So you’re getting ready for your engagement session! Woohoo! You might be asking what exactly is an engagement session anyway? Engagement sessions are an awesome way to commemorate this stage of your love story and to represent you and your fiancé in the most genuine and authentic way possible. These photos can be as formal, as casual, as serious, or as playful as you’d like. Whether you want to stay at home or go to the top of a mountain for your photos, anything is possible. There are no rules! During your session you’ll start getting a feel for what being in front of the camera is like (and literally being the center of attention) and we will get a feel for each other. At your session, I will be able to see which prompts elicit the most genuine responses and which poses are most flattering for you both so that come wedding day, you will be such a pro that posing will seem like old hat.

But if you’re feeling anxious about being photographed, I TOTALLY understand. I can get super weird the moment someone points a camera at me. Being in front of the camera can be a pretty intimidating and awkward experience if it’s not something that you’re used to doing on a regular basis. I’ve put together a list of a few tips to help make your engagement session as fun and stress free as possible!

You can schedule your engagement session at any time prior to your wedding day. But if you’re looking to use your images for save the dates, then I would recommend scheduling your session around six months before your wedding day at the very least. Here are a couple of things to consider when scheduling your session as well:

The time of day you choose for your session is super important! For fun, playful, vibrant photos, you will want to choose some time around mid-afternoon. For moodier, romantic photos, sunset and the time just after dusk would certainly set that tone. But shooting at sunrise (and the hour following) and at sunset (and the hour prior) will yield the best results lighting-wise.

My personal preference/recommendation for sessions is sunrise. I love the way sunrise light looks (it’s so soft and wistful) and we usually don’t have to encounter crowds or random passersby as they won’t be out that early.

Timeliness is essential–the lighting outdoors changes all the time. So if we’re shooting at sunset for instance, being late will limit the amount of time we will be able to shoot.

When choosing an engagement session location, a place that represents you both as a couple usually yields the best results. If you two enjoy physical activities and spending time in nature, then you might opt for an outdoor session in the midst of hills and trees. If music is important to your relationship, then a fun idea might be to use a record store as a backdrop for your session. Or if you want to keep it comfortable and really showcase you two in your element–in home sessions are super fun and cozy!

Choosing a place that holds significance to your relationship makes for a great engagement location as well. Whether it’s the place where you first met, where you went on your first date, or somewhere you two frequent often–the possibilities are endless!

And if you’re drawing a blank on where to have your session, it’s okay! I can help you choose a place.

There is no hard and fast rule of what to wear, but these are some helpful tips to plan:

• Solid colors work best. Avoid super busy prints!
• Color coordinate, but don’t be super matchy.
• Ditch the jeans.*
• Bring extra shoes.

*–unless it’s being matched with a really cute top and boots, because I mean hey you can never go wrong with that combo.

Try to pick outfits that complements your session location.