engagement session tips


Hey there Engaged Couples!


Welcome to the big -and sometimes overwhelming- world of Wedding Planning! We wanted to take a moment out of your busy schedules to drop some tips and tricks for one of the largest check list items on your planning journey; THE ENGAGEMENT SESSION!

We will be talking about the benefits of having an engagement session.

What season to shoot, where to shoot, what to wear, and much more.


Why have an

Engagement Session?

The first decision to make about your engagement session is whether or not you want to have one at all! Sounds crazy to think about to some, but a lot of people don't even know why they "Need" to have an engagement session. Let's face it, there's a large portion of you engaged couples that have never done this before! Even if you have, things are always changing in this industry! So we are here to tell you why you can benefit greatly from having engagement photos taken! Some of these reasons are seemingly obvious, but hopefully you will find some information you haven't thought of!


Firstly, you may want to use the engagement photos on your save the dates, invites, or even print them out to have at your wedding. Printing your photos is a great way to show off how cute you guys are as a couple and add a personal touch to your big day. Speaking of showing off your personality, that leads me to the second benefit of an engagement session! You are able to capture a piece of your story as the new "Mr and Mrs". We always encourage our couples to stay away from the "normal" engagement session locations, but instead choose locations and activities to do in their session that is genuine to themselves. We as photographers shouldn't only capture your wedding day, but the entire journey from the proposal, to the 1 year wedding anniversary, and beyond. The overall purpose of these photos is to be able to look back and remember a season of your life that you'll never get back. Another reason to capture engagement photos is to "introduce" yourself to your family and friends as the ALMOST Mr and Mrs! You are joining two families and merging friend groups, and these groups may or may not know you two as a couple. Showcasing yourselves will allow those distant family and friends to be invested in BOTH of you at the wedding, instead of just showing up for their perspective "sides" of the wedding.

Our last big benefit to shooting an engagement session is getting to know your photographer! Like I said before, this might be your first time taking professional photos, which will leave you wondering and apprehensive about your photographer. How do they shoot? Do our personalities match or clash? Are they going to give direction or leave me standing there awkwardly? Shooting ahead of your wedding day in an engagement session will put those worries to rest, give you a glimpse of what it will be like on your wedding day with the photographer, and confirm that you chose the right photographer for you! We will talk more about this later!


When to Shoot?

You finally got a ring on that finger! Time to schedule your engagement session!

Most of our couples plan for months in advance of their big day, which means you usually have at least two seasons of weather to choose from for your engagement session! So, how do you choose when to shoot?


For starters, the answer to most of these questions should mostly be based off of one thing; who are you guys as a couple. When choosing a season, go for what is natural for you guys! Are you big fans of the spring or summer? The trees are in full bloom, the sun is out to stay, the water at the beach is a welcoming temperature to jump in for a few pics!

Or are you on the other side of things? Do you prefer the crisp fall air or chilly winter evenings with glistening Christmas lights?

Choosing the perfect season that reflects your vibe as a couple is always the best start to planning your session!


Casual or to the Nines?

Now that you know what kind of weather to expect from choosing your season, we need to talk about what the session is going to look like! Do you want to dress to the nines? Keep it casual? BOTH?



The last thing you want to do is feel uncomfortable in your clothes, but that doesn't mean you can't spice it up a bit.


We advise that you dress in what makes you comfortable and then push yourself just a smidgen further. Why? Because, it's not scientificly proven, but dressing up is a great way to give your confidence a big boost. Now I'm not saying to run and get a ball gown, but maybe get yourself something new that is in your scope of "normal attire", but something you haven't worn before.

Now, if you find yourself on the other end of the spectrum and you want to get all the way out of your box of normal, we will fully support that too! We always suggest scheduling your hair and makeup trial for the wedding on the same day as the session so you have your full glam all ready for the camera and it gives you the push outside of you normal day to day look. Pull out that one fancy dress that usually makes you feel overdressed for normal events and those heels that make you feel like America's next top model, and work it girl!!!

When else will you get the chance to be the center of attention and dress like you run the world (besides your wedding day)?


Let's Have Some Fun!

One of our favorite ways to spice up an engagement session is to HAVE SOME FUN!!!

Let's get away from the generic poses that everyone has and show off who you guys are as a couple! You two are unique and have lots of individuality to capture!


How do we break the mold? GET ACTIVE! I tell my couples to imagine one of their favorite date night activities that they do once a month or one they have always wanted to do and let's capture that! This question has lead us to shoot at dog parks, taco trucks, bike rental places, ice cream shops, local breweries, and many others!

It allows you to forget about that 10 pound camera in your face and create some memories that are worth keeping! You will be able to see those photos and remember a fun time instead of standing in the same pose for 30 minutes and awkward arm positions.

Choosing the Right Fit!

After choosing the perfect location, season, activity, and outfit, you're left to find the PERFECT PHOTOGRAPHER!

How do you possibly know who to choose out of the endless list of local photographers just within ten miles of your wedding venue?!?


Here is a short checklist to find your perfect fit!


First, make sure you like their style of editing and posing! We photographers are artists; offering our unique perspective on the world and ultimately our perspective on your life! Each photographer has their own style of shooting and way of editing. Some are airbrushed and high fashion, others showcase raw sensuality and candid joy! Choosing a photographer that showcases your personality and style is a huge deal!

Once their work passes the test, a huge mile marker is their budget! Everyone has their own factors that determine what they are able to pay for these photos. Choosing a photographer that is within your budget will relieve the stress during the photo shoot. Each photographer chooses their worth based on experience, training, location, gear, etc., but ultimately you should choose a photographer that provides more value than what you are paying for. You will be left stress free and enjoy every moment of the photo process.

Lastly, I've mentioned this before, but choosing a photographer that also vibes well with you or matches personalities with you and your fiance is going to make or break your experience. Your photographer will spend a lot of time with you between the engagement and the wedding day. You need to make sure that you will be comfortable with that person and their characteristics. If you are fun loving and loud, you need someone there to hype you up even more on the big day!


On the other hand you might be quiet and laid back, so you wouldn't want someone loud and outspoken making you uncomfortable on the wedding day! These are things to consider when making plans and choosing your photographer.

We hope this information has been helpful in making your engagement session easy breezy! If you want more information in having the Phocus team capture your once in a lifetime memories, feel free to reach out at