Engagement Session Tips

When should I book my engagement session?

Engagement sessions are booked whenever is most convenient for you. Some couples need the images for save the dates and others won’t be able to take these images till the week of the wedding, and sometimes even after the wedding (we’ll call those newlywed images). There is no right or wrong answer, whatever fits your schedule and needs is when we should schedule the session. You could consider utilizing another favorite season other than the one your wedding falls in.

What locations should we pick?

After we decide timing of session we’ll chat about the location. Taking into consideration places that are special to you as a couple as well as your personal style we’ll plan out some spots to include. Think about special places or things you both enjoy that have been an important part of your journey together. I do like to wander a bit during these sessions to be able to chat and get to know each other as well as be able to explore and find interesting light and spots to make your session uniquely yours.  If you are not sure where to go I will have many suggestions. Giving me some insight as to what you enjoy as a couple together and what your style preference would be will allow me to suggest spots that would be a great fit for your session.

What days and times can our session take place?

Timing for the session depends on two things: location and time of year. When possible I do prefer these sessions to take place around the golden hour, which is 1-2 hours before sunset. This time varies during the seasons. Due to busy wedding weekends, weeknights are more flexible but an occasional Sunday or Friday is available. Getting your session on the calendar at the time of booking your wedding is recommended if possible.

What should we wear for our engagement session?

Most importantly you need to feel comfortable and like yourself! If you are a jeans kind of person don’t feel the need to go out and buy an outfit you would never otherwise wear. If your style is dressier than by all means bring out the fancy! I want you to look and feel like yourself on engagement session day so you look back on the images and see the connection and joy and not get distracted by clothing choices. I recommend 2-3 outfits or looks for the session, keep in mind we will be out and about with not many changing room options so layers, and the ability to change in your car would be advisable. While professional hair and makeup are not a must, it can help boost your confidence and ease the getting-ready process on the day of the shoot. I recommend staying away from bright whites, large logos, or very busy patterns. These can be distracting and pull attention from your faces! Think of your location as well when you’re preparing your engagement shoot outfits. If we’re shooting in a peaceful field or secluded park, consider a casual dress or jeans soft top. If we’ll be in downtown Grand Rapids, a dressier more polished look would fit wonderfully.  Don’t worry about outfits matching, coordinating colors and tones work so much better than matching outfits.


Can we bring our dog? Our kids? What about props?

If you have pets or kids, I would love to include them in your session! I suggest including them in the beginning of the session than having another family member or trusted friend take the back home so we can spend a good amount of time focused on you without distraction. If there are props that speak to you as a couple than by all means! Don’t feel you need to bring props though, I know there are many Pinterest ideas that are fun but they do not make a session. Our focus is going to be your connection and creating beautiful images that showcase that bond, for that we will not need props.

We are not fans of getting our photos taken, will you help direct us?

Trust me I understand this feeling well and it is a very commonly asked question. Though this is easier said than done please try to not worry about being nervous. I will give lots of guidance and keep you engaged with one another. We will have a lot of fun getting to know each other and exploring our locations.

What if it rains?

As we all know the weather report changes hourly so try not to look too far out in planning for the day. If day of it looks like another time during the day would be clear, and that time is open we can be flexible with moving it a few hours. Rain can make for some pretty amazing portraits too! Thankfully since it’s not wedding day if the weather is truly terrible we can reschedule.

I cannot wait to celebrate this exciting time in your lives together! If you have any other questions that this does not cover please reach out!


Join the mailing list

Be first in line for mini session dates and other special events when you sign up for the mailing list.

Arrae Photography is a West Michigan portrait, engagement, and wedding photographer with true-to-life color and posing.

Serving Grand Rapids, Detroit, Traverse City, Chicago, and beyond.