Engagement Session Planning Made Simple

Engagement Session Planning Made Simple

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This time of year for us is always a busy time for engagement sessions.  As spring time kicks off, a little earlier here in Los Angeles than most of the rest of the country, our happy couples want to take advantage of the beautiful outdoor scenery.  Whether they are getting married next summer, fall, or even just later this spring we have been spending our days all over southern California, from the beaches to the canyons to Disneyland.  The number one question we have been getting asked during this time of year, other than did Emma see Adam on The Voice last night, is how do I plan my engagement session so we get great pictures?

So, I wanted to take a minute to help so many of you that don’t even know where to get started with your engagement photos.

1) Choose a location that has some kind of meaning to you and your relationship.

Don’t get your photos taken at the beach, even though you two haven’t been to the beach since you started dating almost 3 years ago, just because the beach is pretty. Instead, go back to the magical spot he popped the question, that little known hiking spot you two have gone when you just needed to get away, or maybe even the place you two went on your first date.  There are always beautiful spots in every location. Afterwards, you will have pictures that have meaning and capture your relationship.

For Example… Emily + Grant chose the Ojai Valley Inn , which is where Grant proposed!  See more from their  engagement session here

2) Time of day is very important.

In our industry they call the first and last hours of sunshine, the Golden Hours.  This is the most beautiful light to taken pictures in, but we always make sure to start before this magic hour.  Anyone who has been in front of the camera knows that it can feel a little awkward when you start out.  We plan on this uneasy feeling ahead of time and start early enough that we can break through the ice and make our couples comfortable and relaxed before primetime.  But, make sure you don’t start so early that you are worn out and “expressionless” before the best light.

This Cheeseboro Canyon Engagement Photo of Rachel + Steve was taken about 45 minutes before sunset,  the light is golden.   See more from
their engagement session here

3) Don’t stress over clothes.

a) Wear clothes and shoes you are comfortable in.  It is totally okay if you want to dress up a little if that is the look you are going for.  If you just want to be the casual “normal” you, than that is totally okay too.  The most important thing is that you are comfortable, so the real you is what is in the photos.

b) Coordinate your looks, but don’t be twins.  Unless you go out on the weekends wearing matching shirts and pants, then don’t intentionally do it in your engagement pictures.  I totally encourage coordinated colors or styles, but just like I do… Feel free to rely on the more stylish one in your relationship for coordinating your styles.  Hopefully, you are both in agreement as to who the savvy one is.

This is Shannon + Steve and they opted for a more formal look.  Shannon in a cute blue dress and Steve in slacks and a shirt, but matched his tie to her dress to unite their outfits. Simple but stunning.  See more from their engagement session here

4) Let your photographer know if you plan on using the pictures in a Save The Date or on a wedding website.

We want to make sure you ultimately end up with pictures that are useful to you.  If there is a specific pose you need for your Save The Date to work the way you want it, then speak up.  We will help you get what you want.

Caitlin + Shawn used their wedding date, for their save the date signs!  Cute but not over the top!  🙂  See more from their engagement session here

5) Have fun!

If you are enjoying yourselves, then your engagement pictures will look like the “real” you.  You should be enjoying the time with your fiance, not struggling through the photo shoot.  We have a couple tricks we use to make things a little more fun.  Simple things like making jokes and playing around to more planned things like playing your favorite music or maybe even meeting up for Happy Hour snacks and drinks before you start can help relax the mood.   See more from their engagement session here

El Matador Beach Engagement Photos


Hopefully these tips can help you achieve the look you are hoping for in your engagement photos.  Oftentimes, these will be the first professional photos of the two of you together, so let’s make sure they are photos you want to show off to all your friends and family for years to come.


Check out our website to view more of engagement photos…

If you would like to see firsthand how we work with our clients during their engagement pictures, then let’s schedule a session.

Keep in mind, we include the engagement session with all of our wedding photography collections so contact us today to schedule your consultation.

We accept a limited number of weddings per year to ensure that all of our clients get an amazing experience with us. If you are looking for husband and wife wedding photographers to capture those real moments, we would love to sit down and chat.

Contact us today to learn more and let's get this party started! 

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Ventura County Wedding Photographers
Based in los angeles, california

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