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4 Tips for Great Engagement Photoshoots - Planning A Session (pt 1)

Hey friends! In this video series we will talk about some of my tips for setting up a great engagement photoshoot for your wedding couples. In this video I cover tips for planning a session, including knowing your location, preparing for weather, creating a style guide, and incorporating unique experiences. As a wedding photographer in the New Jersey/Philadelphia area, I always love creating the best experience possible for my couples!

Know Your Location & Time of Day

It is always incredibly easier to get great photos at a location you have successfully shot at before, and it's best if you’ve actually shot at the location before. But if you have not been there before, then it is smart to go scout it out a few days in advance to check out the scenery and see where the lighting is coming from.

Extra Tip: A sun tracker app is super helpful to see where the sun will be at different times of day!

Weather & Rain Dates

Cloudy days can be ok if you know the location. They can sometimes even make for much more dramatic colorful sunsets!

Look at the weather 7-10 days before the session to see if there is a chance of rain. Give the couple a heads up but still hold the date to see if the forecast improve. Sometimes the forecast will say rain for a whole week, and then it drops to 10-20% chance the morning of the session date.

Consider that gals may be getting hair/makeup/nails done professionally just for this shoot, so it’s better to reschedule early if there is a serious chance of rain. That way they can reschedule their hair/makeup/nails in advance to a new date

Bonus Tip: Depending on location, there might be 24/7 live cams online to check weather on (Philly, Boardwalk)

Ask The Couple About Unique Experiences They’d Want Included

One time on an engagement session, the couple and I met at a brewery that they loved, it was great for taking photos and was a fun casual way to begin the shoot.

Still do the bulk of your session in a place you’re familiar with, but stopping off at a unique location for the couple is always worth it.

Create a Style Guide

Regarding outfits, overall they should fit the couple's style and be what they would normally wear. However, keep in mind that outfits should not be too distracting, most of the focus should be on the couple’s expressions and emotions.

Below are a few colors I typically recommend, mostly neutral and earthy tones (including green/blue)

Bonus Tip: Include notes on the style guide for other small things to remember such as a lint roller, ironing out wrinkles, bringing extra makeup, and don't forget the engagement ring!


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