PACIFIC NORTHWEST, seattle based

Uplevel Your Engagement Photos in 3 Easy Steps

It can be way too easy for your engagement or couples photos to end up looking just like every other engagement photo out there. While Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook have some great inspiration, don’t feel like that’s what yours need to look like – trust me.

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Pull ideas from other people, but don’t feel like you need to if you don’t want to. If you copy someone else’s poses because that’s what you think you should do, then your photos won’t feel as personal or unique. My goal for your couples photoshoot is to capture your true emotions and personalities. That simply won’t shine if you look like everyone else, my friend.

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Engagement photos & couples sessions can easily be stressful – but they don’t need to be. Here are 3 easy steps to upleveling your photoshoot & making sure your photos feel completely, 100% like your truest selves.

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Tip #1: Plan Out Your Outfits

Plan the perfect outfits – and by perfect I mean FUN AF! What makes you feel confident? You can show up in potato sacks for all I care – I just want you to feel like Beyonce and make out with the person you love. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable, so you can feel like your truest self in your photos.

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I have a whole guide on choosing your engagement photo outfits, but here are a few of my favorite tips!

  • Bring options!

If you can’t decide, bring 4-5 options and I can totally help make sure you choose one that doesn’t distract from you two.

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  • Plan it out – make it make sense.

If you’re doing a couples shoot in the summer, you probably don’t want to wear winter clothes. Heels won’t be your best friend if the majority of our shoot is on the beach, and sandals aren’t the best option for a hike.

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  • Keep your patterns to a minimum.

Flannel is always cute, but have the other partner wear a solid! Too many patterns will distract from the subject – you two. 😉

  • Props are always a hell yes!

Props can be a picnic lunch (something as simple as a pizza or PB&J’s), your pets (please and thank you), your old school truck or car, blankets to cozy up with, or the fixin’s for a campfire and s’mores (and your favorite beers).

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  • Show some skin for your in-home session.

Or pick an outfit you would truly wear while lounging around on a lazy Sunday, Netflix & chillin’ with your dogs and your favorite beers. Some of my favorite in-home pieces include ripped jeans, plain tees, sports bras, cheeky shorts, oversized sweaters, or chunky cozy socks.

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  • Consider your hair and makeup.

If it makes you comfortable, then spoil yourself with professional hair and makeup. But if it’s going to make you feel like you have too much caked-on, don’t do it. Just go with your natural day-to-day look instead, beautiful!

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  • Layers for the win.

Layering pieces are a great, easy way to add dimension and variety at the same location, wearing the same outfit.

  • Accessorize! 

Accessories are such a fun and simple way to add something a little extra interesting to your photos. Try wearing rings, bracelets, stacked necklaces, or hats!

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Tip #2: Make It Your Own

This tip might be number two on the list, but it’s probably the most important. Make this session truly your own by asking yourselves: What makes you two stand out as a couple? Was your first date at an arcade? Do you love playing music together?

No matter what makes you two unique, let’s brainstorm ideas to incorporate that into your engagement photos.

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Here are a few more ideas to help personalize your engagement photos:

  • Cook an old family recipe together
  • Smoke a blunt
  • Make a campfire & roast some s’mores
  • Do an at-home session & get steamy
  • Playing board games
  • Bring your pets along
  • Make a picnic & order takeout
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Emily + Dan had a super unique engagement photoshoot, and we had the best damn time making their engagement session totally personalized to them. They have a cool AF collector car, so we went to the top of a mountain at sunset and they took a few photos with it.

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We parked the car at a beautiful spot inside of Olympic National Park, threw a blanket in the back, and kicked back with the most epic views and some gin + ginger ale. Your engagement session doesn’t need to be complicated or stressful. Let’s make it feel like you, whatever that means to you both.

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Tip #3: Let Go of Expectations

My last tip is to just let go of the expectations you might feel from family, society, or yourself and just enjoy the damn session! The expectation is probably a photo of you two in a cute outdoor location holding up a “we’re engaged!” sign. But you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to, or if that would feel unnatural to you. 

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Andrea + Owen rented a 1970’s idyllic cabin nestled in the heart of Granite Falls, WA for their recent couples session. It had stunning views of Canyon Creek, which we could see from nearly every one of the massive windows. They made a whole trip out of their shoot because that’s what helped them feel like themselves!

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The natural light and earthy tones were perfect for their intimate couple’s photoshoot. Their little cabin had lots of space for different intimate moments – on the porch, cuddling on the couch, the kitchen counter, or my personal favorite – the hot tub.

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One of the reasons I love when couples travel for their engagement photos is because they can rent a cute n’ cozy place to stay. And then, we automatically have a second location for photos. And if you’re dying to get that cozy home-y feel in your photos, without actually being at home, this is definitely the way to go.

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Stephe + Siddeeqah did the same thing as Andrea + Owen! They made a trip out of their shoot so we could have some fun adventuring and exploring the beautiful PNW. We took their engagement photos at Ruby Beach and had a fucking blast together.

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There’s truly nothing better than adventuring with the person you love. So why not get photos of it to celebrate your love story?

The only expectation I want you to have about your engagement photos is that you’re gonna have a damn good time and we’re gonna capture some beautiful ass photos that tell YOUR unique story.

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If you just got engaged, read: We’re Engaged – Now What? 5 Things to do After Getting Engaged.