Preparing for Your Engagement Session | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

March 4, 2020

Now that you have picked a date, a photographer and probably a venue as well, you can celebrate! Those are some of the toughest decisions in wedding planning and you can cross them off your list! YAY! Now we can start planning the fun stuff like your engagement session! I include engagement sessions in The Wedding Experience because I truly believe that they are an important part of the entire process. During your engagement session, you’ll have the chance to get to know me, experience how I shoot. This session will make a huge impact on how the wedding day flows. I’ll arrive on your wedding day already knowing how you two interact, what your best poses are and how to photograph you in a genuine way! What I will learn about you during your engagement session is invaluable! You will feel like such a pro on your big day because of the great practice you had during your engagement session, and that’s how it should be!

You can view more of our amazing engagement sessions linked HERE.

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Your engagement session can be scheduled anytime before your wedding day. I normally suggest booking it at least 3-6 months in advance to avoid stress. As you start to plan for your engagement shoot, you will need to start brainstorming about location ideas. I have a list of some of my favorite locations to shoot in the Kansas City area which can be found HERE but I also love it when couples pick a location that is special or sentimental to them! As long as the light is great, I can make any location look awesome! Be sure to keep reading to find out more about outfit ideas and inspiration!


It’s always a little intimidating to have your picture taken even if it’s just a photo on an cell phone that is taken by a friend! We still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth and that our hair is behaving! I realize that preparing for your engagement session can be a little overwhelming. Here are some tips on what to wear, how to handle your nerves, and a few recommendations that will make your shoot the best it can possibly be!

How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session with Your Wedding Photographer | Kansas City based Wedding and Portrait Photographer Tips and Tricks on What to Wear and Where to Take Photos


POCKETS | Empty your pockets! Literally. You don’t want to have keys, wallets, or phones showing through your pockets. (This is for the guys especially!)

TIMING | The sun sets quickly especially if your shoot is not in the summer months. The later you arrive, the less time we have to shoot! Once the sun is set, the shoot will be over.

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

CHANGING CLOTHES | As much as I would like to say that we always have restrooms for outfit changes, more often than not, our clients do quick outfit changes in their car if there are no other options!

CLOTHING | I’ll explain this more in-depth in the next few pages but generally, our couples like to bring one casual outfit and one fancy outfit! If you’re unsure about a few pieces, feel free to show me your options and I can help you decide!

DEEP BREATHS | I’m 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!!

How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session with Your Wedding Photographer | Kansas City based Wedding and Portrait Photographer Tips and Tricks on What to Wear and Where to Take Photos | Bright Wedding Colors and Beautiful Engagement Ring


COORDINATE OUTFITS BUT DON’T BE TOO MATCHY-MATCHY Wear outfits that complement each other. Mixed prints and solids always work together. Start out with a basic color palette and go from there. Avoid all white or all black clothing and avoid big logos on clothing, bright oranges or greens because they may be hard to edit. Find commonalities in your outfits to give the photos the same color palette and feel.

ACCESSORIZE Accessories add a lot of interest to your photos and can make an image go va-va voom! Dress it up! Think of adding natural flowers to your hair and bring out those frilly fluffy dresses, bold accessories, bow ties, and suspenders! Wear shoes that make you feel confident! (Bring an extra pair of comfy shoes to walk around in!) Now is your time to shine! Ladies, feel free to get your hair and makeup done. Be careful not to over accessorize – we want the focus to still be on you and your natural beauty!

WEAR TEXTURES & LAYERS Choose to wear different types of textures and layers! They add interest to outfits and photos – think lace and flowy dresses. Throw on a cute cardigan, scarf, or light jacket to compliment your outfit. Bonus tip – if you take off that layer, it will look like a whole new outfit!

COORDINATE STYLES Make sure everyone matches the overall feel of the photoshoot and location. If the photoshoot is taking place at a park or a rustic barn, feel free to wear something causal. If the photoshoot is taking place downtown surrounded by architecture, bold dressed up outfits work best! Feel free to bring up to two outfits if you can’t decide on one!

RELAX AND HAVE FUN The first few moments may be awkward, but that’s OK! I want this to be as low-key and easy going as possible. Focus on having fun enjoying this moment in your life! Make sure to bring your smile and be ready to have a great time! Your shoot should be a reflection of who you are. Remember to wear what makes you feel good and happy!

How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session with Your Wedding Photographer | Kansas City based Wedding and Portrait Photographer Tips and Tricks on What to Wear and Where to Take Photos


If you’re hoping for a more romantic style of shoot that includes “light” and “airy” colors, you can actually make outfit choices that will lend your images to turn out brighter, softer and extra photogenic! Here are some ingredients that go into creating a romantic styled shoot. It’s important to note that you do not need to choose all of these ingredients in order to have a light and airy style to your images but the more you include, the more romantic it will be:

  • Neutral Colors: Blushes, tans, light pinks, faint blues and light minty teals, creams, grays and whites will always result in more of a light and airy look in your images. These colors photograph softer and more romantically!
  • Long, Flowy Skirts and Dresses: Dresses and skirts with feminine ruffles, multiple layers of fabric and the ability to blow and move in the wind will always photograph beautifully! You would be amazed at how impactful moving fabric softens an image.
  • Khakis vs. Jeans: If you really want your images to be as bright as possible, consider having your groom wear lighter pants instead of dark dress pants or dark jeans.
How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session with Your Wedding Photographer | Kansas City based Wedding and Portrait Photographer Tips and Tricks on What to Wear and Where to Take Photos


Just like the “Romantic” tips, you don’t have to apply all of these to get a perfectly BRIGHT & BOLD look to your engagement session. These ingredients include:

  • Only one wears a pattern: If one of you has a bold pattern, it’s very important that the other doesn’t. The more bold the pattern, the more important this rule is!
  • Bold Backgrounds: A lot of time, if my couples are going for a bold and bright look, I will notice solid colored backgrounds to use for part of their engagement session! It’s a double win if the background coordinates with their outfits!
  • Only one bold color: If you really want a bold and bright look but you want to do it well and tastefully, I would suggest that only one of you have a bright and bold colored outfit and the other stay in a solid neutral to avoid over-doing it!
  • Large Patterns are Preferred: If you really want to wear a pattern, my only request is that your pattern is on the larger side. Patterns that are smaller than a quarter can be difficult to photograph. This isn’t true of all patterns but it’s a good general rule to go by!

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I hope that you find these tips and tricks helpful! If you have any questions when it comes to your engagement session, please feel free to ask!! Thank you!

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