There are literally so many directions you go when planning an engagement shoot that’s perfect for you and the love of your life. In fact, just the thought of all the themes, locations, styles, and outfits you can choose from kinda of makes our heads spin. So, when the option are limitless, how do you go about putting together an engagement shoot that you’ll love for years to come and that’ll really show off your story and your style as a couple? We won’t say the process is easy, but with these 7 planning tips up your sleeve, we’d definitely say the road from “yes!” to e-shoot can be a whole lot less bumpy. What’re you waiting for? Scroll down for our favorite tried and true methods for styling the engagement shoot of your wildest dreams!

Photo By Candace Jeffrey Photography


1. Choose A Photographer You Love: You can style everything about your engagement shoot just perfectly, but if you don’t hire the right photographer, then you’re in a for a whole world of trouble (e.g., photos can look awkward, you might feel comfortable during the shoot, you might not like the shooting style). Therefore, it’s essential to pick a photographer who you really adore on many levels, including price, shooting style, and personality, so you can feel comfortable in front of the camera and have piece of mind that you entrusted someone who shared your vision with this monumental task. A few great way to get started searching for a photographer who sends you head over heels is to ask for recommendations from friends and family members, browse blogs of local photographers, and most important, sit down face-to-face with your favorite photographers to go over everything before making a commitment to hire one who suits you best. Being comfortable with the person behind the camera is key to achieving beautiful, natural-looking photos!


Albert Palmer Photography via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

2. Select A Location That’s Special: Many couples really worry about what location(s) to choose for their engagement shoot and often turn to their photographer for help. But, as most photographers will tell you, picking out a location that’s special to you as a couple, that really captures your imagination, or that makes you feel at home is essential. Nothing else matters — it doesn’t matter if your backdrop is touristy, out of the norm, or even totally out of left field as long as it is special to you as a couple in some way. When you begin racking your brain for backdrop ideas, sit down together and make a list of places that you love around town, places that are significant to your relationship, and places that you’ve always wanted to visit. Then, go out and explore the town, revisit your old favorites, check out new places you’ve never seen before, walk down random alleys, etc. This is a fabulous way to discover uncharted territory and scout out a few places that really make your hearts go pitter-patter.

3. Create A Must-Have Photo List: Let’s make this clear now: Your photographer (even the best of the best) cannot read your mind. Therefore, it’s really essential to create a must-have shot list of your photographer before the big day of the engagement shoot begins. This will ensure that your photographer snags all the photos you really have your heart set on and will also clue him/her about the style you are really looking for in your photos. Clearly, this is a win-win situation and can help guarantee that you love, love, LOVE your engagement photos now and forever.

4. Put Together A Mood Board: If you really have no idea where to start, then putting together a mood board on Pinterest is an excellent way browse ideas and pull together engagement shoot themes or tones that really tickle your fancy. After a week of exploring and pinning, do an overview of your board. You might be surprised how easy it is to discover what you are really drawn to, whether it be a fun theme, vintage styling, or colorful outfit choices! Once you finally do decide on the look you’re going for, put together a whole new pin board that focuses on pulling together creative inspiration that goes right along with your approach. Oh, and don’t forget to share this board with your photographer… not only will it help give him/her direction, but it’s a great opportunity for him/her to suggest ideas you many no have considered.

5. Browse Lots Of Photography Blogs: Early on in your planning, be sure to browse lots of photography blogs! This will help you uncover great ideas, styles you love, and looks you’d like to channel in your very own engagement shoot.

6. Incorporate Individualized Props (If You’re Into That): Although they aren’t right of everyone, props are a really, really amazing way to add a little spunk to your engagement photos, show off a bit of your personality as a couple, bring in a theme and/or tell a story. If you do end up bringing in some props of your shoot, just make sure that they really reflect something special about the two of your and that they are used in moderation. Otherwise, the use of props can feel a bit forced and cheesy. Your photographer is a great person to consult for recommendations for prop rental companies and ideas that will really enhance your photos, too!


Shutterbug via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

7. Wear Outfits That Feel Right: In addition to location choices, outfit selections are definitely one of the most complicated parts of planning a perfect engagement shoot. Just like with the location, there are tons of options and directions you can take in terms of your clothing picks, so it becomes really difficult to narrow down your outfits to just a few selections. However, it can be done! Our best advice is to choose outfits you feel really comfortable in and that really make you feel your best — from there, themes and colors, etc. are just extra icing on the cake. But, a few tips to keep in mind: 1). Don’t overmatch with your fiancee. 2). Choose outfits that range in terms of formality (maybe start with casual looks and end with more formal attire). 3). If going with a theme, don’t be afraid to rock something out of the box! 4). Consider your environment (you’ll freeze in a sundress in the middle of winter and the backdrop/outfit selection will look really odd paired together).

8. Have Fun!: Finally, the biggest secret of having scoring engagement photos you love is to have fun! That means enjoying planning, embrace funky ideas, and just being yourself and really reveling in the love you share with your fiancee all the way from step one to the day of the shoot. When you’re having a great time — it’s pretty impossible to not love the photographs that result!


Gabriel Li via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Need some extra help putting together an engagement shoot style that’s right for you? Contact us and we’ll help you put together an engagement session plan that’s just perfect for you!

~Blog contributed by Audra Jones

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