Planning Your Engagement Session

Are you planning your engagement session with us? If you and your partner have never had professional photos taken together, you might be a little nervous or not sure of what to expect. These feelings are totally normal! This blog post will walk you through the process (and how to prepare), so that you feel more confident and comfortable when you arrive for your session!

Why are Engagement Sessions Important?

If you booked your wedding with us, you already know that we include a complementary engagement session with every wedding collection. There is an important reason for this! For one, the amount of time you will be engaged to your partner is fleeting. Before you know it, you will be married! We want to capture this special time in your relationship before it slips away.

Second, there are many ways you can use your photos as you plan your wedding. Many couples include their engagement photos on their Save the Date cards or invitations. You may also want to print and frame your favorite photos to display at your wedding!

Finally, your engagement session is a wonderful opportunity for you and your partner to get comfortable in front of the camera before your wedding day. Consider it a practice session! We will spend this time getting to know you and learning which poses suit you best. That way, you will feel at ease with us and confident in front of the camera when the big day arrives!

Choosing a Location

The first step for planning your engagement session is choosing a location. We have a few ideas up our sleeves if you need them, but we also love it when couples choose a location that is meaningful to them. We have done engagement sessions on family properties, farms, at the coast, etc! It’s definitely okay to pick a new location too, especially if you’re hoping for a more scenic experience. I will list some of my favorite locations below!


  • Cape Kiwanda (Pacific City, OR)
  • Nye Beach (Newport, OR)
  • Cannon Beach (Cannon Beach, OR)
  • Ona Beach (Newport, OR)


  • Mary’s Peak (Philomath, OR)
  • Government Cove (Cascade Locks)
  • Trillium Lake (Mt Hood)
  • Smith Rock (Redmond, OR)
  • Black Butte Ranch (Black Butte, OR)
  • Mckenzie River Lavender Farm (July only / Fee Area)


  • Mt Pisgah Aroboretum (Eugene, OR)
  • Timber Linn Memorial Park (Albany, OR)
  • Dorris Ranch (Springfield, OR)
  • Graham Oaks Nature Park (Wilsonville, OR)
  • Cathedral Park (Portland, OR)
  • Washington Park Rose Garden (Portland, OR)
  • Owen Rose Garden (Eugene, OR)


  • Downtown Albany (by the courthouse)
  • Salem Cherry Blossoms (Springtime only)


For engagement sessions, we prefer to meet up on weekdays! If this isn’t possible, we usually have only a handful of weekend dates available. If you’d prefer a weekend, we suggest meeting in the winter or spring for the most flexibility (summer weekends are usually filled with weddings).

Although we can meet you any time of day for your session, we prefer to meet 1-2 hours before sunset! This is when the sun has the softest effect in the sky. Sunset is also super romantic!

Dressing for your Session

Our photography style is light and romantic, which is what a lot of people love about our work! This style is achieved in great part through the lighting and location choices that we make as your photographers. However, what you wear to your session also plays a role!

In general, dressing in lighter colors (pastels, neutrals, etc) is the easiest way to achieve the light and romantic look in your photos. If you’re hoping for a more dramatic look, some bright colors work well too! We suggest avoiding neon colors or super busy patterns, which can be distracting.

When coordinating with your significant other, it’s best to choose complementary colors. If you and your partner match too closely, it can be difficult to distinguish whose body belongs to who! If one of you plans to wear a pattern, we recommend that the other person wear solids. Similarly, if one of you wants to wear a bright color, it usually looks best if the other person dresses in neutrals. The goal is to choose outfits that complement you as a couple and draw attention to the connection you share together.

For your session, you can bring up to two outfits! We recommend bringing a casual outfit and a more formal outfit! If you’d prefer to wear just one outfit, we suggest leaning more formal. Flowy dresses are often the most photogenic choice for women. For men, we recommend choosing a suit or a nice shirt and pants.

Hair & Makeup

Some of our couples like to time their wedding hair and makeup trial for the day of their engagement session. This is a great idea, if you can make it happen! If this isn’t possible, that’s totally okay.

If you don’t usually wear makeup (and you’re planning to on your wedding day), your engagement session is a good opportunity to give it a try! If you are already comfortable with makeup, we suggest opting for a more bold look than usual. Makeup almost always photographs less dramatically than it feels. False lashes are a great way to make your eyes pop, and a bit of lip color is always fun!

Make it Your Own!

We love it when our clients find fun ways to make their engagement session special! Do you share a hobby that you’d like to incorporate into your session? Would you like to bring a pet? Is there an item you would like to showcase? We love hearing and bringing your ideas to life!

Don’t Stress Out!

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get ready before your session. And if you can, try to leave a little early! The last thing we want is for you and your partner to feel stressed out before your session. If you feel stressed before you arrive, this will bleed over into how you feel about your photos. If you and your partner spend the entire drive arguing with each other, it may be difficult to relax in front of the camera. By giving yourself plenty of time to get ready, you will eliminate so much unnecessary stress!

Also, don’t worry if you feel a bit self conscious about your appearance. These feelings are completely normal! We are trained to choose poses that flatter every body type, and we are able to fix minor blemishes in post-processing. All you need to worry about is finding an outfit you feel amazing in. The rest is in our hands!

Make it a Date Night!

It’s not every day that you get to dress up and go out with your partner! We suggest making a date night out of it. You will spend the first hour of the evening with us, and then you can celebrate afterwards with dinner and drinks at your favorite restaurant! 🥂

After your Session

After your session, you can expect to receive your digital gallery of images in 3-4 weeks. From your gallery, you will be able to view the final images, download the high resolution files, and order prints. You will also have printing rights to your images so that you can print them anywhere and as many times as you would like. You will be able to share the gallery with family and friends as well!

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