What to Expect at your Engagement Session

I encourage all my clients to have an engagement session prior to their wedding day! It’s one of the best investments you can make in your upcoming wedding photography. First of all, the season you’re in right now is worthy of celebrating! It’s important to take little moments to focus on your connection and relationship, especially when wedding planning can be a constant distraction.

With a few exceptions, most people haven’t been photographed professionally many times in their lives. Being engaged is a really special time in your life. A great engagement session will show the connection that brought you together in your photos!

As your wedding photographer, this is a great time for us to get to know each other. You’ll get used to having your own personal paparazzi following you around, and get I’ll see the connection you have with your fiancé through the lens before your wedding day. If you’re a bit nervous about being photographed or have specific concerns, the engagement session is a good time to discuss these. From a photographic standpoint, I have the chance to see what kind of angles and poses are most complimentary to you!

Couples that take the time to do an engagement session have a much easier time getting into the flow of the portraits on the wedding day. Since time is at a premium on the wedding day this is very important! With the engagement session we can take our time, and you’ll both feel at ease with the process of being photographed. Beyond that, this a really good excuse to pamper yourselves and have a fabulous date night when the session is done. Before the session consider getting your hair and makeup done (a great excuse for a trial hair or makeup run)!

With the stress of wedding planning it’s a good idea to remember what being a couple was like before you got caught up in the whirlwind of the wedding day itself. The goal of the engagement session is to create beautiful images that capture the essence of you as a couple!


When choosing a location for your engagement session, pick a spot that has some importance or meaning to you as a couple. A park you love to visit, a favorite beach or hiking trail, or even your own backyard or neighborhood can be great options.

Next, make sure the area will be easily accessible on the day we’ll be there. Construction, events and festivals, or seasonal weather can sometimes make a location less than ideal. Don’t hesitate to ask if you need any ideas or recommendations for gorgeous scenery and fun destinations! I always have a few bucket-list spots in mind for photo sessions.


Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have gorgeous scenery to spare but we never know what the weather is going to have in store! In the best case scenario, we’ll plan your engagement session for “golden hour” on a sunny or partly sunny day. The most perfect light for photography happens during the hour just before the sun goes down, and for about thirty minutes after sunset. However, a beautiful sunset isn’t always in the cards. I like to keep an eye on the forecast during the week leading up to your session and, if necessary, move our starting time 1-2 hours earlier if it looks like the day will be overcast. But don’t worry if the sun isn’t shining! Many of the images you see on these pages were created with cloudy skies. The weather and scenery in the PWN offers a variety of beautiful lighting conditions throughout the year.


The most important advice I can give you is to wear what makes you feel happy and confident! That being said, it doesn’t hurt to dress up. Stick to classic colors and shapes, especially muted colors, neutrals, and pastels. Prints are okay, but limit them to one item in your ensemble–for instance, in a blouse or dress, while your fiancé wears separates in solid colors. Mixing prints can be done carefully, if the two prints use many of the same colors.

Lay out your proposed outfits together to see if the colors and patterns harmonize. And you’re more than welcome to send me a photo of your options if you’d like my two cents! I’ll also provide a Pinterest board with some outfit inspiration to get you started.

At minimum, bring two outfit options or a jacket to put on during your session. Feel free to get creative with fancy shoes, jewelry, hats, or other accessories! I also encourage bringing a blanket to sit down on—just be sure it’s in a subtle, solid color or classic pattern like plaid. And don’t forget—footwear matters! Your photos will show your full body as well as close-ups so make sure shoes are clean, and pay attention to coordinating socks if they can be seen. We may also be walking and hiking off-trail during your session, so bring a comfy pair of walking shoes to slip in and out of if you’re planning to wear heels.


Dogs are welcome! It is helpful if you bring along a wrangler to take your pup off  your hands when we are done with their role in the photos. Bring along water and favorite treats as well. Your photos will be retouched for skin imperfections, so don’t worry if you have a break out.

Because my focus is on you as a couple in the photos, I don’t usually provide props for engagement sessions. The goal is to have beautiful, unique photos that won’t become dated by trends or fads. However, feel free to let me know if you have any special signs or props you’d like to include.

Please leave your purse at home or locked away securely in the car. Guys, please remove wallets or cell phones from your pockets as well as sunglasses. I’m happy to carry keys, cell phones and anything needed for touch ups for you during the session. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or need any further info from me!

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Hey there! Welcome to my blog—Make yourself comfy and look around! As an Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park, San Juan Islands, Seattle, Whidbey Island, and destination wedding photographer, I want to be a resource for you as you put together your own wedding day. Browse around, have a look, and let me know your questions!  I'm so happy you're here, and I hope you want to get in touch so we can chat about your wedding day.