A Wedding Photographers Guide to Your Pre Wedding Shoot

couple walking at boturich castle during pre wedding shoot

lets get ready for this engagement session!

couple walking at boturich castle during pre wedding shoot
pre wedding shoot boturich castle

I know engagement photos can be pretty nerve-wracking. Couples are always telling me they’ve never done this before. Trust me, most of us don’t spend our lives hanging out in front of the camera! Everyone feels the same. There’s a lot we can do to help you prepare so your photos come out the best they can and so you feel a little less anxiety about the whole thing. I’ve broken down some engagement session tips below for you. 

General Session Tips

• No fighting! One of the worst things that can happen before your session is a fight. Everyone has good and bad days with their person every now and then. Try to do your best by not letting one of those days happen on the day of your session. Even small fights can lead to big changes in attitude during your session. It can be hard to be cute and snuggly when you’re not feeling it. If you’re trying to fake it, it will show in photos. So either avoid those fights or if something bad happens let me know and we’ll reschedule for a better day. Don’t be ashamed to ask, we have all been there. It’s my job to get you the best photos possible, so I’d rather you be honest and tell me it’s not the right day then try and work through it and be disappointed with the results later.

• Make sure you eat! – “Hangry” is a real word now. They added it to the dictionary. Don’t skip any meals. I know what I’m like when I’m hangry and I don’t want to deal with a hangry couple. Make sure you eat healthy before the session to avoid feeling bloated or having an upset stomach. Drink a lot of water as well. Staying hydrated helps your skin stay clear, prevents headaches and does wonders for photos.

• Bring shoes that are easy to walk around in.  We might be going up rocky trails or on unsteady ground. If you want to wear heels for your photos, make sure to bring some good walking shoes to change into for travel.

• Don’t fake tan ever! I know some of us look pale and we think we’ll blind people with our paleness. I can work with pale in photos. However, any kind of fake tanning will always have an orange glow to it. It doesn’t matter what the ads say. Cameras will pick up those orange tones easily and spread them around. They are difficult to edit out and I don’t like my clients to look like Oompa Loompas in photos… or Cheeto presidents.

• Sunscreen! Speaking of tanning, tan lines can be one of those things that take away from photos. Try your best to wear sunscreen in the weeks leading up to your session or select outfits that hide bad tan lines. 

• Don’t stress about makeup! I know the beauty industry is out to get us all. Makeup isn’t for everyone. Anyone that says you “need” makeup for photos is wrong. Why do women always get told they need makeup, but for a man, it’s not considered a requirement? Men still look great in photos without makeup and so will ladies. I suggest wearing a level of makeup you’d wear on a daily basis. Don’t overdo it just for photos. As far as makeup types go, the role that plays in photography is significantly less important than advertising makes you believe. There are not makeup types that are better for engagement photography than others. Just focus on keeping it at your natural level. If you don’t wear makeup normally, don’t feel pressured to wear it now. 

• Weather – Rainy or snowy sessions can be incredibly romantic…if you really love cold or wet weather. That kind of weather isn’t for everyone though, so feel free to email and talk about rescheduling. However, most of my clients are adventurous types and love photographing in the rain or snow. Just dress according to the weather!


Tips for What to Wear

• Never wear something brand new. Sometimes we don’t know how annoying clothes are until we’ve worn them at least once. Maybe you figure out it sits funny, or it’s not your usual style. That makes us tug and pull and look less comfortable in our clothes. That discomfort shows through in your photos. If you do go shopping, pick a couple of new outfits and wear them once or twice so you know they’re a good fit.

• Wear clothes you know you’re comfortable in. The best outfits are ones that are expressions of your regular personality. Don’t overdress if it’s not your normal style. Be you and wear an outfit that feels like you, it’ll give you the confidence boost you need to get amazing photos. –

• Outfit changes – You’re welcome to bring more than one outfit to change into. Two is the perfect amount!

• Accessorize – If you want to make the most out of one outfit, change it up with accessories, hats, shoes, scarves, or jewellery! 

• Bra straps, underwear lines and poorly fit clothes are a no. Make sure whatever you wear fits well. Not too tight, and not too loose. Hide those bra straps and underwear lines.

• Empty out your pockets during photo time. Don’t let that wallet, cell phone, or keys stick out in your pocket!

• Pick outfits that look good when you’re on the move. We move a lot during my photo sessions. If you pick an outfit that only looks great when you are standing still and all the parts are exactly where you want them, that’s not going to work. You need an outfit that’s going to look good in candid photos, while you’re running, twirling, hugging, snuggling, and walking around!

How to Pose

• Giggle and Snuggle – The best poses are when you’re giggling and snuggling in ways you do naturally. Just talk to each other, laugh, awkward laugh, and snuggle. That’s how you get great natural looking photographs.

• Overposing is a thing! I don’t like to pose you in some static position and then move small bits, fingers, etc. until it’s perfect. It looks and feels so unnatural. My goal is to capture you in a very natural state. We don’t do a lot of static poses where you have to stand still while I take photos.

• MOVE! My best images come from when people are doing things like running through fields, walking together and laughing, twirling each other around and being silly in general.

• Look at each other and not at the camera. I always take one nice shot of the two of you looking at me and smiling for the parents or grandparents, but other than that always look at each other or always be touching each other. That kind of visual or physical connection in photos is what we’re going for.

• “What should I do with my hands?!” The most popular question of all time. What do you do with them when you’re normally snuggling or hugging? Don’t worry too much about what your hands are doing. As long as it’s PG, you’ll look great.

Engagement photos are a great time to practice photos before the wedding, but also to just capture some regular photos of you while you’re not in wedding attire. My goal is always to capture you however you look when you’re having a really great time, laughing deep belly laughs and in love. Those photos make some of the best memories to pass on to future generations. I hope these tips help you prepare. As always, let me know if you have any questions or feel free to send me your outfit ideas too!

Engagement shoot at boturich castle, close up of ring
Engagement shoot at boturich castle
creative pre wedding shoot at boturich castle


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