choosing the perfect time, location, outfit & more!


I am so excited to be working with you and can’t wait to create some memories of your engagement (pre-wedding) photo session! I get it, it's your first professional photo session together as a couple and it’s totally normal to be a little nervous. HAKUNA MATATA! Even as a photographer, I get nervous when I get my annual photos done with my boyfriend!

There are reasons why I encourage couples to book an engagement photo session. First, they allow you to get comfortable in front of the camera before your wedding day. It takes time for most couples to warm up to being photographed and understand how I guide them through posing. Timelines can be pretty tight on weddings days and 30 minutes may be all we have for portraits - which is why I have found that wedding day portraits turn out so much better when couples do engagement sessions ahead of time! (Discover pricing here)

If you don't know already, I am Miranda Suess, your engagement photos photographer and could also be your wedding photographer ;) Whether you plan to do your engagement photoshoot in New York or New Jersey - I am here to help! Keep reading to feel prepared.

Second, engagement photos is part of a chapter in your love story - we can make it extra special by personalizing it. We can photograph in places that explain how you met, favorite places to visit, or even a cool adventure you always wanted to try out! Consider this shoot to showcase your personalities in a more casual setting (include fur babies too). While engagement photos are great for save-the-dates, I have taken engagement photos anywhere from 18 months in advance to a few days before the wedding. 

There is a lot to think about when it comes to planning a session and since I get asked the same things over and over again, I thought it would be the most beneficial if I put together a guide that walks you through everything you need to know. 

I get it. Having your picture taken for 1-2 hours may not be in your top-10 favorite things to do. You're probably doing it just because it makes your fiancé happy, and that's really special. At first you might feel sort of awkward being in front of the camera. But I think you’ll find that by the end of the session, it’s a lot easier than you thought, and you even had a little fun! I look forward to it because it’s a great opportunity for us all to connect a bit before the wedding day!

The Guys


Most couples use their engagement photos for save the dates and their wedding website. I recommend scheduling your session at least two months before you plan to send out your save-the-dates.

Between inclement weather, editing, designing your save-the-dates and printing, two months is generally a safe amount of time to make sure your images and cards are ready.

Some websites and invitation designers to check out:
G.C. Lettering, Feather and Ink Paperie, Zola, and The Knot 

Save the dates

Engagement sessions can take place anywhere from immediately following a proposal to just a few days before the wedding. Scheduling them can take place Sunday-Friday. Saturdays are left open for wedding days. Sundays are typically best for NYC parking, while weekdays have less tourists and foot traffic.

Sessions generally last about 90 minutes and begin about one hour before sunset. You will receive an assortment of photos in your gallery - from daylight to golden hour to sunset. It's a fact that lighting make a difference - when the sun is low in the sky, we can avoid harsh shadows, under eye darkness and over exposed  sun patches. 

Engagement photo sessions are typically scheduled during the best light of the day - which means that it’s super important to be on time. If you’re late to our session, we could quickly run out of light. I highly encourage you to arrive 30 minutes before our scheduled time to find parking, this way there's less stress before your photos!

  • A quick tip: simply google search: Sunset in New York/New Jersey on (engagement photo shoot date) , and then plan to start your photos 90 minutes before sunset!

When is the best time for Engagement photos?


While I shoot most of New York City and New Jersey engagement sessions between April-June and late August-November, sessions can take place all year.

Months like July-August are the most humid months of the year and from past experience shooting couples, sweat is typical and so is feeling discomfort. I would suggest to plan an indoor session or early morning shoot for cooler temperatures and beat summer crowds at popular NJ & NYC photoshoot destinations.

December-March tend to be the chillier months. I am not a fan of the cold and cute-romantic engagement dresses are extremely limited. Red-chapped lips and noses cannot be edited either. I suggest my couples that we plan an indoor session. Especially in their home if they like to decorate for the holidays! 



Dance in the water, hand in hand

In spite of the very humid heat, I am a big fan of summer sessions! Because of the later sunset, photo shoots sometimes begin as early as sunrise or as late as 6:30pm. However, we can catch an earlier sunrise session if we opt for a popular New York City or New Jersey spot to beat the crowds. 

If you’re taking your NYC engagement photos during the summer, don't forget bug spray, sunscreen, oil blotting sheets, and a change of clothes in order for you to stay fresh throughout your session. 

In a lush green setting, do not wear yellow, green or orange! 






Colorful leaves and gratitude in the air

Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year in NYC & NJ and because of the perfect weather, my schedule books up quickly!

Fall is peak tourist season - so there will be lots of extra foot traffic and other photoshoots happening around you!

Mid October to mid November are usually the safest bets to guaranteed pretty vibrant gold, red, and orange fall foliage.

Wearing neutrals or red tones to look cohesive in a fall photoshoot!










hot cocoa, dazzling lights, snuggle up, and wear cozy coats

It has become more popular for couples to do an engagement photoshoot at a NYC hotel or their NYC/NJ home and around the neighborhood. 

Keep in mind that some winter engagement sessions begin shooting as early as 2:30pm to catch the sunset. 

Dress in layers and be sure to wear leggings underneath your dress so you can warm up. Don't forget extra makeup, chap stick and tissues as your nose will get runny!


Fresh flowers and pops of color

My favorite season of all! Cherry blossom trees begin to peak throughout the first three weeks of April, and photoshoots become at high demand around this time. 

It's best to book your spring New Jersey photo session in Brook Branch Park in the afternoon {2pm-5pm}, before swarms of people photobomb your dreamy shots
Gallery 1
Gallery 2

In the event it rains, we can reschedule without a fee. 

Wearing light pastel colors like soft pink/blue, lavender, whites/neutrals will be the right choice





*Additional booking, travel fees and advance reservations
are quoted based on location*


New York and New Jersey Photoshoot 

I believe that couples should choose a location that either has meaning to their love story or introduces the theme to their wedding day. 

For example if you’re planning an enchanted whimsical fairytale wedding, it may be fitting to take your engagement portraits around iconic NYC architectural wonders like in Central Park OR NJ Botanical Gardens.

A beach or waterfall photoshoot may be more fitting for an adventurous couple who needs save-the-dates for a tropical wedding destination.

If you're having trouble deciding - I am happy to make recommendations. From NYC staycations to sunflower fields to the best NYC skyline views from New Jersey or Brooklyn side and romantic flower gardens, the options for NYC and New Jersey engagement session locations are endless! 


Your neighborhood


New jersey


Based on your photoshoot location & time of year - I  can guide you on making the right choice on a couple wardrobe options for your photoshoot!



When picking outfits I recommend keeping in mind the word “compliment” rather than “match.” For example, if your partner is wearing a royal blue suit, you may want to choose a flowy long purple or pink or softer blue dress. 

Generally couples pick two outfits for an engagement session: a formal outfit and a fashionable casual outfit. Save your favorite outfit for later in the session, as that's when couples usually feel more comfortable in front of the camera. And don’t forget to bring a few accessories! Your new shiny ring, sentimental jewelry, scarfs/coats, comfortable walking shoes and fashionable shoes. Your partner can add on a classic watch, cuff links, fun socks, and fake glasses.

READ THE BLOG: Online Dress Shops for Romantic Engagement Photos 

Color Combinations

outfit color combinations that work best


PICK ONE! it's free with your photoshoot

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-Book a makeup artist as this is a great opportunity to "try" your wedding day artist, but you can trust you will look good in photos (try: Marie, Dominique, or Sam)

-Within 3 days of session, treat your self to a mani-pedi

-Wear comfortable flats in between shots as we will be walking around a lot 

-Don't forget chap stick and compact mirror -  make transporting easy and pack everything in a rolling suitcase

-Mourn now, your dress will most likely get dirty







for the ladies

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Sentimental jewelry is a great way to bring meaning to your photographs. Add color or pattern to a simple dress with a fun pair of shoes, headpiece, scarf or belt. Fabrics like lace, chiffon and tulle look amazing in photographs.

We are our own worst critique. I am self conscious about my double chin, others may hate when their arms show. Off shoulder gowns and dresses with sleeves are a great way to help slim arms.

Candid photos look extra romantic if you wear a formal (a-line flowy) dress that makes you feel like a princess. Overall, choose an outfit you feel comfortable in, but don’t be afraid to dress up!

Helpful tips

for the ladies

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I think it’s so important that you look and feel your best for your engagement photos. Engagement sessions are the perfect time for a hair and makeup trial! Professionally done hair & makeup last longer through humidity/wind than traditional hair & makeup. 

No makeup with SPF, wear lashes and eyeliner to make your eyes pop, bring extra lip touch up in between kissing photos.

Hair worn down is what I find being the best look for romantic engagement photos.

New York and New Jersey wedding vendor recommendations

Hair and Makeup

for the ladies

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There will probably be times during your session when we’re shooting your hands holding or the engagement ring on your hand - which means it’s a good idea to clean up your nails within 2 days before your session (this applies to the guys too!).


for the ladies

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You can’t go wrong with a tailored suit and white button up.  Accessorize with a fun tie, bow or suspenders- you can even wear jeans with this look!

Stay away from bight neon colors as it could reflect on your skin. Bring a second, fashionable yet comfortable look to change into!

Don't forget to remove wallet, keys and phone from pockets during session.


for the gents

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Where to Shop


on to the next

Magical Photo Sessions

These can happen anywhere at anytime after sunset or inside the comfort of your own home!

Just ask! No extra fees for one of a kind enchanting master pieces (including live photos aka GIFs). I understand that not all couples are into the magical fine art like I am - and that's okay. But if you are, please let me know so I can create up with something special for you two!

I do not charge a fee for sparkler and off camera flash creative portraits.

However, you can buy your own props like a moon lampclear umbrella, set of smoke bombs, floating lanterns, biodegradable confetti, and dried rose petals for creative portraiture.


what to do if it rains

A few days before your engagement session, let's check the weather. New York and New Jersey weather changes by the hour, so I will allow you decide on what you're comfortable with.

I usually have a plan b if the date we scheduled is your only option.

Please note that there are no reschedule fees in the event of weather issues.  

the lead up

Get inspired and stay in touch

Leading up to your engagement photoshoot, I will request a few things- like a link to your Pinterest board and a collection of screenshot Instagram photos. 

Start searching: @dirtybootsandmessyhair | @travellingcouplesgoals | @couplescollective | #engagementphotos #engagementshoot #couples #cutecouples #travelcouples #engaged

It’s important to be on the same page so expectations can be met – but also note that I can get inspired by but I cannot plagiarize another photographer's work.

I will also request a Spotify playlist of your favorite songs as I may play them during our session.

I know that’s not easy, but by personalizing each experience knowing your likes and dislikes, I believe I can get you to act as if the camera wasn’t even there.

The sweetest moments come from ones that naturally unfold and when it comes to posing for your engagement session, you don’t need to worry about a thing! I will guide you through the entire process beginning with “poses” that are super easy and come naturally. If I tell you to do something that feels a little funny, it’s probably because I know it’s going to make the two of you laugh - and that’s the photo I know you're actually looking for! 

Throughout your session, I will keep an eye on your hair, makeup and outfits to make sure things stay in place. In the end, I want you to feel as comfortable as possible and soak in all the fun together! 

My Goal is to Make You and Your Partner Feel as Comfortable as Possible 


My kitties and family dogs are a huge part of my life, which is why I love when couples choose to incorporate fur babies into their engagement photo session. Keep in mind that bringing a pet along often means that we will need to choose a pet friendly location. 

I recommend planning for your pet to be at the first 15 minutes of your session and then having a friend take them home. If you don't have anyone available to help with dog handling - at an extra fee, I can bring an assistant to watch over your dog during the duration of the photoshoot. 

It's important that you exercise your pet before the session and bring their favorite toy and treats! Depending on fur type, it might also be a good idea to groom them before the shoot and bring a lint roller. 

Check out Amazon finds just for your pet HERE
A new leash, collar, outfit encouraged!


1. Comfortable walking shoes
2. Two outfits
3. Neutral color blanket for sitting poses 
4. Chapstick
5. Tide
6. Nails manicured
7. Liquid Courage ;)
8. The ring
9. Oil blotting wipes, bug spray, mints
10. Rolling Suitcase

What to Bring to Your Engagement Photo Shoot

Make it a Date Night

If you’re anything like us, you probably don’t get dressed up all that often. Which means that the day of your engagement session is the perfect occasion to not only go all out in style - but also make it a date night! You can choose that I stick around to capture part of the night too!

The engagement session is another part of celebrating your love and heading off to dinner is a great way to end the session!

Within 7 days from your photo session, you will receive a beautiful selection of edited sneak previews for free instant download! This way you can share to social media right away and announce your engagement.

Expect to wait no longer than 6 weeks to receive your full collection of about 30-50 candid and fine art memories from your engagement photo session. 

In your gallery, you will notice the option to order (accurate color/high quality) prints and wall art to be shipped straight to your home!

Feel free to ask about custom albums

When to Expect Your Memories


Advanced Skin Blemish Retouching

Magical Photoshop Editing

Advanced Distraction Cleanup

Part of my job as a professional wedding photographer is that I have to retouch and edit your photographs. Close up portraiture typically needs skin retouching to remove skin blemishes like acne, unwanted wrinkles and scars. Magical photoshop editing and background distractions may result in an additional fee. Depending on the extent of the requests. Minor request to one image usually is no fee, but multiple requests to many images can result in a fee of $30 + per image.

See examples below of photo retouching and editing I have delivered  to past clients. 


I believe that prints are a must - they hold so much more value than a digital image. 

If you don't order an album, please be sure to at least order prints to add to a scrapbook or large ones to frame. You will thank me later!

In the video - you will learn about the different print papers I offer. My favorite is the metallic/pearl as the images appear magical. Matte is a great paper to prevent glare. 

I know that this guide is long and hopefully it covers everything you need to know to prep for your (New York City or New Jersey) engagement photos session! However if there is something I missed, or you need a recommendation feel free to email or text me right now!

Thank You