"We will build TRUST with each other, making your portrait experience much more fun!"

—Beth S

Your Engagement Session

Your engagement session is supposed to be fun and relaxed, not forced or awkward. Even if you are nervous now, 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 an excellent opportunity for us all to hang out a bit before the wedding day. And some of my couples have said that it ended up being a fantastic date night!

During your engagement session, you’ll have the chance to get to know me and how I work, and how I handle directing and working with different lighting. This session will make a significant impact on how the wedding day flows. I’ll arrive on your wedding day already knowing how you two interact and how to best photograph you in a genuine way. What I will learn about you during your engagement session is invaluable. The best part is moving quickly through your portraits and spending more of your wedding day with friends and family.


Is there a "good" time to take photos?

Engagement sessions can occur immediately following a proposal to just a few days before the wedding. There isn’t a “good” or “bad” time to create engagement portraits.

I love to plan sessions based on your inspiration. Some couples prefer flowers and Spring sunshine, and others love crisp falls with golden foliage. All of it is perfect.

Sessions typically last about an hour and a half, and whenever possible, I love to begin sessions about two hours before sunset.

When will we recieve our images? Can we use my images for Save-the-dates and my wedding website?

Unless we have a holiday closure, you can expect to receive your engagement photos between 2 and 4 weeks after your session.

I will send over a few preview images right after your session because I can’t wait to share them with you!

If your wedding is local, save the dates should be sent between 6 and 8 months before the wedding. For a destination wedding, you’ll want to send them out 8 to 10 months before the wedding.

If you’re hoping to use your engagement photos for your save the dates, we 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.

Will you travel for my engagement session?

While we take most of our engagement sessions in the Charlottesville area, 
we’ve photographed sessions everywhere! If you have a location in mind that is significant to the two of you, let us know because if our schedules align, we might be able to take your engagement photos outside of our normal area.

The great thing about destination engagements is that it is a relatively affordable way to embrace some of the fabulous places you have explored together! And, if there is one thing my couples have in common, it is that they love to have a bit of adventure now and then!

Travel fees may apply depending on the location and our availability.

Where should we go?

As you plan for your engagement shoot, you will need to start brainstorming about location ideas. I love when couples pick a unique or sentimental location for them. If you can’t think of anywhere specific that you would like to shoot, or if you are out of town, I can help you decide on a good Charlottesville engagement session location.

Can I bring my furry friend?

Our kitties are a considerable part of our family (probably pretty obvious), which is why we love when couples choose to incorporate pets into their session. Keep in mind that bringing a pet along means that we’ll need to choose a pet-friendly location.

We recommend planning for your pet to be at the first part of your session and then either dropping them off or having a friend take them home. We won’t use the pet in every photo, so it’s also nice to have a friend available to hold them in between shots.
If you’re going to bring a pet, we recommend exercising your pet before the session and rewarding your pet with a favorite toy or treat! Depending on your pet’s fur type, it might also be a good idea to groom them before the shoot.

What should we wear?

When picking outfits, we recommend keeping in mind the word “complement” rather than “match.” For example, if one partner is wearing a blue and pink pastel plaid shirt, the other partner may choose shades of blue. It can also be a great idea to choose “color-families,” like pastels or jewel tones.

Generally, couples pick two outfits for an engagement session: a more formal and casual outfit. We recommend saving your favorite outfit for later in the session when couples usually feel more comfortable in front of the camera. And don’t forget to bring a few accessories! Statement necklaces, cute shoes, and classic watches are great ways to add detail to outfits.