Five tips to help you prepare for your engagement session

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Janelle D'Ambrosia

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November 16, 2023

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You’re newly engaged and ready to start preparing for your engagement session – what an exciting time! These days, social media can make it feel really overwhelming and can add a lot of pressure on you to have the *perfect* photo session. But I promise you, just showing up as your true self is what makes your photos truly amazing. I’ve outlined five tips that I often offer as advice to my couples when we are planning their engagement session. 


One of the first decisions to make when planning your engagement session is where to do it. The options really are endless and I typically recommend going to a place that is meaningful to you or going to a spot that incorporates some of your favorite activities. Not every couple envisions themselves running around in an open field and that’s totally okay – you do you. Reflect on your relationship and what a typical day is like for you and your partner or your favorite activity you like to do together. Your engagement photos should reflect what the two of you are like in this moment, not some picturesque idea of love that you see all over Pinterest. Some ideas to get you brainstorming: 

  • your favorite coffee shop
  • a local brewery
  • a carnival or amusement park
  • inside your home
  • a greenhouse or plant shop
  • your favorite beach
  • your go-to bar
  • the farmers market
  • a movie theater
  • a pizza shop
  • downtown in your favorite city
  • a picnic at a local park
  • an ice cream shop 


The number one goal when picking out your outfit for your session should be comfort! No one wants to spend an hour-long session feeling self conscious of how their clothing looks or feels. If you feel like you’ll constantly be pulling at your shirt, dress, or pants – don’t wear that for your session. Wear something you feel good in so that you’re not constantly thinking about it and can focus on connecting and hanging out with your partner! Feel free to play around with patterns, layering, colors, and textures – stay true to you! I do recommend that if your partner is wearing an intricate pattern on their clothing then you should wear something more neutral so that you don’t clash.

Take time to connect:

Turn your session into a date day/night – spend some time connecting with your partner by grabbing a coffee or beer beforehand. Maybe start your day off by going for a walk together in your neighborhood. Doing something to help you relax and feel excited about finally taking your engagement photos will make for an amazing vibe during your session. This will help make it feel more natural to continue interacting with each other as if you were just hanging out so that we can capture those candid moments we all love. Try to reframe any unhelpful thoughts you have around your session such as “ugh I don’t like to be photographed” or “I can’t wait for this to be over” and instead remind yourself “hey I get to spend an hour hanging out with my favorite person.” 


Your photographer will likely send you a questionnaire before your session – actually fill it out! This helps us get to know your likes and dislikes, your vision for the session, and can help us guide you through your session in a way that makes you feel comfortable and cared for. If you mention that you’re looking for images that capture your fun-loving and laughter filled relationship, your photographer will know exactly what to suggest to help capture that! Take your time completing each question and be sure to be honest. 

Bring your dog!

So many couples ask me if they can bring their dog to their session and the answer is always YES! As long as they are friendly while out in public and dogs are allowed at the location, the more dogs the better. What better time to capture your little family than during your engagement session. I do recommend bringing along a favorite squeaky toy or treat to get their attention for photos. I also think it’s important to have a friend or family member tag along to help hold your dog’s leash when they aren’t in photos, this way you’re not worried about what your dog is doing and can focus on interacting with your partner!

Whether it’s your first time in front of the camera or your fourth, I think all of these tips are super important to remember when you’re planning for a photo session with your partner. Let me know which one you found most helpful! 

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Feeling present during your celebrations, staying connected to your partner and the people you love most, and absolutely not worried about how your photos are coming out is what you deserve on your wedding day. I'm here to document your day as it unfolds and support you when you need it. No two love stories are the same and yours should live on forever. 


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