March 31, 2023

Engagement Session Tips




Engagement sessions are such a wonderful way to capture a sweet season of your love story. It is also incredibly vital to your Wedding experience. You see…  during your engagement session I will learn how you interact as couple, and how to pose you to create authentic imagery of you doing what you do best… LOVING EACH OTHER!

After your engagement session you will be pro’s in front of my camera.

For most of my couples some of the only “alone” time they get together on their big day is during  your first-look and just married portrait time. Knowing how it feels to be in front of my lens, and what to expect from me allows you to relax and be you. This means you will really be able to enjoy those romantic quiet moments together on your Wedding day… and I really want that for you!!!

So…. Let’s get you ready. Here are some engagement session tips.

1. Wardrobe

This is a special occasion…and your outfits should reflect that. It’s your chance to be the fancy version of you. So, put on that flowing dress, cute heels, and that dapper coat and tie. You will be so glad you did. A few of my favorite places to grab the perfect dress for your session… Rent the Runway,  BHLDN, & Anthropologie.


Don’t Match  || Do wear Complementary Colors and Patterns (keep it simple)
Don’t wear Baggy/Tight clothes || Do accentuate your best features (be classy)
Don’t forget the cute shoes || Do accessorize (try something new)
Don’t dress like you came from work || Do layer (adding/removing hats, jackets, wraps, cardigans, etc… can change your look without having to change your wardrobe)


LADIES – I highly recommend long flowing dress for the ladies. Not only is it a very romantic look, it also affords you the most freedom in movement. Often times if a dress is too short or tight, you will not be able to sit our wrap your arms around his neck without feeling self conscious. This will really limit the variety of your imagery to a few basic setting. I love to have my couples walk, dance, sit, embrace, and kiss… and long flowing dresses seem to be the best fit. It also gives you a better idea of what it will be like to move in your Wedding dress.

GENTS – I highly recommend y0u wear a blazer, dress shoes, and a tie. This look will compliment your fiancé’s look, and give you variety (jacket on and off, tie off) without having to change.


2. Hair & Make Up
Now that you’ve got your outfits ready… Lets talk about your look. This is the perfect opportunity to have your trial run with your make up artist for the wedding day. Professionally done makeup makes a huge difference in pictures. Contouring and  lashes go a long way.

It’s also important to consider your hair and his… Make sure your look is fresh, but try getting your cut/color at least a week in advance. This is especially important for him. And ladies, don’t forget to get those nails done (and ring cleaned) for all of those close-up ring shots!

3. Location
Select a location that inspires you, or has some significance to your story. This is your chance to get images at a place you just can’t make on your wedding day.

4. Timing
Like most photographers, I shoot my engagement sessions on weekdays (Tues-Thurs) during golden hours (the two hours before sunset or after sunrise). Sometimes it is a huge advantage to shoot at sunrise to avoid the crowds and traffic, but in some locations that won’t matter. I suggest taking at least a half day off work so you can de-stress. Make a date out of getting ready, shooting, and then go somewhere special together after your session. You should take advantage of this moment during Wedding planning to enjoy this season you are in!!!


5. Props 
Props can be wonderful or distracting. If it’s been pinned and re-pinned, let it go. But, do feel free to pack a basket of strawberries and champagne to enjoy, visit a cafe and order some coffee, write each other love letters to share, carry a bouquet. Just keep your props authentic.

6. Stop Pinning
To quote my sweet friend Liz Fogarty:

Be realistic. We love to pin photos of couples on a boat like “The Notebook” or a couple having fun on a moped in Italy. Unless you plan on actually doing it, you should not expect your pictures to look like that. As much as I LOVE Pinterest, it can be quite overwhelming with the amount of ideas. I love Pinterest for inspiration, but don’t ask your photographer to follow the poses you pinned. If you expect your photographer to follow your pinterest board, you just killed her creative direction. Personally, if I am following a board, I am totally missing out on REAL moments between you and your babe. You hired a professional photographer for a reason. Trust her!

7. And finally… PDA
Prepare to pull out your version of PDA…  Hold hands, whispers sweet nothings, gaze into his eyes, and kiss if you must. This is the part where you should have fun together (FLIRT), and start to forget that I am even there. It may not happen at first, but it will. I promise!


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Manda is
A creative genius!

I met Manda when she photographed a wedding I was maid of honor in. I got to know her throughout the wedding planning process and spent lots of time with her on the day of that wedding. Her demeanor, positive energy, and absolutely stunning shots made her a natural choice for me to select when I got engaged. She was an absolute joy to be around when she photographed my wedding. 
                                                                      Courtney & Mike

WOW all I can say is WOW!!! Hiring Manda as my wedding photographer was the absolute best decision I made for my wedding!!!

If you are looking for a photographer who will instantly make you (and your not photo-loving fiancé) feel completely at ease, who has the kindest heart and who will make your wedding look like an absolute dream you want Manda!
                                                                       Svetlana & Tyler

Manda was an absolute dream to work with! Capturing natural images of the joy and emotion on our wedding day was very important to us...
Manda excels at just that. 

 After looking at Manda's work and hearing story after story from others about how talented she is, we knew we had to have her capture our wedding. . She has the incredible ability to capture loving faces at just the right time and at just the right angle. She is thoughtful, courteous, and appreciates the value of a couple's wedding day. 
                                                Will & Kate

She is incredibly creative and it shows through her work. We highly (highly) recommend Manda!!!!

We LOVED having Manda as our photographer. Her calm, encouraging, and sweet disposition helped us feel at ease in front of the camera. Moreover, she is incredibly talented and catches the most beautiful moments. She is incredibly creative and it shows through her work. We highly (highly) recommend Manda!!!!

                                                                       -Janna + Sam