Tips for Stunning Engagement Photos

I’m always getting lots of questions from my #AlaynaKayeBrides about the details of their engagement session. What’s the best time of day? What should we wear? Where’s the best place to do it? Well since I’m constantly asked a lot of the same questions and it seems a lot of my couples are stressing about their photos, I figured I should dedicate a blog post to a few of my favorite tips for anyone planning their engagement session! Enjoy!

#1. Schedule your session around sunrise or sunset

Sunlight is one of the most important things to consider anytime you take photos. I personally always try to schedule my portrait sessions about 2 hours before sunset. This is the time when the sun is starting to set and the light is not as harsh, but much more soft and even, making for perfect tones and colors. On certain special occasions we will also shoot engagement sessions during the first two hours after sunrise for that same pretty soft light.

#2 Wear something you feel comfortable and beautiful in.

If you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, it will 100% show in your photos. Although I can give you specific advice about what types of clothing will flatter your body type, the fact that heels always elongate your legs, and how solid pastel colors usually end up looking the best on camera, none of that really matters if you feel stiff and awkward in what you decide to wear. If you only feel beautiful and confident in your bright red pant-suit and flats, then GO FOR IT! I promise, your confidence will shine through your photographs no matter what!

Charleston Wedding Photographer

#3 Consider getting professional hair and makeup

Your engagement session is a great time to splurge a little and #treatyoself by getting your hair and makeup done by a professional. Not only do the professionals know what looks best on camera, but letting them pamper you before your session is a great way to boost your confidence and make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera! This can also be a nice way to “try out” a specific makeup artist or hair stylist you’ve been eyeing for your wedding.

Reynolda Gardens Photographer

#4 Clean your engagement ring

I always try to get a few close-up photos of your ring at engagement sessions, (as do most professional photographers I know), so it is super important that you take your ring to a jewelry store to be cleaned before your session! A lot of times, even if it looks fine to you, once you get your ring back from being cleaned, you will be in awe of how sparkly it is once again! This is usually a free service at whatever jewelry store you bought the ring from, and only takes about 10-15 minutes. Also, getting your nails painted is always a great idea for those up-close hand/ring shots!

#5 Bring two outfits

I always encourage AKP couples to pick out two different outfits for their engagement session. I love when they start off with a more casual look, like something they would wear on a typical Friday night date, (like maybe jeans and a nice top). Then half-way through the session they change into a more formal or dressy outfit, such as a long flowy dress and heels for the girls and dress pants and a button-down shirt for the guys. This allows you to get two totally different sets of photos within one session.

Chapel Hill Photographer
Chapel Hill Photographer

#6 Choose a place that means something to you

Although this isn’t a make-or-break-it part of your engagement session, I LOVE when my couples choose a location that means something to them for their e-sesh. Whether it’s a park where you love spending time together, the lake where you first met, or the college campus where you got engaged, as long as there is bright, natural light I am up for any adventure! Your engagement session should be unique to you and your story, so don’t feel like you have to do them in a botanical garden or a grassy field, just because everyone else is. (Although those are both always great options if you can’t think of anywhere super special to you!!)

Greensboro photographer

#7 Turn it into a date night!

I love encouraging my couples to plan to go to a fancy dinner after their shoot since they will already be dressed up, and it gives them something else to look forward to for the entire day. I mean, if you are already getting your hair and makeup professionally done, and picking out a new pretty outfit, why not go somewhere nice afterwards to celebrate being one-step closer to your wedding day?!

engagement session tips

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