I’m so excited to be working with you and I can’t wait for our time together during your engagement session! It’s normal to be a little nervous about your session. I always tell people that even I still get nervous before having my photos taken – and I do this for a living!

I’m a big fan of engagement sessions for a couple of reasons. First, they allow you to get comfortable in front of the camera. It takes time for most couples to warm up to being photographed and understand what looks good. Timelines can be pretty tight on wedding days – which is why I’ve found that wedding day portraits turn out so much better when couples do engagement sessions ahead of time. 

Second, you can showcase your personalities in a more casual setting that is significant to the two of you (and even include pets!). While they’re great for save-the-dates, I’ve 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 often 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’ll cover what to wear, whether to bring pets & how to manage them, location ideas and more!

– Lexi


The Guys

I get it. Having your picture taken for an hour might not be in your top-10 favorite things to do during your downtime. And 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 hang out a bit before the wedding day.


Is there a "good" time to take photos?

Engagement sessions can take place anywhere from immediately following a proposal to just a few days before the wedding. I’ve found that there isn’t exactly a “good” or “bad” time to take your photos. I normally plan sessions based on a particular “look” a couple has in mind, spring flowers or fall leaves for example, or based on schedules. 

Sessions typically last about an hour and when when we can—I love to begin sessions about two hours before sunset. I prefer to shoot when the sun is lower in the sky to avoid harsh shadows and bright sun patches. The first two hours after sunrise is also an ideal time to shoot, especially in the summer when the weather is very hot at the end of the day.

I schedule sessions during what I believe will be the best light of the day – which can be as early as 3pm in the winter or as late as 6pm in the summer. 


While I shoot most of my engagement sessions between April and late October, sessions can take place all year. Most of my couples choose a season based on the location where they want to shoot. 

A few things to keep in mind during each season: 


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, 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. 



I love when couples choose a location for their session that complements their wedding. For example if you’re planning a chic, elegant wedding, it may be fitting to take your engagement portraits among the classic architecture in downtown Boston, while a local park or flower-filled fields may be more fitting for a couple planning a more rustic affair. The best session locations are often meaningful places to the couple; however, I’m also happy to make recommendations. From city skylines to lavender fields to apple picking and art museums, the options for engagement session locations are endless!  


Boston Public Garden 
Bunker Hill Monument 
Charles River Esplanade 
Charlestown Navy Yard
Newport mansions  


Castle Island 
Halibut Point 
Bearskin Neck (Rockport) 


ICA and Seaport 
Back Bay 
Beacon Hill 
North End


Wingaersheek Beach
Lynch Park
Salisbury State Park
Singing Beach
Plum Island


Smith Barn at Brooksby Farm
An apple orchard
Endicott Park 
Rock Meadow 
Barn at Gibbet Hill 


Cooking class 
Sailing / Boating 

the above locations are all beautiful but I also love exploring meaningful locations with my clients!

Destination Engagement Sessions

While I take most of my engagement sessions in the Boston area, I’ve photographed sessions everywhere from New York City to Malibu, California and Maine to Denver, Colorado. If you have a location in mind that is significant to the two of you, let me know because if our schedules align, I might be able to take your engagement photos outside of my normal area. 

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

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Obviously our 2 dogs are a huge part of my family, which is why I love when clients choose to incorporate pets into their session. Keep in mind that bringing a pet along often means that we’ll need to choose a pet friendly location. 

I 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 single photo so it’s also nice to have a friend available to hold him or her in between shots. 

If you’re going to bring a pet, I recommend exercising your pet before the session and bringing your pets favorite toy or treats! Depending on your pet’s fur type, it might also be a good idea to groom them before the shoot. 



When picking outfits I recommend keeping in mind the word “complement” rather than “match.” For example, if he is wearing a blue and pink pastel plaid shirt, you may want to choose a long, soft blue dress. It can also be a great idea to choose “color-families,” such as pastels, neutrals, or jewel tones. 

 Generally couples pick two outfits for an engagement session: a more formal outfit and a casual outfit. I recommend saving your favorite outfit for later in the session, when couples usually feel a little 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. As are changes for the guys—adding a sweater over a regular button down, or bringing a wool blazer to wear makes for totally different photo options.


Inclement Weather

what to do if it rains

I’ll check in the week of your session to confirm the time & location we’re meeting and the weather. I know it takes a lot of time to get ready for your engagement session and it’s the worst to get dressed up and drive out to your session only to have it rain. I can also work to find a covered location if the timing or date can’t be changed, so when I check in you can let me know what you would prefer. I will tell you, though, that umbrella photos can also be really cute.

Generally if the weather looks like it won’t be great, I typically try to make the call a day in advance so you aren’t feeling stressed about the weather on the day of the session. 

Ring Cleaning

When we can, we always try to take a photo of your ring during your engagement session – so it’s a good idea to have it cleaned or clean it yourself before your shoot! To clean at home, soak your ring in warm water with dishwashing soap for 20 to 40 minutes. Then gently brush the stone with a soft toothbrush, rinse and repeat if needed.


champagne is always a good idea


If you’re planning to bring props to your engagement session, I recommend including them only if they’re meaningful to you. Shots of drinking coffee at a local coffee shop would be cute if that’s where you met; however, a trying to fly a kite together when it’s not a part of your relationship may come off as contrived. But, champagne is always a good idea and everyone loves those popping-champagne-bottle pics. 



"What do I do with my hands"?

When it comes to posing for your engagement session, you don’t need to worry about a thing! I’ll guide you through the entire process beginning with “poses” that are super easy and natural. 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’m actually looking for. 

Throughout your session, I’ll keep an eye on your hair, makeup and outfits to make sure things stay in place. I want you to feel as relaxed as possible and enjoy your time together! 

Date Night

If you’re anything like me and my husband, you probably don’t both get dressed up all that often. Which means that the day of your engagement session is the perfect occasion for the two of you to do a date night (or brunch if your session is in the morning!) 

The engagement session is another part of celebrating your love and heading off to dinner is a great way to end the session!

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When to Expect Your Images

As soon as possible after your session is complete, I’ll give you a sneak peek through social media. I love being able to give you a little idea of what to expect. And then it takes me about 3 weeks to edit your images. A few days before your gallery is finished I will email you about your gallery reveal. You will choose the date and time for your gallery release so you know you will be present and excited to see all your photos. You can expect to receive your photos 3 to 4 weeks after your session. 


I know that this guide is long and hopefully it covers everything you need to know to prep for your engagement session! However if there is something I missed, or you need a recommendation feel free to email lexi@lexiphotography.com

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