Boston Engagement Session Planning Guide

Congratulations, you are engaged! This Boston engagement session FAQ post is here to help you through one of the most fun activities that many of my couples love.

How do I choose a Boston engagement photographer?

Style – Find a photographer whose style you love. What kind of energy and emotions do their photographs evoke? Do you like the way that they edit their photographs in terms of color and clarity?

Personality – How well will you jive with this person? Will they be fun to be with for a couple hours? Will they make you comfortable? Are they the kind of photographer that will be completely hands off and not provide any posing guidance? Will they be the type of photographer that will come armed with corny dad jokes and (depending on the couple) inappropriate jokes? (I’m the latter!)

Reviews – Check out review sites like WeddingWire  to find out what their previous clients have said about them!

Have a video chat – I always recommend my couples to have a video chat or a phone call with their potential photographer to get a feel for what kind of service they provide, how fast the turnaround will be, and just to see if your personalities are a good fit!
Boston engagement photos by Boston engagement photographer Nicole Chan

What should I wear for our Boston engagement session? 

Wear something that you love, that you feel comfortable in, that feels uniquely YOU.

This goes for both of you. It goes for all genders, ages, skin types, heights, weights, etc. There’s nothing worse than feeling amazing and excited about your Boston Engagement Session, only to end up disappointed by the results because of your outfit.

Something that reflects you! 
It’s quite simple. Wear what you love and are most comfortable in. If you two love glamming up, rent something that you’ve loved from Rent the Runway and let’s get fancy. If you two are a little more casual, then wear that. Whatever you decide, remember that if you are not comfortable in what you’re wearing, it’ll show.

Stay away from horizontal stripes! 
Famously, horizontal stripes are considered risky fashion. Horizontal stripes can trick the eye into seeing something as being wider than it actually is. Go for a solid color or a minimal print instead.

Avoid white colored clothing! 
Save the white dress for your wedding day. Also, white attracts the eyes and can make things look bigger than they are.

Coordinate colors in a similar color palette! 
If you already know which colors look best on you – stick to those. Cooler tones like grays, blues, blacks go in one family. Warmer tones in purples, pinks, and beige belong in another family. Don’t let your outfit outshine you. Simple and solid colors are best.

No words or logos
Since we are trying to capture you at your best, we want to limit the distractions. I want to focus on you. That means that loud print or logos are a no go. If there’s a lot going on around your clothes, your faces will be drowned out. I don’t want your pictures to look like a brand promotion or a styled fashion photoshoot. 

Focus on your best features! 
We all have some features that we wish were different or we would like to work on. We each have our own insecurities. And even though I can guarantee that you are beautiful no matter what, if you feel better covering certain parts of yourself that might make you nervous, do it. It will give you peace of mind and allow you to really enjoy the day. Let’s focus on what you love most about yourself! (ie: If you hate your arms, wear sleeves. If you think you have big feet, perhaps no sparkly shoes)

Have your partner pick out your outfit
Even if you chose to not wear it, it’s a fun thing to do. Do the same for him/her! It might surprise you! Ask them why it’s their favorite. It might be because it was the thing that they remember most during a special moment with you!

Should I get my hair, makeup, and nails professionally done?

Concern: I want to look like me. I don’t usually wear that much makeup anyway. I want to look natural.

Mythbuster: Professional makeup and hair can be natural-looking and if done properly, can enhance the features that you love and tone down on the features that you wish to hide. It doesn’t have to be caked on if you don’t want it to be.

Pro: This is a great opportunity to have a hair and makeup trial with a professional that you are considering for your wedding day. If you’re like me, I have no idea how to make my hair do anything other than be stick straight. However, professionals do. I don’t wear much makeup or do much to my hair, but when having my photo taken, I always hire the help of professionals because I trust them to help me look my best. It’s not every day that I have professional photographs taken.

Con: It’s $. Good professionals are costly, but worth it.
Boston engagement photos by Boston engagement photographer Nicole Chan

What should we do for our Boston engagement session?

What do you normally do on Saturday afternoon? Let’s go and do exactly that.

The most common request I get is, “I want us to look natural and candid.” The best way for that to happen is for me to photograph the two in a place where you would normally be… doing things that you would normally do. ?

Yes, I can bring you to a pretty park. Yes, I will pose and direct you. However, I can still do that if you’re wandering around a Lego store that you love or hanging out at the rock climbing gym. Let’s really put some thought into making your engagement session specific to your relationship.Audrey-Tara-Cambridge-Harvard-Square-Engagement-Session-Photos-Boston-Engagement-Photographer-Nicole-Chan-009

Where should our Boston engagement session be?

What locations are meaningful to you?
Your home, college campuses, proposal spot, restaurant/bars that you frequent, bakeries or coffee shops you love, beaches, museums, lego store

What do you like to do?
Wine tasting, biking, rock climbing, cooking / baking, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boating, ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, apple picking, antiquing

What do you love?
Dogs, cats, sports teams, water guns, nerd guns, yoga, cross fit, board games?

Still stuck? Here’s a guide I wrote on my favorite locations for Boston engagement session
Boston engagement photos by Boston engagement photographer Nicole Chan

What should we bring with us to our Boston Engagement Session?

Bring as little as possible! 

For most of my couples, they keep their wallets and bags in the car or at home. I’m happy to carry your phone and your keys. I like shooting while we walk. It’s natural, easy, and comfortable. It really kills the flow when we have to put down bags, pose, shoot, then go back to the bags, and repeat that cycle several times over again. It saves on time, too.

For those looking to wear shoes that might not be the most comfortable, but that look good, I understand you. However, I advise to bring a pair of walkable shoes. Often, I’ll only shoot from the waist up and we can’t see your feet anyway. We’ll be able to cover more ground if I’m not concerned about you breaking your ankle. 🙂Boston Newbury St engagement photos

Does my wedding photographer have to be the same as my engagement photographer? 

Some do, because they like the continuity of getting to know one person very well and being able to trust them for their wedding day! It’s nice to have that trust!

However, sometimes I’m not available for a wedding couple on their wedding day. I only take one wedding per day, and because human cloning isn’t yet legal or ethical, I unfortunately can’t photograph all the weddings that I wish I could. As an alternative, I love being able to photograph Boston engagement photographs for couples that I’m unable to photograph their weddings for.

Also, sometimes, it’s amazing to have photographs in a different place – whether Boston is your forever home, the place where you two met, or a vacation spot where you two have great memories, I’m happy to create photographs of you two in your happy places.

Alternatively, too. I’m also happy to photograph a destination engagement session for you two.East Boston Skyline Engagement Photos with Boston Wedding Photographer Nicole Chan

What should we NOT do before our Boston engagement session?

Facials – Sometimes, you may look red or blotchy.
Hair cuts -Gentlemen, in order to avoid the “fresh cut” look, stick to the same 72 hour rule.
New treatments – At your own risk. I’ve heard many stories of face outbreaks, allergic reactions, and just simple discomfort.Boston engagement photos by Boston engagement photographer Nicole Chan

Will you help me print wall art for my home?

Absolutely! After your engagement session, we’ll show you all of your photographs and show you mockups of designs that we can create to show off your new photos in your home.

Most couples print a collection (a grouping or a collage) or one large statement piece!
Boston Public Library engagement session photos

Will you design my guestbook for me?

Yes! We’d love to.

How do I book my Boston engagement session with you? 

Read more: 5 Tips to photographing interracial couples with different skin tones.

Rent an Airbnb with a private roofdeck and a Boston City skyline view for your engagement session!

Here are my favorite airbnbs with a skyline view.

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