll look awkward in front of the camera. 

Since many couples have plans to use their engagement portraits on their save-the-date cards, guest book, wedding website and more, not knowing what to wear can lead to serious stressing out!

First and foremost:

Focus on your fiancé and the connection you share with one another. Be as affectionate towards each other as you feel comfortable — after all, this is a shoot to show off your love! Hold hands, kiss, cuddle … do what feels right to you! Remember, there’s no rule for what’s right in your engagement shoot! At first, you may feel nervous or uncomfortable in front of the camera, but chances are your fiancé feels the exact same way! Laugh through the awkwardness together and your connection will shine through.

I’ll be mixing prompts and poses as we go along to help elicit authentic reactions and emotions. When all is said and done, you will have a great variety of images to share no matter what your plan is for how to use these special pictures!


I highly recommend you try on your clothes at least a week before your session to make sure you feel comfortable in them and that they fit well.  As you select your outfit, keep the following points in mind:

The level of formality should match (think ball gown vs jeans vs sports jersey).

The outfits you choose help set the mood of your engagement photos, so wear pieces that feel like “you.” If you aren’t into dresses, don’t wear one!

If you are a couple that routinely matches, that’s great! Otherwise aim to coordinate either with complementary colors and/or complementary tones, specifically with your tops.

  • For instance, you could both wear lighter tones (gray, white tan), jewel tones, or darker tones.  Drawing from the same color palette is a great way to coordinate! Choose an item of clothing with a pattern and then draw colors from within it to create the palette for your outfits.
  • If your clothes contrast too sharply (think complete opposite colors, like black and white) they don’t tend to photograph as well.
  • To make bright colors work, pick ones that play off each other without being too matchy-matchy, like yellow and blue.
  • If you’re sporting prints ( i.e. polka dots or floral), make sure they’re big enough to show up on camera, but not too big—you don’t want to get lost in an oversize print.
  • Small, tight patterns, like very narrow stripes, aren’t the best for photos.
  • It’s best if only one partner has patterned clothing so you don’t clash (i.e. stripes and flannel).
engaged couple hold each other in front of a barn silo

Looking for more ideas? Be sure to check out my Pinterest board with ideas for what to wear for your engagement session!

The most important suggestion I can offer is this: Be yourself, but be the BEST VERSION of yourself. Take the time to plan your clothing, don’t just throw something on. Elevate your outfits beyond the everyday so that you’ll have engagement photos that you’ll want to show off for years to come!


Makeup and Photoshop can correct minor skin issues but they are not magic!

If you don’t wear a lot of makeup every day, don’t feel like you need to layer it on. Maybelline Age Rewind concealer is my personal favorite for a natural looking concealer with great coverage.

For a winter photo session, I highly recommend waterproof eyeliner or mascara so it doesn’t smudge, especially if it’s snowing or very windy! (The links I’ve included are to my personal “holy grail” products.)

For a warmer weather session, it’s common to feel like you need to “get some sun” before your session. Proceed with caution! Sunburn and dry, flaking skin never photograph well, and self-tanner can easily make you look too orange.

Food for thought:

Please feel free to reach out to me ahead of time with any questions or planning ideas!

Do you have any specific shots that are “must haves” for you?
Are there any specific props that you want to use? These are always optional, but nothing ever comes together well when thrown together at the last minute, so plan ahead! Ideas include a common hobby, interest, even an inside joke!


Take a breath! We’re here to celebrate your love with you. Give yourself permission to relax and savor your engagement session!

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