How to prepare for your engagement shoot {Connecticut wedding photographer}

How to prepare for your engagement shoot

 Let’s be honest, you have a lot going on right now. I COMPLETELY understand. I was in your shoes a year ago. So I’ve created some tips and guidelines to help you prepare for your engagement shoot! It’s really important to take time to closely read through all of this to ensure you get the best engagement photos possible. :)

01. The importance of being on time.
I’m a natural light photographer and I always book engagement shoots two hours before the sun sets. I do this because that is when light looks best and you’ll have that perfect glow on your skin. So since I can’t control when the sun goes down, if you end up late to your shoot, we’re ultimately cutting into our shooting time which means less photos. (and we don’t want that!) So please plan to be at your photo shoot location 10-15 minutes early so if you run into traffic, or get lost, you have time to play with. The last thing I want is you to be late and then stressed out because it will translate into your photos. So give yourself lots of time, and relax! :)

02. Prepare to have FUN!
I strive to make my photo shoots FUN and relaxed. I want to capture the true personality of you and your fiance’ by talking, laughing and getting to know each other. I want you to look at your photos and say “wow, that is so us!” So come relaxed and ready to have fun. It’s not too often that you get to get dressed up and have a photo shoot so I want you to be excited about it! :) Also, don’t worry about posing or how to stand ect… That’s my job and I will pose you and guide you to how I vision the photograph. Your only job is to have fun, and be yourself. I want you to interact with your fiance’ just as you always do. :) In a way, I kinda want you to ignore me. I want you to goof off, make faces, cuddle, laugh, play and be excited with your Fiance’. It’s all about having fun and being in love!

Chrissy Vensel Photography_connecticut wedding photographer

03. Get your ring cleaned
Sounds simple, but it’s something we forget. I’m going to be photographing that BEAUTIFUL new ring of yours and I want it to look it’s best. So try to get it cleaned the day before your engagement session so your ring comes out nice and sparkly in the photographs. :)


04. Paint your nails
This is something I almost forgot when I had my engagement photos taken! I would have been kicking myself later if I got back my photos and my nails were chipped in all of them!
So make sure you either remove all your nail polish for a clean look, or paint them the day of. It will make a big difference in your photos. :) (because I’m going to want some close up photos of your gorgeous ring!)

05. Makeup and hair
It’s really important to get your hair and makeup professionally done. It will make your photos pop and give it that extra “omph.” Even if you’re going for the natural look, get your hair and makeup professional done. A good makeup artist will make you look effortlessly beautiful. There are subtle tricks they do that really make a difference while still looking natural. You can be cost-effective by arranging to have your hair and makeup trail done on the same day of your engagement session – two birds with one stone! I highly suggest doing this. This way you have beautiful makeup and hair for your shoot, you feel beautiful, but you also know how you like your makeup/hair artist for your wedding! Also, bring along your lipstick or lipgloss if you plan on wearing it. It’s good to have for touchups throughout the photo shoot.
If you are truly set on doing your own makeup and hair, stick to some basic rules for photo sessions:

  •  Go slightly brighter/heavier on your cheeks, eyes, and lips then you normally do. Makeup tends to look much more toned down in photos so in order for it to look like you are wearing any at all, you need to go slightly heavier and colors that have a tiny bit more pop.
  • Stick to matte makeups unless you really know what you’re doing. It is super easy for shiny/glittery/shimmery makeup to reflect light and make you look oily (or spotty) in a photo. So stick to a nice matte finish powders and eyeshadows for flawless looking skin.
  •  Always wear powder over your makeup to set it and also continue to keep it matte.
  •  Fake eyelashes – these suckers are your best friend. I know they can feel awkward or “heavy” at first, but they make an awesome impression in photos and are a great way to add more flare without looking too unnatural. (for an even more natural look, try individual lashes) This is the one thing I really suggest doing on both your engagement session and wedding day. I wore fake lashes for the first time for my wedding and they made my photos turn out so beautiful. I am SOOOO glad I did it!! If they’re done right, people won’t even notice you have fake lashes on. They just notice that your eye are popping more then usual. (and that’s what we all want!)


06. Here’s the big one – what to wear

  • The most important thing, is to feel comfortable! If you’re self-conscious of your dress being too short, or shirt too tight, it’s going to show up in your photographs. Pick outfits you love and feel good in! When you’re comfortable, you’re more relaxed and that means more natural looking photos! :)
  • Bring two outfits for both you and your fiance’.
    This will add a lot of variety to your photos. I always suggest to bring one casual outfit, and one dressy outfit. Example: for the ladies, you could bring your favorite jeans and a cute top, and for your second outfit a cute dress. For the guys: Jeans and a nice t-shirt and for his second outfit, a button up dress shirt (or nice sweater) and dress pants. Jeans can also work if done right. Guys can also wear nice shorts as well.
  • Coordinate your outfits, but don’t be matchy matchy. You want your outfits to complement each other. Make sure you’re both dressing the theme. If it’s summer, he can wear nice tan shorts and you could wear a bright sundress. Also don’t be afraid of color and pattern – just make them complimentary. For example, if you’re planning on wearing a floral dress, make sure your fiance’ is wearing solids. If you’re both in bold prints, it will look too busy.
  •  Don’t be afraid to layer and accessorize. I personally have a huge obsession with big chunky jewelry and it photographs beautifully. So don’t be afraid of necklaces, earrings, or bracelets! Bring a variety of necklaces, scarfs, sunglasses, hats, whatever you love to wear!
  • Make sure you have your outfits picked (including shoes and jewelry) out a week before your shoot so you’re not stressing out at the last minute. And have your Fiance’ try his clothes on too so he’s comfortable with what he’s wearing.
  • Ask your girlfriends what they think of the outfits your planning on wearing. They know you best and they’ll be honest with you. :)
  • Bring some flats to walk around in.
    If you’re planning on wearing heels, then definitely bring flats or flip flops with you so you can easily walk around when we’re moving locations. – I don’t want a bride with a broken ankle. ;)


Things NOT to wear:

– Bright white matching shirts and khakis
– Tops with big logos or a lot of writing on them – keep it clean and classy
– Shirts with short hemlines and mid-drifts. Dress for your body shape.
– Super short skirts
– Exact matching outfits. Look coordinated, not matching.
– Baggy clothes. Make sure your clothes aren’t too baggy or too tight. If your clothes are too baggy, you’ll look bigger than you really are and kinda messy/sloppy. Usually it’s men who have a tendency to wear clothes that are too baggy. For tighter tops (or sleeveless tops/dresses), always bring a cardigan or cute jacket for layering. Guys — please, please, please don’t wear clothes that are too big for you. Your dress shirts should not be baggy!


Jeans. For whatever reason, jeans tend to photograph really really well
– Cute dresses
– Bright, solid colors. Rich colors can really separate you from the background, especially if we’ve discussed shooting in any especially “green” outdoorsy locations
– Accessories


And feel free to bring props! I LOVE with my clients bring props. It makes your photo session much more personal and meaningful. Here are some examples:

– A blanket/quilt that maybe has been in your family for a while. Blankets are great because you can either lay on it in a field, or wrap yourself up in it. :)
– Picnic theme
– Props for coffee or tea
– Hats
– Musical instruments if you play
– Pets. I’m a huge animal person so I will be thrilled if you bring your dog/pet along with you! :)
– Anything that reflects your hobbies
– Anything the reflects things you enjoy doing together.
– Anything else that makes your relationship unique or that is special to you!


I hope this helps as you prepare for your engagement session. It’s going to be a lot of fun!
Please email or call me anytime if you have any question about this! I LOVE fashion so if you’re trying to decide what to wear, shoot me an iphone picture through email and I’ll gladly help you out!

Chrissy Vensel

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