Planning Your Engagement Session


I decided that I didn’t want engagement photos. I thought they were a waste of money and time. I wasn’t sure what we would use the photos for; we weren’t going to be placing an engagement announcement in the paper (it’s not 1975…) and besides “Save The Dates” or Facebook I didn’t really see the purpose. Once I booked our wedding photographer they explained the importance of the engagement session. It isn’t just for the “photos”, but the experience as well. You get to know the photographers and get used to being in front of the camera together. We decided that we didn't have enough pictures together as a family and decided that this would be a great time to get photos of us and of Harper!

We decided to do it; I didn’t know what to expect I was nervous. Our photographers were great about goofing around with us and getting us comfortable. I had the luxury of talking to the photographers at work before our engagement shoot, and one thing that I didn’t really think about was staging the photo-shoot! (I should have thought about that since I plan photo-shoots for a living…) I just figured that we would show up and the magic would happen!

As you will see in my Planning with Pintrest Post I have an engagement pictures board. After searching Pinterest I decided two things: I wanted candles and a blanket. My planning ended there.

Andi suggested actually setting up a picnic, having wine, cheese, crackers, and all those things you would have at your typical picnic rather than Mike and I just hanging out on a blanket. Having these items to interact with really helped me feel more comfortable in front of the camera.

1. Pintrest- Peruse pintrest for location ideas and staging ideas. Don’t worry about the photography, you hired the photographer to do that, but decide what you want them to capture you and your fiancée doing. If you want to ride a bike, have a picnic, or take a walk downtown.

2. Be comfortable- I love the pictures of us by the river with the candles, but to be honest my favorite are the ones where Mike and I are in our jeans having a picnic or hanging out by his truck. We would actually be doing these things! We don’t normally hang out by the river with candles… although now I am considering starting that as a tradition! I am not discounting these images at all I am glad I LOVE them, but there was sand, water, and I was in a skirt, so you get the picture…

3. Be cohesive- what are your colors? What will you be wearing? Can you use things you bought for your wedding for you pictures and vice versa? You can incorporate colors from your wedding, candles if you are going to have candles, or the type of flowers you are going to have. Any elements that you can tie in from your wedding will make it more cohesive, especially if you are going to showcase your images at your wedding.

4. Let your photographers help- letting the McCartney’s know that we were doing candles they brought some of their own which made it even better! It helps them plan what they need to bring and how they would like to shoot. Your photographers might have ideas to share with you as well if you let them know what look you are going for.

5. Just be you!- Just be you in front of the camera! Laugh if he tells you a joke, don’t be too serious, it will show. Be intimate, but don’t fake it, do what comes naturally. My favorite images are the ones that Mike and I forgot about the camera.

Your engagement session is all about telling your engagement story, so have fun planning how to tell it!

all photos in this post are copyright The McCartneys Photography.