Planning Your Engagement Session

Tips and advice for planning the where and the wear of your engagement session with Rachel Jensen Photography.

I’m keeping this a little short and to the point because your bridal guide has 6 pages dedicated to planning your engagement session. I’m bullet pointing this for you!

Location Options

This is the most common question I get. Where do we do it? That all depends on you as a couple. We can do it literally in my backyard like Kerrigan and Sam | Winter Engagement did. We can go to a waterfall in Green Bay like Tashiana + Jake | Engaged | Green Bay did. I’ll come to you if you live further away, maybe in Fort Atkinson like April + Dan – Engaged.

We can go anywhere in between. I will say my favorite is when a couple has a spot that’s private property, like their own or a parent’s farm. Check this one for a great farm vibe: Mariah and Seth – Engaged. We can go multiple places. We can do some in town and some at the a State Park. You’ll get a questionnaire that will help me get a feel for your vibe. If you don’t have a certain place in mind, I can come up with suggestions that will fit your style and you’re sure to love the results!

When, oh when do we do this?

Most couples prefer to have their engagement photos be in the same season as their wedding, so about a year in advance. Some really want it to be different or are doing a short engagement and literally don’t have a year. That’s fine too. I feel 4 months in advance of the wedding is the minimum. That way you have those photos in plenty of time to use them for things like the bridal shower and all that good stuff.

Prep: the basics and what to bring.

I know it can be a little intimidating or awkward to have your photos taken, especially if you’ve never had it done before. Not to worry, I got you! Let’s go through some simple things to remember that will help you feel prepared:

  • Empty your pockets. No one wants to see the outline of your keys or your cell phone. They can always go in my camera bag while we’re shooting.
  • Clean the ring!!! I take really close up ring shots and you can see every speck and hair that’s stuck on it.
  • Timing your session is based on the sunset or sunrise. The two hours after it comes up or the two hours before it goes down is when we’ll try to schedule it.
  • Changing your clothes is always nice for the variety but I have a lot of couples who only do one outfit. Where to change when we’re doing all public places can be the trickier part. If there’s no public bathrooms available, you may want to plan an easy wardrobe.
  • Parking fees: If we’re going somewhere with metered parking only or if we’re going into a state park, make sure you have the cash along needed for those things.
  • Walking shoes for the ladies who can stand wearing heels is always a good idea. Throw a pair of flats in a bag even if you’re wearing heels for all the shots. Then you can slip those on when we have some distance to cover between locations.

Things to Consider

There are so many things to think about, I can’t possibly put it all in one post. I’m leaving wardrobe selection for another time. A few odds and ends things to think about:

  • Pets: If you’re including a pet, I love it! It will take some extra planning though so we’ll have to consider that ahead of time.
  • Other people: Do you want anyone else to be present at your session? If you have a dog along it may be helpful. I’ve had moms come along to cold ones and hold coats to have real handy in between shots. I’ve also had plenty who have kids and had a few family photos done too. This is all up to you!
  • Props: Props can be big like a vehicle or tractor, or they can be small like a sign or case of beer. All common things with my couples! Prepared, clean and movable are the keys here. If it’s a vehicle, make sure you have the keys so we can position it in the best light!

And now for an onslaught of engagement photos to inspire and enjoy!

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