PNW Idaho engagement session

Engagement sessions are one of my favorite things to do. They’re a great way for us to get to know each other and for you to have fun in front of the camera before your wedding day. Which is why it is an important part of many couples’ planning process. Whether you’re just starting the planning process for your engagement session or want some tips on how to ensure that it goes smoothly, I’ve got you covered! Here is how to prepare for your engagement session:

PNW Idaho engagement session

Location, Location, Location

Choosing a location that best represents who you are as a couple is crucial to creating images that will tell your authentic story. Think about what you enjoy doing together, where you have shared memories, or what kind of photos you want to take. The location should reflect the vibe or aesthetic that you’re trying to achieve.

You could also consider using this opportunity as an excuse to explore somewhere new and off the beaten path (Idaho and the PNW offer great variety in locations). Another option could be a studio session or in home (or air bnb) to give things a more intimate or spicy vibe.

Your location sets the scene and picking the right setting is one of the best ways how to prepare for your engagement session.

PNW Idaho engagement session

Wear Something You Feel Good In

The first thing you need to do is wear something that makes you feel good. This will have a huge impact on how confident and comfortable you are during your engagement session, which in turn will show through in the photos.

You don’t have to wear anything fancy, but if there’s an outfit or two that makes your partner go “wow,” then by all means put it on! The point here is finding what works best for both of your styles as well as the vibe of your shoot.

Another thing that can help is to have a few outfits ready for your session. This way, you can switch things up if needed and always feel comfortable. When in doubt stick to a neutral color scheme. Neutrals will never go out of style and will always look good no matter the location.

Don’t be scared to go all out for the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve! Your outfit effects the vibe you’re looking to create. If you want a vintage 1970s look try to stay away from modern staples. For a more etherial look then outfits with lots of flow-y movement is for you!

If you need any inspiration don’t hesitate to reach out and ask your photographer for advice!

PNW Idaho engagement session

Plan Out Your Hair And Make-Up

The next step in how to prepare for your engagement session is figuring out your hair and make up choice. Do you want to hire a professional or do it yourself? If wearing make up makes you feel confident then go for a bold look! If wearing a lot of make up makes you feel uncomfortable than stick to what makes you feel like your best self. Your makeup and hair should add to your confidence so if this decision is stressing you out try talking to a professional for help. There is no rule saying that everyone has to wear make up or get their hair done, so don’t worry if that isn’t for you. No matter what option you choose you will look amazing!

PNW Idaho engagement session

Make Sure You Have Enough Time To Get Ready

The day of your shoot is going to be crazy. You’re excited, and you’ve got a million things on your mind–you need to make sure that you give yourself enough time in the morning (and maybe even afternoon) to get ready.

Make sure that everyone knows where they’re going, so there are no surprises about location or time of arrival at the location.

Make sure to build in some extra buffer time into your schedule just in case things get delayed because of unforeseen circumstances like traffic jams or bad weather conditions (or even just because someone gets lost).

PNW Idaho engagement session

Include Activities

Include activities that you enjoy doing together. If you want a storytelling approach, bring activities that are meaningful to the two of you and your relationship. Some examples include board games, rollerskating/skateboarding, tandem bikes, dancing, car rides or picnics. make sure to bring a blanket so you can sit on the ground and not worry about getting dirty or cold.

Do you want to end the night with a bonfire or jumping into the lake fully clothed? You could even bring your pets along! Just make sure to let your photographer know beforehand so that they can plan to bring treats to bribe your fur babies love.

PNW Idaho engagement with dogs. PNW Idaho engagement with horses.
PNW Idaho engagement with alpacas

Plan For The Weather

Be prepared to be flexible with time and location depending on weather. Especially in the spring or winter months, it can be unpredictable. Bring a Jacket so you don’t get cold during your session! And make sure to bring water and snacks, especially in those hot summer months!

Stormy weather makes for the most magical dramatic lighting. Don’t be scared to get a little wet! If you’re outdoors and it’s raining, embrace the opportunity for some lovely raindrops on your face. I always bring a clear umbrella just in case! The wind is always our friend because it brings in energy and movement.

PNW Idaho engagement in the snow with a campfire

Tips And Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera and will finish prepping you on how to prepare for you engagement session:

-Look at each other more than you look at the camera

-Don’t know what to do with your hands? Touch each other

-Movement is key. Swing back and forth, caress each others faces, steal kisses from each other

-Don’t force yourself to smile

-If you are putting your hands in your pocket keep your thumbs out

-Remember to stay in the moment

-There is no such thing as doing a pose or prompt wrong

-Relax and have fun!

-Trust the process. Inspo pics are just that – inspiration. Your images should be and will be unique to you and not an exact copy of someone else’s

-It’s okay to be nervous at first. I will be there to help you warm up being in front of the camera and I promise by the end of the session you’ll be a natural

-Empty your pockets – no wallets, phones, or keys

-Take off your smart watch and any hair ties on your wrist

-Your love is the secret sauce that will make your images pop!

PNW Idaho engagement rings

We at hope this helps you on how to prepare for your engagement session! Remember, it’s all about having fun and being yourself. The best part of getting engaged is that it’s the first step towards a lifetime of memories together as a married couple, so make sure you enjoy every moment of planning. Need more help? Check out my what to expect page on my website or go to my instagram to see more examples!

March 16, 2023

How To Prepare For Your Engagement Session

Let's do this thing

I literally have no words. Natalie is so amazing and talented, and not to mention how kind she is. She has outdone herself! My pregnancy has actually been pretty hard, so it actually brings me to tears to have such beautiful photos to remember it with. I am so so grateful for these beautiful keepsakes.

- Emma

Natalie and her husband are amazing! My hubby does not enjoy taking photos. Natalie was able to make us feel at ease and have fun with our session. She went above and beyond! I was expecting the typical sit here, pose this way, smile, click. NOPE! She asked us intimate questions about our lives. She played music that we love. She created an atmosphere and a mood that made our anniversary photos an experience. We are so thankful for the memories she helped us to create. Also her unique artistry in how she photographed us. I’m in love with the results. Thank you Natalie and Nate 💖

- Alisa

- Madie