Engagement Portrait Guide

williamsburg_photographer Engagement portrait season is here! Did you know that over 60% of all engagements take place over the holidays!?!

So looking ahead to engagement portrait season (which typically starts in March thanks to our warmer climate ;), I put together this quick list of tips and tricks to help get the most out of your session. Of course, everyone has their own style, so primarily I’m answering the popular questions “What should we wear?” and “Where should we go?” I’m here to help!

Engagement Portrait Tip 1: Wear 2 outfits

You don’t have to limit yourself to just one set of clothes! In fact, my assistant can carry my changing tent for us if there isn’t a place to change nearby. You can always opt to do one casual and one dressy outfit. That way, you can have fun and get adventurous with the pictures if you want!

Engagement Portrait Tip 2: Don’t match each other perfectly

Your photos will look better if you’re not super matchy-matchy. Choose outfits and accessories that coordinate instead. There’s no need for matching shirts or colors, as long as you complement (and compliment!) each other.

Engagement Portrait Tip 3: Avoid bold patterns

Solid colors will always work better for photography. You don’t want to be wearing busy, big, or bold patterns, especially because those will often go out of style. These are timeless pictures and you will appreciate being able to look back at them & smile without a fashion critique!

Engagement Portrait Tip 4: Pick colors carefully

While you know your style best, it’s been my experience that you’re going to want to avoid a lot of red, yellow, green, or white. Red and yellow add a color cast to the skin that can be less than flattering, while green can not only have the same affect but might even make you blend into the background! And trust me: you’re not going to want to wear white in your engagement photos when you’ll be wearing white in all of your wedding pictures. You will want to have a little variety, especially when you display these photos side-by-side on your wall!

Engagement Portrait Tip 5: Be yourself & Relax!

With all of that advice being said, make sure you aren’t dressing just to my specifications. You want something that reflects your style, is comfortable, and looks downright amazing! You want your confidence to come across in your images, and I want to see you happy, not uncomfortable! The most important piece of advice I can give you is to relax and enjoy the experience. It will be fun, I promise!

Engagement Portrait Tip 6: Think Backdrop vs. Location

Unlike with weddings where you have to consider the family and relatives, engagement portraits are all about celebrating the two of you – so have fun with it! This is your opportunity to capture your love for one another so where it’s riding bikes together, watching the sunset, or going back to where you had your first kiss, anything is possible. You want the location to fit your personalities so if you hate sand in your shoes a park might be a better option, and if you tend to sweat a lot try to plan the session for early spring or late fall so you will be more comfortable.

New to the area? Feel free to shoot me an email at and I’m happy to suggest some great locations based on your interests and ideas! And congratulations on your engagement!

To read more wedding planning tips for brides, click HERE. VA Spring Portrait Sessions Heather Hughes Photographyengagement_portraitVA Spring Portrait Sessions Heather Hughes Photographyyorktown_engagement_portraitengagement_portrait_dcnorfolk_engagement_portraitengagement_portrait_newport_news

Heather Hughes Photography Studios

733 Thimble Shoals Blvd., Newport News | (757) 870-4006 | 5560 Foundation St., Williamsburg

- by appointment only -


Voted the Knot’s “Best of Wedding Photographers” | WeddingWire’s “Couples Choice” Award 2008 - 2020 | Virginia Living Magazine's "Top Wedding Vendor" 2015- 2020 | VA Small Newspaper Photographer of the Year | Wedding Photojournalist Assoc. Blue Medallion Award