Engagement Shoot Prep Guide: How to Best Get Ready

couple walks holding hands at sunset Oregon engagement shoot

Your engagement session is for you two. Yes, you can use the photos for your wedding invitations, but your engagement photos don’t serve just one purpose. It’s a step towards your wedding that we want to mark and not miss. It’s an important time that only happens once to capture your love on this specific step of the planning process. Here are my best tips to get ready for your engagement shoot!

couple lies in field at mountainside engagement shoot

What to Expect at Your Engagement Shoot

Another reason not to skip your engagement session is that it gives us time to get to know each other before the wedding day. This is a chance for you to begin feeling comfortable in front of the camera (or at least try!) as we get used to working together as a team. The more familiar we are with each other the more relaxed you will feel being photographed on the wedding day!

Your engagement shoot is so much more than checking a box from your wedding to-do list or putting a picture on the save-the-date card. I’m here as your engagement photographer to capture a special season of your relationship that you’ll never get back.

couple embraces at Bend, Oregon engagement shoot

Your relationship will continue to go through different seasons, but this particular one only comes once. I want to ensure that you look back for years to come and remember this precious time with a smile.

couple kisses at sunset engagement shoot

Engagement Shoot Outfits: What to Wear

couple walks through field of flowers at engagement shoot

The number one question I get asked about engagement sessions is what to wear! I always respond with a point of greatest importance: wear what’s comfortable and be yourself.

I can provide ideas for patterns, styles, layers, accessories, etc. that work well in engagement shoot photos. But, if your outfits don’t reflect you, then your engagement photos can’t fully tell your story and we would miss the entire point of your engagement session.

Beyond that, here are a few parameters that I’ve found work really well:

  1. Pay attention to the season, location of the shoot, and the activity. Are you imagining trees in golden sunlight? Then I would avoid wearing greens or yellows, because you might blend into the background. If the engagement shoot is near water, I would avoid shades of blue. You get the point–don’t disappear into the background!
  2. A general rule of thumb for engagement session outfits that stand out is to stick to some good neutral colors (cream, white, brown, rust, etc) and stay away from big and distracting patterns! This will make sure that the focus is on you and your love rather than the pattern of your clothes!
  3. Still stay true to your own style and make it your own! If you love wearing hats, bring one! And always know you can text me pictures of your outfits beforehand if you have any questions.

Engagement Photo Poses: How to Get Comfortable

I’ll always start our session chatting through whether or not you two have had photos taken like this before, and if so, how your experience felt (negative or positive). One point I always make is that the goal of your engagement shoot is to have FUN! Walking away from this experience without that means I didn’t do my job. I firmly believe that!

couple holds hands with engagement session in sunset field

The most organic photos come when the two of you are so wrapped up in the moment that you don’t worry about how you look. The amount of times I’ve heard couples say: “I’m not photogenic” or “We’re always so awkward in photos,” is countless. These feelings are very valid and I get it!

couple runs through field at Oregon engagement session

Know that these feelings couldn’t be further from the truth! You and your partner being completely wrapped up in your love is all that matters. If you trust me to direct you then the photos will speak for themselves!

couple kisses in sunset field at engagement session

Make it an Adventure: Ideas for an Engagement Shoot

ring with flower set on piece of wood in field

One way to make the engagement photoshoot more comfortable is to turn it into an adventure! What I love about adventure sessions is that you can literally make them anything you want!

couple holds hands in sunset field at engagement session

If you generally feel uncomfortable with getting your photos taken, having an activity as part of your engagement shoot is a great way to break down that barrier. Start with an activity that’s meaningful to you! Incorporating the story of your relationship is an ideal way to make your engagement photos even more meaningful. I’ve had couples walking through the woods in winter, running along the ocean at sunrise, or longboarding in their local neighborhood! It always tells such a special story!

Julanda and Riley decided to choose a spot special to them that was close to their Bend, Oregon home. Julanda is originally from Germany, and met Riley while they were both traveling abroad. They had actually already gotten married by a friend of theirs in their home on their couch! But, they had never had an official wedding, and neither of them had worn rings until the proposal right before this engagement session. It was an important occasion on so many levels!

Always Include Your Pets Too!

couple sits with dogs at sunset engagement session in field

Pets are such a big part of so many couple’s lives and if that’s you, then definitely include them in your engagement shoot! I LOVE when couples bring their pets along because it creates such a fun mix of photos. Julanda and Riley’s two German Shorthaired Pointers just stole the show!

You’ll always want to remember the furry friend who spent this season with you! We will talk through the details and plan out photos that provide a good variety of shots!

couple sits with dogs at engagement session in Oregon field

 Engagement Shoot Package Options

Your engagement shoot is all about providing you with the time and space to relax, enjoy one another, and remember why you’re so excited to get married in the first place! I provide the options you need to create the perfect environment that fits the engagement session of your dreams!

couple laughs in flower field at engagement session

Here’s a breakdown of the different package options I provide:

  • The One Hour: we will show up to the chosen location, chat for a bit, and jump into shooting pretty quickly! This package includes only one outfit and usually lasts about an hour!
couple sits with dogs at Oregon field engagement session by mountains
  • The Sweethearts’ Deal: 1.5 hours, two outfits. This one is the most popular and is the shoot that comes complimentary to a select number of my full wedding packages! Traditionally, clients wear one “nicer” outfit and one more casual one! The time frame gives us opportunity for multiple locations and more time to enjoy together!

  • The Full Package: up to 3 hrs, unlimited outfits. This shoot is mainly for those who are more adventurous and want a handful of outfit changes and plenty of time for any photo. Or maybe you want to go on a hike and shoot at the top of a mountain! I’m DOWN! There are endless things we can do so let’s do them!

One of my favorite things is to spend all day with couples adventuring and telling their story! I offer custom-built packages that we can create together. I have gone on a seven-mile hike, hung out for dinner and drinks, and so many other fun full-day activities! Learn more about your package options by setting up a chat right here!

One thing I wish every couple knew and could grasp is that the pressure for your engagement shoot is totally OFF! This isn’t a performance and you can’t do it wrong. It’s all about telling your own story in the most organic and natural way!

couple sits with dogs in field at Oregon engagement session

Wedding Pro Tips




Engagement Shoot Prep Guide: How to Best Get Ready

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *