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I capture the unspoken — the glances, the silences — drawing from New York's pulse and the richness of global cultures. Every wedding is its own intricate narrative. Rooted in theatre and life's everyday rhythms, I document moments both transient and timeless. 

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When to Take Engagement Photos and Tips for the Best Session

So, you’re finally engaged and you are planning your wedding and there are so many things you are planning. One of the most common questions you’ll probably ask yourself is when to take engagement photos. 

While this is most likely something you haven’t had to think about before, as an engagement and wedding photographer myself, I help couples go through this process each and every day. 

So, let’s take a look at when to take engagement photos and some tips for how to have an amazing engagement session! 

When to Take Engagement Photos

An affectionate couple in formal attire sharing a romantic moment in a park, with the man kissing the woman's cheek, and autumn leaves creating a vibrant background.

When it comes to when to take engagement photos, there is no cut and dry answer. Realistically, if and when you take engagement photos, and how you use those photos afterwards, is totally up to you. 

Generally speaking, however, anywhere between 6-9 months before your wedding is a good timeframe to try and plan your engagement session. There are a couple of reasons why this is the perfect time to take them. 

First, you have probably found your photographer by then. Most wedding photographers will have an engagement session built into their wedding photography packages, or have it as an option to add on. 

If you can take engagement photos with your wedding photographer, this is a major bonus. You’ve most likely not been in front of a camera very often (if it all) in the past so the first time you step in front of it can be a bit nerve wracking. 

Engagement sessions give you a chance to get used to being photographed and get comfortable before your wedding day. If you can do this with your wedding photographer, not only will you get more comfortable in front of the camera, but also with the photographer themselves. 

You will get a sense of how they operate and what you can expect on your wedding day and they can also get a sense of how to best work with you and your partner to give you amazing photos while still making you comfortable. 

Second, you most likely will also have your venue picked out. Now, this may initially seem like it has nothing to do with engagement photos, but you may have the option to take photos at your wedding venue after you book it. 

If you can do an engagement session at your wedding venue, this can give you and your partner the chance to explore the venue a bit more and get more comfortable there before your wedding day. 

You’ll also have a bit of time to explore the venue during your engagement session to figure out if there are any spots you definitely want to go back to on your wedding day to get some portraits! 

Finally, getting photos 6-9 months before your wedding also gives you enough time to use your engagement photos in your wedding materials. Whether this is your save the dates, invitations, wedding website, or anything else, you can make them that much more special by adding these photos. 

You want to make sure, though, that you plan this out early enough that you give your photographer time to get the images back to you while still having time to send them off to a printer to get the photos printed on your materials! 

Why Take Engagement Photos 

A couple in a warm embrace, surrounded by the brilliant reds and oranges of autumn leaves, with the man kissing the woman's forehead.

You may also be thinking, why take engagement photos in the first place? Well, we just talked about two of the biggest reasons to get engagement photos – it allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera and you get images you can use in wedding materials – but there is one more major reason to get engagement photos: to remember this time. 

This is such an exciting time in you and your partner’s life. You are starting the life-long journey and commitment together and that is something that should be remembered and celebrated. 

A photoshoot is the perfect way to do this. Engagement sessions allow you and your partner to be captured just as you are at this exact moment in your life. When you look back in 20 years, you’ll be able to remember this time and all the craziness that was planning a wedding, but also how excited you were to start this chapter. 

Plus, most of us only have some okay selfies or group photos with our partners and while those can be great, having professional photos of just the two of you to add to scrapbooks or look back on with your kids is just irreplaceable. 

Tips for Engagement Photos

Wear comfortable clothes 

A couple embracing on a walkway by the water, with the man kissing the woman's forehead as she smiles contently, and a lighthouse in the soft-focused background.

First and foremost, you want to make sure that you are wearing clothes that you are comfortable in. When it comes to your engagement session, there are no rules on what you have to wear. 

You can go as formal or as casual as you want with it, just make sure it is something that you are comfortable and confident in. 

If you are opting to buy a new outfit for the session, make sure you try it on and move around with it so you don’t get to your session and find out you actually hate how it feels or there is a tag that bothers you or it’s too tight for you to move around in. 

Don’t forget about the weather as well. If you are doing your session outside, check this beforehand and make sure your outfit is appropriate for the weather that day. 

You can have amazing engagement photos in shorts and a t-shirt, but if it is 40 degrees and you’re standing in a park for your whole session, you are going to look a lot more uncomfortable in that outfit than if it were sunny and 75. 

Pick a location that is meaningful to you 

A man playfully covers a woman's eyes with his hand from behind, both smiling, in front of a brick wall adorned with lush greenery and autumn decorations.

Now, I mentioned above that some venues may give you the option to have an engagement session there before your wedding. If you aren’t able to do that at your venue, try to pick a location for your engagement session that is meaningful to you. 

This can be where you met, had your first date, your favorite place to go together, where you got engaged. The possibilities are endless, but picking a spot that is meaningful to you will give you photos that are even more memorable. 

Instead of just looking back and reminiscing with your kids about what you were like when you were 28 and engaged, you’ll be able to tell them the story of how you met there or what a disaster your first date was or how nervous you were before you popped the question. 

Picking a place that is meaningful to you is going to make this session even more special and give you memories that you can hold onto for a lifetime. 

Don’t Stress Over Making it “Perfect”

A couple walking hand in hand in front of a colorful urban graffiti wall, with the woman looking back and smiling at the camera.

When it comes to photoshoots, most of the time you are going to feel a bit awkward and like you don’t know what to do. This is totally normal and the best way that I have found to help get out of this mindset is to let go of the idea that this session needs to look perfect. 

Your engagement session isn’t being photographed to go on the cover of Vogue. You are there to capture you and your partner authentically and that is what you should be focused on. 

Have fun with it, tell jokes, make each other smile, and enjoy this time that you two get to spend together. The more you let go of the idea of having the perfect poses or looking like the Pinterst photo you found, the more fun you are going to have and the better the photos are going to turn out! 

Final Thoughts on When to Get Engagement Photos Taken

Hopefully these tips not only help you figure out when to take engagement photos but also why they are so amazing and how to make the most of your engagement session. At the end of the day, just remember that these photos are for you and your partner, no one else. 

If I can leave you with one thing, it’s this: don’t skip out on engagement photos. They are going to end up being more important and special to you than you think and you and your partner deserve to be celebrated. 

Still need that perfect photographer to capture your engagement session or even your wedding? I’d love to be a part of telling you and your partner’s love story. You can learn more about my engagement and wedding photography services here or you can click here to get in touch and chat about how to make your dream session a reality! 

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