How to plan your Engagement Pictures | Engagement Picture Ideas and Tips in Wilmington NC

tips for planning engagement pictures

So you’ve read our last post on why you should have engagement pictures, and you’re all in!  Now the question is… what next?  How do you plan out your engagement portrait session?  We’ve got all the tips, right here!

engagement picture locations indigosilverWhen we meet with our couples, Jeff and I help the couple plan their session around 3 basic ideas: theme, location, and wardrobe.


This is the most important part of planning your engagement session, and it’s the step from which all the rest of your plans will originate.   The idea of theme will shape your entire session.  To figure out what your theme should be, think about the things that are important to the two of you.  Questions to ask yourself could include:

  • Where and how did you meet?
  • Where was your first date?
  • Where and how did you get engaged?
  • What are your favorite activities to do together?
  • If you had a whole Saturday with no responsibilities, what would you do together?

This should help you come up with a theme that is unique to the two of you.  For example, if you’re the outdoorsy types, you might theme your session around bikes and watersports at the beach.  If you’re avid sports fans, you might want to incorporate a little friendly rivalry.  If he proposed with the ring in a cupcake, then by all means, let’s work some cupcakes into the pictures! 

engagement picture ideas indigosilver Location

Once you’ve decided your theme, the location should fall into place naturally.   Don’t choose a location simply because that’s where “everyone goes”.  Choose a location that’s meaningful to you.  Urban types may want their portraits downtown.  You met in Charleston?  Let’s travel to the Holy City!  Jeff and I got engaged in New Orleans, and it’s one of our favorite cities to visit.  We’ve even decorated our studio with fleurs de lis!  Fellow wedding photographers take note: Jeff and I would love to have some portraits made in Nawlins.  (Hint, nudge, wink…)

engagement picture ideas indigosilver

engagement picture ideas locations indigosilver

In addition to location, consider the time of day.  Photographers all know about The Golden Hour, which is the hour just before sunset when outdoor lighting is at its best.  Generally, you’ll want to avoid midday and early afternoon lighting.  However, rules were meant to be broken!  We’re looking forward to shooting an engagement session next month at the Cape Fear Fair and Expo, and we’ll start at sunset and continue shooting after dark to capture the lights and essence of the fair!


engagement picture ideas indigosilver

Ah, the eternal question of what to wear for your engagement portraits. By now, you’re probably getting the idea: your theme and location should give you a pretty strong hint on what to wear.  Our couple that we’re photographing at the fair would look a little silly in a suit and dress… it wouldn’t match their theme.

We actually have a ton of advice on planning your engagement session outfit(s).  There’s a little more to it than just matching your theme, and we’re going to write an entire blog post just on this next week!  Stay tuned!

What are your favorite engagement session tips?  Send us a comment below!

We’re jeff
& Lori

Carolina-based LUXURY BOUDOIR and WEDDING photographers

Our love of photography brought us together when we met at a photography conference over a decade ago. Today, Jeff is indigosilver’s lead wedding photographer, while Lori focuses on boudoir portraiture.

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