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General Engagement Session Guide

The Engagement Session: Where to Go & What to Wear

A fun Seattle engagement photography session is designed to be a creative and fun session that seeks to capture the essence of your love. The session is casual and relaxed, and we strive to capture a mixture of both candid and posed shots. We love engagement sessions since it allows us to work with and photograph our clients before the big wedding day – but in much more relaxed surroundings.

Clients ask us many questions, from "What's a good location in Seattle to photograph at" and "What are we supposed to wear?". The truth is you and your fiance are the best people to answer that. Locations and outfit choices should compliment your personalities. Top locations like Kerry Park, Kubota Gardens, Alki Beach and the Arboretum give you great backdrops of a city/urban feel. Snoqualmie Falls and Rattlesnake lake give a more rustic and outdoor feel. You can get a nice country hometown feel up in Snohomish.

There are lots of places around that give you a great options. You may want to have us photograph your engagement session at a location significant to the both of you, such as the place where you first met or a favorite spot you go to on a nice day. When you do this, you'll want to wear something that highlights your features and brings out your personality. So this means you should wear what you normally would wear as if you were going out for a night on the town (i.e. date nite). Men, wear jeans and a nice pressed button up shirt. Women, you can wear jeans or a nice dress. Make sure your cloths are clean and fresh. It it's cooler outside, then bring a nice jacket that you can wear and take off easily. Your engagement photos reflect who you are, so you should wear something that is you.


There are many spots available to photograph an engagement session in and around the Seattle area. What you are looking for in your Engagement photographs will determine the best venue to shoot at.

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City Theme

  • VARIOUS SPOTS IN SEATTLE (in front of Library, etc.) ($)

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City/Urban Theme

  • MARINA PARK in Kirkland
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Small Town Theme
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Beach / Sound Theme

Note: Beach and near-water settings can be windy, so if the wind likes to capture your hair, you may want to consider options for your hair or select an alternate location.
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  • MARYMOORE PARK in Redmond

Please note that some venues may require an additional fee due to the cost involved in photographing at a particular venue, such as parking or park admission (denoted by ($)). This fee will be added to your final total and is assessed on our Monte Carlo , Caesar's and Venetian packages. Also, if you want to photograph at a private venue, such as a hotel or other landmark that requires a permit or moderation with a site coordinator, our studio may assess a fee equivalent to one hour of time since photographing at these types of venues almost always requires a site visit and coordination with a site vendor.

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Clothing and Outfit Recommendations

Absolutely "Yes"

  • Solid Colors can really help distinguish the two of you from the background.
  • Jeans tend to blend in to most any setting and allow you to interact more with the settings (i.e. sitting in grass, walking on beach, etc.)
  • Cute Dresses give the look of having a "night out on the town" and really spice up the photographs.
  • Accessories, such as jewelry, scarves, belts, hats and sunglasses add element and can compliment many of the poses we'll try.

Probably "Not"

  • Baggy or Tight clothing can either make you look bigger than you really are, or can make you feel uncomfortable and/or self conscious in front of the camera.
  • Multi-Colored shirts are too busy. Any shirt (or pant) with more than two colors will draw the attention to your outfit and away from you.
  • Clothing with Logos and Graphics compete for your attention in the photograph.
  • Matching outfits take away from your uniqueness. Remember, the session is about the two of you together – two unique people. Your outfits should show you that you're unique – not the same.
  • Running shoes should be left at the gym, unless running is part of the engagement session. Wear nice dress shoes, like Doc's.
  • Overdoing makeup can be distracting. When in doubt – err on the side of going light than overdoing it.

Of course these suggestions are only that – suggestions. Ultimately the choice is yours. But remember, the best thing is to be yourselves. Don't go out and buy new outfits that you'll never wear again solely for the engagement session. Remember – it's all about you and you should feel comfortable.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where can we have our engagement session photographed?

Our engagement sessions can take place anywhere within a 50 mile radius of Snohomish, WA. This is a fairly large area and includes places like Salish Lodge (Snoqualmie Falls), Alki Beach, Lincoln Park in West Seattle, Kerry Park as well as many others. Basically we can photograph anyplace in between Des Moines and Mt. Vernon and from Seattle to Snoqualmie. We reserve certain days to photograph our clients who may live around Tacoma, Olympia or Bellingham, so if you live around there, just ask us and we can let you know the next date we'll be in that area.

What if it's raining (or snowing) outside?

The weather in Seattle is very predictable, and that's to say we've been very fortunate to have a very low reschedule rate due to weather. We will keep a close watch on the weather. Our studio shoots engagement sessions either rain, snow or shine. Unless it's pouring down rain (which we will reschedule), chances are we'll be able to find a break in the weather – allowing us to photograph.

How long does the engagement session take?

Engagement sessions take around an hour.

Do you allow for multiple locations?

Possibly. We ask that the session be photographed in one location in order to maximize the use of our time. Multiple locations may be acceptable if they are in close proximity (within 5 minutes) to each other. However, if you want to do multiple locations, we can add on additional time to accommodate your photography goals.

Can we split our engagement session into two sessions (one summer, one winter)?

One engagement sessions is included in your wedding package. If you are looking for multiple sessions, such as one for different seasons, we can offer you a discount on the second and subsequent sessions. Please inquire with our studio for more information.

Can we change outfits during the engagement session?

Yes. We don't charge extra for changes of clothing. An idea to accommodate different outfit choices is to dress in layers. That way you can have the appearance of multiple outfits without actually having to find a place to change. If you want to have multiple outfits – and if there's a place to change, we encourage you to be as creative as possible with your outfits.

How long will it take to get the photographs back from our engagement session?

Top studio picks are usually posted on our blog within hours after your engagement session. The complete set of images are typically hosted online within a week. Our online hosting site allows you to download the complete set of images for personal use.

I want to photograph at a place that is indoors, like a hotel. Is this recommended and how can you help us facilitate this?

There are several hotels in Seattle and Bellevue that have great indoor photographing opportunities. If you wish to photograph at a location that needs approval for photographing, we can take care of securing the necessary permissions for you. If this involves a site visit and a meeting with a site coordinator as a basis for securing the permissions, our studio will assess a $100 charge to your package for doing this. This fee is added to your account and can be paid anytime before your wedding.

The engagement session comes with our package, but we don't want to do it. Can we get a discount off our package if we don't do the engagement session?

The engagement session is part of our gift collection, so if you don't want to do an engagement session, you can choose another free gift, or you can opt to donate your session. Our studio donates unused sessions to various difference causes, such as our "Returning Hero's Project", which donates sessions to the families of our armed forces. Since our free gifts have no cash value if unused, we are unable to discount our packages if the session is unused.

How do we get the images after you photograph our engagement session?

Our top picks are typically posted on our blog after your engagement session (sometimes even the same day as the session). The remaining images are typically posted within one to two weeks on our website at photo.eventsbyhr.com. You will receive a confirmation email from them once your photographs are ready. If more than two weeks have gone by since your engagement session, please let us know and we can check for you. We normally deliver your images via digital download, but if you require a thumb drive, we can do this as well for an additional $25.