5 Ways to make your Engagement Session Feel Like You

Engagement sessions are more than just photos for your save the dates. They don’t just have to be photos taken in an epic landscape or taken in the same place all your friends have taken them.

Engagement photos are so much more than just pretty photos.  

Engagement photos memorialize this time in your life – a time that will never be repeated again – it’s this season of in-between. No longer just dating and not quite married – a season filled with excitement and anticipation for the future.  

This is a time where your love is different than it has been and different from what it will be in the future. That love is what engagement photos are for, to capture this season of your life in a way that you want to remember forever.  

That love is far more than just pretty pictures.  

When you look back at your engagement photos 10 years from now or show your friends photos as they walk around your first home – what do you want to see?  

Do you want to see yourselves or a pretty landscape?

Okay so you want to see yourselves – , but you don ‘t know how to capture yourselves authentically – being in front of the camera is hard – I totally get it.

Don’t worry! I’ve got some tips to make your engagement feel more like you!

Well, tips other than choosing the right photographer for you two!  Choose someone not just because you like their photos someone who shares the same mindset as you and meshes with your personality.  

Here are some tips to making your engagement photos yours – not something you’ve seen on Instagram or Pinterest.  

Jessica & Cooper took photos at the winery where Cooper proposed.


I’ve mentioned a few time not selecting a location simply because it ‘s pretty or because a bunch of other people have taken photos there before. There is something to be said about taking engagement photos in a place that has meaning or significance to you – and no it may not be the epic landscape you ‘ve seen all over social media – but it could be that bar you go to every Friday night. Which I know will mean so much more to you in 10 years than the field you couldn’t point out on a map if you tried.  

Finding the right location can set the tone for creating memorable photos. Photos hold memories – they help us travel back to that moment – that place and the emotions attached to that moment. Taking photos in a place that has a special place in your heart can transport your back to that love you shared in a way that’s hard to put into words.  

Okay so like where the heck do you find a place that has meaning to you?

Is there a place that marks this season of life for you?  

Maybe it’s the home you first shared together? (Yes, I mean that cheap apartment you turned into a home)  

Or maybe it’s the place you said I love you for the first time?  

Or the place you guys said yes to forever?  

Or the place you go to every weekend for cheap margaritas?

Or the park you walk your dog in every evening?

Okay but…Sarah that really isn’t  “pretty” –  

This does not mean your entire session has to be at your favorite dive bar. Maybe it’s a pitstop on the way to another location. It’s on the way to another place around Austin (or wherever you are) that is a little more esthetically pleasing.    

For some couples that may mean going to 2 or 3 different spots throughout the session – that’s wonderful!  

If that special place is the city you fell in love with together then the whole city may have meaning to you! So, finding a pretty park with a view of the city may just be the perfect spot.

Here ‘s what we did:  

For my fiancé and I – we chose to take engagement photos behind my parents home in Colorado. The mountains are home to us – we feel like we are transformed every time we go to Colorado – like we’re more connected to each other and to the earth. So we took photos there.  

We are planning on taking more engagement photos as we get closer to our wedding date – I know two sessions 😳 – Poor Stephen 😂‚. We go to the farmers market every Sunday before or after church and want to capture that time together – it’s one of our favorite parts of the week – we also are huge homebodies and have made our little apartment home, so we plan to take photos in our apartment as well.  

Will & Rachel chose to take photos at their wedding venue because they fell in love with the landscape. Rachel’s also a pro in heels – more power to her!



The thought of standing in front of a camera for a few hours could make you want to vomit. Having to be in front of the camera can be scary – hopefully, the photographer you connected with makes you feel completely comfortable. But another way to help you feel like yourself in front of the camera is by doing something!

Activities can help take your focus away from the camera and onto the activity and each other. Is there something you love to do together that you would want to be captured?  

  • Is your dog a part of your family? – Take them for a walk!

  • Love to eat together? – Grab your favorite take out and head to the park or grab a pizza and go snuggle on your couch!

  • Love trying new breweries? – Let’s go get a beer!

  • Prefer quiet Saturdays? – The Austin Library is amazing for reading on the rooftop!

  • Like to be outside? – Let’s go for a hike, a bike ride, kayak on the river!  

  • Love shopping? – Let’s go walk around on Congress Ave and stop by your favorite stores

What do YOU like to do – together? or individually? – Relationships are all about supporting and uplifting your partner – maybe you don’t love what they do, but you each do what they love because you love them!  

Activities are a wonderful way to help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera because your focus is elsewhere.  

Capturing what you love to do together is another way to help your engagement photos feel more like you and a great way to capture what this season of your life looked like. I can almost guarantee your passions and favorite activities will change over time – why not capture what you guys love during your engagement season.  

Pedernales Falls Engagement Session

Kyle & Andrea love hiking together so they chose to share a picnic with coffee and donuts on their hike.

Kyle & Andrea went to the bar where they had their first date and had drinks.


Oh man, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had couples coming to me saying they’re going to to try a different style of outfit they’ve seen on Instagram because they feel it’ll look better in photos.  

Don’t do it. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying you shouldn’t go out and get a new dress or those shoes he’s been eyeing forever.  

Wearing that outfit you’ve seen all over Instagram would simply mean capturing a social media trend – not capturing you.  

Find an outfit that feels like yourself that isn’t too far outside of your norm. If you’ve never worn a suit (except for your college graduation), don’t wear one for your engagement photos – save that for your wedding day. If you can barely walk in heels (me🙋🏽‍♀️) settle for flats or sandals.  

When your suit starts to limit your movement, and those heels give you a terrible blister, I promise your face will start to show it no matter how hard you try to hide it.  

Find clothing and shoes that represent you in a way that is comfortable. You physically feel comfortable, and you can look back in 10 years and say that what you were wearing in photos was totally you.  

There’s no right or wrong outfit – every person has different style and taste, but your engagement photos aren’t the time to be trying a new style. They’re a time to show off exactly who you are right now.

New Braunfels Engagement Session

Catie & Jack went to the lake where they had Taco Bell dates back in high school.


I silence your worst nightmare? I totally understand – having your photo taken can be daunting and having to do so in front of a relative stranger is even harder.  

Music is an amazing way to make you feel more comfortable and divert your focus away from the camera and onto each other. When that song you fell in love to or the song you’ve chosen for your first dance comes on all those emotions, come rushing with it.  

Create a playlist of songs that you love or ones that have a special meaning to your relationship. Stephen and I have totally different music tastes, so we don’t really have songs that have a ton of meaning to us. Regardless if you have special songs or not having any kind of background music can be helpful and make you feel more comfortable.  

If you don’t want to create an entire playlist let your photographer know of music genres you prefer – Spotify is pretty great at creating radio stations for you!  

I love playing couples first dance song options while we take photos – it seems to get them so excited about their wedding day!  

Music is a powerful tool in helping you feel comfortable!  

Becket & Devon had coffee at their reception venue


Okay, I said it. Alcohol.  

I’m not saying to get drunk by any means. But sometimes people need a little extra courage to be comfortable in front of the camera, and liquid courage tends to do the trick.  

I have couples bring wine, beer, or even their favorite mixed drinks to their sessions. Those airplane shots are also great, and they’re cheap!  

But you don’t have to take shots to get comfortable in front of the camera.  

If the bar down the street is your go-to spot – grab a drink while you’re there taking photos. If the local park is your weekend getaway, then bring some beer with you. Maybe you chose to have your session at home and want to open a bottle of wine while you cook your favorite meal or cuddle on the couch.  

A little liquid courage may help you feel more open to being yourself in front of the camera and in front of your photographer.  

If you’re over 21 and feel comfortable having a drink, then go for it! It may help take away that anxiety from being in front of the camera. If you aren’t comfortable drinking or not of age – Don’t do it.  

Zero pressure on this one – I find that 80% of my clients consume alcohol of some kind throughout their session.  

John & Hannah shared coffee and a beer as a pit stop between locations.

There is no right or wrong way to take engagement photos. They are 100 unique to you and your fiancé.

You and your fiancé share a love that no one else shares and in a way no one else shares it, so let’s document that.

Pretty fields will always be there – your love, your life will always be changing, let’s document what it looks like right now so 20 years from now you can look back and relive it.  

Hope these tips help you create photos that memorialize your relationship! If you are still unsure exactly how or what represents you two best – reach out! I’d love to help you guys brainstorm ideas! I’m here to help!  

Jake & Madi took photos at the Magnolia Silos where they met

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