Engagement Photographer Darrell Fraser

Celebrating your Love Story – Tips On How To Prepare For Your Engagement Session

Some of my wedding packages include a complimentary engagement session and it is the perfect way to introduce yourself as their wedding photographer and to get to know each other before the big day! I prefer not to rush these sessions and sometimes spend half a day just capturing these love birds. Over the past few years, engagement photos (also known as pre-wedding sessions, e-sessions, love stories sessions) have become quite common among couples about to get married. There are many benefits to having an engagement session in that short period before you get married.

My couples do all the negotiations and arrangements for their engagement session with the venues themselves. I do offer guidance and help with the arrangements, but it is important that you as a couple choose your venue to avoid any disappointments.

Tips on How to prepare for your Engagement Session

For more inspiration and ideas, follow my Inspired Couple Shoots board on Pinterest!

One of the most asked questions I get for is, “how do we prepare for our engagement photos? 

I am sharing some tips and suggestions on how to make the most out of your photo shoot that will help reduce your stress and prepare you for practicing being in front of the camera before your wedding day.

Darrell Fraser Adventures with Elephants Engagement PhotographerDarrell Fraser Award Winning Engagement PhotographyWhat is the theme or story that you want to portray in your photos?

You would want to include something regarding your story of you as a couple and incorporate elements of your personality into the photos. My top priority as your photographer is to visualize the story of your relationship in your engagement photographs.

Some of my couples use their engagement photographs in their wedding website invitations and stationery. I offer wedding stationery design services or wedding website invitations on my Platinum Wedding Package.

Wedding Stationery Designs by Creative Director Darrell Fraser WOW StudioWedding Stationery Designs by Creative Director Darrell Fraser WOW StudioWedding Stationery Designs by Creative Director Darrell Fraser WOW Studio

Have fabulous hair and make-up for your photos.

Most make-up artists or hairstylists have a “trial” date to make sure the look or hairstyle you want is everything you ever wanted for your wedding day. This is a good time to take advantage of these trials, and collaborate with your wedding photographer to have photos done after these trials. The key is to look and feel like the gorgeous couple you are and to be comfortable. I work with some of the best make-up artists and hair stylists in the industry and will make recommendations.

What do we wear for our engagement photography session?

I will cover this in a more in depth post, watch this space!

Darrell Fraser Engagement Photographer Menlyn Boutique Hotel

Location and venue

The location sets the tone and scene for how you want your engagement photos to look. If you want elements of the background to tie into your engagement story, then picking carefully is important. Location also works with your outfit selection to tell this story. If you are wearing a comfortable outfit and boots you would pick a location to match, such as an urban/city location.

There are many locations to pick from such as fields and open grass areas, the beach and waterfront, forests, parks, mountains, your favourite restaurant or coffee house and the list goes on and on. My most requested engagement locations were something to do with aviation, and it makes for some spectacular photos.

My main aim is to capture Your Love Story, Celebrating your Love Story, and the photos tell the story!

I am hugely inspired by Cinematic movies just so you know 🙂

Award Winning Engagement Photographer Darrell FraserDarrell Fraser Pretoria Engagement Photographer Gemma Chris Darrell Fraser Engagement Photographer

Can we use props?

Adding a few fun props can add a creative touch for your engagement photos. This can be anything from your furry best friend, to a blanket, to a bicycle. I love to photograph couples that have extra props to interact and will help tell their love story. Consider adding a prop for your engagement photography session and if you are unsure what to bring, ask me. The more creative and personalized the better! Let’s keep it classy!


Wildflowers, or bouquets are a nice touch to engagement photos.


A bottle of your favourite wine, or champagne, is a nice touch to engagement photos. We are here to celebrate! What better way than saying “cheers” with your favourite drink.


Many couples request to have their pets included in their engagement and wedding photographs. It is usually a big deal as the furry family member is an important part of the couple’s life. So if you would like to include your pet in the photos it is a good idea to meet the pet in a natural open area for the first time. A park or open area, free of loud noises and other pets are recommended, especially for hyper or nervous pets. Since a lot of pets like to have the majority of attention, it is a good idea to get must-have or difficult photographs out of the way first, that will open up the floor for the furry family member to be in the photoshoot. It is also important to come prepared, make sure you have any bags, toys or treats needed for your furry friend.


The weather can be unpredictable, so having an umbrella can help you stay dry but can also be a wonderful prop for you and your honey to get cozy under.


You are proud of your engagement ring, so remember to be wearing it at your engagement session, as I will definitely get that rock in on some of the photos.

South African Award Winning Engagement Photographer Darrell FraserSouth African Award Winning Engagement Photographer Darrell FraserSouth African Award Winning Engagement Photographer Darrell Fraser

Have Fun!

This is probably the most important tip! Having fun during your shoot makes for wonderful candid photos.

One of the key tricks a photographer uses is humor. This can either be a well-timed joke, or coordinating with one of you, to tell a joke that will make their partner laugh.

Being in a location or doing an activity that is fun is key and takes your mind off being in front of the camera.

South African Award Winning Engagement Photographer Darrell FraserSouth African Award Winning Engagement Photographer Darrell FraserDarrell Fraser Engagement Photographer Rand Airport

Be Prepared

Being prepared will help you relax and be at ease in front of the camera. And if you are stressed about posing, which is quite natural, remember I have posed tons of couples and by now I own a magic wand 🙂 My sessions are relaxed, full of laughter but super amazing!

Thank you to each and every couple for allowing me to be part of your love story, it was truly an honour! Every single couple went all out with their props, wardrobe and actually practicing their poses before the photoshoots.

I will share a new posing guide soon, so watch this space!South African Award Winning Engagement Photographer Darrell Fraser with Theodore Jantjies and TammyDarrell Fraser Award Winning Engagement PhotographerSouth African Award Winning Engagement Photographer Darrell Fraser with Theo and Tammy

Please note ALL photographs are copyright, should you want to download and share these photos on any social media platform, please make reference as follows:

© Darrell Fraser Photography

Thank you https://www.lisalander.co.uk/ for the help on these tips!