dramatic engagement photo shot with black and white film
Photo: Matthew Moore

Wear something you know you love.

Now is not the time to be trying an outfit out for the first time. Pick out a favorite sweater or dress that makes the color of your eyes pop, or one that is figure flattering. Check out your best selfies or photos on your Instagram. What do you think consistently photographs well? Wear that for your engagement session as an automatic confidence builder.

Don't adopt an entirely new style for your engagement session.

You should both look like yourselves in these photos. If you've never worn a bold lip in your life, now might not be the right time to break out the red lippies. Also, unless you really, really want to, don't get a dramatic new haircut right before your e-session. You'll still be learning how to style it in a way you prefer.

Consider the lighting.

Makeup that looks incredible at sunset may not look quite as pretty on a bright morning. Apply your makeup in similar lighting to your shoot to ensure your look is styled the way you want. For those of you bummed at the cloudy day outside for your e-session, remember that many photographers favor that type of lighting and you will love how the photos turn out.

Sit up straight.

Yep, your mom was right about the importance of perfect posture. Sitting or standing up straight elongates your silhouette and makes you look (and feel) your most confident. Resist the urge to hide in his embrace for all of the photos, and rather stand tall and proud.

Do what you can to feel natural and comfortable.

As we said earlier, you will look your best when you feel your best. Pick a location for your e-session that will immediately put you at ease and make your smiles and laughter completely natural. For some brides, that might be an at-home session, for others it could be the local coffeeshop. The bottom line is simply that if you feel awkward in your surroundings, it's going to show up in your smile.