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how to prepare for your engagement session

If you’ve come to this page to find out more information about how to prepare for your engagement session, then you have ended up in the right place!

I love engagement sessions for many reasons.  The chance to get a couple in love, in front of my camera to capture their romance and create some amazing artwork for them is what I live for in my business and is behind everything I do at Lee Rushby Photography.  Doing an engagement session with me is the perfect time for us to get to know each other a little better before the hustle and bustle that will be your wedding day.  Most of my clients have never had professional photos taken of them before as a couple, so we can use this time for you to get used to being in front of my camera, taking direction and learning a few basics about posing to look your best in photos.  This session will seriously up your selfie game too, so win: win.  It also means that by the time your wedding day arrives, you will feel more comfortable having your phots taken as we’ll have got all the nerves out of the way on the engagement session and your wedding images will benefit from you being more relaxed.

how to prepare for your engagement session

Where Should We Have The Session?

My favourite locations to shoot are either urban or park locations.  The key to getting great engagement photos is to choose a location where there are spots that you can keep away from the general public to a degree.  It’s best to be able to keep the backgrounds of your images as clutter-free as possible as you don’t want things in the images that will take attention away from you, the couple.  If you are choosing a busy location, sometimes it is better to go there really early or at times when it is not really popular or busy.  In the image above, we shot at the Monument in London and we had to take lots of shots and edit the people out of the background to create this stunning piece of art.

Also, when choosing a location for your engagement session, it is a good idea to have in mind the style of wedding you are planning.  If you are having a countryside wedding, you might want to have an urban engagement shoot so that you can have some variation in your artwork so that not all of the pictures you display in your home look the same.

What Should I Wear For My Session?

  • This is the perfect time to get your hair and makeup done!  (If you are looking for a great makeup artist that also does hair, then try Jackie Coles)
  • Think about what you might wear to a nice evening out or how you might dress for a special occasion.
  • You want your pictures to represent you and your personal style.  Perhaps you have been waiting for the right time to wear that special summer dress or even a ball gown that you never got to wear to that Christmas party and that has been stuck in the back of your wardrobe for months.
  • Black and white clothes always photograph well and are timeless but do not be afraid of a bit of colour also.
  • Light colours are always flattering and looking good is what we want.  To see how to wear complementary colours, check out this link: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/style/colour-wheel-basic-guide-clothing-colour-matching/
  • Be mindful of the season and possibilities of weather and dress accordingly.
  • Bring a change of shoes with you if you don’t feel that you will be able to wear your ‘fancy’ shoes for the whole shoot (especially if we are in a park location and could be walking on trails).

It’s OK to bring multiple outfits with you, even if you don’t wear them all.  I always try to maximise our time together when shooting so even if you don’t wear them all, at least you have options if you find that what you are wearing does not match a location and it’s always good to have options.

  • For a 1hr shoot I often suggest just one outfit, but bringing 2 is a good idea as this allows you to wear whichever fits the location best once you get there.
  • For a 1.5hr shoot, I recommend changing halfway through to give some variation in the images. You can bring a 3rd spare of you like, for the same reasons as above.

What Not To Wear | Prepare For Your Engagement Session.

As I said above, you definitely want your photos to represent you as a couple, but keep the following points in mind:

  • We’re trying to create artwork that you will display in your home and treasure for years to come, the more you put into preparing for the engagement session, the more you will get out of it.
  • It’s best to avoid clothing that has large logos or words on.
  • If you want your photos to look timeless it is a great idea to skip garish or neon colours.
  • I love a Hawaiin shirt, but save that for your holiday.
  • Clothes with a bit of a pattern can be very flattering but don’t go overboard.
  • Don’t wear sweatpants or athletic wear, leave that for the gym.  Your trainers can stay at home too.
  • Dress for your body type and avoid ill-fitting garments.  Clothes that are too baggy or too tight will really stand out in your images.  Fitted clothes tend to look better than baggy clothes as they can help you show off your curves.
  • Leave sunglasses off during the shoot.  Perhaps you need them between shots if it’s really bright, but we want to see your faces in your photos.

As an added piece of advice, don’t go crazy with the tanning when you prepare for your engagement session.  Sunburn never looks good in pictures, no does a Trump-like orange glow.  Also, tan lines look really bad in photos too.

how to prepare for your engagement session

What To Bring/Do.

  • Yourselves – Most importantly, we are trying to capture images of you as a couple.
  • Feel free to bring a touch-up kit just in case you feel you need to touch up your makeup.
  • A hairbrush and hairspray to keep those flyaway hairs under control.
  • Keep in mind that we live in England and the weather can be crappy.  If the weather is forecast to be really bad, we may cancel the shoot, but unless we call you and tell you the shoot is cancelled, please do not just presume.
  • Something to sit on if you are not comfortable sitting on the ground or if you are worried about getting dirty.
  • Being on time is very important! We often book shoots back to back on days we shoot so being on time for your session is vital.  If we are shooting in the evening, time can be limited due to available light, so make sure you are on time for your session as we may not be able to extend the end time for you to get the full session if we are going straight into another session.

Most importantly, remember to have fun!  These photos will be around for a long time and you want to remember what a fun time you had with each other on this shoot and make sure that the images represent you.

how to prepare for your engagement session

how to prepare for your engagement session

how to prepare for your engagement session

how to prepare for your engagement session

how to prepare for your engagement session

how to prepare for your engagement session

how to prepare for your engagement session

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about how to prepare for your engagement session and that you don’t have any questions left, but if you do, please reach out to me at [email protected] and I will answer any questions or concerns that you might have.

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