Over the years, one of the most common questions Christopher and I have received is how to prepare for your engagement photos. There’s a lot of careful thought and planning that goes into your engagement session, and we want to help simplify that process for you! When you book Christopher and I for your wedding, in just a few short days you’ll receive an engagement session planning questionnaire from us. We will use this to help you make many decisions for your engagement session! We know this process can be overwhelming, so we hope this tips will make it as stress-free as possible!
Select a location for your engagement photos
The first thing we like to plan out is the location of your engagement photos. We have several locations that we like to utilize in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill areas! Is there a certain spot that is sentimental to you and your groom? Was your first date at a coffee shop or a local park? Let’s consider that as an option! Does your venue include a photo session in your agreement with them? That could be a great option!
I also advise thinking about the setting you and your fiancé like. Do you want beautiful garden photos? Do you love fields of tall, wispy grass? Or perhaps, you two love frequenting downtown Raleigh or Durham together. No matter what vibe you’re going for, we have locations in mind for it!
Select a date and time for your engagement photos based off of sunset and location
Once you choose your session location, we will start thinking about the timing of your shoot. We typically shoot engagement sessions in the last couple of hours leading up to sunset. This time is called “golden hour”, and the light makes for SPECTACULAR images! We will also take the location of your session into consideration. For example, if you’re shooting in downtown Raleigh we may start slightly earlier than normal because the tall skyscrapers block the sunlight earlier in the day then if we were at the beach.
Choose your outfits for your engagement photos
One of the hardest parts of planning your engagement photos is selecting outfits! We are happy to help with this part of the process as we know it can be overwhelming! Upon booking, you will receive a TR Bridal Guide magazine in the mail that has example photos and tips for how to dress for your engagement session. We recommend bringing along two outfits for your shoot so that you can have some variety in your photos! We will also send along a super detailed email with tips as well!
Set up appointments for your hair, makeups, and nails!
If a hair and makeup trial is included in your hair and makeup artist’s agreement AND you aren’t having a bridal portrait session then this may be the perfect time to schedule your hair and makeup trial! You want to go for a look that’s a little more dramatic then normal so that everything shows up nicely in camera. This doesn’t mean you have to opt for bright red lipstick and the most voluminous false lashes you can find! I simply mean take your natural look and elevate it! Some natural false lashes and a shade of lipstick in your best color can make a big difference!
We will also be getting some close up shots of your shiny new engagement ring, so definitely book a nail appointment before hand! Coordinate it with your outfits as best as you can! Personally, I love a timeless French manicure!
A couple of things you may not think about….
Bring along some water bottles for your shoot. Some locations require a lot of walking so you’ll want to stay hydrated! I also recommend bringing along a comfy pair of shoes to change into for this same reason. Hiking in your prettiest pair of heels is not fun!
Treat yourself to a nice date night after your engagement photos!
Since the two of your are already all dressed up, treat yourselves to a nice dinner out after your engagement photos! Our goal for your session is to not only get you gorgeous images that you can’t wait to use for save the dates, but to also help the two of you feel even more in love with each other afterwards! It’s a fun experience so take advantage of that time to bond afterwards!
We hope these tips are helpful in showing your how to prepare for your engagement photos!
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We are Tierney and Christopher. We're Raleigh wedding photographers who serve timeless couples that want an effortless wedding day filled with sentimental moments!