How to Personalize Your Engagement Session

Engaged couple crossing Broad Street in Charleston in black and white
Crossing Broad Street in Charleston

Engagement sessions result in beautiful photos, but more importantly they’re a great opportunity to practice together in front of the camera BEFORE your wedding day. E-sessions are also a chance to build a more comfortable relationship with your photographer, which is why I always love when couples choose to add an engagement session to their wedding photography coverage.

Here’s the thing about engagement photos, though…they can fall into a bit of a “everything the same” rut. (and listen, if you want the same photos your best friend or sister or etc. has then you can stop reading this blog, you’re all set!) I love the beautiful portraits that result from a typical engagement session…BUT…I want more for my couples.

So if you’re planning your wedding and deciding what you want for an engagement session, here are my tips:

Use your E session as your “Couple’s Introduction”

These photos are likely going to land on your wedding website and several other places to welcome your guests into the information about your wedding weekend. Think of the photos as an opportunity to make a visual “introduction” to your vibe as a couple, who you are together, and the mood you want to set for your celebration.

Engaged couple hugging on cobblestone street in Charleston under a crepe myrtle wearing pink shirt and floral dress
Summer Engagement session in Downtown Charleston

Are you classic and refined? Moody and vibrant? Grab a bottle of wine (or your bev of choice) and sit down together and come up with two words that speak to your aesthetic. Use these two words to style your session, and share them with your photographer so they can capture you two as you want to be captured!

Couple kissing in the road in Normandy
Engagement session in a village in Normandy, France

Choose a location that holds personal significance for you both

Downtown Charleston in Winter | Isle of Palms Beach in Summer

There is no standard when it comes to your session location – honestly, go wild! If a typical Friday night for you looks like staying home and snuggling on the couch with a glass of wine, then maybe an at-home session is the perfect choice! If you’re an adventurous couple and love hiking and adventuring, then choose your favorite spot as your backdrop.

Lifestyle Engagement at Home

Engagement sessions are the perfect opportunity to include travel if you’re globe-trotters, have your photographer meet you abroad! (This is my personal favorite idea)

If you’re both foodies and love exploring your city, think about starting out at your favorite spot to grab drinks or food, and then moving the session to your favorite part of town! Just make sure and connect with the bar or restaurant first to make sure they allow photography.

Black and white images of an engaged couple in a coffee shop kissing and waiting for coffee
Coffee Shop Engagement

Plan a date

You’re already setting aside time to be together and romantic, turn the time into a date day, and have your photographer join you for your favorite part. I’ve photographed couples who’ve chosen to grab coffees, wander through the city, and then end by sharing a bottle of wine on the beach to watch the sunset, and I’ve also photographed couples who planned a picnic together in their favorite park, and then went on to a fancy dinner in the evening. Think of this time as the perfect opportunity to draw together as a couple before your marriage.

Engagement session at The Biltmore Conservatory

Highlight your taste with your wardrobe

As with all of the above, there is no rule for what you should wear for your engagement photos. I know I keep harping on personalizing the session, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should wear what you wear everyday (example: I work from home 90% of the time in yoga pants, not the best attire for a photo session). Take your personal style and kick it up a notch.

Two engaged couples bride in a lace jumpsuit and white dress grooms dressed casually
Biltmore Conservatory | Downtown Charleston

Have fun with the fashion for your session. Choose something dressed up, and then maybe something a little more casual, but don’t be afraid to really go for it.

Tell Your Story

Here’s the most important part: tell us (your photographers) your story. Help us get to know you so we can capture your true selves during your session. You don’t need to conform to anything for us, it’s our job to shift and capture your personalities. We’d love to help you make the plan, choose a location, figure out how long your session should be, and even help with wardrobe if you need it! Trust me, we’re excited to get to know you, and we want this session to be an amazing time.

Luxury engaged couple in a Notebook style rowboat at Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens

Ready to plan your session?

Get in touch HERE and we’ll start planning! (p.s. If you’re already married, but wish you’d personalized your engagement session a bit more…or just want to capture some beautiful portraits of you and your partner, reach out! I love anniversary sessions, and we can design them the same way!)

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