Nailing Your Engagement Session

Photo by: Ladman Studios

All couples who are planning their wedding should consider an engagement session to kick off this amazing and super exciting time in their life. In my own experience, planning a wedding can be a little crazy and stressful. But an engagement session can give you a much-needed break allowing you to relax, blow off some steam, and enjoy this time together. Below are my tips for nailing your engagement session.

Understanding The “Why”

Photo by: Ladman Studios

It’s the ultimate date night

Doing all this planning for your wedding will drive you nuts. Seriously, I’ve been there. It can push you to the point of exhaustion. So what better way to take a much-needed break from it all and have a date night for just the two of you! Go grab a bite to eat at your favorite restaurant or food truck. Go to a carnival or your favorite place to spend time together. Stay in and have a dinner and movie in the comfort of your home. Treat yourselves!

They are meaningful

Photographs from your engagement session can be very meaningful. When paired with your wedding photos, engagement photos are great to look back on years from now. It’s the beginning of your wedding journey together.

Save the date invitations and guest signing book

Your engagement photos have several uses to help you in your wedding planning too. You can use the photos as invitations to send out to family and friends to save the date and if you decided to have a guest signing book at your wedding, you can have an album made from the engagement photos for all your guests to sign. It’s an excellent pairing to have alongside your wedding album.

Bonus

As a bonus to all of the above, you get to break the ice with your wedding photographer and see how they like to roll. As a result of this, couples feel much more comfortable and confident in front of each other on the wedding day. They become a friend in the room, or a “Friendtographer” if you will, allowing yourselves and your guests to be relaxed and comfortable.

What To Wear For Your Engagement Session

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Wear something comfortable

Comfort equals confidence when having your photo taken. Wear the clothes you normally would wear. If you feel like you want to kick it up a notch or two you can do that too. Try to stay away from designs that are too busy as they can be a distraction in the photos. Stick to neutral tones and colors. You can tie your ensemble together with a color scheme that matches the location you are having the photos taken in. Accessories are good but don’t overdo them.

Complement but don’t match

Look for complementary colors and solid prints. Wearing matching outfits can often cause you both to just blur together, so I would say wear colors and outfits that complement each other. Sometimes, one partner might wear more neutral colors such as black, white, or grey, or even more earthy tones such as brown or tan, while the other will wear more colorful clothing. You don’t want anything neon or too bright that will distract your eye from the emotion in the photos.

Wear at least one color to bring some POP

Wearing something more saturated can look stunning and really create a dramatic effect. Colors such as red, orange, yellow, and blues.

Create visual interest with materials

You can add attention-grabbing fabrics such as velvet, satin, suede, fur, leather, or lace to take your look to another level in your engagement photos. These bring a ton of visual texture to your photos which in turn can bring in even more warmth.

Keep in mind the seasons

If you live in New England as I do, the seasons are amazing ( sweater-weather = best weather ). If you are having an engagement session in the Fall or Winter months, don’t be afraid to bundle up! For Summer and Spring, dress for the location. If it’s on the beach, a sundress and shorts are a great combo.

Bring a second outfit

I can’t stress this enough! The weather can change in an instant. If it rains, or you want to go for a dip in the ocean, or some sort of wardrobe malfunction happens, you are going to want a change of clothes in reserve.

How To Not Feel Awkward During The Engagement Session

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It’s very normal to feel a little anxious about having your engagement photos taken. Even with everyone having a cell phone camera on them these days, most people aren’t actually regularly having pictures taken.

That being “awkward” feeling usually goes away within a few minutes of getting started with your photographer. A professional photographer will be able to help you feel more at ease, comfortable, and confident in front of the camera. I for one use creative and meaningful prompts that feel natural. One of the best parts about taking pictures as a couple is that you can interact with each other, which will absolutely help you feel more relaxed and have fun while being photographed. With me, it’s like the camera isn’t even there.

Include Your Pets

For those couples who are also parents to a fur baby or two, your engagement session is a great time to include them and get some killer photos with them! I have grown up with pets my whole life and currently have a Shepard Boxer named Bella.

That said, I would have a friend come along and take the pet after a few photos. so you’re able to be freed up and not have to worry about paying attention to them constantly while you’re trying to get photos. 

Locations For Your Engagement Session

Photo by: Ladman Studios

This might sound like a difficult decision, but it doesn’t have to be. As I discussed in the above “Why” section, this is the perfect date night for the two of you. It’s time to relax and take time for you both to enjoy your company. I do suggest that it is a location that is meaningful to you. Make your engagement session location special! Are you looking for city vibes? Are you looking for something more rustic? Maybe something even more specific like a certain restaurant, in-home, at an amusement park, or something really epic like a Carnival? It can even be back to where the proposal was. As long as it’s a place you will feel comfortable and have fun!

If you already have a wedding venue you love and want to have your session at, you can do that too? If you are looking for wedding venues, I have a list of 9 fantastic wedding venues in Connecticut you should totally check out below.

Make It Personal

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Engagement sessions can really let out the real you when you can let down your guard and make them more personal. Simply using the locations you like spending time together or even doing activities you enjoy together will get you interacting and reflecting together. Doing this creates amazing moments for engagement session photos as you react to the strong emotions between each other. 

Here are a few ideas:

  1. If you play an instrument like the guitar, bring it and include it.
  2. Have an in-home session and do things like playing games and cooking
  3. Do the things you like doing together. If you read books, snuggle up and read together. Want to get your nerd on and rock some video games or a board game? Grab a controller or roll the dice.
  4. Dig exploring new places? Go for a hike or walk through a part of town you haven’t before. Hell, go to a new one!
  5. Go visit your favorite coffee shop or restaurant.
  6. Like stargazing? Have a picnic under the stars with a campfire.

Bonus FAQs About Engagement Sessions

Photo by: Ladman Studios

Should we include props in our shoot?

Honestly, if these are things you’d like to include – YES! Just don’t bring a bunch. If you have something that is meaningful to both of you, it’s great to include in your photos.

What time of year is best for engagement pictures?

Here in New England, we get to have all four seasons. So I say pick the one that means the most to you. If you like the summer, do them in the summer. If you love fall weather ( It’s the best, just saying ) do them in the fall. It really comes down to personal preference.

When should we have our session?

Six to eight months before your wedding day. This allows plenty of time for friends and family to make necessary arrangements to be there, especially if they are not local and need additional travel arrangements.

Ready to have the best engagement session ever!

Hello there…I’m Thaddeus and I’d love to be a part of your extraordinary journey together. If you want genuine, unfiltered, and timeless moments to feel and look like you, contact me today! Don’t let this important moment in your life be missed. Fill out my contact form below and I’d love to hear from you and discover what you’re cooking up!

Connecticut-based wedding photographer TJ Ladzinski is your adventure catalyst. With infectious enthusiasm and an easygoing spirit, he transforms every moment into cherished memories.

A storyteller at heart, TJ's work has been awarded and featured in several wedding publications. His dedication to capturing authentic moments and creating a joyful atmosphere for his couples is evident in the photographs and experience he produces.

talk to me goose!

Forget the forms—let’s talk! Shoot me a message about your favorite games, hangouts, or adventures. Next, we'll jump on a call, Google, or meet in person ( my treat ) to get into the nitty-gritty of your wedding details and see if we vibe. As a heads up, I only book 20 weddings a year. So let’s connect soon!


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