The Ultimate Guide to Your Engagement Session

  • Date: 03, 05
  • Author: jamiereinhartphotography
  • Category: Engaged


Engagement Session Tips 

Engagement Pictures document that teensy chunk of time where you and your partner can call each other “fiance”. Most couples are on board with the idea of having these traditional pre-wedding pictures taken, but often have questions when it comes to planning. Why do we even need them? What do we wear? Where should we have them taken? Today I am going to share all of my secrets and give you tons of tips on how to plan and make the most of your engagement session! We will talk about planning your location, wardrobe, and then at the end I’ll share a few extra tips I’ve learned along the way! If you are still on the fence on having engagement pictures taken, check out this blog: Do We Need Engagement Pictures? 


Couple holding each other in front of fountain in Downtown DeLand-Engagement Session Tips


How to Plan your Engagement Session-Engagement Session Tips 101

What do you plan to do with your pictures?


This may not be something that people think of before diving into the location and wardrobe of their session, but how do you plan to use your pictures? Do you want to put them in an album and use it as a guest book for your wedding guests to sign? Do you want to hang large prints on the wall of your home? If you plan to frame your portraits and hang them in your home, you need to consider the decor and color schemes in your house when choosing location and wardrobe, or you may end up with pictures that don’t fit in with everything else.


Here are some ideas on how to use your engagement pictures!

  1. Use for Save the Dates and even Christmas Cards!
  2. Have an album made using your engagement pictures-and use it as a guest book for your wedding!
  3. Wedding Website
  4. Print your favorite picture on a large canvas (which couples have also used as a guest book)
  5. Frame a few pictures to use as wedding decor-display them in your home after the wedding!
  6. Make a wedding scrapbook!
  7. Make your own personal Pinterest Board!

Engagement Session in a field-Engagement Session Tips on what to wear 

Decide on a location and theme. 

Now that you have an idea in your head on what you are actually going to do with the pictures when they are complete, we are on to more engagement session tips! You can start thinking of a location and theme. Please keep in mind, a theme can be as simple or as extra as you want it to be. A theme could simply be “relaxed and beachy”. My philosophy is that an engagement session should be fun and should reflect your individual style. Brainstorm ideas with your partner, focusing on ideas that will bring out your personalities! Here are some ideas to help you get started!


  1. Do a session where your partner proposed! What better way to set the mood than to go back to the place where it all started!
  2. Take advantage of the natural beauty your state has to offer. What is your state’s claim to fame- is their stunning views of the mountains, beautiful beaches, rocks, caves, canyons, or deserts (you get the idea)? These locations always make for breathtaking engagement pictures.
  3. Take a little tour of places that have significant meaning to you. This is a great way to have your pictures tell a story-perfect if you want to use them in an album! Think of where you first met, your first date, your favorite restaurant, date night spot, or sports team fields- and any locations that may have a special place in your heart!
  4.  You house! Stay at home and do a lifestyle session! Plan with your photographer to come up with a few cute ideas for an in-home engagement session.
  5.  Your wedding venue. Does your wedding venue have a ton of amazing photo opportunities? Plan to have your engagement pictures taken there to take full advantage of them!
  6.  Take a little road trip and check out all of the unique and beautiful settings you can find along the way-like we did for this engagement session that was literally a tiny field on the side of the road!
  7.  A local amusement park, zoo, etc. Bonus points if it is a place the two of you love to go!
  8.  Want to take your session to the next level? Theme your engagement session around your favorite TV Show, movie, game, or any other fun interests the two of you share! Rent a vintage couch or boho tent and do a whimsical session in the woods, or pack a romantic picnic for a beach session!


**Discuss your ideas with your photographer ahead of time to see what their policies are on multiple locations and travel**


Choose your wardrobe.

Engagement pictures taken in a long royal blue dress


One of my favorite engagement session tips is always that you feel your best when you look your best. The more confident you are in your wardrobe choices, hair, and makeup, the more relaxed and confident you will feel throughout your session. Here are a few tips to help you plan your wardrobe!


Choose a color palette. Do a little brainstorming and think of what colors 1) Look good on the two of you 2) Flow with the setting and theme 3) Go with your home decor if you plan to display them. If you are going for a sweet and romantic beach session, you may opt for neutrals and pastels. If you are going for a bold and dramatic black tie session you may opt for deep colors such as navy, burgundy, or emerald green. You can check out some color palette and wardrobe inspiration ideas here: Engagement Session Ideas.

Plan outfits that compliment each other. If you are wearing a gown and your partner is wearing jeans and a t-shirt, there is going to be some disconnect in your pictures. Make sure you are on an even playing field when planning what to wear. Also important to note-plan to coordinate with colors that compliment each other, but getting too matchy (for example, jeans with matching sweaters) will date your pictures.

Dress to flatter your shape and size. Love your legs? Show them off in a little skirt or skinny jeans with heels. Have you been hitting the gym and have the shoulder muscles to show it? Wear a cute halter top or an off the shoulder sweater. No matter how you shake it, your wardrobe choices can play up your best assets while flattering areas you may not want front in center. If you are set on wearing a sleeveless top but feel like you need to do a few extra push ups before showing them off, simply bring a scarf or shawl to use as an accessory! Need help identifying your body type and tips on how to dress for it? We love this guide from Stitchfix!

Dress up! Whether you are doing an intimate session in your home or a formal session at a private estate-dress for the occasion! Taking the time to put together a wardrobe that is going to perfectly vibe with your the vibe you are going for is going to take your pictures to the next level! Splurge on new outfits, borrow from friends! We also love Rent the Runway for extra special wardrobe ideas!

It’s all about the details. Hats, glasses, jewelry, shoes, scarves, sweaters-it is all about those details! Your accessories can play a huge part in your engagement pictures. Not only are they fun, they are a great way to add personality and variety to your pictures. They also help with the #1 question I get asked at a session “What should I do with my hands?”.

Try on your outfits before your session. There is nothing worse than putting your outfit on the day of your engagement session and realizing that it doesn’t fit. Feeling great in your engagement session wardrobe is huge, so be sure to try on your outfits on to make sure that they fit correctly and that you feel comfortable in them. Be sure to wear any new shoes a few times before your session to break them in.


Rock your Session with these Engagement Session Tips!

  1. Remember-look good, feel good. We recommend hiring a professional hair and makeup artist no matter what type of session you are having. Bring a few items for touch-ups that may be needed throughout your session.
  2. Make sure you pick a photographer you feel comfortable around. See our blog post on picking the perfect photographer!
  3. Bring comfy shoes to change into, especially if your location involves a lot of walking.
  4. Have a little glass of champagne before your session to help you relax…and because champagne is awesome.
  5. Adding props to your session can be an awesome touch if used correctly. We recommend adding props that really enhance the theme or your session or have importance to the two of you as a couple. Avoid using props just because they are trendy.
  6. The best pictures are natural pictures. Making each other laugh, sweet hugs and kisses, joking, hand holding, tickling-all of these things will make for amazing authentic moments and real smiles!
  7. Bring mints or mouthwash-you may be getting close to each other during your session!
  8. Pack your bag the night before.
  9. Follow the “rule of 2’s”. I always recommend a session have no more than 2 locations (unless we have specific plans for your session), no more than 2 outfits, and that the session last no more than 2 hours. This is one of the best engagement session tips I have. I find that any more than “2” can tire you out and make for an unpleasant experience, and who wants that?!  This rule is completely made up and not enforced in the slightest, but keep in mind that hanger is a real thing.
  10. If you are a rebel rule breaker or we have plans for an epic session, you may want to bring a snack-something that won’t make a mess!
  11. HAVE FUN!

To talk more with Jamie Reinhart about scheduling an Engagement Session, fill out the form on our Contact Page and we can start planning the perfect session!

You may like:

Jamie Reinhart Photography’s Engagement Session Gallery

Sydonie Mansion Engagement Session 

Do you have engagement session tips to share? Drop them in the comments below!







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