Everything you Need to Know about Engagement Sessions - Maryland Wedding Photographer

Everything you Need to Know about Engagement Sessions

- Maryland Wedding Photographer - Love & Adventure Photography

 Engagement sessions are different for every photographer you work with. 


To me, the engagement sessions are just as important as wedding photos and here is why… Your engagement session is timeless it is the story of your relationship not marking just one day. 

Think of it this way… 

For 95% of you reading this your wedding and engagement photos will be the only professional photos you will have of the two of you. 

Your wedding photos which will be beautiful and unique represent one day in your life. One day of your story. 

Your engagement photos are timeless. They represent your relationship and who the two of you are. They tend to have more personality and are much more fun because we have more time. 

After 5 years of being married you will start replacing your wedding photos with other photos… 

But your engagement photos… if done by the right photographer (cough cough.. me ) can really be pieces of artwork. They will be those photos that stay in the frames or in canvases hanging on your wall, or as your profile picture on social media. They will be your TBT’s and the photos you look at to remind you of who the two of you are as a couple.  

Still need more convincing… 

Another reason that engagement photos are important is it gives you and your photographer a chance to work together. 

Most photographers include an engagement session in their package. I do this because it’s my chance for my couples to get to know me and me to get to know my couples. I learn what they are comfortable with. What makes them laugh. What makes them feel connected. 

They (and all their family and friends) learn that they can trust me.  They learn how to become more natural in front of a camera. (Which can be really scary.) They learn basic posing (hands in the pockets for men, seriously I hate the cover the crotch fold.)

And, then this is our bonding time. We move past the photographer/client relationship to a friendship.  

What are engagement sessions like?

While most photographers offer couples a 1 hour session. My engagement sessions are a little more elaborate then most. I spend up to six hours  (sometimes more) with my couples on their engagement session day. We design a session based on who they are and what they like to do. We create a session about them vs a corny session in a pretty park. I have a NO limit policy for my engagement session. As long as it is legal (or I think we can get away with it without getting arrested  ha ha) we will do it. 

We utilize the best lighting of the day from daylight to golden light, to sunset, to night photos. Or vice versa for a sunrise session. 

That being said… We ARE NOT photographing for 6 hours straight. That would be crazy. I mean I could do it no problem but I think my couples would want to kill me… 

An engagement session day with me is a mix of photographing, laughing, traveling, eating, drinking, and just being us. 

Adventure Sessions

Two years ago, I opened up a new opportunity for all my couples… Something more unique. Adventure sessions. This gives my couples an opportunity to meet me anywhere in the world that I am traveling for their engagement or anniversary session. (No limits remember! ) I’ve done shoots all over the US, in Antarctica, Iceland… 

In 2019, I will be doing shoots in Yosemite, San Fran, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, Glacier National Park, Ireland, Zambia, Hawaii, NYC, and so many more places. You can check out my travel schedule and join me for one of my adventures. If you are booked for a wedding with me all you need to do is pay for your travel. There is no additional cost for the shoot. If you booked another photographer but want to do an Epic Adventure session with me it’s $850 for a full day shoot. 

Where am I going in 2019.


Let’s plan your session. 


1-   You need to pick a location. 


When I am creating an engagement session for my couples I talk to them about places that mean something to them. Where did they meet, where was their first date, what do they like to do together. 

Then I pick 2-3 locations for our shoot. Depending on where they pick I will incorporate activities like hiking, camping, painting, video games… etc. (Again NO LIMITS) . Before the shoot we will brainstorm locations and put together a timeline. 


2-   Pick a date and a back-up date. 


Most engagement sessions have to take place on weekdays or Sundays. So be prepared to take a half day from work. Because your engagement session can be rescheduled I don’t do shoots in the rain unless I think it will add to the session. We will make a call on the session 24 hours before. 


3-   What to wear


I have my couples bring 3-5 outfits and I will pick and choose what works the best for each location. For guys- Dark jeans can be mixed with every type of shirt from polos, to button-ups, to t-shirts, sweaters and a jacket. For Girls, it’s a little more difficult. We can go as formal as you want. (Rent a dress from Rent the Runway). Jeans with nice shirts. Etc. When I’m doing adventure sessions or sessions on mountain tops I love a long flowy colorful skirt. Pinterest is a great place to help find outfit ideas. 


Things I don’t recommend… 

Scarves - If you have boobs… keep away from scarves. They are pretty but can enhance your chest area and focus on your chin.  

Sneakers/Flip Flops – Just no. Bring them for in between the shooting but guys should always have on nicer dress shoes and girls the same. Only exception is hiking boots! 

Tight fitting clothes – Jeans are ok. Wear clothing that fits or is a little lose. The reason for this is that I’m going to have you sitting, standing, climbing and who knows what else. Tight fitting clothes can sometimes catch us in unflattering ways. A little flow especially on shirts is much better. 


4-   Make- up & Hair Appointments

I like when my couples get their hair and make-up done for shoots. But keep it natural. Unless we are doing a full glitz and glam style session make sure that your make-up is very natural. Keep away from up-do’s braids can be pretty. NATURAL NATURAL NATURAL… 

5- Can I bring my pup? The answer is always YES YES YES…

We will plan a way to add your pup into your session. We may start or end with photos of you both and your pup or we may have a friend or family member meet us somewhere and drop your pup off. I don’t want to overheat or overdue it with your pup so I try to keep the pet session of our shoot to 20 minutes. Also make sure you bring treats! Lots and lots of treats.


5-   Shoot day. 

Feel free to have a shot or drink before the shoot to calm your nerves. Don’t drink too much though. It will make you sleepy halfway through. I tend to stop for a drink with my couples half way through the shoot. 

Eat & bring snacks. There is nothing worse than being hangry during your engagement shoot. Make sure to eat a meal before and bring snacks with you. 

Get ready for some fun! While we have locations picked out I never know what we are going to do…. I move with the flow of my couples. 

 Want to see more of my work ? Or, are you ready to book an engagement session now!

 What to do with your photos after you have them?

1- Print them! They are beautiful… They are you! Get them printed!

I recommend www.mpix.com or www.nationsphotolab.com for printing all images!

2- Use them for your Save the date. I mean your have everyone else’s magnet on your fridge right?

I love magnetstreet.com for Save the Date Magnets

3- Make a book - Every trip my husband and I go on I make a book for. It helps us remember our adventures together.

4- Change your profile picture… I mean it’s time and your photos are pretty freakin epic…




Kathleen HertelComment