Taking engagement photos was, hands down, one of the most fun aspects of wedding planning so far. It doesn’t hurt when your photographer is the talented Danielle Poff, your bouquet is created by floral mastermind Michelle Lywood, and the brilliant Katie Nash does your hair and makeup. 

I thought it was about time that I share these photos, as well as a few engagement photo tips and styling tricks I learned along the way! 

1. Do an engagement session.  If you’re on the fence, stop right now, and hop over the fence to engagement session territory.  Maybe your photographer doesn’t include the session and you have to pay a little extra, or maybe you don’t think you’ll use the photos. If you can, I highly recommend building an engagement session into your budget, and as long as you’re booking a photographer whose work resonates with you, you’ll love the photos and want to plaster them on every wall.  Your engagement time is a small window to capture your relationship before you make a huge commitment to one another. It’s also really great to get used to having your photo taken and understand what it’s like to work with your photographer before your wedding day. 

2. Wear something comfortable that makes you happy! Most of the items in my closet are years old, and I didn’t feel excited to put anything on.  I did some shopping for outfits that put a smile on my face and was excited to wear and that I felt comfortable in.  If you have a piece you like in your closet, maybe dressing it up with a few new accessories, or borrowing that top from your friend will be what helps make the difference! I looked at engagement photos before selecting our outfits to figure out what kinds of patterns I liked in photos, and color variation I thought worked well for other couple’s, and kept those elements in mind when selecting our own. 

3. Run your outfits by your photographer. Your photographer wants the photos to turn out just as beautiful as you do, and it can’t hurt to make sure the outfits you’re selecting will photograph well.  I was told to avoid a solid black dress (I kind of broke that rule…but added a pattern and two piece!), and ran my outfit options by Danielle before finalizing, especially with the black. You also don’t want your pants to be exactly the same shade of blue jean, and look like blobs in your photos, and neither does your photographer! Trust their advice, they are a professional for a reason.

4. Pick a location with some variation.  I loved that we could do two different outfits in two different spots in Marin Headlands that were right next to each other.  It helped to have some more variety in the photos, so they weren’t all with the same backdrop.  On the beach we had the ocean view, and the rock formations, and up at the top we had vast cliffs and coves and the colorful succulents. It also helped that Dave and I had been to these spots before, so we weren’t wandering around looking and wasting precious sunset time! 

5. Professional hair and makeup is worth a splurge.  I felt at my best knowing Katie had taken care of covering all of my skin imperfections that would have made me self conscious.  Hands down, having professional hair and makeup made a HUGE difference in the photos.  Not worrying about my skin made me so much more comfortable getting close up photos taken.  If you can’t afford hair and makeup, I would suggest spending a bit longer prepping (if you have skin insecurities like I do), or even doing a practice run so you can figure out how you want your hair and makeup to look. I wouldn’t recommend trying something super different than your normal routine, you still want to recognize yourself in the photos.

6. Have FUN with each other! This was a chance for Dave and I to finally spend some nice time together outside of our busy schedules – we both took the day off so we could focus on each other and having a good time together! Maybe the weather doesn’t cooperate – that’s fine! If you and your partner are enjoying each other and having fun playing together at the shoot, that will come through in the photos! I was nervous I would be awkward in front of the camera, so we brought a bottle of champagne with us – Danielle ended up making everything so easy, but we had some time waiting for the sun to get lower and popped it anyway! 

Huge thanks to: 

Photography: Danielle Poff Photography | Florals: Michelle Lywood | Hair and Makeup: Katie Nash Beauty | Two Piece Dress: Fame and Partners | Gold Skirt and Off-The-Shoulder Top: Topshop | Choker: Asos | Shoes: Target | Engagement Ring: Heidi Gibson 

Enjoy some of our photos below!

We are so excited to have our photos featured on Green Wedding Shoes in the new year! 

Our Marin Headlands Engagement Session

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