A Guide to a Dream Engagement Photoshoot

A photoshoot planning guide for engaged couples coming at ya! Your engagement photos are more than just pictures – they’re a celebration of your love story and a cherished memento of this beautiful chapter in your life. But with so many details to consider, how do you create an engagement session that reflects your unique style and captures the magic of your connection? This guide is here to HELP! I’ll walk you through everything you need to know, from choosing the perfect location and outfits to creating a relaxed and enjoyable experience. We got you!


From start to finish, we will give you an extraordinary & one of a kind photoshoot experience for newly engaged couples, couples about to get married, and even couples celebrating growing their family together. My entire team was born & raised in Hawaii and truly embodies the “aloha” spirit. I’m also huge on energy and as long as we vibe together – we’re the perfect fit. My team is ready to take care of you from your engagement photos and all the way to your wedding day.

Being immersed in the wedding & engagement industry for almost an entire decade I know what will make your day stress-free, fun, and flow seamlessly. We got your back!

You are the focus:

I want you to choose an outfit, a location, shoes, makeup, jewelry, and everything in between that embodies who YOU ARE.

It should resemble your dream session and will make you remember this day best.

Hair + Makeup:

This is so important!! To avoid blemish removals, soften skin so forth in the editing process. Please do your hair + makeup to make you feel your absolute best but also to avoid any retouching in Photoshop & Lightroom.

TIP: A lot of my brides-to-be do their ‘trial makeup’ and plan it around our engagement shoot. That way you get your hair and/or makeup done at the same time we plan the engagements so it’s a win-win!

Complementary vs. Matching:

Certain colors go best together and allow you to stand out from the background instead of being washed in the photos. Here are some of my fave color combinations that go perfectly together!

  • -Beige + white
  • -Terracotta + cream
  • -Sage green + taupe
  • -White + navy blue
  • -Maroon + black

The goal is to compliment each other’s outfits together without wearing the same exact color, unless it’s all white or all black since those typically look great together.

Color Coordination:

When choosing you + your loves attire – it’s best to consider plain designs, and bold colors that do not blend into the scenery, and complement each other outfit. (Super busy outfits are often hard to differentiate in photos).

I always try to recommend SOLID colors instead of busy patterns that often distract from the feeling of the photos. Also, I usually don’t recommend wearing any very bright neon outfits because the light reflects off of them and it looks even more neon. It can be distracting, but totally up to you – it’s just what photographs well.

Water sessions:

It’s important to coordinate what you will wear in the water if you have booked a water session! Please bring extra bathing suits, towels, and even waterproof makeup if needed. If you feel more comfortable in a cover-up, you can always bring it with you and try to coordinate your suits as well with your partner.


Sme tips to avoid any unnecessary stress on photoshoot day!

  • -Please double-check check you have the correct address
  • -Leave with more than enough time in case there’s traffic
  • -Always get there 10-15 minutes prior so we can start the session on schedule and make the most of our time together
  • Google Maps is usually my go-to for accurate commute time!

Time of Day:

Lighting plays a HUGE role in the final look of your photos. To achieve a flattering, natural look, consider scheduling your session around sunrise or sunset, aka ‘golden hour.’ This time of day offers soft, diffused light that minimizes harsh shadows. Remember, sunrise and sunset times change throughout the year, so be sure to factor that in when planning your session. Photos taken at midday, when the sun is high in the sky, will have a completely different feel compared to those captured during golden hour.

What to Bring:

  • Bring 2-3 outfits for options depending on the location(s) we’re at. Also consider bringing:
  • -A towel (in case we get in the water)
  • -A swimsuit if you plan on hopping in the water
  • -If we’re doing an adventurous session, bring hiking shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty
  • -Don’t forget the ring if you’re proposing 😉
  • -A backpack to hold all your items
  • -Your phone to get in contact with me
  • -Any props you had in mind to incorporate (flowers, champagne, haku flower crown, etc)

The Experience working with me & my team:

  • I will give you prompts, ideas, silly thoughts to re-enact in YOUR OWN WAY.
  • I will always strive to make you feel comfortable, natural, and authentic to yourself and love language.
  • I will be there every step of the way and if you have an idea in mind – I AM HERE FOR IT.

What to not expect the day of:

  • I will not stick you in akward stagnant poses. Sure, I’ll get a few shots for mom & dad that are casual smiles, but we will not be standing like statues the entire time.
  • I will not force you to act in a way that you don’t naturally! If you are naturally a calm relaxed person, or a bubbly person or very energetic I will tailor my prompts to you personally! I do not force someone to act in a way that they are not every day.
  • I will not turn down ideas. If you want to pop some champagne? I AM HERE FOR IT. Want to jump in the water spontaneously? I’m your girl.

    My couples are playful & romantic in their own ways and I love it! Remember, this is YOUR DAY! I’m just here to guide you along the way!

Love Letters from our Couples:

“Photography was one of the most important things for us to have someone we absolutely trust to capture this day as we are such a sentimental couple and love to relive memories through our photos and we are SO thankful to have found you! Thank you for being the most kind, down-to-earth, funny, and dopest photographer we’ve ever met Love you Anela!”

-Alodie & Derick


Me & my team take a very limited amount of couples, weddings & elopements because we pour our absolute heart & soul into each one of our couples, so reach out in advance to avoid disappointment.

We want to make sure we’re the right fit for each other as long as we vibe, count us in! I pride myself on being sought out years in advance so if you’d like us to capture your big day get in touch. Some couples reach out to us weeks in advance or a year in advance. Regardless, always shoot your shot for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Let’s make it happen!

Let me know if this photoshoot planning guide for engaged couples was helpful!!




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