• Kim Villa

Planning Tips: Engagement Session

If there is anything you take from this post it is:

Book your engagement session with your wedding photographer.

This is so, SO important! Having your engagement photos taken by YOUR wedding photographer gives you the opportunity to connect with them. You get to work out some of those photoshoot jitters, it happens. Get used to kissing in front of someone while they photograph it, sounds a little weird right? This is one reason this matters so much. But more importantly it allows you to become more comfortable with your photographer. This is a relationship and learning how you work together is huge.


Having a hard time choosing where to have your engagement photos taken? I can help!

Where you like to spend time together? Where was your first date?

Where did the proposal happen? Is there anywhere you find inspiring?

Where do you like to spend time? What's your favorite season?


Most engagement session take place between 7-12 months BEFORE their wedding. If you are sending out “Save the Date” cards, schedule your session 1-2 months before you need to mail those out. This will give yourself plenty of time to design them after your images are delivered.


The best lighting for photos is early morning and early evening, closer to sunset. Not a morning person? I get it. Schedule it two hours before sunset to ensure you're ready and rested. Something to keep in mind is Daylight Savings Time for us Californians. Visit www.sunrisesunset.com to check when the Sunsets during different times of the year.



I always tell my couples, dress like you would for Date Night but also makes sense for your setting. If you wear heels and a gown on date night then maybe the beach might not make the most sense. You get what i'm saying? You want to coordinat but not match. Pick a color from your Fiancé's outfit and use a similar color in your accessories or as a layer. Avoid bold prints or logos, they distract from the overall image and the focus should be on you two.


I'm totally okay with props! They will make your session unique but please don’t go overboard! Again, it's about you two not the extra stuff.


So many of my couples schedule their make-up trial on the day of their session. You can see how it’ll look in pictures AND it’ll take away the stress of doing your own make-up that day. A hair trial might not make as much sense unless you are having a casual hair style. If you're doing an up do but wearing jeans, maaaybbbe not the right time to do a hair trial. Lastly, don’t forget to clean up those nails, we want to see that ring!


I always encourage couples to check out engagement photos from your photographer. This will give you an idea of what to expect and what you’ll be doing. I personally use prompts to help get genuine expressions and laughter from my couples. If you are a fan of romantic poses practice dips and lifts before the session. I have had a couple fall before because they didn't practice, seriously do it.


My sessions are usually like baby adventures, you’ll be walking around a lot. Bring some comfy shoes that are easy to take on/ off to change into while we walk between locations. If you like heels, bring a tote that you can store them in while we walk.


Purses and wallets are usually bulky and get in the way. If possible leave them behind or put them in your bag with your extra shoes.


You're Friends and Family will be SO excited to see these photos. You can use them as Thank You Cards, Save The Dates, Wedding Website, Custom Stamps, Guest Book, Table Markers, Calendars, Backgrounds for your Devices, on Social Media, all the things!


I promise this is going to be fun! You’ll be all done up, so go on a date after the session. Then get ready to see some serious cuteness in your Inbox. FYI: It's you, you two are the cuteness.

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