How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

One of the first stops on the Wedding Planning Train is the Engagement Portraits Session. And with the excitement of this comes the fear; what do you wear, how should I style my hair, what do I do with hands???? No worries, this Houston Photographer is committed to helping you with alllll of the things to help you prepare for your engagement photos.

what to wear

The number one rule is to keep it comfortable. While it's tempting to tryout the new look that you've been eyeballing on Pinterest, now isn’t the time to introduce a new fashion trend. If you choose an outfit that makes you uncomfortable, insecure, or fidgety your face will show it. I can handle any outfit nuance but I can’t change the uncomfortable look on your face.

Now that we agree comfort is key, let’s move on to choosing outfits that coordinate without looking like your childhood photos with your siblings where you're all dressed alike. Let’s start with THE statement piece. Start with the one outfit or article of clothing that you have envisioned. This can be a floral dress, the perfect blue velvet suit coat, or even the perfect pair of shoes. Let’s build off your statement piece, we’ll use the floral dress as an example. Your floral dress is green, with blush pinks and hues; you need to look for complementing colors and patterns.  Jamie & Broui's  are a perfect example. I suggest looking at triadic complementing. Not sure what that is? Use a color wheel and look for the two best complementary colors.

When considering your looks, formal attire can be a nice change and will give your session an elevated look and feeling. For men are dress pants, a button-down, and a suit jacket and women in a dress, skirt, or upscale jumper. Harriet and Darryl went full formal for their session.

If you guys are more of a casual couple, a more dressed down look can be jeans, a dress shirt or button-down or fully causal with jeans and tees. Kallee and Lucas's studio portraits are a great example! I suggest to my couples that a casual look is best for play and should show your everyday style. .


These aren’t your mamma’s engagement photos. When you think of your photos, I don't want you to dread the moment you step in front of the camera prepared for stiff poses and awkward moments. Instead, I'd like for you to consider your engagement session as fun "engaging date night" with your photographer as a third wheel who encourages you to laugh, bump into each other, and dance in the middle of the street.

I would never encourage drinking and driving to your engagement photos because you were nervous and didn’t know what else to do. HOWEVER, a little liquid courage can help you get out of your head and into having fun with your partner. Bring a little cooler along, or even a few waters. Keep yourself cool, calm, and collected so the good times can roll! There have been occasions where I can sense the tension in a couple and we will pop into a neighbor pub to cool down and share a cocktail to get the nerves in check. While we're there, I may even snap a few photos.

Lastly, choose a photographer that makes you feel comfortable. I am a very prompt-based photographer, I get my couples moving & engaged with each other and then I mix in a few poses here and there. If you’re someone who feels more comfortable being posed the whole time, it's very important to work with a photographer that does that.

hair & makeup

I know you want to look good in your photos, and not just date night good, but so good your all of your high school friends and enemies will be eating their heart out at the sight of you.

This is not the time to try out a bold new makeup trend, you will regret it. Trust me. It is however a great time to do a makeup trial with your wedding artist or an artist you’re considering. I suggest adding drama but tastefully. I’m the first person to admit a smokey eye looks amazing, BUT too smokey and you’ll have black eyes in your photos. So balance your look with drama and your everyday makeup look. A professional artist will know how to achieve this.

Resist the urge to have you hair exactly the way that you would wear it on the wedding day. I suggest simple soft curls or cute side pony. Again, think fancy date night. Be sure to do your hair in a way that makes you feel, happy and confident. Again don’t try any new wild styles.  You will thank me later!

enjoy it.

It seems so simple but if you relax, go with the flow and have fun with your future spouse it will show in your photos. Your engagement portraits are meant to capture your life as it is now. This new season you’re in is special and exciting! Use your engagement portraits to capture those feelings. Don’t stress yourself, remember to think of it as more of a date night than a stiff photo session.