Preparing For Your Engagement Session | Sharin Shank Photography

February 19, 2018

I absolutely adore getting to connect with our couples before the big day. An engagement session marks such a special time in your life and documenting it for you makes us so happy. We get tons of questions about engagement sessions so we decided to write up a blog post all about preparing for your engagement session with us.


There are so many things going on in your life all at one time. YOUR ENGAGED! You start wedding planning. And now you have to schedule + plan your engagement session. We are definitely here to help with some tips!


Hair + Makeup


I always tell my brides that they should use their trial for makeup + hair for their engagement session. This is a wonderful way to use up those trials and to look and feel your best. We absolutely recommend having your hair + makeup done but don’t require it. A lot of our brides could do makeup for magazines. But if you aren’t that great at it…and its a struggle…{i’m very guilty here} then have some fun with it and call someone to do it for you.

If you decide to do your own makeup, you will want to make sure you apply your eye make-up a little heavier than normal. This is something we get asked about a lot too. Some brides ask “Our foundation too?” No. Not your foundation. We like to enhance the eyes so that you look like you are actually wearing makeup that helps define your natural beauty. Try to stay away from the overly fake stuff like glittery makeup, white highlighters and things like that. A soft natural color palette, enhance those eyes and choose your favorite lipstick to complete the look.

Hair Tips if you do your own hair:  If you normally have tons of fly aways…you may try a very light oil for controlling them. I’m not big into hair spray but I get fly aways like a crazy person. I use Redken Diamond Oil {from Shannon Aleksandrs} and its light, non greasy and helps me to control frizz and fly aways. I blow dry, apply oil and style. If after styling I need just a dot more, I go for it.


Ring Check


We will be photographing your engagement ring during your engagement session so if you want your sparkler to be beautiful, drop it off at your jewelry store so it can shine and be pretty again! If you don’t have a local jeweler, drop it off with my good friends at Camelot Jewelers. They will take care of your ring. A lot of couples are focused on so many things at once, we wanted to throw this one in here for you.





We definitely want you to be comfortable but always ask that you coordinate your outfits. It creates a polished and clean look for our couples. Say for example, the groom is wearing a long sleeve button up in navy blue. The bride could wear a floral navy blue maxi dress with a white lace top. Boom. You are coordinated and look fabulous. Most of our couples wear a casual outfit and a dressy outfit. We always ask that you definitely have one dressy outfit that you feel amazing in. I can’t tell you the difference between jeans and a sweater…and a maxi dress that blows in the wind. I’ll ask the bride to grab onto the skirt and wave it around a bit while her and her groom walk hand in hand. But…if skirts are NOT your thing…then just do your thing! We want you to be happy and feel amazing. Just some styling tips from me to you!


Lighting + Location


For us personally, we love the last two hours before sunset. When we arrange the date, I will look up sunset times and make sure we schedule the engagement session accordingly.  We want that soft even natural light. As far as location, we normally choose the location unless a couple has property somewhere amazing. It can be your property, family property or a friends property. We love when couples have location ideas that are meaningful to them such as a college they both went to, a family farm that has a lot of meaning etc. We LOVE this. But, if you don’t that’s never a problem. We will find the perfect location.


P.S. A question we get asked a LOT. Do we travel for engagement sessions? Um. YES. If there is a PERFECT location that you just adore…let us know about it! We also have some GORGEOUS places in mind that we can share with you too. Even if the drive is an hour…you won’t regret the images that result…


Scheduling Your Session


We always ask our couples to schedule their session on a non-hectic day. If our couple is late, we lose light and time. This will definitely effect how long we have for the session and how many images you will see from it as well. Scheduling the session on a day that is relaxed and fun also allows you two to relax and enjoy this special day with us. We find that couples REALLY enjoy dressing up, having their engagement session with us and then going on a date night! Obviously, pizza and wine at the casa is also considered date night guys! So, plan the session day out. Make it stress free and fun. I promise you won’t regret it.

You should schedule your session at least a month in advance with us. Our calendar becomes full very quickly. Also, make sure that you are preparing for rain during the rainy months. Don’t wait until 2 weeks before you NEED to send out save the dates to contact us about your engagement session. If we are unable to get you in our schedule, we will feel a bit of pressure and we don’t want you to be stressed out either.  We open our calendars to couples right after they book. We can always plan a tentative date and change it if needed. Couples can book their sessions as soon as they are ready 🙂

Thinking About Styling your Engagement / Anniversary Session? WE have your back!

If you are thinking about styling your engagement session, let us know! We are always looking for couples willing to do this. We use your styled session for our portfolio, publications…and our styling guide. We will coordinate everything with you + help you choose the outfits, bouquet and ribbon. Want to learn more about a styled engagement or anniversary session? Contact us! We would LOVE to connect with you.

Trust Your Photographer

You’ve hired a professional to document two very amazing times of your life together. We know where great locations are, we use light to do what we do and we want to make your engagement session fun + memorable. Trust us.


I hope these tips help you guys out and we are STOKED about engagement season!!


~ Becca + Sharin

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