Joyful, fine art wedding photography for real couples. Serving Chicago, Washington DC and beyond.
Based in South Bend, Indiana. Available for travel.

Top 5 ways to enhance your engagement photos – Sarah Sage Photography

Are you excited for your upcoming session but a little overwhelmed because you’re not quite sure where to start? There are a lot things to consider, like location, wardrobe, styling, etc…, in order for you to get the most out of your session.

All my couples receive an Engagement Session magazine that covers every aspect of the session, from preparation, session expectations, to what happens once it’s over. Preparation is probably the most forgotten part of the process. It’s easy to assume that you just show up on the day of your session and that’s it, the photographer does the rest. You can certainly do this but being prepared really elevates your session and brings in more of your personality and uniqueness to your photos.

  1. Locations

Whether you choose a lifestyle session in your home, go outside to a local park, an urban city scape or an editorial style (glamorous magazine style), locations truly add depth to the photographs and tells a more complete story. I encourage my couples to pick 2-3 locations that coincide with your 2-3 outfit choices. Be creative and pick locations that mean something to you as a couple. More about this in #5.

2. Wardrobe

This is a biggie but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! When choosing your 2-3 outfits for your session, you’ll want to keep these 7 things in mind:

Color – Don’t be afraid of color. Whether you’re more into pastels or brights, use color to style up your session.

Coordinate – Try not to match but look like you belong. Coordinating your colors and fabrics will tie your looks together. Accessories that coordinate with your partner’s outfit can also help you coordinate in a unique way.

Comfort – Regardless of where your session is at, comfort is key. Imagine trying to enjoy yourself and look natural for the camera while her feet are killing you from your pointy shoes and you can’t breathe from the skinny jeans you just pulled out of the dryer. If you don’t feel natural and relaxed, then you won’t look natural and relaxed. Be comfort and enjoy the experience.

3 Outfits – Be prepared with 2-3 outfits that coordinate with your locations… Casual (Jeans & a cute top), Semi-dressy (sundress & khakis), and dressy (dress and suit).

Variety – A great way to show variety in your wardrobe is layering. You can turn 1 look into 4 with the removal or addition of scarfs, jackets, hats, large jewelry, etc…

Background – If your session is taking place in a park with lots of greenery, then I would avoid wearing the color green, or a the very least, that shade of green. You want to stand out from your background, not blend in.

Season – Each season has a specific color pallet provided by nature that we use to help accentuate your look. For the breakdown of what to wear for each season, email me and I’ll send you our full wardrobe list.


3. Hair & Make

An engagement session is a prime opportunity to test out the professionals that you’ve hired to do your hair and makeup on your wedding day. Camera ready is not just a term, it can mean the difference between you feeling like a celebrity in your photos or being stressed, worrying about how your hair looks. You’ve invested time and money to get the perfect engagement photos and if you feel confident, relaxed and gorgeous, your photos will reflect that.




4. Rings

Always remember to wear your engagement ring and to have it cleaned before hand. Most photographers (myself included) will do at least 1 shot of your ring during the session. Just like on the wedding day, the ring gets photographed in a way that compliments the session. I sometimes put the ring in flowers, on a unique urban pattern (like fences or grates), or suspend from a tree branch. I use a macro lens for rings shots which means I’m able to zoom in so close that I can see each cut of the diamond. It shows every detail and makes the ring jump off the canvas. That being said, if the ring is dirty, the dirt spots will be amplified. No matter where the ring sits, you want it to look it’s best too.



5. Styling

Styling your session should be fun! It simply means that you are adding in a few props or unique elements that speak to you as a couple. For example, if you both are big foodies that love to cook at home, then perhaps your session should be a lifestyle session in your home with the two of you cooking while your dog looks on, waiting for spills. Or maybe the two of you love the city and are always going out in search of the best brewery or wine bar in town. Your session could take place at your favorite pub with the two of laughing over cocktails. Styling can be both physical and locational. Physical – cooking, pets, glass of wine, bicycles, etc… Locational – favorite coffee shop, downtown in your favorite city, or on a beach. The list goes on and on; really make it your own!


I hope this list of the Top 5 ways to enhance your engagement photos helped you plan your perfect engagement session. Want more information, email me for our complete Engagement Session Guide.

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