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5 Tips to Prepare for your Engagement Session

February 12, 2020

Hi, I'm Kayla.
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You’re engaged, you’re planning your wedding, you’ve picked your photographer and now? You have to prep for your engagement session. Not gonna lie, if I wasn’t a professional wedding and couple’s photographer I probably would have NO idea on how to prep for an engagement session myself. Not only are you probably stressed about how to pose in front of the camera, but you also have to figure out an outfit and a place to make your engagement session perfect for you? Stressful right? I got you. I’ve compiled five tips for your engagement session below.

If you are anything like me, I have to research the experience as much as possible before I actually book the experience. I honestly get anxious if I do not know what to expect, and I am sure most if not all have a few nerves before doing something new. Sidebar – before I started a membership with my gym, Pure Barre, I spent hours researching what to expect. I wanted to hear reviews, understand the class format, and put every nerve at ease as best as possible.

I wanted to write this guide to help you feel less stressed preparing for your engagement session and give a little insight into what to expect when you book an engagement session.

Trust me when I say, unless you are a celebrity or a model, no one is truly comfortable in front of the camera. I mean it. Being comfortable in front of the camera takes tons of practice, but here’s the good thing, I got you. I will always be the one to make our session as much fun as possible to ease nerves and capture you for who you truly are.

Tip One: Tailor your engagement session completely around your personalities.

Alright, to start I am a huge advocate for skipping out on the tradition and truly doing whatever your heart desires. Seriously though, go somewhere or do something that reflects who you are as a couple. One of my recent couples Tyson & Meg travels the world playing pickleball. When I asked them what they wanted to be included in their session they said fitness and coffee. We took photos at a local coffee shop in Grand Rapids and had an outfit change specifically for their love of fitness. Their photos turned out as a perfect representation of who their love and who they are as a couple.

If you love ice cream, make sure to have ice cream for your engagement session. If your first date was at the movies grab some movie theater popcorn for your session. Whatever it is that reflects you authentically incorporate into your session. Our goal is to never make you feel like you have to fit into an engagement session mold. You don’t have to bring anything at all to completely show your personalities and love. Don’t ever fall into the trap of feeling like you have to be someone you’re not, cause I can promise you, we will never make you feel that way.

Tip Two: Choose 1-2 outfits that make you feel comfortable and confident.

tips for your engagement session
Kayla Tison Photography

Confidence is KEY. Look, I am not going to stand on my soapbox preaching about confidence in front of the camera without giving you the tools to be confident. Your outfit directly correlates with your confidence. Don’t believe me? Next time you are at a wedding watch how much confidence radiates off of the couple. The couple spent time and money making sure they felt their best for their day, and they should right? You are spending money on your engagement session, you should feel just as confident as well!

For our engagement sessions, there tends to be lots of movement. We always encourage our couples to wear clothing that allows them to be themselves. The other important item to consider is your color palette. Typically the best colors for outdoor engagement sessions are neutrals and earth tones. Neutrals and earth tones allow you to blend into your surroundings and make your photos look even better. If you need a little more guidance on what to wear, check out my friend Evie Rupp’s blog on what to wear for a couple’s session. As always if neons are more your style or stilettos make you feel the most confident. Wear them. We aren’t here to tell exactly what to wear or what to do. We just want to give you guidelines to help you get the most out of your hard-earned money spent.

Tip Three: View your engagement session as a fun date, rather than a chore.

I preach this to my couples so often. Your engagement session should not be a chore to you. Don’t book an engagement session just because you feel obligated to or someone told you to. Book a session because you and your partner feel the importance and want to preserve your memories. The more you just have fun and relax with your partner the more your personalities will shine through your images. After your session is done, treat yourselves to a nice dinner out. Food is always a good thing, so extend your date and enjoy each other!

Tip Four: Understand that your photos will be amazing even if the weather is not what you expected.

tips for your engagement session
Kayla Tison Photography

Yes, the golden hour is amazing, but it isn’t everything. Some of my absolute favorite sessions are right before a storm rolls through or in the rain. Your photographer should be able to work in ANY lighting conditions, especially if they are your wedding photographer too. Personally, I believe that some of the best photos come from unperfect weather conditions. Unpredictable weather creates memories and what’s more important? Your love being captured or perfect weather?

Tip Five: Remember that the photos that you find on Pinterest are only there for inspiration, not a re-creation.

tips for your engagement session
Kayla Tison Photography

Guys, everyone loves Pinterest, including me. However; I caution against the use of Pinterest solely because it gives a wrong perception of how your engagement photos are going to look. Pinterest is amazing for inspiration, trust me, but remember that you will never be able to recreate that exact picture that you love. Ultimately I encourage you to use your own photographer’s photos as inspiration. They will provide the most consistent vision for you to imagine because their art is their own, not someone else’s. Let your photographer guide you and create their art, rather than asking them to create a similar look of another photographer’s. Trust is huge, and when you let go, trust, and have fun, your engagement photos will turn out absolutely beautiful.

As always, if you ever have any questions prior to your session or you need an engagement or wedding photographer, hit your girl up. I want your nerves to be at ease and for you to be prepared as possible! Your photos will be beautiful, I know it!

Kayla xx

  1. Sydney says:

    These are such great tips for engagement sessions! Especially tip 4! Weather is never as you imagined it to be!

  2. Alex says:

    This such a helpful guide for engagement sessions!! I especially love the tips about the weather and tailoring your session to your personality! Such a great post!

  3. Jackie says:

    Love these tips! They are so great. Often, couples show up feeling awkward and uncomfortable but I think you offer some great tools here to make the most of an engagement session!

  4. Valerie says:

    What a helpful guide for couples! And these photos are beautiful!

  5. Sienna says:

    YESSS all of this advice is so amazing and necessary! You want it to be a date vs a chore. Thanks for this!

  6. MCKENZIE says:

    Great tips! I think the last one is such a good reminder. Looking at your images, I would want to give you full creative freedom, because you would no doubt make MAGIC!

  7. Rachel says:

    Sometimes I find that people are more anxious about engagement sessions than weddings; these are super helpful tips!

  8. Mollie Adams says:

    This is such a helpful article for planning an engagement session! So helpful for couples and also I love your photos!

  9. Samantha says:

    This is SO helpful! Especially for your first time booking a session with a professional photographer. Also all the photos are so cute!

  10. These are such good tips!

  11. Justyna says:

    Such a great information for all getting engaged! Stunning work as well!

  12. Justyna says:

    These are incredible tips for those who are getting engaged!

  13. So many good tips here! But I’m SO STOKED to hear someone else preach that the photos will still be amazing regardless of weather. SO true!!

  14. Teresa Woodhull says:

    These are great tips! Love the one about not worrying about weather, such a great point. Thank you so much got sharing!!

  15. So helpful for planning an engagement session! Thank you for sharing this!

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I'm Kayla and I'm so happy you're here. This blog is a journal about our lives, travels, fashion, and style. Stay a while and say hello!

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