How to: Rock Your Engagement Session | Wisconsin Couples Photography

How to Rock Your Engagement Session: The Best Tips and Tricks by Anna Gutermuth Photography

It's that time of year again! Engagement season... my very favorite. Honestly, hanging out with my couples and getting to know them is one of my favorite parts of my job. All of my past clients feel like friends to me, and I would be more than happy to sit down and grab a cup of coffee with them and catch up. A lot of the getting to know each other process is done at your engagement session! This is our chance to meet in person before your wedding if we've largely just been communicating via email, and if you're nervous — don't sweat it! None of my clients are professionals. I will guide you every step of the way. (And, also... Nervous means do it!)

Almost everyone tells me at the beginning of their session, "Uh, Anna, you might have to direct us a bit... We don't know what we're doing!"

And I chuckle and say, "Don't worry because that's what I'm here for!"

And now, what you're really all here for...


Hair & Makeup: If you've already booked your hair and makeup artists, your engagement session is a great time to do a trial run! Or even just as an excuse to pamper yourself, a blowout that you don't have to do yourself and a little sparkle can go a long way! Treat yo'self!

Wardrobe: Most of my couples opt for a quick outfit change during their session, having one dressier outfit and one more casual. I suggest arriving in your dressier clothes, and coordinating with each other when trying to figure out what to wear rather than matching. I am totally here for you if you have any questions on what to wear for your session!

A quick note on Patterns: Definitely try to avoid logos and words on clothing. I suggest staying away from small graphics as they won't show up very well in your photos. Neutral colors tend to work best if you want a classic, traditional look... but I'm always down for a pop of color to make a statement!

The Ring: Clean your ring! I will definitely photograph some detail shots of your new bling during our session! I suggest taking it to your jeweler to be professionally cleaned at least one week before your engagement photos.

Nails: Along with getting your ring cleaned, make sure your hands are looking their best! We definitely want to show off your new bling. I tell my ladies to get their nails done a day or two before our session together.

Accessories: When planning your outfits, don't forget about the power of accessorizing! Stacks of bangles, dainty stacking rings, long necklaces, scarves, statement necklaces, bright shoes, a pop of color... Accessories can make your outfits pop!

A quick note for the guys: Empty out those pockets! We don't want your wallets or phones showing through in your photos! This goes for sunglasses on top of your head, too.

Location: The setting of your photos can give you totally different vibes. Are you a homebody? Do you have a favorite park? Do you want more of an urban/edgy feel? Want to run through a romantic garden or golden lit field? I'm always open to suggestions — your favorite hang out spots may make the perfect location! And I'm happy to offer suggestions as well if you're stumped.

Timing: The most flattering light is always golden hour, just after sunrise or just before sunset. We will typically schedule your session 1 hour after sunrise, 2 hours before sunset, or somewhere in between if neither of those work for you! Photographing weddings has taught me how to love harsh afternoon light too. Sunrise sessions mean an early wake up time, but they're great for getting quiet moments at locations that are usually crawling with people at sunset.

Most importantly, try and relax! I tell all of my couples to think of their engagement session like a cute day date and I'm just third-wheeling with my camera in tow! We'll start off your session with my trademark 30-Second Dance Party (don't worry, I totally dance with you!) and hopefully you'll start to feel a little less afraid of the camera. You get to snuggle and spend some quality time with your sweetie AND you'll get cute pictures out of the deal AND you'll get comfortable in front of the camera, I pinky promise.

If you're still nervous, I'm always an email or a text message away! Don't hesitate to reach out to your photographer. We're here for you!