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5 Tips to Plan the Perfect Engagement Session



You’re putting in lots of thought and time into your wedding day and that’s great! However, I’ll pause you for the length of this blog post and give the tools you need to craft an equally beautiful engagement session!

Believe it or not, it’s not all up to your photographer to make the decision regarding this session! But isn’t that my job, you may ask me? Well, I could come up with a few locations and prop suggestions, but for your engagement session to be truly special and unique, I believe these choices must come from you. That doesn’t mean I (or your photographer – but I’ll use I from now on to make things easier to read) can’t and shouldn’t help you in any way! Absolutely not. Once you have come up with a good sense of what you’re looking for, I can then guide you and help you make some concrete choices. :)

Why do I reckon your engagement session deserves this much care and attention? Read all about why I believe your engagement session is important in this blog post!

Now, let’s look at a few ways that can start your brainstorming off on the right foot!


Five things to consider when planning your perfect engagement shoot


1 | Location

Before we jump into the next couple points, I just want to mention and remind you that there are no bad locations. Let me repeat that. There are no bad ideas for locations! Don’t feel like it needs to be grandiose or following the trends. If it’s special to you, then it’s perfect.

A | Somewhere meaningful

First, try to think about any location that might have some sentimental or meaningful value attached to it. A location that might remind you of a happy memory or bring you joy as a couple. For example, it could be the park where you got engaged or the café where you first met. It could be a favourite hike in the Rockies (I’d love to travel and venture out, so don’t be shy to suggest anything!) or even as simple as your kitchen if you guys enjoy cooking together.

When you look back on these photos, you won’t only remember your engagement session, but you’ll also be reminded of those memories – and THAT’S what makes a photograph magical.

B | Somewhere that you simply find pretty

That’s also ok! If you’re from out of town, or if any of the suggestions above don’t appeal to you, then why not just try to find a place that you both find beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with simply wanting a gorgeous backdrop to showcase your newly-engaged smiles!

Acreage engagement…Erin and Steve chose to do engagement photos on the acreage she grew up on – also the same location their backyard wedding will be hosted.



2 | Seasons

You’re probably booking your wedding photographer months or even a year before your wedding day. This means that you should at least have 2 seasons ahead of you to choose from. Do you want winter engagement photos to contrast your Summer wedding? Or do you want Fall engagement photos to match next year’s Fall wedding? It’s all up to you!

Things to consider…

Are you planning on using your engagement photos for your save-the-date cards? If so, should the season match you wedding theme, style and colours?

If you have your mind set on a singular location for photos, is it open all year round? Is it looking at it’s best all year round?

Are you hoping to wear your favourite purple dress? Maybe the dead of Winter may not be the best choice! (Unless of course, you’re brave enough!)

If you have your perfect Spring photos all planned out in your mind, don’t wait until late Spring to book your photographer, as he/she could be fully booked for engagement sessions until the Summer.

We waited a couple months to book a date for this session, because Sonya and Zach wanted snow!



3 | Props

Consider bringing anything along with you that might personalize your session even more! Props don’t need to be anything complicated but then can really liven up a session. For example, do you guys like playing soccer together? Why not bring along a soccer ball and we can grab a few shots of you having fun and kicking the ball around. Fur babies are also always welcome! I’d be delighted to meet your dogs, cats, lizards, birds, rats…I love them all!

Amanda and Jerry chose to bring along some sparklers to add a little something something to their engagement session.



4 | Outfits

Oh boy. What to wear. Probably the bane of all girl’s existence before a photo shoot. Well, I’ll break it down for you and it’s not that complicated…

A | Match, but don’t be matchy-matchy

You’ll naturally want to choose outfits that match each other, but try to choose colours that compliment one another instead of being the same colour. You don’t want to look like you’re wearing uniforms…unless of course it’s all part of you’re theme! ;)

Also make sure that your formalness (is that even a word??) matches your parter. If she is wearing a little black dress, best he doesn’t wear jeans and a plaid flannel.

B | Accessorize

If accessories are your thing, then bring it on! They can add so much to an outfit and can also boost your confidence! Hats, bold necklaces, scarves, earrings, you name it!

While we are on the subject of jewelry, don’t forget to get your ring cleaned before the session. We want it looking super shiny and at it’s best for those shimmering close up shots.

C | Confidence

This goes without saying, but choose an outfit that you feel comfortable and beautiful in! Confidence will shine through your photographs and if you’re not comfy in your outfit, you’ll unfortunately remember this feeling you had every time you look at your photographs.

Ruth and Chris chose to dress up for their engagement session, but one thing Ruth kept in mind was the length of her dress! She still wanted to be comfy and feel free to run around and dance for great photos. 


5 | Hair and Makeup

Chances are, you’re going to book a professional hair and makeup service for your wedding day. Most stylists will offer a complimentary trial run before the wedding day. Why not choose to have this trial run done on the morning of your session? That way, you get to see how it photographs (and decide if that’s the wedding look you’re craving) and the professional work will give you that extra little boost of confidence in front of the camera!

Tamsyn had her trial makeup done before this session…and after seeing the photos, she realized she wanted it a little lighter for the wedding day!


That’s all folks! It might seem like a l0t to think about – on top of all your wedding planning – but later on down the road, you’ll be thankful you put in a little thought to make this session as important and lovely as your wedding!

Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments bellow…


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5 Tips to Plan the Perect Engagement Session



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    Emilie Smith is based in Edmonton, Alberta // Edmonton Wedding Photographers, Mountain Adventure Wedding Photographers and Edmonton Elopement Photographers

    Serving: Alberta // British-Columbia // Canadian Rockies // National Parks // Okanagan // West Coast // Northern Canada

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