How to Prepare for Your Engagement Photos

What to Expect from your Engagement Session

We get so many emails from couples who don’t quite know how to prepare for an engagement photo session and it’s absolutely normal. We don’t photograph professional models, so I truly hope this blog post will help you so much with this really exciting event prior to the wedding day!

The goal of engagement photos

  1. It’s a great time for you to get to know your photographer.
  2. You also get to see what it means to be in front of a camera.
  3. To have beautiful photographs together
  4. You can use the photos for the save the date/ wedding invite/ wedding website

For future wedding couples, it’s the perfect way for us to learn a bit about your personalities! Some couples have a hard time showing affection publicly, and that’s absolutely fine! You do not have to do everything you are asked to! Whatever the case may be, it’s a great practice for the wedding day portrait session. It goes so much smoother if we’re all comfortable with each other.

Our photoshoots are laid back but stylish, and we love getting couples in nature where they feel much more relaxed and natural.

For this reason, we have made a list of about 15 favorite photoshoot locations in the Cotswolds, where we’re based. This list is always changing as we are forever exploring new places, of course.


happy newly engaged couple sitting on stairs during their proposal session

Location is King

The location of your photos will help define the mood of the pictures.

Busy locations look busy.

Want a bunch of tourists in the background? Shoot during the weekend in any park in a city on a warm afternoon!

prepare for an engagement session

Now that we moved to the Cotswolds, we constantly discover stunning locations for engagement photos. We have another article for our top 5 photoshoot locations in the Cotswolds, as well.

fun couple laughing during a portrait session in the Cotswolds countryside

Cotswolds engagement shoot in Broadway 

This beach engagement session is the perfect example of how you can use vast landscape for an epic photo session.

Nature

If you absolutely love spending time outdoors, why not go to a beautiful forest rather than an overcrowded park for the engagement photos?

Wyre Forest engagementWyre Forest Engagement Shoot

Broadway village engagement photos

Town

If you simply like to go out for long walks and drink coffee together, why not consider having the engagement photo session in an area with quirky coffee places? There are quite a few such wonderful locations in the Cotswolds, so get in touch if you’d like some ideas!

engagement photo session london

Oxford city photo shoot

Oxford engagement shoot

Time + Light

Morning Light

Mornings are magical! The beautiful soft light, the city half asleep, and the peacefulness. Not the easiest thing looking your best at 6 am, but definitely worth it if you’re interested!

Golden Hour

The most flattering light is two hours before Sunset or within one hour of Sunrise. The light is so soft and golden, which enhances skin tones.


black and white image of couple during their portrait session at broadway tower

Cotswolds countryside engagement shoot

Singing in the rain

Rain on the day?! Don’t panic. If you’re game for crazy creative portraits, let’s embrace it! Rain can be incredibly romantic (in the right season).
Cloudy days cast even, soft light, which is much better than sunny ones. Or, we can always take a rain check if you prefer a different time for your photoshoot.

Photo Shoot Outfit Selection

Matching clothing to locations

We would never suggest wearing your football fan clothes to an engagement session ( you’ll be shocked but it has happened to us!). Instead, please consider the location for the engagement photos.

Simple is better

Try avoiding clothes with crazy graphics, too many patterns, or anything that distracts from your face.

A very practical tip- if you have an outdoor engagement shoot, wear earthy tones outfits!
IT BRINGS MAGIC to the shoot with everything working together so perfectly! 

prepare for an engagement session

Be comfortable

If you can’t wear stilettos without falling over, please bring flats or trainers to substitute. Don’t wear clothes that are too tight, too loose, or too uncomfortable. It’s easier to be natural if you aren’t constantly pulling your clothes.

Avoid matchy-matchy

Instead of looking like twins, wear complementary colors or shades of the same hue. You can go from wrong to stylish in a beat.

Less is more

During the engagement session, you’ll most likely be hugging, walking, holding hands, which means having something to carry, like a bag full of stuff, would be completely unnecessary and in your way (and ours). So try to come as hands-free as possible, not having to worry about extra stuff to carry (which we’d most likely need to take away from you).

How to make your engagement photos super fun

Bring props

Having some props is a really easy way to make the engagement shoot extra fun!

Here are some ideas for really awesome things you can bring and I think you will absolutely love the results!

Smoke bombs

How absolutely amazing are these?! If you want to bring some color and tons of fun, smoke bombs are the first on the list, clearly. Especially if you plan for a nature photo shoot location, then you are absolutely fine to use these.

Buy smoke bombs here

Fun glasses

A very fun and affordable idea to bring tons of fun to your engagement photos is to bring some props. Fun glasses are our top suggestion because it doesn’t feel at all cheesy and you can also re-use on your wedding day!

Buy fun glasses here

Fizz

Biodegradable Confetti

Sparklers

Buy sparklers here

One important thing, though: rules are made to be broken!

So if anything I wrote here doesn’t apply to you, great! As long as you feel like your best self on the day, nothing else matters!

If you’re planning a visit to the Cotswolds and also thought that a photo shoot would be a fun way to document this trip, please get in touch! We also shoot lots of families and couples who are already married and we’d love to know you, as well!

We have something else which might help you so much if you’re planning a trip to the Cotswolds and you want it to be truly memorable. This is a list of the 20 most romantic hotels in the Cotswolds, you should not miss checking out!

couple walking on a fallen tree stomp during their engagement shoot at Broadway Tower Cotswoldscouple kissing on a field during their cotswolds countryside engagement sessionsuper fun portrait session by Cotswolds photographerwide forest image of Wyre Forest during engagement session

If you look good, you feel good, you shoot good.
As simple as that!

We have included affiliate links, to help you better plan for your life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a small commission, at NO extra cost to you. We would only recommend things we trust and have seen work at other events. Our aim is to make life easier for you, saving you lots of time and research.

WE'RE SAM + DIANA

documentary cotswolds wedding photographer

We are a husband and wife team based in the beautiful Cotswolds area. We love the outdoors and shoot primarily non – traditional barn weddings and elopements for laid back couples.
We help remove the stress and pressure from your wedding day and do our best to make you feel at ease and extremely relaxed in front of the camera, so you will dearly remember your experience.
We are also founders of Mad Hat Photo Booth, a wedding and events photo booth hire in the Cotswolds, Birmingham, Gloucestershire and beyond!

GET IN TOUCH

SHARE THIS STORY