We offer a complimentary engagement session within 60 miles of San Jose when booking your wedding with us for two reasons!

First, your relationship with your photographer is incredibly important. An engagement session gives you time to feel more comfortable with us and for you to feel more comfortable in front of the camera. This will lead to much greater ease on your wedding day as you’ve already spent time with us!

Second, we love to provide the opportunity for a fun and unique date. Our goal for your engagement session is that it is enjoyable and that you create memories throughout the session!


We have created this curated engagement session preparation guide to help your portraits turn out as beautifully as you have dreamed.

Couple kisses in the snow under holiday lights for their engagement portraits near Hewing Hotel.

Outfits


This is the number one question we receive about engagement sessions - what should I wear? 

Our number one piece of advice is to dress comfortably and confidently. If you’re wearing something uncomfortable or that you don’t feel confident in, it’s going to show in your photos. Think about what clothes you’d pick out for a hot date! 


Rather than planning outfits that are matching, plan outfits that are complimentary! This applies to colors, textures, and styles!

Feel free to pack an extra outfit to change into, but consider that there may not be an easy location for you to do your changing. Some couples choose to pack an extra outfit so that one is more on the dressy side and the other is more casual! Again, do what fits you best as a couple and makes you feel confident!


What we suggest:

  • Jewel tones
  • Earth tones or neutrals
  • Really any muted colors
  • Layers - add a cardigan or jean jacket to show a variety of textures!
  • Complimentary outfit colors and styles


What to avoid:

  • Clothing with labels
  • Graphic tees (unless there is intentional meaning behind them)
  • Neon/bright colors - these can cause your skin tones to be off, resulting in inaccurate or funky colors!
  • All black - we are huge fans of this for everyday life, but in portraits it can make you look like a blob rather than two beautiful humans.
  • Matching - especially with patterns.


When in doubt, shoot us an email or text with your outfits in it and we’ll share our feedback with you!

Still feeling stuck about outfits? We have a Pinterest board for some further inspiration!

Half Moon Bay cliffside makes a great engagement session location!

Locations


Picking a location for your engagement session can seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of the things. However, here are things to consider when making this decision!


Are there any locations that are important to you as a couple? This could be where you had your first date, popped the question, or just frequent stomping grounds for date nights! Choosing a location with significance gives you a sense of comfort from the start of the session! 


Want to try somewhere new? That’s okay too! We’re down to help you create special memories from your engagement session wherever you select!


What kind of vibe do you want your photos to portray? City or Nature or a mix of both? The Bay Area is filled with so many incredible options. We can surely find exactly the vibe you are hoping for.


Keep in mind that various locations may charge a fee for appropriate permits for your session to take place there. We will partner with you to find this information and complete the paperwork together!


We are currently (as of December 2021) developing Bay Area location guides! These will help you get a sense for some of our favorite locations, not just the locations that show up right away on Google every time you search. Follow us on Instagram so you know when those are live!

Gay, LGBTQ+, and bi-racial couple lean heads towards each other along Lands End in San Francisco for engagement photos.

Time


When should the engagement session be planned for? As long as you have paid your booking fee and signed the contract, we’re all set to book a date and time for your engagement session. We typically have the greatest availability set aside on weekends for scheduling your portraits.


Are you hoping to include photos from this session on your save the dates or invitations? Consider this when looking for a date! We typically have engagement sessions fully edited and in your email inbox no later than 6 weeks following the session. However, if your engagement portraits are scheduled during peak wedding season, it may take longer.

Casual white tee and blue jeans worn for engagement portraits.

Session Flow & The Day of your Portraits


So what will the engagement session be like? Yes, the beginning of your session may feel a little awkward. Probably 9/10 couples share with us that they are camera shy or haven't had professional photos taken before - it’s 100% normal! After meeting at our agreed upon location, we’ll begin snapping away. We rarely give you step by step posing direction unless you have an exact pose in mind or if we want to try out something new. Our style is free-flowing and natural. Your portraits should reflect you as a couple and poses sometimes restrict that. We may gently guide you to help you through any obvious awkwardness, but the goal is for you to forget we’re even there!


How long will the engagement session last? While we don’t set a timer for your session, they typically are 45 minutes to an hour long. While one of our favorite times to capture portraits is during golden hour, we love when couples are willing to start a little before that peak time so that we can adventure around together without strict time constraints.


It's super overcast - that's going to ruin my photos, right? In the Bay Area, we are no stranger to fog and overcast days. Don't be surprised if you wake up on the day of your session to the coastal clouds knocking on your door. Truthfully, overcast skies are your friend! No need to worry about a lot of shadows or harsh lighting. If it's a super sunny day, we'll soak in the sun in a few spots but primarily hang out in the shade for more consistent lighting.