As you start your wedding journey or continue it, you find a moment to ask yourself, is an engagement session even important? You might see most couples posting cute photos from their engagement session, which seems like the best reason to schedule an engagement session, but that’s not enough for some. There are many other reasons why you should schedule an engagement session, and this article will act as a guide to the reasoning, planning, and tips for engagement photography. 

Why should you schedule an engagement session?

An engagement session is a photo session with you and your fiancés anytime before the wedding. Usually, I recommend booking your session between 4-8 months before your wedding to avoid stress, but there is no rule on when you have your engagement session. For destination weddings, it’s common for the engagement session to be 2-3 days before the wedding date or at the rehearsal dinner. 

Most wedding packages include an engagement session because it is considered an essential part of the wedding planning process. Engagement sessions allow you and your photographer to become familiar with each other. During your session, you get to experience their shooting style, how they communicate posing directions, handle lighting, and the overall energy they bring into their work. 

Your photographer will use your engagement session to get to know you and your love and practice what poses you are most comfortable using on your wedding day. Simply put, the engagement session is a practice of your newlywed photos. 

Regarding engagement session locations, I love when a couple chooses a location based on sentimental values, like where your first date was, the proposal spot, or any of their favorite places to spend time together.

Sentimental values are not a requirement, though you can choose a location just because it’s pretty! If you’re having trouble thinking of a specific place to have your session, ask your photographer for some suggestions!

What are some engagement session tips?

Planning a wedding is very stressful, but hopefully, with this guide and tips, planning your engagement session will allow you to breathe easy!

• Try not to MATCH outfits; choose outfits that coordinate. Matching outfits can become the center of attention in the photos rather than your love!

• Most engagement sessions are an hour long with the option of an outfit change. I recommend starting with the more formal outfit and changing into the casual one when you get comfortable! Couples typically bring a relaxed and dressier outfit, giving their engagement gallery more variety of photos.

• If you got a new outfit for your photos, make sure to try it on before the session; it is essential that you feel comfortable! 

• Ladies, be aware that a lower cut top will limit the number of angles to photograph from before the photo is all chest.

• Most patterns are okay; make sure it isn’t too busy and distracting, and graphic tees are typically not the best for portraits, but that is also your call for what you want your engagement photos to look like.

• Clean the ring! Make sure to give the engagement ring a good clean before the session so that it shines.

• Empty front pockets, especially for the boys; we won’t want to play the: what is that bulge game. Only bring the essentials and try to fill the back pockets instead of the front. 

• Be on time or early for your session! Daylight only lasts so long, so being late will limit the number of photos you receive because the sun goes down fast once it sets.

• Lastly, relax! I want your engagement photos to be fun and wholesome. I recommend giving clients simple multi-step poses that allow them to move while settling into what feels natural.