5 Engagement Photography Tips for Newly Engaged Couples

Date Posted 

Booking Your Engagement Photography Session

CONGRATS SWEET FRIEND!! I’m so happy you’re here! He proposed and now you’re finding yourself in a sea of wedding planning unsure of where to even start. Luckily, you’re in the right place.

Your engagement photography should be one of the first things you book. it allows you and your photographer (AKA- one of the most important wedding vendors) to build a connection, months before the big day. Bonus: your photographer has probably *hopefully* done a few, (hundred) weddings, and can more than likely provide you with a whole vendor list of AMAZING wedding vendors. Vendors that are ready to take your special day to the NEXT STEP before you spend hours aimlessly scrolling. 


It’s important to remember that every photographer has a different editing style, personality, and shooting techniques— so booking an engagement session is the best way to truly see if you and your wedding photographer are a good match, before YOUR WEDDING DAY. (As a photographer, walking into a wedding and meeting the bride, for the very first time- on her BIG day, mid menty b, while hair and makeup are getting done..is a little….chaotic?)

When you book your engagement session with your wedding photographer it allows for the relationship to establish and blossom months before the big day- Not only for you as a couple, but for the photographer as a creative. I have discovered that having an engagement session done prior to the wedding day also makes photos, and your timeline THAT much more seamless. Most importantly, as a creative, It gives us time to truly learn who you are as a couple, so we can story-tell you THAT much better (and as a wedding vendor so that we can ENSURE your wedding day is perfect).


Fun fact: Engagement photoshoots are an investment, but something that you will cherish for a lifetime. Some wedding photographers may have wedding packages that include/discount engagement sessions!!

It’s important to check with your engagement photographer before your engagement session to see turnaround times. As photographers, we never ever want to rush the creative process or deliver work that we wouldn’t be proud of. Booking your engagement session accordingly is the most beneficial. 

If you’re planning on using your photos from your engagement session for your save the dates, be mindful that those are typically sent out 6-8 months before the wedding day.  If you’re planning on having a longer engagement or using a different alternative for save-the-dates, there is more flexibility. Typically, as a wedding photographer, I always advise my clients to book 10-12 months out.  


Spring and fall are my favorite times to shoot! the colors are vibrant, the foliage is foliage-ing, and the temperatures are cooler. Although, if you live in a place like me, that’s sunny prettttty much 365 days out of the year; (god bless you, San Diego) you can pretty much get away with doing engagement photos any time of year. It really just depends on YOUR ideal backdrop. 

when choosing your engagement photo location whether you’ve been eyeing that trendy bar in your neighborhood or the spot he proposed, make sure to confirm with your photographer first. While most locations you can achieve beautiful images at, some have certain permissions when it comes to photography. You might be familiar with the term “Golden hour”. It’s called that because that’s truly what it is! Warm, soft, golden lighting (that in my opinion, really helps storytelling). Know that, the best golden hour lighting happens 1-2 hours before sunset, or during sunrise. 

If you’re unsure of a specific engagement photoshoot location, your photographer will help you narrow it down to a location that has exactly what you’re looking for. 


Just know that your engagement session is the WORST time to experiment with outfits! Especially if you’ve booked an engagement photographer that does more promoting, instead of posing. Wear something you’re comfortable in, and something you can move in. When I say that I don’t mean yoga pants, or basketball shorts, we’re not necessarily doing a group workout) but something you know you love. If you’ve booked a session with me, please know there will be A LOT of movement during your session. 


Experiment with your makeup, not your outfits. finding your make-up artist before your wedding day is JUST as beneficial. What better time to do your wedding trial, than for your engagement shoot, while getting to know another wedding vendor? While Makeup often photographs differently, you’ll get a preview of exactly how your makeup is going to photograph. So when it’s wedding day, you can apply tweaks from engagement makeup.

Here are a few local San Diego makeup artists that I have personally worked with:

The best part about booking your engagement session with your wedding photographer is the connection you get AHEAD of time. Save your time looking for additional wedding vendors! Book your WEDDING photographer first! As wedding vendors ourselves, We can connect you with vendors we have PERSONALLY worked with!

Meet Your San Diego Engagement & Wedding Photographer

Hey, I’m Mariah! I’ve been photographing for 7 years, and I think what truly made me fall in love was creating art out of connection. My creativity thrives off of raw, intentional, and carefree lovers because storytelling and the in-between moments matter. I want you to enjoy your experience and also deliver a gallery that you can feel. A gallery that takes you back to the exact season you were in while I was photographing you.