Engagement Photography | — Ken and Vesta —

Engagement Photography

We moved to Reno six years ago and we were only going to stay a year, then we’d planned on moving to Hawaii and photographing destination weddings, but Reno, Lake Tahoe and the Sacramento and San Francisco area captured us. In that first year we met so many people and made too many friends, who we’d miss if we packed up and moved.

So now we’re Northern California and Nevada wedding photographers, doing what we love in a place we love, instead of those tropical weddings we’d planned on. Funny how life jumps up and changes your plans.

One part of our job we really love is the engagement shoot. Here’s where we get to meet the bride and groom in that special way, through our cameras. That is, after all, how we’ll be seeing them on their wedding day.


Engagement Photography 12


An engagement session is a good way for us to get know the future bride and groom and also we can learn how to photograph them. Everybody’s different and we like to try and draw out their personalities.

That doesn’t mean you have to have an engagement shoot. However, as you can see by going through the shoots below, it’s a nice way to get some photos before the wedding, some of which you can use for save the date cards. Plus, some couples display them at their weddings.

We also do engagement shoots for other photographers. For example the bride’s father might be a sports photographer in San Diego, who is flying in to shoot his daughter’s wedding and flying out the next day. Or the groom’s mother might be a wedding photographer in Atlanta. Or the bride might have an uncle who works for Lonely Planet.

The above situations actually happened. The brides wanted engagement shoots and we were happy to do them.


Lani and Steve Square


We’ve also done several Engagement Shoots for brides who were getting married far away from Reno. They had a photographer in Boston or Biloxi or Baton Rouge, but we were here and they were there. We’re happy to do these shoots too.

If you already have a wedding photographer, but she can’t do the engagement photos, we’ll be more than glad to do them.

These days it seems engagement photos are becoming as traditional as wedding photos themselves. Maybe, it’s because today’s couples want photos of themselves in a more casual environment or in an environment that more represents who they are and how they live their lives. And maybe it’s because of social media, because most of the couples we do engagement shoots for put several of their photos up on Facebook straight away.

And, of course, engagement photos, are very nice on a save the date card.


Here are three things you might want to think about for your Engagement Session.

1. You shouldn’t show up in an evening gown with your beau in a jacket and tie, not unless that’s your everyday attire. You should try and stay casual. After all, your wedding photos will show you dressed to the nines. Your engagement photos should be fun and if we shoot them, they will be. However, don’t be too casual, don’t show up in sweats or pajamas. 

2. You should think about wearing complementary colors, you know, like blues, purples, yellows, oranges and of course pinks, what girl about to be married doesn’t look gorgeous in pink. Checks, should be avoided, especially if you’re both wearing them, clashing or matching, checks aren’t so good. As for matching, matching clothes for the most part don’t work so well, not unless you’re part of a back up band or are circus performers who work in matching outfits.

3. You might consider using props. Anything from a baton if you’re a twirler to or your car. A guitar if you play or sporting props if you prefer. Props generally work well, just so long as you don’t go nutso with an armload of them. And if you’ve got pets, we’d be more than happy to include your horse, dog or even your pet alligator if you’ve got one in your engagement photos.

The above are only suggestions, but we think they’re good ones. But the most important thing to take away from all this is that engagement photos are supposed to be about you and they’re supposed to be fun.


If you’d like to see a few samples of our engagement shoots and what we’ve had to say about some of them, please click on the thumbnails below:


Four Reasons for a Bride to Have Engagement Photos.

Vesta and I are wedding photographers and we believe a very important part of our job is taking engagement photos. Some couples don’t think they’re necessary, but we believe they are for four very important reasons.

1. It’s a good way for a future bride and groom to get to know their wedding photographer and to get comfortable with him or her. After all, your wedding photographer is going to be with you throughout your special day. If you’re not comfortable with him, that could cast a somber shadow over what is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life.

2. You can use one of the photos or several of them, for that matter, for your save the date picture or pictures. When your family and friends open that envelope and see the two of you smiling at each other, it’ll put a smile on their face too. Smiles, that’s what a new marriage is supposed to be all about and what better way to show that than in photos.

3. Engagement photos show you how your photographer is going to make you look. How he sees you as a couple. How he sees you as a bride. If you don’t like the photos, you have plenty of time to get another photographer and frankly, if you don’t like them, you should.

4. And lastly, your engagement is a special time in your life. Oftentimes it’s very short, sometimes it’s up to a year or a little more, but in either case, it’s a special time, a time when you’re in love, but you’re uncertain about what the future holds.

And this is often a time when two people can’t keep their hands off each other. When their eyes yearn for each other. When they burn for each other. And this is what a good photographer attempts to capture in his or her engagement photos.


We do between twenty and thirty weddings a year. We’d do more if we could, but we can’t. However, we shoot about fifty engagement sessions every year. They take about an hour, sometimes two and we chat a lot as we’re doing them, as we’re people persons and we like to get to know as many of our fellow humans as we can.

But that’s not the main reason we chat as we take engagement photos. The real reason we engage the couples we shoot in conversation is that we’re fascinated by people in love and we can’t seem to get enough of them. And that’s why our rates for engagement photos are so reasonable. We just love doing them. They make our day.

Oftentimes a couple will want us to shoot their wedding, but sadly, we’re already booked for their day and we have to turn them down. However, for one reason or another, they’d still rather have us shoot their engagement photos, before they hire another photographer.

Sometimes a bride’s mother, father, Uncle Harry or Aunt Ester is a wedding photographer, but they live far away and are only flying in to shoot their wedding. They still need engagement photos and we’re happy to do them.

And sometimes a young couple can’t afford a real wedding photographer, but they’d still like some professional photos and because of our rates, they call us. Again, we’re more than happy to do them.

Engagement photos are something a future bride should have, so she can look back over the years and see that look in her husband’s eyes that says he yearns for her, that he burns for her. And sometimes, even twenty, thirty or forty years later, he still does.

Wedding Shots Wedding Photography, Reno, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and Sacramento. Please email weddingshots@speedpost.net or call 775 393-9529.