As Featured On

Engagement Session Tips for Couples | Eau Claire, WI Wedding Photographer

Engagement Session Tips for Couples

Let me just say this, I was a bride not too long ago too.  I’ll also say that while I’m a wedding photographer my now husband had no idea why we would need an engagement session or what an engagement session was even about.  It’s not just to have gorgeous photos to show off in the local newspaper, they are images that you can hang on your walls and give to family and speak about who you truly are on a day-to-day basis.  Not only are they fun and you get to know me a bit more and how things work for the big day – it will make you less nervous (ahem, your fiance less nervous) too. I get a lot of questions about different aspects of engagement sessions so I’m going to cover a bit about an ‘esession,’ what to wear, how you should choose your locations and more.  Hang tight, I promise this is going to be a great one!


An old truck = perfection.

Choose your outfits wisely.

Your engagement session is not about you going out and purchasing a whole new wardrobe for you and your fiance.  Sure, go ahead and pick up some great staples for the both of you, but please, please, PLEASE make this about who you are as a couple.  I want to show off the love you have for each other and while it’s fabulous to look pulled together, you don’t need to look outside of your closet necessarily.  Here are my biggest tips on choosing your outfits for your engagement session and also a link to some outfit ideas I’ve pulled together over on my handy ‘What to Wear: Esessions‘ Pinterest board, lucky you.

Be Yourself

Don’t let the trends pull you in.  Wear what you normally wear on a daily basis, and kick up the ante a notch.  It’s just my general rule of thumb.


What I loved about Chelsey & Jesse is that they were so laid back, relaxed and seemed SO comfortable = there isn’t anything better.

Coordinate with Each Other

This is HUGE.  You do not need to match.  Let me repeat this: you do not need to match.  Coordination is an amazing thing, think this: you’re wearing a brown sweater, make sure that his outfit has tones of that same brown or variations of it.


See how the blues that Sara & Donavan chose play well off of each other?


Look how their brown tones also work well, they aren’t the same but coordinate and work well.

Be Comfortable

I will have you sitting, standing, possibly even laying on the ground so make sure you’re comfortable to move around and that your clothes aren’t too tight.

leinies-lodge-chippewa-engagement session

See how relaxed and comfortable they look in their clothing choices?

Dress for the Season

We live in Wisconsin so it’s only possible that it could be chilly (or you know, more than chilly) so if we are shooting your engagement session anywhere between October-April you should dress not only in layers but dress for the season.  If it’s snowy don’t come in a thin blouse, make sure you have a cute coat, scarf, hat and make the most out of this gorgeous state we live in.


Brooke & Mike stayed warm by layering long underwear under their clothes and wearing warm sweaters!

Color it Up

Don’t be afraid of color, a pop of this and that is perfect.  Don’t be afraid of patterns, textures, etc as well – just stray away from teeny, tiny little checkered prints and stripes as they can end up looking like you’re moving.  Also, leave the writing, characters and busy branded clothing at home.  It’s for the birds and I don’t want your clothing to take away from you as a couple!


Don’t be afraid to add a pop of color to your wardrobe!

*Bonus tip: If you’re thinking of having professional hair and makeup services on your wedding day, your engagement session is a great time for a trial run of some of those things – and well it’s just so much fun to get glammed up anyway.

 Pick a location you adore.


Sara & Donavan wanted their engagement session in Minneapolis to show where they were currently living and what they enjoy about life.. Garden of the Seasons made a perfect spot.

It can be tough to choose the ‘perfect’ location for your engagement session and you might be thinking, “I have absolutely no location in mind for our session.”  Well, I’m here to help.  I just have to say I LOVE when couples choose a location that means something to them.  It doesn’t have to be a big spread of property that your family owns, but it can be.  Think outside the box for locations, and of course if you just draw blanks on where you’d like to have your session – I have a great list of spots to get us started!  Here are some ideas to get your mind in the right spot:

‘Your’ Spot

Do you go fishing every Friday night?  Do you take walks on your parents land on the weekend?  How about the library where you pick out great reads? Maybe it’s a local coffee shop where you bumped into each other, it might just make the perfect location to cozy up with a mug of cocoa on a cold day.  They would all make it about who you are as a couple and the connection you have with that spot.


Where You Got Engaged

It’s always fun to revisit the spot where you two love birds were engaged – a park, a boat, or maybe right in your own backyard.


Cody called me up to photograph THE proposal… which is pretty darn amazing.

One of A Kind

Do you have an old truck or car you’d love some images with?  I love vintage vehicles and I say YES.   Maybe it’s your parents land or an old barn on your property – your one of a kind spot or thing.  I say YES.


Ashley & Nathan chose her grandfathers barn on 200 acres of family land, and it makes a pretty great backdrop!

Somewhere New

Have you ever wanted to visit that little state park up north, or maybe it’s somewhere on Lake Superior that you’ve seen.  Hey, guess what?  I’m on board!  Let’s discuss details!

driftwood-lake-superior-beach-engagement sessionlake-superior-engagement-session-on-the-beach

Relax and have fun.

I promise it’s not going to be stuffy or painful or any of those other things that may come to mind when you think of having your photograph taken.  Really, it’s soooo painless.  I’ve even had grooms-to-be approach me after a session and go “whew, you made that totally easy and I was so nervous that it would be painful.”  It’s not.  Just relax, be who you are as a couple and I’ll take some really fantastic portraits of the two of you as you are on that day.  It’s just an awesome thing to have your love documented – so let loose, have a little fun, let’s stop for ice cream if that’s what you normally do on a Friday night, I’m game.


These two love Olson’s in Chippewa, so guess what? We made a stop for some yummy ice cream at the end of their session.

Trust me.

I’m professional, this is what I do  Don’t worry about the 9 million pins of couples you have on your Pinterest board.  They are not you and your fiance and those moments cannot be created exactly.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Pinterest and the inspiration it brings (and isn’t it convenient that it was launched shortly after I got married….) but you are you and trust me to know that you’ve hired someone who can capture moments – we don’t have to create them.


Do you know someone who’s getting married and needs engagement pictures, or maybe yourself?  Let’s chat about all of the amazing possibilities!

Hello Friends

I am honored time and again that I am able to let couples tell their own story as it unfolds. I try to document each moment in a joyful, genuine and romantic way.  Have a look around and when you're ready to talk about capturing your day, send me a note.

A Guide: 10 Questions to Ask Your Photographer 

Signup to receive a series of ten emails to plan a stress-free wedding.