HEY HEY!

A NOTE ABOUT THIS GUIDE

I'm so excited to be working with you and we can’t wait for our time together during your engagement session!
I'm a real big fan of engagement sessions for a few reasons. First, they allow you to get comfortable in front of the camera. It takes time for a lot couples to warm up to being photographed and get a good grip on what to do with your hands... ;)  Timelines can be pretty tight on weddings days and 30 minutes may be all we have for portraits - which is why I think that wedding day portraits turn out so much better when couples do engagement sessions ahead of time. 

Another reason I love engagement sessions is it really allows you to 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 weeks before the wedding. 

There is a lot to think about when it comes to planning a session and since I get asked the same things over and over again, so 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 go over what to wear, best time to schedule, location ideas, and more! 

I can't wait! 

let's get started

I totally get it. Having your picture taken for 1-2 hours 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 with my horrible jokes, magic camera, and your sexy lady - We are going to be alright! I really do look forward this time together because it’s a great opportunity for us all to hang out a bit before the wedding day!! - It'll be fun!

The Guys

A NOTE TO

a note to 

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

I love to begin sessions about 1-2 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. - You guessed it- Golden Hour!

I will pretty much always schedule schedule sessions during that time and firmly believe will be the best light of the day - which means that it’s super important to be on time!

And in case you skipped the pricing page - Sessions typically last about an hour - because when you book a wedding package with me-- ALL THIS IS MY GIFT TO YOU!

Is there a "good" time to take photos? 

TIME & LIGHT

Sessions can take place all year. Most of our couples choose a season based on the location where they want to shoot. 
So what did we learn from this?? I do WHAT you want and WHEN you want it done. :) Like I keep saying- I gotchu

A few things to keep in mind during each season:

Seasons

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Winter

snowfall, hot cocoa and cozy coats

If you’re planning to take your engagement photos during the winter, keep in mind that if your session takes place in the evening, we could begin shooting as early as 3:00 pm to catch the sunset. We recommend dressing in layers so that in between photos you can warm up. Make sure you bring a little extra makeup and tissues in case your nose begins running. 

Spring

fresh flowers and sunny days 

Even though Spring begins in March, that warm weather and beautiful blooms don't really come for another 6 weeks because the weather in Kansas, is still pretty chilly. When we schedule spring dates, I typically schedule both a primary date and a backup rain date. 

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Summer

walks through the fields hand in hand

In spite of the heat,  there are a few good things about summer! Because of the later sunset, sessions sometimes begin as late as 7 pm. If you’re taking your engagement photos during the summer, I recommend bringing extra makeup and a few towels to make sure you stay fresh throughout your session. Oh & bug spray! (you'll thank me later)

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Fall

colorful leaves and snuggling close

Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year in Kansas and because of the perfect weather, my schedule typically book up REAL FAST! If you have your heart set on a fall engagement session, please reach out asasp to get your date & get booked!

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If your wedding is local, save the dates you're probably planning to send them out between 6 and 8 months before the wedding. For a destination wedding, you may even 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 1 month before you plan to send out your save-the-dates. Between inclement weather, editing, designing your save-the-dates and printing, 1 months is generally a safe amount of time to make sure your images and cards are ready. 

Save-the-dates

Locations

LAWRENCE KANSAS LOCATIONS

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 KC or KU campus, 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 meaninful places to the couple; however, we’re also happy to make recommendations. From splashing in the lake to lavender fields to apple picking and college campuses, the options for engagement session locations are endless! 

KU Campus
Kansas City 
WWI Museum 

CLASSIC & ELEGANT

Mass St.
Lawrence Art District 

URBAN

South Lawrence between here and Baldwin 


RUSTIC / Country

Clinton Lake
Kansas River
Baker wetlands

ADVENTURE

The above locations are all beautiful but I also love exploring meaningful locations with our couples! especially if you know someone with private property that fits the style you want that would be so fun!

 Lawrence Location ideas

Destination Engagement Sessions

While I take most of my engagement sessions in the Kansas area, I've photographed sessions everywhere from Colorado to Wisconsin to St. Louis. 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. I love travel :) 

Travel fees may apply depending on the location and our availability. Or you may inquire about my upcoming pre-planned travel dates to avoid any additional travel fees.

Outfits

TIPS FOR LOOKING YOUR BEST

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

find it fast

Heels lengthen legs but if your heels aren’t comfortable for walking, bring an extra pair of shoes to slip into in between shots.

I love the way larger patterns photograph - just be careful not to choose a pattern that is too small - it may accidentally make your photo look a little too busy.

Softer, pastel colors tend to photograph better than bright colors - especially since bright colors could reflect on your skin. I do love a good bright, neon dresses, but I don’t love the neon reflection they add to your complexion.  Sooo maybe leave that one at home this time..

Wardrobe Tips

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

for the ladies

find it fast

Statement jewelry is a great way to add color or pattern to a simple dress. Lace and tulle look amazing in photographs.

And dresses with lace sleeves are a great way to help slim arms. Depending on your location, you might want to consider a fit and flare or a flowy dress!

They look great in walking and photos with movement. Choose an outfit you feel comfortable in, but don’t be afraid to dress up!

Accessories

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

for the ladies

find it fast

Rent the Runway
Morning Lavender
J. Crew
Anthropologie
Free People
TJ Maxx 
H&M
Shabby Apple
Vici Dolls
Nordstrom 

Favorite Shops

Francesca’s 
KB & Co. 
Eccentricity 
Earth Bound 
Weavers 


ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

for the ladies

Local Shops on Mass. St. in Lawrence, KS

Online & Stores

find it fast

Engagement sessions are the perfect time for a hair and makeup trial! Professionally done hair & makeup last longer than typical hair & makeup. They also tend to hold up better for humidity and wind.

I think it’s so important that you look and feel your best for your engagement photos - and if you’re planning to do a hair & makeup trial for your wedding anyways, the engagement session is a great time to test how your hair & makeup look on camera.

Hair & Makeup

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

for the ladies

find it fast

There will probably be times during your session when we’re shooting your hands holding or the engagement ring on your hand - which means it’s a good idea to clean up your nails before your session (this applies to the guys too!). Even if it's simply removing that chipped polish that's been on there forever! Trust me- been there - done that - save yourself the stress! 

Manicure

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

for the ladies

You can’t go wrong with a suit and tie. Consider pulling out that suit you had to wear last time you were a groomsmen! Layer with a blazer and a fun tie - you can even wear jeans with this look. Bowties are always a good idea.

Be careful not to choose a pattern that is too small - it may accidentally make your photo look a little too busy. Softer, pastel colors tend to photograph better than bright colors - especially since bright colors could reflect on your skin. Cozy sweaters layered over button ups are a great way to stay warm and stylish during the cooler months.

Wardrobe

for the gents

find it fast

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

Rent the Runway
ASOS
Suit Supply
J. Crew
Zara
Leather & Cotton
Jack Threads 
Frank & Oak

Wardrobe

for the gents

if you want to bring a jersey for one or two photos lets do it! but.... For the rest of the photos check out these places for outfits you'll love!

Nordstrom 
H&M
Urban Outfitters
Weavers (local)

find it fast

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

Inclement Weather

what to do if it rains

It’s really good idea for us to schedule two engagement session dates. A primary date and a rain date. (apply's most in the spring months)  Having two dates helps us make sure that your photos happen in a timely manner. Coordinating schedules can be tough and I’ve found that the best way to make sure our couples get the look they have in mind for their photos is to schedule two dates at the same time.

I'll check in the week of your engagement session to confirm the time & location we’re meeting and the weather. I know it takes a lot of time to get ready for engagement session and it’s the worst to get dressed up and drive out to your session only to have it rain. Let us know what works best for the two of you - but if the weather looks like it won’t be great, I typically try to make the call at least 12 hours in advance!

When I 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.

Or you can visit your local ring shop and most places will give it a deep cleaning for free!

Ring Cleaning

Props

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! Just another fun thing to think about and add a personal touch!

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 we 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! 

"What do I do with
my hands"?

"What do I do
 with my hands"?

POSING

Date Night

If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t get dressed up all that often. Which means that the day of your engagement session is the perfect occasion for 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!

This is one of my favorite guarantee's for you-

Are you ready?? 
You will see all your final images just 7 DAYS after your session!

Eeeek! I know if I'm this excited, then I'm sure you are more excited to see them so I make sure you don't have to wait weeks to see and share them!

When to Expect Your Images

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! 
photography@moriahruth.com 

THANK YOU!

 yOUR WEDDING CHEERLEADER 

-Moriah Ruth

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