Missoula, Montana photographer specializing in families, love stories, intimate weddings & elopements. 

5 tips to nail your engagement session photos

1. Wear clothes that are comfortable and reflect who you are and who you are as a couple.

This might seem like obvious advice but I can’t tell you the number of times I have shot a session and had the couple tell me they never dress up in clothes like they are wearing- hence, they feel uncomfortable. It’s harder for them to relax during the session, and they are just thinking about when they can get home and get out of those uncomfortable clothes.

If you are most comfortable in jeans and a nice shirt- rock your favorite one!

If you as a couple are outdoorsy and don’t feel comfortable in formal wear- don’t show up in a suit and a dress,  (yes, this has happened to me). Basically the more comfortable you are- the more likely you will relax in front of the camera, lending itself to more intimate images. So embrace your natural style!

2.    Pick a photographer whose style matches your vision.

Do you like dark and moody photos? Or a lighter look? Do you prefer formal studio sessions, or do you like a natural, outdoors shoot? Make sure you have checked out your photographer’s work before booking, and that their style/past work is something that you love and really want for your session.

3. Set the scene

Location is everything- so before you head to the nearest park or outdoor area, think about places/things you really love to do as a couple and try to incorporate that into the session. Are you home bodies? Try a cozy in-home session. Are you more adventurous and spend a lot of time outside?  Head for the forest or mountains, (Or in ND case, the badlands) and do your session there. Feel free to embrace the things you like to do as a couple throughout the session.

4. Don’t rush the session

There never seems to be enough time in a day, and when you are planning a wedding while working, this is never more true. Don’t try to cram your engagement session into a super packed day where you will show up stressed. Plan it as a special date night- let the photographer take the lead, and plan a casual activity after the shoot to look forward to, (e.g. drinks, coffee, or a late movie).

5. Trust your photographer

Ask your photographer for suggestions on location, outfits, and lighting- and trust that he/her answers are professional and full of wisdom from past experiences. Want to shoot at high noon but love that golden sunset look? Trust your photographer when they give you suggestions and advice on how to best achieve the look you want- it gives them the freedom to be creative and you the freedom to sit back and relax during your session!

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I photograph adventurous, fun families and couples throughout Montana, including Billings, Bozeman, Glacier, Red Lodge, and Missoula.

Welcome! i'm abby.


abigail maki