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Planning An Engagement Session

Planning An Engagement Session

For today’s post, we’re here to help you help your couples when planning an engagement session. 

Here are 5 top tips photographers share with their couples to help when planning an engagement session. If you’re new to wedding photography and don’t know where to start when helping couples planning an engagement session, start here! If you’re a seasoned pro, see how many of these you share with your couples already! Either way, feel free to pass these tips along to your clients if you think they’re feeling stuck. Because at ShootDotEdit, we’re all about both you and your couples getting the best shots possible! And when you’re done here, check out these two blog posts on Posing Couples and Posing Couples for Engagement Sessions that will help you be even more successful!


Congratulations! You and your soul-mate have decided to tie the knot. Now, you want some fabulous, loving, fun, exciting, unique photographs before getting married. But you don’t know how to plan and execute it.

Don’t worry! If you haven’t made a solid plan for your engagement photoshoot yet, we have some great tips to get you started. Our Fast 5 Tips will give you an idea of how to plan for your engagement shoot. 

5 Tips for Couples: Planning An Engagement Session

The first thing you will need to do when planning an engagement session, and do this before any other planning, is to make sure you, as the photographer, and your couple are a good fit! The couple should also be on the same page when finalizing you as the photographer. Don’t hesitate to share your work with them if they are still deciding. Want some sample poses you can use when you are shooting the engagement session?

Once they select you as their wedding photographer, you can move forward with planning an engagement session. Here are tips some of our favorite wedding photographers have shared with their clients! This is written from the perspective of the photographer so you can just copy and paste these tips and create an email template that you can send to your clients! Want to know more about email templates? We have a blog on that here on the 5 Wedding Photography Email templates you need!

1. Decide Your Location

engagement session outside the rainbow room and nbc studios in new york city
Photo by ShootDotEdit customer @photography_by_orlando

It is important to decide on a location when planning an engagement session. Think about places that are meaningful. A local park is a classic option, but also think about the streets of your town or city. You can go for a historic landmark, or the spot where you got engaged or first met. Even your favorite café can be a good spot for photographs. You can consider seasonal locations, like a pumpkin patch in the fall, or the beach in the summer. We can even plan the photoshoot at your home.

2. Set the Time and Date

Usually, planning an engagement session occurs two to three months before your wedding date, but sooner can be better so you have the chance to use the photos for your save the dates!

Sunrise or sunset are the best times of day for your engagement session. The light is most flattering during these times, and your photos will be extra dreamy in this “golden hour.”

3. Don’t Forget the Engagement Ring

close up of engagement ring in black and white
Photo by ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

Incorporating your engagement ring, and other special details, can be a great way to personalize your engagement session. The engagement ring can be photographed alone or on your hand, but in both cases are part of the story! If you are going to incorporate your ring just make sure the ring is clean, because the camera captures more details than you’d expect. A local jeweler can clean the ring for you or you can purchase an inexpensive ring cleaning solution from the store. In a pinch, toothpaste will do! Yes, really! Check this HuffPost article out on other ring cleaning hacks!

4. When Planning an Engagement Session, Also Plan & Prepare Your Outfits

black couple dancing and kissing during their engagement session
Photo by ShootDotEdit customer @dianenicolephoto

When planning an engagement session, choosing clothing can be 50% of the stress! But don’t worry, there are lots of tips and tricks for making sure your clothing looks great on you, and in the photos. First, choose outfits that you already know you love. You don’t need to buy something new (unless you want to, of course!). Start with colors you love, or something you wear that you already feel really confident in or get compliments on when you wear it. Also decide if you’re going to do something dressy, casual, dress casual, or sporty…or any combination! Also, changing clothes for a second look is an option, so don’t feel like you have to narrow it down to just one outfit!

We often recommend staying away from loud and overly-colorful prints but honestly, we just want YOU to be YOU. Also, don’t feel like you need to match your outfits. It’s OK to match, but many couples choose to coordinate instead, going with clothes colors that look good together. And avoid anything too tight or too loose – if you’re uncomfortable in the clothes, it’ll show in the photos!

5. When Planning an Engagement Session, Think About Who You Are and What Makes You Unique

couples dressed up like Star Wars characters with light sabers in the desert
Photo by ShootDotEdit Customer @jimmybuiphotography

What things (clothing, locations, hobbies) make the two of you, well, you? How are you when you’re around each other? What is important to you? Are you like the couple in the photo above and love Star Wars and want to do something themed? Are you more classic and love close ups versus far away shots? Sit down with your partner and make a list of all must-have photos you want and what you think your style is. List everything that is important to you — the ring shots, or the props if you have them. Research poses and bring examples if you want! Determine the kinds of loving, funny, or silly poses you want with your partner.

Wrap Up

Now, most importantly, make sure to bring lots of energy and enthusiasm to the shoot. Get plenty of rest the night before or try to relax during the day if your session is at sunset. With more energy you will have a blast and it will show in your photos. These are photos you will cherish for generations to come.

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