How to Plan for your Engagement Shoot

So you have the bling and you’re STOKED to show it off with some engagement photos. You begin planning, then quickly realize how overwhelming everything is. Where do we shoot? What do we wear? How will our engagement photos be unique? Will we be just another couple frolicking in a field? Don’t worry boo boo - I got chu. Here’s some tips to soothe your anxiety and ensure your engagement photos are everything you wanted and more.

Choose a Location that Describes You as a Couple

Do you usually spend your free time frollicking in a field and longingly looking at each other? WHHHHHAAAATTT, you don’t do this!???

Then skip the damn field and choose something that describes you two. The number one request I get from couples is, “We want others to see these photos and think ‘that is so them.’ We also want to look back at these 50 years down the road and be able to say they still represent us.” Do you like to enjoy pizza together? Do you love to binge watch Netflix? Do you enjoying hiking? Do you have a favorite spot you two enjoy? Take all of these questions into account.

Outfit Do’s and Do NOTs

This is seriously the hardest part of planning - what to wear. You want these photos to describe you, right? I highly recommend two outfits. McKenzie Bigliazzi Couples usually choose one casual outfit and one formal outfit. Everyone has those “go-to feel good” outfits they wear over and over, start here.

  • If you have a fun patterned outfit you would like to use, limit it to one person.  That way they will pop and still coordinate with the other.  Multiple patterns can look busy, and this way they won't be competing with one another.

  • Add dimension and interest by mixing up the texture of the clothing material and accents.

Keep Location in mind - if this is a fun summertime beach shoot, something flowy will always look great. If it’s a wintery wonderland, keep it warm and practical. You don’t want to look at these photos 50 years from now and think “Why the $^%& am I wearing a tube top in the winter time?” …wait. Do people still wear tube tops? *Shrug*


Spray Tans
Large logos
Large text
Baseball Hats
Neon colors
Be aware of any tan lines and how those will look in your chosen outfit

Most importantly: Choose outfits that are COMFORTABLE. If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, you will be able to tell that in the photos.



Seriously, they’re a part of your family and probably a part of your love story. Do not leave home without them! Bringing your pets can make it that much more special, especially if they’re not a part of your wedding day. If you do choose to bring your pets, here are some tips.

  1. Bring alllll the Treats!

  2. Bring another person to help with them. This extra hand will make all the difference in trying to get the animal’s attention or watching them in photos they’re not a part of.

  3. Prep them - meaning, take them to the spot you plan to shoot at. They may need to get acclimated.

  4. Always buy them bowties. Not kidding.

…. oddly enough, you can also apply the same rules to toddlers.

Odds and Ends

Here are some additional tips to get you through your engagement planning.

  1. Trust your Photographer. You hired them for a reason.

  2. Get your ring cleaned.

  3. Always opt for hair and Makeup Services. Engagement shoots are good days to get that trial hair and makeup done!

  4. Lint Roller, always a lint roller

  5. Hang your outfits in your car, do not lay them on the seat. Remember how you gave Karen a ride home from the bar and you stopped at McDonalds on the way home? Well, Karen left some crumbs back there as well as an open ketchup packet. Now it’s all over your clothes. Damnit Karen.

  6. Bring Beer. Zero kidding about this one. Calm those nerves and have a fun prop to throw in photos.

  7. Blankets are always great to have on hand.

  8. Hire a photographer who will help with these things.


I hope this helps to remedy those engagement shoot blues you might be experiencing. Wedding planning can get stressful QUICK. Allow yourself breathing time and remind yourself this is about you two and no one else.

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