Planning your engagement photo shoot

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 partner too!

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!

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 events. Sundays are typically best for parking, while weekdays have less tourists and foot traffic.

Sessions generally last about 90 minutes around sunset time. 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. I do not shoot around noon because of this!

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!

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 if you sweat easily, I would recommend to plan for a spring or fall session. Even consider an indoor location with air conditioning. The last thing I want is for you to feel discomfort. 

December-March tend to be the chillier months. I am pretty sensitive to cold, however, you can always plan an indoor session around holiday decor or a themed shoot around a fancy hotel or a place that fits the theme of your wedding. Chapped lips, dry hands, and red noses cannot be edited either, avoid outdoor winter shoots when possible. 

Check out these indoor engagement shoots:



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

A whimsical-enchanting wedding may be best for couples to plan their engagement photos at a castle or garden.

If you're having trouble deciding - I am happy to make recommendations in New Jersey and NYC for your engagement photos!

Your first home
What a fun date could be
Visit somewhere new
Go somewhere meaningful

Meaningful locations

Ask about wardrobe styling

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!


Tips for looking your best

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.

Online Dress Shops for Romantic Engagement Photos 

Color combinations

outfit color combinations that work best

The client closet

Complimentary dress for your shoot.

  • Book a makeup artist as this is a great opportunity to "try" your wedding day artists - start by visiting my list of preferred vendors
  • 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
  • Consider a theme to your shoot - what story you want it to tell, and you can pack props!


on to the next

  • 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.

His wardrobe

Magical Photo Sessions

Disney or Harry Potter fan? Do you like fireworks and anything that sparkles or lights up? Let's have some fun!
These magical engagement photos sessions can happen around sunset or inside the comfort of your own home! Please prepare for this by asking me in advance. Share inspiration from here so I can be ready for these type of enchanting engagement photos. I understand that not all couples are into the magical fine art like I am - and that's okay.  I do not charge a fee for sparkler, smoke, creative lighting 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 magical photo sessions.


what to do if it rains

A few days before your engagement session, let's check for any heavy rain weather. Weather changes by the hour, so I will allow you decide on what you're comfortable with. 

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

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, and outfit is encouraged!


  1. Comfortable walking shoes
  2. Two outfits
  3. Neutral color blanket for sitting poses 
  4. Chapstick
  5. Nails manicured
  6. Liquid Courage ;)
  7. The ring
  8. Oil blotting wipes, bug spray, mints
  9. Rolling Suitcase
  10. Do not wear a stiletto shoe if you plan to take photos on soft surfaces.

What to Bring to Your Engagement Photo Shoot

I understand that you are eagerly anticipating the photos and I am equally excited to share them with you! I have a great track record of delivering photos promptly, with sneak preview photos available for instant download within a week. The remaining gallery will be released for download and ordering prints within six weeks.

When to expect your photos

I know that this guide is long and hopefully it covers everything you need to know to prep for your 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

Book your engagement shoot