Before Your Upper Peninsula Engagement Session

by | Feb 25, 2019 | Planning Ahead, Wedding/Engagement | 0 comments

couple kiss in a country field near a fence during their engagement session

We’re so excited for your engagement session!

Marriage is the best! You have such a fun journey ahead! Rob & I want you to know that we’re honored to be your photographers and humbled that you’ve trusted us with the responsibility of helping you create memories you’ll look back on and cherish for a lifetime.

We can’t wait to celebrate with you on your big day and be at your side to capture all the memories you’ll make with each other and the people you love most. But first, let’s talk about your engagement session!

As photographers, we believe your Upper Peninsula engagement session is one of the most important parts of the pre-wedding process for four reasons.

  • First, it gives us a chance to spend time together and get to know each other better before the big day.
  • Second, it gives you a chance to get comfortable in front of our cameras so you’ll know exactly what to do and be posing pros by the time the wedding rolls around.
  • Third, it gives you a set of beautiful images that you can use for save-the-dates, your wedding website, prints to display at the rehearsal dinner or reception, frames for your wall in your new home together and so much more!
  • Most importantly, it gives you a way to freeze this special time in your life. A chance to pause, take a deep breath and relish in this season together. You’ll be husband and wife for fifty plus years, but you only get to be fiances for a short little window of your life!
Through your engagement session, we want to help you slow down long enough to remember this short, sweet season of life for years to come.
engaged ring shot in front of portage lift bridge in houghton mi

Planning for Your Upper Peninsula Engagement Session!

A common fear for couples ahead of their engagement photos is that they just don’t know what to wear.  They’re looking forward to a special portrait session celebrating this 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:

At your engagement session, focus on your fiancé and the connection you share with one another. I’ll ask you ahead of time if you prefer posed images or more candid images, but know that I aim to capture a blend of both types so you have a variety to choose from.

Be as affectionate towards each other as you feel comfortable — after all, this is a session to show off your love! Hold hands, kiss, cuddle, play and tease … do what feels right to you! Remember, there’s no rule for what’s right in your engagement session! 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.

We’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!

engaged couple laugh as they play in the snow during their winter engagement pictures winter photo outfits red wool coat navy puffer coat

Engagement Session Clothing:

I highly recommend you try on your clothes at least a week before your session. It’s important 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! Many couples opt for two outfits, with one being more formal and the other being more casual. This gives more variety in your images as well!

If you’re interested in getting a little extra dressy to celebrate your engagement (which is ALWAYS okay in my book!) I encourage you to check out Rent the Runway! This is a great service that allows you to wear a high-end dress at a FRACTION of the original price (I’ve seen $800+ dresses for $50-70!), and you aren’t left with another dress hanging in the back of the closet that you’ll probably never wear again!

Engagement session in Hancock, Michigan at Portage Canal

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 (royal blue/purple, emerald), or darker tones. Drawing from the same color palette is a great way to coordinate! Choose one piece of clothing with a pattern, 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.
  • Avoid small, tight patterns like very narrow stripes. This can be particularly problematic in men’s dress shirts, leading to something called moire.
  • It’s best if only one partner has patterned clothing so you don’t clash (i.e. stripes and flannel).
engaged couple embrace in front of a barn silo, farm engagement session, rustic engagement session, country engagement session

Things To Avoid for Your Engagement Session:

  • Avoid logos. Unless you own your own business or are big sports fans it’s best to avoid logos. Pictures and other wording will distract the viewer’s eye away from your gorgeous faces. It will also quickly date your photos as the years pass! (Remember those giant Hollister logo tees that were so popular in the early 2000s?)
  • Hats. What – what?! Ok, we actually love hats and other layers to add interest to your outfits, but we recommend bringing your hat instead of wearing it to your session! Why? Simple – hat hair is real – for both guys and girls. Let’s plan your “hat outfit” for the end of your session – that way we get great images both with and without your hat!
  • Angora/fuzzy sweaters. While these sweaters are super cute, especially for a fall or winter session, be aware that they tend to shed. Since you will be spending time cuddling up together, after a few poses both you and your partner may be covered in fuzzies. If you do opt for an angora sweater, be sure to pack a lint roller!

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 your “normal” so you will have engagement photos that you’re proud to show off for years to come!

couple walks through snow-covered branches in the woods during their winter photos
upper peninsula of michigan engagement session in forest of pine trees

A Few Last Thoughts Before Your Engagement Session:

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. Click here for more information on my favorite makeup for your engagement session.

In short, I recommend at least a little bit of concealer, powder, and waterproof mascara. Even if you don’t wear much makeup on a normal day, a bit of concealer and powder will help with redness and shine (especially if it’s very warm or very cold), and something to help make your eyes really pop.

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. In addition, a transparent setting powder can help to combat oily skin.

Please feel free to contact 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!

pinterest graphic planning for your upper peninsula engagement session enjoy the vu photography, upper peninsula michigan
pinterest graphic what to know before your engagement session enjoy the vu photography, upper peninsula michigan
pinterest graphic what to wear for your engagement session enjoy the vu photography, upper peninsula michigan

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Enjoy the VU Photography

Hello there! I’m Veronica, an Upper Peninsula wedding and portrait photographer.


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