Your Engagement Session…What to expect | Portland Engagement Photographer

Besides the big wedding day, engagements are my favorite sessions to photograph.  Engagement sessions are an opportunity for your photographer to spend some time with you and your fiancé, capturing some great images of just the two of you, to show off your personality and your relationship and to become more comfortable in front of the camera.  When it comes to engagement sessions, the question photographers get asked the most is…what should I wear?  It makes sense that many would have no idea what to expect heading into their engagement photos. Depending on their shooting style, your photographer can offer some specific advice but answers to a few common questions about engagements should help to set you at ease and help you plan for your session.

It’s all about the light. Whether your wedding photographer uses all natural light or flashes with big, white umbrellas, they will likely all agree that time of day matters.  Softer light is better and you will find softer light in the first couple hours in the morning and the last few hours before the sun goes down.  This is the time when shadows are long and the sunlight is that lovely golden color and are the best lighting conditions.  This lighting condition is what photographers call the “golden hour” is also something to consider when choosing your ceremony time.

Location.  When possible, your location should be about you.  Think about places that are significant to you and your relationship.   If you are outdoorsy people and like to hike, consider an outdoor location that is significant to you or captures the beautiful greenery and feel of that love for the great outdoors.  If the restaurant where you had your first date or where he proposed has interesting architecture or spirit and culture, knowing that your engagement photos were taken there will make them more meaningful to you.  If you spend your summers playing at lakes or the ocean, consider something by the water. Undoubtedly, your photographers can recommend places that provide great photographic opportunities, but choosing a place that represents your personalities will make you feel more comfortable at the actual session and will leave you with pictures that mean more to you than if taken at a completely random location. Not only do I spend time learning about my couples, I use an Engagement Questionnaire that provides me with great information about you and your personalities and your relationship.  It helps me to better plan your engagement session with you and choose a location with you that fits you and your relationship. The photo below was taken at The Deschutes Brewery in downtown Portland.  When I asked Whitney and Joseph why they were choosing this location, she said, “Because we love beer!” You can see and feel their comfort and love for each other captured in the image.

And of course…the question about what do you wear? What you choose to wear at your engagement session reflects the feeling and look of your photos.  Spend some time considering what you want to reflect in your photos.  Don’t feel like you have to match or color coordinate too much, just make sure that you are both dressed for the same general season and that the clothes you are wearing feel comfortable and compliment each other.  Here are some recommendations when considering your clothing selections…

Be you.

  • You and your fiancé are the subject matter, so you want to wear something that reflects who you are and what you love.
  • If you love pink and it’s your trademark color – wear that.
  • If you wear cowboys boots everyday, wear them.
  • The details are fun and make the pictures about you…consider jewelry that reflects you.

Color is beautiful.

  • Dark colors are slimming
  • Your photographer may have his/her personal likes and dislikes…I love rich colors and something with a little pop of color always photographs well.
  • Don’t be afraid to wear something that isn’t recommended but that you are in love with.
  • Coordinate, but not matching.
  • It’s about you!

More helpful tips.

  • Ladies: Tops or outfits with sleeves are always flattering to arms and a good pair of boots can make any girl’s legs look great.
  • Gentlemen: a button down and a sweater with a nice pair of jeans and dress shoes are a great go-to outfit.
  • Gentlemen…avoid loud or busy patterns or words on your shirts.
  • It is always best to bring a few different outfits.  Our couples typically bring 2 – 3 outfits depending on the location and how much time we have.
  • Your ring will most certainly be a focus in many photos.  Make sure you get your nails done and/or the nails are clean and trimmed.


Another fun way to make your session unique and fun is to bring props.  I like to use some props that I have but the props you bring will personalize your session even more.

Some fun props are:

- A bouquet of balloons or one big balloon
- A “Save the Date” sign on poster-board for personalized save the date cards.
- Hats
- Sunglasses
- Your favorite cool couch or chair
- Anything else that makes your relationship unique or that is special to you.

The photo below was taken at Cathedral Park in Portland.  Kristi and Shane have this cool vintage tandem bike that they ride all the time and Kristi is wearing a vintage dress that was handsewn by her grandmother.  Not only does their clothing reflect who they are but the tandem bike serves as a prop that adds character and fun, making their engagement images all about them and who they are.

Photography is an art and is completely subjective. Your photographer is interpreting what she/he is seeing and feeling.  Likely, you hired your photographer because you appreciated their unique style.Trust them. Often times it takes a few clicks of the camera for the perfect shot to evolve.  Let them take their time and just relax and enjoy your session. Photographers are taking into consideration things that most people aren’t aware of…the  light, the foreground, the background, and avoiding things like cars and people in the background. Don’t worry so much if the landscape looks like nothing through your eyes. More than likely it’s really something special and your photographer can see it and seize it.

The most important thing to remember is your engagement photos are about you and this short but exciting time in your lives. It is not about the setting, your outfits, or exactly how you are standing. When you meet with your photographer, let them into your relationship a little by sharing how you met or how he (or she!) proposed, or some embarrassing story that will surely create a stronger connection with your photographer. Focus your every bit of energy on your love who is right next to you … the one you are committing your life to, not your photographer clicking away.  Flirt with each other.  When you ignore that sound of the camera clicking and you really flirt with one another, those are the images that you will treasure forever.  Look deep in each other’s eyes, smile or simply rest your head on his shoulder.  These are the moments – the moments you want to freeze in an image that tells the story of your love, your lives and your commitment for sharing the rest of your days with the person who wants the same thing as you.

Portland Engagement and Wedding Photographer

Enjoy this Portland engagement photography provided by Camera Art Photography offering Portland Oregon engagement photography in the Portland metro area and Vancouver Washington area.

Camera Art Photography is anything but your average Portland engagement and wedding photographer. Each engagement is treated with care and creativity not found with other Portland and Oregon engagement photography studios. Your engagement session is carefully crafted to offer one of a kind unique photography in the Portland area.

This is Portland engagement photography at its best. Camera Art Photography is an award winning and published photographer based in the Portland metro area. Offering engagement and wedding coverage in Portland, OR and destinations worldwide, this engagement photography studio is one of the top studios in Oregon and is located right here in the Portland metro areas.

Service Information

Camera Art Photography offers Portland engagement and wedding photography coverage in the Portland metro area, including but not limited to, Vancouver, WA, Portland, OR, and the surrounding areas. In addition, we also offer wedding photography coverage across the United States and destinations worldwide. Call for more information.

Not looking for a Portland wedding photographer? Please be sure to consider us for your high school senior photography and all your family and maternity photography needs in the Portland area.

Location Information

We are located conveniently in the Portland metro area in Oregon @ 1049 SW Baseline St, Suite C 450, Hillsboro, OR 97123

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