You may be planning your engagement session and I want to help you out and give you some inspiration! Sometimes it can be hard to decide where to have your session or what to wear! I've created a list of frequently asked questions along with tips and inspiration to help you plan your engagement photographs!

Thinking about not getting engagement photographs taken? Keep reading for my top reasons for why you should plan an engagement session before your wedding! It's more than just pretty pictures and Save-the-Date content!

Five reasons as to why you should have an engagement session with your wedding photographer

You may be having an intimate wedding without Save-the-Date invitations, you may not want “extra” photographs of you and your fiancé, or you may honestly think that “just” taking photographs would not be a fun experience. Even if you are not printing your engagement photographs on cards to send to your friends and family, they matter!

1. An engagement session allows you to become more comfortable with your wedding photographer and their shooting style, before or after you book your wedding.

2. An engagement session helps you know the photographer’s style, demeanor, and personality. It gives you time to get to know each other. It's important that your photographs know who you are before your wedding and what you're all about so that they can document you more authentically.

3. An engagement session is the perfect opportunity to incorporate your individuality, interests, or hobbies into your photographs if you are unable to on your wedding day.

Couple pouring champagne toast
Couple playing foosball in The Brakeman Detroit bar

Shinola Hotel | The Brakeman

4. Engagement photographs are beautiful to display at a bridal party or wedding (especially at the gift or place card table)

5. Engagement photographs provide you with beautiful, timeless images of you and your fiancé in a more casual environment, where you can wear whatever you’d like and be flexible with your location choice!

Detroit Michigan couple enjoying engagement session in a field

Stony Creek Metro Park

Alright, so I’ve convinced you, right? If not, reach out and we can talk about it more! I never pressure my couples into engagement sessions. Sometimes couples are out of state and it just isn’t possible, or they only have a few months to plan their wedding and it doesn’t fit into their schedule. Whatever your reason is, I’d love to know!

Frequently asked questions with tips and inspiration

Do you have any location suggestions?

If you can, choose a location that has significance to you OR a location that fits your interests. Remember, you can choose an indoor location, such as your home, favorite coffee shop downtown, or that brewery where you had your first date. If you choose an indoor location, you do not have to worry about a rain out plan, and we can always go outside and photograph around your location. Maybe you want to rock your engagement session downtown with the cityscape surround you. Or, maybe you feel more comfortable out in nature! Maybe you’ve always dreamed of having your photographs taken under a willow tree. Remember, we can try to fit in two locations if they are nearby. For example, in Downtown Detroit, there are many locations within walking distance so we can get a good variety! I’m here to guide you, but I do not want to make you feel like you have to choose a specific spot.

You can check out my blogs for location inspiration or if you need further recommendations, just let me know!

Overhead photo of Detroit couple sharing popcorn during lifestyle home photo session

At home

Detroit couple outside The Brakeman bar in Detroit Michigan

The Brakeman

Couple embracing during photo session at Troy Farm Park in Michigan

Troy Farm Park

Detroit Couple embracing during engagement photography shoot at the Z lot in Detroit Michigan

The Z Lot, Detroit

What should I wear?

Again, it’s completely up to you. I want you to show up and be YOU, not some cute couple you are trying to imitate on Pinterest. I want you to feel comfortable and confident in whatever you choose to wear! You can be casual or more dressy. You can also choose to change outfits halfway through our session if you desire different looks!

Focus on complimenting each other without matching; no one wants to relive the white shirts and khakis look. I love neutrals and jewel tones as they complement skin tones best and are not distracting in photographs. And do not be afraid of patterns, it can be a great accent! I would recommend if you choose to wear patterns, make sure your partner is wearing something more neutral without conflicting patterns. Think about the environment you will be taking your photographs in too and try to fit that vibe. And, you will be MOVING around for your engagement photographs, so make sure that you can move in whatever outfit(s) you choose. You will want to be comfortable walking, sitting, maybe even dancing! And if you still feel unsure, here is my Pinterest board for inspiration.

Detroit couple posing in doorway during engagement photo session
Detroit couple dancing in Downtown Rochester Michigan

Downtown Rochester

Engagement photo session with couple in a vineyard
Detroit couple dancing during engagement photos in Traverse City, Michigan

Brys Estate, Traverse City

What should I bring to an engagement session?

While you don’t want to be carrying around a huge bag of extra “stuff”, bringing some items to your engagement session that represents you, your interests or your hobbies is a great idea! It infuses your individuality and who you are as a couple into the photographs. I want your session to represent YOU, so if that means bringing your four-legged friend along or items that tell your story, please do! We can incorporate them into your photos in an authentic and fun way! Maybe it’s something from your proposal, a hobby you both love and share, a food you love, or a bottle of wine that is special.

Detroit engagement session using prop of coffee mug

Rochester Park

Planning the ideal engagement session tips
Engaged Detroit couple with golden retriever puppy

Royal Oak

What’s the best season for engagement photographs? And what happens if the weather isn’t right?

Again, the season is up to you! If you are taking your engagement photographs for your Save the Dates, which is recommended from 6-8 months before your wedding, I would suggest taking them 8-10 months prior to your wedding date, if possible! If you’re not planning on using them for Save the Dates or your wedding website, you can take them whenever you’d like!

If you love warm tones and sweaters, fall is your best bet! Fall can be a great time for dark, moody photos and colorful, fun photographs. If you prefer a lighter scene, spring and summer are great options. In Michigan, spring blossoms around May while summer starts to get hot around July. If you are worried about rain, I would not recommend a spring session and if you are worried about sweating, I would not recommend a summer session. Winter engagement sessions are possible, but Michigan weather is unreliable as you know, so there may be snow or it may just be grey. Likewise, the cold weather often makes your hands and faces red, which will be in almost every photograph. So something to think about! If you’re a go with the flow kind of person, any season will do!

Z Lot in Detroit engagement session with couple and Detroit skyline

The Z Lot, Detroit (Winter)

Downtown Rochester Michigan engagement with dog at sunset

Downtown Rochester (Spring)

Summer engagment photos in Traverse City Michigan with Nicole Leanne Photography

Brys Estate, Traverse City (Summer)