Kat Rizza | Toronto Wedding Photographer

Engagement Prep


Preparing for your engagement photos

Cheat Sheet: 

  1. Arrive on time!
  2. Plan to carry nothing
  3. Do not arrive hungry (late is better than hungry!)
  4. Bring backup shoes so mobility is not limited. Barefoot is always an option!
  5. Location & scenery is secondary - your interaction with each other comes first!  
  6. Bring the chemistry! I will direct where needed but please meet me half-way. 
  7. Its ok to be nervous, embrace it by knowing it will go away quickly! 
  8. Be yourself. Wear and do what feels most like the two of you. Forget engagement photos you've seen in the past. Let's make new ones. xo

It's simple, really. A couple of hours, a few people, a a lot of fun! This guide will give you some information on planning for your portrait session. It includes: when to book + what to expect,  choosing a location, what to wear + how to prepare. Emphasis is on making the session unique to you and planning for a session you’ll love!

Below are some suggestions I’ve found helpful but feel free to take these tips and make them your own. These sessions are really just about celebrating your love and life together; a chance to capture moments that tell your story, embrace individuality, showcase creativity and illustrate the love you share. A huge bonus is that working together on this session will make you feel more comfortable with both me and the camera on your wedding day.

My sessions are laid back, tailored and fun. The result is a series of images that show who you are and document a milestone moment in your life together.


When to Book + What to Expect

I’m able to book your session Mondays through Thursdays and ideally we’ll be shooting in the evening or early morning. The BEST LIGHT is at sunrise or two hours before sunset. Before your session, you will receive a QUESTIONNAIRE. Please fill it out. It will help me get to know you more as individuals and as a couple and hopefully spark some ideas on how to make your session best fit your personal style.

It’s important to ARRIVE EARLY to make sure there are no unexpected surprises (e.g. a festival or location closures) and so we can begin on time. Please account for traffic or potential delays and arrive 15 minutes before our start time. Expect our session to last for approximately 2 hours.

4 weeks after the session, you will receive a link to your private ONLINE GALLERY and you can download the files instantly. Please take care to BACKUP YOUR FILES. You will receive approximately 60 final images. All files will be high-res and fully edited.

PRINT ORDERS are available direct from your gallery. You can order enlargements and have them shipped to your home directly from our professional print lab.

Save the Date cards are usually sent out about 4 months before your wedding date. Post-processing of images takes about 4-6 WEEKS. If you’re planning on using one of the images from our session, I recommend scheduling your engagement session at least 5-6 months before your wedding.

 If ordering a Guestbook or Engagement Album to display at your wedding, I recommend scheduling the session at least 3 months before your wedding date. This allows 4-6 weeks for post processing, 2 weeks for ALBUM DESIGN and 2 weeks for album delivery.

After the session, I am always open to FEEDBACK you may have in case we need to change anything up for the wedding portraits. Perhaps you’ve found your “good side” or you’d like less kissing photos; either way it will make great practice for the wedding.


Choosing a Location

It’s important to choose a UNIQUE LOCATION that’s reflective of both of you. Consider a place that inspires you or a place that has sentimental meaning to you as a couple. Let’s go beyond the obvious. Get together and brainstorm about what you like. Think about fun or unexpected things that make you unique - hobbies, careers or passions that you may want to incorporate. Make it personal. Gorgeous images can be made literally anywhere but here are some ideas to get you started: your favourite neighbourhood, your favourite coffee shop, a block with modern architecture, an industrial park, a modern art museum, your favourite restaurant, a colourful outdoor market, a picnic on a roof, a skating rink, your home, your friend’s backyard, a library, a bookstore, a record shop. If you want to get super unique, let’s do our shoot entirely at night and if you want to be ultra casual, let’s grab some bikes or some ice cream and just wander.

Think about the style of potential locations and how your outfits can compliment them. Sometimes the best photos are made in the most UNEXPECTED of places! An abandoned building, an empty lot.. It helps if you love where we are and if you have a mood, theme or concept that you’re trying to convey, please chat with me about it beforehand.

If it helps to include PROPS to show who you are, absolutely bring them along! If you want to bring a PET please consider also bringing a friend to watch them when they’re not involved in the shoot.

Some locations require the purchase of permits. Talk to me beforehand.


What to Wear + How to Prepare

Like the location, YOUR OUTFITS SHOULD BE A REFLECTION OF YOU. Whether you’re going for minimal, trendy, or super glam, it’s important that your wardrobe works with the location (nobody wears heels to the beach). Make sure you two have considered how your outfits will look beside each other. Complimentary colours are great but please beware of matching! Avoid wearing the same colour on the top and bottom; even if they're different fabrics. 

Earthtones and nudes are classic but can get lost in a natural setting. Consider adding a bright colour (PRIMARY COLOURS work great!) in the form of a hat, socks, tights, or even pants. Monochromatic colour schemes can work well if you’re going for a modern look but make sure it's intentional and really represents you. Above all, have fun with it. Remember that future generations are going to look back on these photos for style inspiration so make us look good! ;) Take this as an opportunity to get a little dressed up; have fun with it. 

Avoid logos. Avoid loud prints. ACCESSORIES are your friend. An armful of bracelets, a hat, some funky socks, do it up.

If you’re wearing HEELS, please bring a pair of flats to easily slip on and off as we wander around.

Plan to CARRY NOTHING. I can put phones and keys in my bag. Hands-free wandering allows for spontaneous pictures.

Even if you never wear makeup, a little bit is best in front of the camera to accentuate your features. If you prefer to be super minimal, I recommend dark mascara, a brow brush and a tinted lip gloss for the bare minimum. If you’re interested in hiring a professional makeup artist, please be in touch for referrals! Protip: Consider scheduling your MAKEUP TRIAL the day of your shoots. Two birds, one stone! It always helps in to be in front of the camera when you feel a little dolled up.

HAIR: However you feel best! Consider the wind (as either a negative OR positive) if we’re shooting outside. Don’t forget NAILS on both of you! Consider treating yourself to a mani/pedi if you’re worried about closeups. It’s the little details that will help you feel your best and that will translate well on camera.

ABOVE ALL these are just tips. Rules are meant to be broken anyway so come prepared to be yourself, get silly and let’s make some gorgeous art together. If you have any questions as you’re planning your session, please do not hesitate to ask. I look forward to photographing you soon!