So, you’re not feeling excited about your upcoming engagement session? In fact, you’re kind of dreading it? Well, you’re not alone. Many couples tell me they are overwhelmed with the idea of finding the right outfit and location, not to mention, thinking of poses that don’t feel cheesy and awkward. Do not let this stop you from booking an engagement session!!! This is supposed to be FUN. It’s also a great way to evaluate whether the photographer you chose is right for your big celebration. This is someone you are going to spend 8 to 10 hours with on your wedding day. You want to make sure you are comfortable with this person and that their style is a good match for you.

1. Location, Location, Location 🌎– The best engagement session locations are in places that have a special meaning to the couple, that being said, that special place isn’t always available or practical. Maybe you are stuck and need a little help? I have a lot of favorite places I suggest to couples but it’s helpful to know what kind of place is relevant to you. What environment tells your story? Sunset at that beach? A hike in the woods? A stroll through the city? Maybe you’d rather document an experience? Let’s go apple picking together or share an ice cream sundae at an old-fashioned parlor. I am an expert at discovering visual opportunities. After our introductory conversation, I’ll have lots of ideas for you!

2. Get a manicure 💅 and a haircut 💈– You probably have some bling, right? Since your hands will be showcasing the symbol of your engagement, you should give your hands and nails some attention. Even if you’re not into gels or polish, simply moisturizing and shaping your nails will take those detail shots of the next level. Hair styling is super important too. Ladies, consider scheduling a blowout before your session and, gentlemen, get your ears lowered a couple days before your session, not the day of…

3. Clean your ring 💍– Stop at any jewelry store a day or two in advance of your engagement session and have your ring polished. It’s free and will add a little extra shimmer to your session.

4. Go shopping! 🛍️ – Don’t wait until the last minute and throw something together. Make this an intentional, well-curated experience. Go shopping together and pick out outfits that color coordinate without matching. Solids work best but if one lovebird wears a print that compliments their sweetheart’s solid, then go for it! Shoes are important (unless we are going barefoot on the beach). Every component of your ensemble should be planned out. Look at style guides for inspiration.

5. Trust your photographer – You don’t need to practice poses or know what to do with your hands. Your photographer should be an expert in this and will help coach you with positioning. The most important thing for you two to do is to arrive relaxed and to keep an open mind throughout your session. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your location so you are not stressed out when you arrive. Let your photographer guide you. Even if something feels a little silly, just go with it. Often times, the goofy laughs make the best pictures.

6. Make it a date night! 💃– You put all of this time an effort into your appearance, now it’s time to treat yourself. After your session, go out for dinner or dessert. It’s a lot of work preparing for a photo shoot so give yourselves high fives and celebrate with something special to mark the milestone in your wedding planning journey.