Get The Most Out Of Your Engagement Shoot


Getting the most of of your engagement shoot Nicole Blumberg Photography

A Guide To Get The Most Out Of Your Engagement Shoot

The time of day:  We shoot is really really important. I normally want to start the shoot about 1-2 hours before sunset depending on the location. If we are at the beach one hour before sunset is ideal. If you want a morning shoot we should meet before the sun rises so we can start at sunrise.

Locations and outfits: Dress for your location.  Think of the vibe and look you want for your photos. I like to suggest you copy outfits from editorials. I love the boho vibe with dresses. Spell and the Gypsy is a wonderful place to not only get inspiration but to also buy that style. A maxi dress is wonderful everywhere and on the beach. Anything that catches the wind and adds movement works well for photos. It also gives me more options for photos. if we will be at a coffee shop there is no need to dress formally. If we are hiking and you do really want to wear a maxi dress, please bring shoes to walk in.  Please bring any and all outfit changes with you. Don’t be afraid of accessories.  Hats, scarves, vests… it gives me more to work with.  Woodsy areas should have woodsy clothes. Men, please avoid clothes with logos.

Props: Give you something to do and add more lifestyle to your shoot. What do you both do for fun? Incorporate it. Reading,  video games, cooking? No problem lets set up a home shoot. We can always rent a really fashionable Airbnb for the shoot if you think your home won’t work. That adds to the more editorial look. Bikes, animals, flowers, cars… These things can all be used as props and give you something to do to add movement and lifestyle to the shoot.


Getting the most of of your engagement shoot Nicole Blumberg Photography

clothing changes:  Don’t wait until the last minute to put your outfit together. Spend some time thinking about what you are going to wear to complement each other and the area you are in.  Think J Crew, Banana Republic, Zara,  American Eagle actually has some cute boho clothes that will work in the woods and beach areas. Hit up S.F. for a day of shopping a few weeks before your shoot or rent something from If the outfit you want to buy is a little more than you want to spend just keep the tag on it an return it later. Let me know that you are doing that so I can be mindful of not getting you guys dirty. Fashion bloggers do it all the time.

Getting the most of of your engagement shoot Nicole Blumberg Photography


Getting the most of of your engagement shoot Nicole Blumberg Photography


If you want a really romantic and fine art look to your photos, I suggest to wear soft and neutral colors. Men will need to dress up a little bit more for this. Dresses that are long and have lots of movement will be beautiful. Having a loose updo or letting your hair fall with beautiful loose waves. You’ll want to pick locations with beautiful scenery and light or neutral colors as well. Buildings or venues that look either like chateaus or old romantic architecture. Beaches with cliffs and lots of rocks work nicely too. Wearing romantic headpieces also can bring the look together as well.  Bringing props like lot’s of different sized candles, thin tulle, vintage jewelry are good too. Let me know if this is the look you are going for and I will make sure to have lots of film on deck to help achieve that look.


Starting the shoot.

Once we meet we will start with big hugs! =) This is not a shoot to be nervous about. This is a “let’s have fun” and “take our time”. The more natural and candid you act, the more natural, candid and authentic your images will come out.

I fully believe it takes two to make things work in a relationship. This also goes for the outcome of photography. Well, three in our case! With all of us putting in an effort to make great images, there is no doubt that we will leave feeling like we nailed the shoot.

The more you know up front about the direction and poses the more you will feel prepared when the time comes for the shoot. That is why I wanted to add in some visual posing and direction lessons for you to study. Yes! You have homework =)

Below you will find photos I found on Instagram/Pinterest that are very common in the photography world. These are all things I will ask you to do. Practice them. Use a mirror to help so you know what you look like. Are you going to feel silly? Maybe. Will you laugh? I hope so! There is nothing wrong with that beautiful smile and laugh of yours. I love laughter and love when my couple cracks up. It makes for wonderful images.


With most creative careers, you are never done learning. From large workshops to small YouTube videos that others upload to share knowledge, I watch and learn. I thought what is a better way to get you to understand what I may be talking about than to share some little tidbits of tutorials I learn from! Don’t fret, I’m not going to have you watch a 3 day course from Creative Live about engagement shoots or weddings. But I did want to share these two wonderful short posing tutorials that I came across on YouTube from some really hilarious photographers. While styles may be different, These tips will work for everyone. Please watch these short tutorials and practice them! Things to notice, they are not afraid to be silly. Movement. You don’t need to hold the pose. Move your head once you hear my camera click. Move your arm/ hand. Look at each other. put your heads together.  Move again. Be a little more over the top/ flamboyant with the moving. Act it out. Don’t be shy to be silly because really it’s the in-between moments that we will get the great images.

Best wedding and engagement poses.

5 easy and simple tips to improve your poses.

A few reminders and tips! 

Our shoot will be approximately one hour to one in a half hour.  This includes taking the time to get to a second location once started and any clothing changes. If we will be leaving your car and you need to change clothes please bring all of your clothes with you.

I shoot with natural light on engagements. So the light is the dictator of when our shoot will end. If you are late, the shoot will still be ending when the light fades.

For scenery locations such as beaches and hills, we should start one hour before sunset. The scenery looks best right as the sun is going down and a little after it has set so if there is a hill or high rock we need to be on we should get there before this time to get the best shot.

You will get the prettiest light and sunsets in Napa county.  If that golden glow is what you are looking for that’s the place to be. S.F. and the East Bay don’t have the same sunset look.

Getting the most of of your engagement shoot Nicole Blumberg Photography

Avoid beaches and marinas during late Fall, Winter and early Spring. The weather is usually not good during those times at those locations.

The weather is always iffy in S.F. You really can’t predict what it will look like. It may be cloudy it may be clear. If you want bridge shots please remember that its a 50% chance the Golden Gate will be covered with fog.

Wind: you can either fight it or just go with it. Letting nature take it’s place is the best option. Wind blown hair and clothing looks pretty in images. Unless we are being blown over =)

Bring walking shoes and makeup for re-application.

If it’s raining a few hours before the shoot and still looks like rain at the shoot time either have a second indoor location option or please know the shoot will be rescheduled. If it’s extremely windy out, think of other location options or possibly rescheduling the shoot. Just a reminder, my camera can not get wet.

When shooting I like to get a mixture of fun, romantic and scenic shots. I will direct you in ways that will let your personality shine rather than the pose itself. I want you in the photos, not just a pose. So please laugh out loud, relax, have fun and don’t worry about your pinky placement. =)

If I’m using film in your shoot, try not to blink. Ever. =)

Can’t wait for our shoot!