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how to prepare for engagement photos & what to wear
Engagement sessions are a perfect way for us to get to know each other. The purpose of the session is to prepare you and your fiancé for your wedding day by getting you comfortable with being intimate in front of me and my lens. It’s a great time to have a trial run with your makeup artist and hairstylist.  The goal of the session is to take photos that share your unique romance. That can mean anything from choosing a meaningful location or using Props that are significant to you. You should look and feel your best on the day of your session. When you are comfortable and confident it shows in your photos. Since this is likely your first professional photo shoot, these tips will help you prepare.

To personalize your session and tell your story – choose a location that is meaningful to you – the college you attended together, the first place you kissed, your proposal spot, your favorite hangouts around town, etc. Want to try something a bit different: choose a theme park, carnival, hot air balloon, horse drawn carriage, sail boat, a rooftop bar or coffee shop as your backdrop. Or choose to have your images taken at a beautiful outdoor location with props and dress changes, for a dramatic, Fine Art Photography approach – take a look at my favorite locations in Southern California.
 Engagement Photography, Botanical Garden photography, Botanical Garden Engagement, UCR Botanical Garden Engagement, UC Riverside Botanical Garden Engagement, Military Engagement, Desert Engagement

Weather & Session Time

I want to give you the best possible photos and the best experience and a large part of this will depend on the lighting and weather:

On a sunny day we generally begin shooting 2 hours before sunset.
On a cloudy day, do not fear! Lighting is actually soft and beautiful, but we do need to start earlier (appx 3 hours before sunset).

On Rainy Days we will have to reschedule.


Save the Dates

If your location is a popular beach or an urban space we might consider an early morning session. That way we will have better access to the area and fewer people to work around.

If your wedding is local, save the dates should be sent between 6 and 8 months before the wedding. For a destination wedding, you’ll want to send them out 8 to 10 months before the wedding.

If you’re hoping to use your engagement photos for your save the dates, we recommend scheduling your session at least two months before you plan to send out your save-the-dates. Between inclement weather, editing, designing your save-the-dates and printing, two months is generally a safe amount of time to make sure your images and cards are ready.

What to Wear

There is really no right answer when it comes to what to wear. I recommend choosing both casual and formal looks. This will give your shoot two totally different looks.

It is important to coordinate your looks. You do not have to match but consider pastels or light colors contrasted with bold color – free of wild or distracting prints.

Don’t wear the exact same color. Do wear the same color family, like a dark and a light of the same color.

Mix things up by choosing bright heels with a neutral or light outfit. Try to avoid bright Red and Neon colors because they can cast the neon color on your face.

Try bold jewellery with solid colors. Match earth tones with flowery pastel patterns.

If your fiancé wears light or neutral colors, contrast him with bold color and neutral accessories.

Fitted clothing photographs better than loose clothing but a flowy dress is more fun and carefree than a mini skirt.



Be on time! The sun is only out for so long. The later you arrive, the less time we have to shoot!

It’s a great time to have a trial run with your makeup artist and hairstylist. You should look and feel your best on the day of your session.

Empty your pockets. You don’t want to have keys or phones showing through your pockets.

If you wear heels, bring an extra pair of shoes to slip into in between shots.

Both of you should get a manicure or clean up your nails before your session. There will definitely be times where I’ll photograph your engagement ring on your hand.

Clean the ring! I love to shoot a few ring shots while you change outfits. The cleaner the better!

Relax! You don’t have to be a pro at this! I am going to help you along the way and it’s going to be a blast. Enjoy this time together and make a date out of it. Plan dinner afterwards and celebrate!!




Choose props that have meaning! They should accessorize you and not distract from you. Your location and props should all come together as one cohesive story of you.

Not sure what to bring, consider these:

– A Pet (Tip: Bring a friend to help handle them when you are shooting, unless they are very well behaved)
– Sunglasses
– Flower crown (my fave!)
– Burlap or flag banners (signs spelling words)
– A “Thank You” or “Save the Date” sign on a poster-board for personalized thank you and save the date cards.
– A shiny vintage car (you can even try a rental)
– Instruments you play
– Bicycles or Skateboards – Matching Sunglasses
– A colorful parasol umbrella
– Balloons
– Blanket and picnic supplies
– Cute Hats/Floppy hats
– Your favorite vintage couch or chair (Yeah, we can tote around some furniture for your awesome session)
– Anything else that makes your relationship unique or that is special to you.



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