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

Time of Day : 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 at the sun rise time.

Locations and outfits : I’m a firm believer that the nicer your locations/backdrop and the more effort you put into finding your outfit the happier you will be with your images.  Dress cool hipster casual or uptown casual/Semi formal.  Dresses that flow and catch the wind are wonderful for imagery.  Think of your locations and the colors you will be surrounded by.

Dress for location.  You want your images to be natural and look like you belong where you will be getting your images taken.

If you will be in the woods or in an earthy location you should wear jeans and flannel shirt or something woodsland appropriate. Cocktail attire will look out of place in these locations.  Example, Example, Example, Example, Example

If you will be at the beach you will want to wear beach clothes. Be prepared to get wet if we go to the beach. I always ask my couples to play in the water so bring dry clothes and towels to change into after. (I suggest not doing your engagement at the beach in cold seasons .) Example, Example, Example, Example, Example

If you will be in an area with lots of color, wear bright colorful clothes. Example, Example, Example, Example

Downtown, coffee shops, restaurants are great locations to throw on heals with your jeans or go semi formal. Example, Example, Example, Example.

Wide open fields you can dress up and down. Example, Example, Example, Example


For more inspiration:    Clothing guide for him. Clothing guide for her

Getting the most of of your engagement shoot Nicole Blumberg Photography

Bring one to two clothing changes with you. 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.   Leave your logo tee shirts at home, save them for another time. Think J Crew, Banana Republic, Zara, BCBG American Eagle actually has some cute boho clothes that will work in the woodsy and beach areas. Hit up S.F. for a day of shopping a few weeks before your shoot or rent something from If you want a tulle skirt to either add fun or a bit of romance to your photos  Has some great options! I have one!! =) 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.  A famous fashion photographer taught me that trick =) Fashion bloggers do it all the time too.


I typically like you to pick areas that relate to you as a couple and even bring things that you do together often to bring even more of your personality into the shoot. It makes it more personal and you have more fun.  Do you like to hang out at home? Well invite us to your place and we can document you guys as you cook together or cuddle up with one another. Do you like to go to museums? We are blessed with fabulous ones all over the Bay Area.  Are you outdoorsy and like to camp? Take us on a hike with you and we can set up an adorable camp site. Do you sail? Adam and I would love to join and get some amazing photos of you guys doing that.  Hell, we can rent a sail boat even if you don’t sail, have someone do it for us and still get some awesome images.   There are so many wonderful things to do for an engagement session and so many ways to make it unique.

Getting the most of of your engagement shoot Nicole Blumberg Photography

Hair and makeup should not be left on the back burner. They tie the look together. If you can go pro, do it. If you want to do your makeup yourself but what to have great hair, I suggest making an appointment at the DRY BAR. They have locations in S.F. As well as the East Bay.  I have read that their appointments can run over so make it early enough so it doesn’t interfere with what time you need to be at the shoot.   If you are doing it yourself, remember that you need a little bit more makeup on than you would normally wear in real life for the camera to pick it up. Fake Eyelashes are a girls best friend. Here are some tips if you need them.

Accessories and props. Sometimes giving you something to do or play with can loosen any nerves you may have or just make for some better and funner imagery. It’s also gives me more options for directions or shots. For example : Confetti is fun to play with. Beach cruiser bikes are great to ride and looks so adorable in photos. Cars , Trucks and VW Buses = OMG, I DIE! (of goodness of course) . Coffees, Candies and Ice cream from coffee, candy and/or Ice Cream shops. Cocktails from a lounge. (This will really loosen you up! ) I’ve been dying to do a fun shoot at a fair or boardwalk as well as a home engagement.  Here’s some ideas on picking a theme for your engagement

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 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 head pieces also can bring the look together as well.  Bringing props like lot’s of different sized candles, thin tulle, vintage jewelry are good too.


A few reminders and tips! 

Our shoot will be approximately one hour to one in a half hours max. 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. 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’t 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 let’s your personality shine rather then 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. =)

Can’t wait for our shoot!