7 Tips for a STUNNING Engagement Session

Happy engagement! So glad you are here! The time you are engaged is such a special chapter in your lives. A time for excitement, anticipation, pure joy, and lots of love.  You deserve to document this chapter with gorgeous photos with your favorite person. Years from now, I want my couples to look back at their engagement session photos and remember how much happiness and love they had for each other. Through the years I have been able to commemorate this once in a lifetime bliss for my couples and I count myself so lucky to be able to do so. As a result, I have put together 7 tips to help you prepare for your engagement session with me!

1. Let’s have fun together!

Wedding planning can be stressful, but your engagement sessions are a time for you to hang out with your love and soak up the happiness of this season. I start every session by telling my clients that it is my job that they have an amazing time, look good, and most importantly, know what to do with their hands. I get it, most people have never been in front of a camera like this and it can be so easy to tense up. But guys, I gotchu. Forget about it being a “photoshoot”. You are not here for me photograph, but I am here to document YOUR love story in the most candid way possible. Remember that you are ENGAGED and you are with your bestest friend in the whole wide world. Your only job is to just love on each other, trust me, and have fun!  So don’t forget to relax and enjoy the ride. This is the perfect time for us to get to know each other. This makes the wedding day that much more easy for real, raw photos. Plus, you will be more familiar and accustomed to my happy squeals behind the camera when you guys look like you walked straight out of a magazine.


2. Get pampered

What better time for you to get your bridal makeup trial than your engagements?  If it is too early for you to get your makeup trial try making an appointment at Ulta or Sephora. Keep things natural and make sure you feel like yourself! This is not the time to try out a whole new look. I have found that brides who get their makeup done for their engagements are confident and their photos always turn out top notch. And if you feel like treating yourself, get a manicure to show off that pretty new ring of yours!

3. Set the vibe

Setting the scene is crucial for your engagements and what kind of vibe you want to portray.  Are you into nature, the city, or love being cozy in your home? Do you guys love the outdoors and spend your weekends hiking? Perhaps we should adventure into the nearest forest and get our boots dirty. Do you spend your free time together out on the town and admire your city’s skyline? Let’s hit the town! Or do you both want a more intimate backdrop in your home? We can get cozy for an in-home session. Feel free to reach out to me for any suggestions, I have tons!

4. What to wear

I am sure you have heard this tip before but it is important. Choose comfortable clothes that you guys feel like YOU in and compliment your personality. I typically have my couples start in their casual, everyday clothes and end in their more formal outfit once they have warmed up to the camera. Also, pick outfits that compliment the setting you are in. My style of photography is super warm. Neutrals and all the earth tones are my jam and I have found that they photograph beautifully. If you are planning to shoot in nature, neutrals are the way to go. If you are downtown, bold pops of color will be super pretty! Be careful with patterns. If you plan on wearing plaid, your significant other should stay away from patterns and wear a solid color so things do not clash. Don’t hesitate to send me an email if you need a second opinion on outfits! I love playing stylist. If you have multiple outfits that you are not sure of, feel free to bring those along and we can see what looks best for the setting during our time together!

Need some examples of outfits? Here are some couples that killed it: Shannon and Eddy, Lexi and Tomek, Bryn and Andrew


5. When to have your engagements

I suggest setting up your engagements 10-12 months before the big day. If you are using photos for your Save the Dates, you would want to send those out 6-8 months before the big day. I get a lot of questions about what season to have your engagements. This all depends on how quickly your wedding day is approaching. If you are in need of photos for your Save the Dates ASAP, we can make whatever season we are in work. If you have a choice, I always think it is nice to pick the season your wedding is in. This way, when you display your engagement photos they are in the same season of your wedding. But of course this is just my opinion. No matter what season you pick, they will be special! I find beauty in all the seasons! Don’t forget to schedule your engagements ASAP so you have more dates to chose from!


6. Embrace ALL the feelings

Never forget that I am here to document this happy time in your lives all while you two are spending time together. Being genuine is key and mandatory. Embrace the goofiest of moments when you two are staring into each other’s eyes for an abnormally long time or when your significant other whispers an inside joke in your ear. Embrace the intimate moments when you are wrapped up in each other thinking about all that is to come. I will be guiding you through your entire shoot, but to be vulnerable and put all your trust in me is crucial. Simply put, share it ALL with me.


7. Make it a date!

After you two just killed it at being models for the day, plan a dinner or lunch date! So make those reservations! You two are already dressed up and lookin’ GOOD for your engagements, might as well go out for a date after. I made you both gaze into each others’ eyes, hold hands and each other, and kiss lots, so the mood is set.


I hope these tips helped you both prepare for your engagements! If I am your photographer, I count it an absolute honor to share in this happy time with you! Feel free to email me at nikkikatephotography@gmail.com if you have any questions!


JournalNikki PalcanJournal