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Engagement shoots are among my favorite type of photography sessions! I get to spend one-on-one, quality time with my couple before their wedding, getting to know both their individual personalities and the personality of their relationship. For my couples, it’s great practice for their wedding portraits, as they learn to feel at ease in front of a camera, becoming more comfortable with posing and how I work.

Engagements shoots are an opportunity to have a set of professional photographs that document this important time in your life! You want them to showcase who you are as a couple, which is why I suggest the following things when planning your engagement session:

Choose a location you both love! Sit down and make a list of spots that mean something to both of you. Shooting in one or more of these locations is likely to put you at ease and bring out natural interactions with one another. Maybe you spent your weekends at the boardwalk all summer and want to commemorate that. Do wake up Sunday mornings and ride bikes to your local farmer’s market or hit up a neighborhood beer garden every Friday afternoon together? Whatever the location, don’t be afraid to ask your photographer to shoot there – we love an opportunity to be let in on the things you love as a couple!

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in! I urge couples to avoid identical outfits or wearing something that doesn’t show off their personalities. Who wants to frame and hang images that don’t reflect the people they were when the photographs were taken? Part of the fun, when looking back at images once time has passed is remembering how you used to dress or what your hair looked like during that time in your life!

It’s also perfectly fine to show more than one side of yourself with outfit changes, if time allows.  You could start the shoot in your favorite jeans and tee for half the shoot and switch into your favorite cocktail dress or a fancy suit and tie for the remainder.

Remember that props can be fun! I know that to some, props may seem cheesy, but they definitely don’t have to be! For starters, props give you something to do during the shoot and they can really help you to act more naturally as you’re photographed. You can either use items found in your location (i.e. the beer mugs pictured above) or bring your own props to the shoot. If looking for more creative or DIY items, I would encourage you to visit Etsy as a resource. A warning: keep things simple. A million props can get overwhelming, so choose one or two that really fit the vibe you’re going for.

An engagement sessions is a real opportunity to tell a story, YOUR story. Stick true to who you are and you’ll be okay! Most importantly, have fun and be yourself, and you’ll end up with a set of cherished images that reflect your relationship with one another with honesty.

Need some visual inspiration? Check out my engagement ideas Pinterest board!