Welcome to the Works by Sarah Jane Photography Engagement Session Planning Guide!!

Engagement sessions are SO fun! My goal for every engagement session is not only have a ton of fun, but make sure you’re relaxed, not stressed at all, or anxious. Getting engaged and getting married should be fun. I don’t do the whole sad, deep emotional photos like some PNW-moody photographers do- I like to make you laugh, move around, have overall have an awesome time!
I get the music going, we hang out, are causal, and just have a relaxing time together while capturing how adorable you are and all your little giggles.
This session is about YOU. So this guide is here to help with how we can make your engagement session more personalized to your character, your relationship, and your unique love for each other.
This guide is simply to give you guys an idea of what our session will look like, how to prepare, and where to go! So let’s dive right into it! 

Let’s do this!!!



Learn more and see me in action

watch the video

I'm so happy you are here!

Your Engagement Session Experience

Yay! You’re engaged! Being engaged is such a special time with tons of anticipation and excitement! You two are taking a huge life step together and we definitely need to celebrate. I’m here to document the crap out of everything for you to look back on and relive your wedding day all over again! 

But first, let’s talk about your engagement session. 

Your engagement session is your time to really feel that you’re engaged and spend time with your love during a busy wedding planning season. 

I love to help you guys feel that experience. To be present together, enjoy each other’s company, and make it feel like you two are out on a date rather than a photoshoot. I incorporate your personality with those in-between moments together and the ways you hold hands, look at each other, how you walk together, everything. 

I’ve got plenty of ideas, poses, prompts, tunes, everything we need to get us going. I really use these poses as a starting point for us, and see how you two fall into a pose and make it your own. 

Music is playing, weather is working with us, you guys are smiling, and enjoying just being together. With a relaxed and awesome time happening, we’ll capture magic together so you’ll have wicked awesome and personalized engagement photos. 

Bring along 2 outfits 
Bring along a date idea*
Bring dog poop bags if you’re bringing your furbaby 
If you’re bringing a lot of props or don’t want to have your clothes to be folded into a bag, bring along a little wagon, or a big enough bag to carry everything so it’ll be easy to move around. 
Think about what kind of music you want to jam out to :) 

How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

A few things to start thinking about: 

For our session, typically I shoot up to 2 hours total. We can wander around a location or two and we can totally have fun with a champagne pop or whiskey drinking, whatever you’d like (more on that later!). 

What to Wear

Even though I sometimes have trouble choosing my own outfits in the morning, I can totally help you with your engagement session outfits! I highly recommend bringing 2 different outfits: one more dressy and one more casual, or two of the same style- whatever you want!
Keep in mind patterns and clashing, so if you are wanting to wear a pattern top, your partner might want to wear plaid and sometimes that just is really hard on the eyes and clashes, so if one of you wants to wear a pattern, have the other wear a more solid color so it’s not too overwhelming.
I highly recommend not wearing bright pinks, reds, fuchsia purple, or neon colors- those tend to reflect back onto your skin tones and cause some funky shadows that are definitely not flattering.

A few Pinterest Boards to get some inspiration


Also, wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. You can combine bold colors, complimentary patterns, with some casual accessories. Feel free to explore and get creative with your wardrobe! Make sure you’re wearing something you can move in!


Absolutely! Depending on where we adventure to, sometimes it's a little hike and we'll be doing some walking around, so you can totally bring walking shoes and then change into them when we stop to take some photos. Make sure to bring a backpack or huge purse for extra items. 




This is super common! When it's super cold but you want to show off your outfit underneath a coat, we can always take our time with taking off your coat, then capture some photos, and then put it back on to keep you warm. I'll bring hand warmers to keep us warm, too! You could also splurge and get a cute coat that will look great in photos with your outfit. 




I'd also recommend bringing a cute leash for your puppy. Sometimes parks only allow pets on a leash, so make sure it's a cute one like a brown leather one, or a color that goes with your outfits. Black is also a good neutral color as well. 





FAQ’s for What to Wear

What to Expect 

I love to have a good time with my couples, so you best believe we’re going on an adventure! I don’t put you in an uncomfortable pose that makes you act like a doll and stiff, I make sure you’re all relaxed and as comfortable as possible is my goal. So then I’m capturing your you, your personality, your love and relationship, and not what’s trending. You are unique and beautiful and it’s my job to help capture that for memories that will last forever.

Location Scouting

So these are just a few of the tons of places I’ve had the pleasure of shooting at! If any of these sound awesome to you, let me know and we’ll work it out! Most of the adventure locations take a bit more planning since it involves a ton more travel and possibly an overnight stay. Hope this helps you get inspired with where to go for your session and I can’t wait to adventure together!

Where should we go?

Choosing a location for your engagement session is seriously so much fun! I always recommend choosing a location that you two love the most and represents your relationship. If that’s going out drinking with friends- let’s hit up a local brewery!
If you guys love adventuring up in the mountains or want a lakeside session, perfect- let’s go to Snoqualmie! I love to incorporate more of your relationship into your session and make it feel more like a date, so locations are more personalized.
But! Here is a quick list of some spots we can adventure to or spots that could get the idea juices flowing! 

Definitely a must-go if you live in Washington! However, choosing Mt. Rainier National Park means watching the weather and seeing what roads and parks are open in the timeframe we want to go. Snow gets crazy around these areas, so it’s best to go in July-October. 

Best time to go: August-October During the Week
Pass requirements: Mt. Rainier National Park Pass
Dogs Allowed: No :( 

Keep in Mind:

This one is a super popular spot, but super gorgeous. You’re surrounded by amazing scenery with trees, mountains, and of course the pond. Walking around the pond is an easy walk and there are tons of spots to capture that PNW vibes. 

Keep in Mind:

Best time to go: During the Week
Pass requirements: None
Dogs Allowed: Yes 

Gold Creek Pond/ Snoqualmie Pass

Another awesome PNW classic! You’re surrounded by the Rattlesnake Ledge which is gorgeous, trees, the lake, and stumps everywhere during the winter. Weather is sometimes nuts in the fall time, but overall it’s gorgeous in the sunshine and cloudy days. Definitely a staple in Washington. I love to bring out my drone, Dobby, here, so we can get some wide shots of the lake in the background or of the mountain. So much goodness here. 

Best time to go: During the Week
Pass requirements: None
Dogs Allowed: Yes 

Keep in Mind:

Rattlesnake Lake/ North Bend, WA

This is a new location I’ve been shooting at and it’s amazing!! In the fall when the lake is all dried up, the fall trees come out, the stumps are shown everywhere, and some gorgeous colored grass. It’s super perfect on a rainy cloudy day and I highly recommend checking it out. 

Best time to go: Fall/ Spring - During the Week
Pass requirements: Northwest Forest Pass
Dogs Allowed: Yes

Keep in Mind:

If the Mountains are Calling...

Keechelus Lake/ Boat Launch / Snoqualmie Pass

Gasworks has it all! That rustic city vibe, the Seattle skyline, and plenty of wide open grass fields. If you want some nature but also want some city skyline buildings in the background, this is the place for you. 

Best time to go: During the Week
Pass requirements: None- Street parking
Dogs Allowed: Yes

Keep in Mind:

GasWorks Park/ Downtown Seattle

This park is gorgeous. It’s more of a ‘on the water’ vibe with some adorable epic lighthouses, but you also are near the city, it’s in the background, and you get plenty of nature as well. There is also this gorgeous white chapel in the middle of the park, so we can break up all the nature and get a cool vintage look to your session as well. 

Best time to go: During the Week
Pass requirements: None
Dogs Allowed: Yes

Keep in Mind:

If You're City Folk...

Discovery Park/ Seattle, WA

This is one of my new favorite spots. It’s got it all- water, mountains, pnw vibes, teal waters below the cliffside, everything. It’s stunning and I’m so in love with it. You have the lookout vista point, but I also like to drive down to the closest campground and get my couple right on the water/ beach, and give a different view than just the vista. The parking lot is also super cute!

Best time to go: During the Week/ Summer, Early Fall 
Pass requirements: None
Dogs Allowed: Yes

Keep in Mind:

Diablo Lake/ North Cascades

So Ruby Beach is Amazing! I had the opportunity to shoot an engagement session there last spring and it was so gorgeous. Granted, it was right before COVID and quarantine hit, so lots of people were out enjoying the sunshine, but it was stunning and we got some truly epic shots. I love being on the water and it’s definitely a beachy vacation vibe. 

Best time to go: During the Week/ Spring, Summer, Early Fall 
Pass requirements: None- Street parking
Dogs Allowed: Yes

Keep in Mind:

Ruby Beach/ Olympic National Forest 

So I’d live up here if I could! Haha It’s gorgeous and has everything you could ever want in an engagement session. Large parking lot and tons of trails to adventure. You have the gorgeous Mt. Baker in the background, tons of mountain view shots, forest vibes, and reflections in lakes makes for a perfect time. I shot an elopement up there and quickly fell in love with it. Totally recommend! 

Best time to go: During the Week/ Summer, Early Fall 
Pass requirements: Northwest Forest Pass
Dogs Allowed: Yes

Keep in Mind:

For Location Ideas, please view this page on a desktop or tablet.


Don’t worry about a thing. I’ve worked with tons of rowdy groomsmen, and I am on it. Again, when I need to, I’ll whip out my Momma Brown-ness and I might sound demanding, but I just gotta get those shots for you and get the boys into shape! When Momma Brown comes out, the boys listen and we get awesome photos. I’ve even been told afterwards that “that’s just what they needed!”. lol!

What if the groomsmen are getting ready far away?!



I would have them all in one place, in a bag or a box, so I can just grab and go. Details are typically the first thing I start shooting as you’re working towards getting ready, so if it’s all in one location and easy to find, that makes it super easy and a lot quicker.

How should I prepare all our wedding details for photos?


Artist Point/ North Cascades/ Mt. Baker

Mt. Rainier National Park

If You're Pining for an Adventure...

When We Should Go

It really depends on the time of year you’re getting married, but we can go on your session all year round (weather depending). Keep in mind if you really want to go to a national park, or a state park, a highly popular park/ lake/ bar/ whatever it may be, it might be best to go on a weekday or a Friday afternoon so it’s not so crowded.

Let's Get Personal:
Date Ideas

So for engagement sessions, I always ask my couples to bring something that’ll make their session feel more special and
This allows not only for me to get to know you two more, but also to capture your personality and make your engagement session feel more like you. I love seeing what some couples come up with and bring along for their session.


Here are some ideas of how to make your session feel more like a date:

Eating Cheeseburgers on a rooftop overlooking the city because you are crazy in love with cheeseburgers on date night.

Wearing matching jerseys because you love watching/ going to football games together

Having a charcuterie board filled with your favorite cheese, crackers, and chocolates and sipping wine together as the sun sets.

Bringing donuts and whiskey- because why not!

Bringing engagement gifts you gave to each other instead of an engagement ring.





This seriously can be anything! If you two love to just go out for a desert as date night- bring that! If you love to go bowling, okay that might be a little tough, but you can totally bring your bowling ball! Anything that is more of your personality and feels like a date is what I love to bring into each engagement session. Don’t over think it, too! It can be something simple. Bring your motorcycle, your puppies, your guitar, flute, snow shoes, your cat, anything!
If you need any help with putting that together- just shoot me an email or text and we’ll make it up together!

How about some Drone?

 Last year I finally got myself an awesome little Drone, named Dobby. He’s my little buddy for engagement sessions and I’m always bringing him now for sessions. Currently, I don’t bring Dobby with me to weddings because I don’t want to step on any videographers toes, but if you guys wanted some cool laying down shots in your wedding getup, we can totally do that! So Dobby will be with me for engagement sessions, count on it! If the lighting works, we’re feeling it, Dobby will come out and capture some magic.
Here are some epic shots Dobby captured:

here are some things to keep in mind

I recommend bringing a fun blanket or mat to lay on and we can do some fun overhead shots. I usually bring a few blanket options, but just in case you wanted a certain color or style, you can totally bring your own. 

Dobby can't go flying if it's super windy or if it's rainy. Even with a little sprinkle, he can't fly in it. It's super lame, and the PNW is perfect when it's misty and rainy, but he's not waterproof unfortunately.  


Here are a few FAQ's not covered above :)

A few things to keep in mind for your engagement session

Can we bring our puppy/ puppies?

Of Course!! Please do!! We can get some photos of you all and then I can tie them up on their leash on my camera harness so they'll always near you.  

What if it Rains?

Totally happens! I have plenty of cute clear dome umbrellas we can use to keep you dry. But if you don't want your session to be filled with a ton of umbrella shots (depending on the weather), we can always reschedule. 

How Flexible are you with rescheduling? 

Totally flexible! I understand life happens and the weather could not be on our side, so we can always reschedule and no fees are charged for doing so. 


Sarah Jane

Get ready to have fun, be relaxed, comfortable, and have a great time for your engagement session. It’s not something to stress over, even though I do, too, freak out over getting my photo taken. So I totally get it! I’m right there with you and I do everything I can to help make it all as easy as possible.
We’re just hanging out and having a great time capturing your love for each other and adventuring.
I’m so excited to spend time with you and getting to know you guys more! Engagement sessions also help you see how I shoot and how ‘hands off’ I am when taking photos. I just love to see where you two fall into a pose and get those in-between moments. I’ll put you in a pose and use some silly prompts, but overall, I just want to see how you love on each other and interact with one another. That’s where the magic is and I can’t wait to capture that for you!
If you have any questions or anything about anything and everything, please feel free to reach out to me any time 🙂
Woohoo! Let’s go on an adventure!