Your engagement session is more than just a photo shoot; it’s a celebration of your unique love story. At Sarah Kellie Photo & Film, I firmly believe in curating sessions that are as unique as the couples I photograph. This guide will help you create an engagement session that truly reflects your personalities and relationship!
All of our wedding photography packages include a complimentary engagement session, but it’s not just a standard shoot. I encourage my couples to personalize their sessions to reflect their unique relationship by choosing two locations that hold special meaning to them. The goal is twofold: to get to know each other and to capture images that are genuinely reflective of your personalities and interests!
When you book with us, I provide custom mood boards to inspire your session’s vibe and help you select the perfect locations. Whether it’s a traditional spot or a place that holds personal significance, like a first date location, a favorite bar, or a memorable bookstore, I’m ready to take your engagement photos in settings that matter most to you.
My sessions are typically broken up into two parts: the first part being at a more standard location in STL, and the second being a more significant location to you two. Although that’s the usual structure, I will always customize your session to what feels the most true and comfortable to you! If that means spending 30 minutes at one location that fits your personalities, I am so down!
Now that you know exactly what my engagement sessions entail (and why I include them in all of my packages), let’s discuss how to curate your personalized engagement session. Keep in mind that these are just the basics, and we’ll chat about all of these topics more in-depth once we’re planning your session together.
Begin by reflecting on what defines your relationship. Are you cozy and intimate, adventurous and outdoorsy, or stylishly urban? Your answers will guide the theme and setting of your session, ensuring it reflects your true selves.
Your chosen locations should speak to your shared experiences and tastes! Whether it’s the site of your first date, a favorite café, or a scenic outdoor spot, we’ll have endless ideas to match your style. My goal is to capture your story in settings that are significant to you so that your photos hold an extra layer of depth when you look back on them.
I’ve been to all kinds of places for St. Louis engagement sessions, including Forest Park, Lafayette Park, Towne Park, Tower Grove Park, and Missouri Botanical Gardens. I love these locations for the first, more “traditional” aspect of your engagement session! As for the more personalized spots, I’ve been on boats, in bookstores, in bowling alleys – trust me, the options are endless if we get creative enough.
And if you’re not based in STL or travel is a significant part of your relationship, I love doing destination engagement sessions. I have traveled to Arizona, Colorado, Kansas City, Chicago, New York, and Texas for different sessions, and I’m more than happy to return or travel to new places, too. Feel free to ask about travel costs once you inquire and I’ll give you all the information you need!
Your attire plays a crucial role in setting the tone. From cocktail dresses and sports coats for an urban setting to casual and comfortable clothing for a natural backdrop, your outfit should complement the session’s vibe. For example, if we’re shooting somewhere like rolling fields, then flowy dresses, jeans, and boots match especially well. Or if we’re heading somewhere like Vintage Vinyl to shop for records during your session, throw on your favorite band tee, Vans, or Converse to complete the vibe.
Don’t worry, though, I’m here to collaborate on outfit choices, ensuring your photos look cohesive and stunning! In the meantime, check out Free People, Anthropologie, Madewell, and Cider for your engagement session outfits.
Here are two of my favorite engagement sessions that you can take inspiration from:
Maddie and Chris’ engagement session took place in the beautiful coastal setting of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Embracing the natural beauty and serene backdrop, the couple chose this location for its significance to their relationship. The session captured their relaxed and laid back personalities, highlighting moments of fun and intimacy against the gorgeous coastal scenery! Their outfits complemented the setting perfectly – casual yet stylish, mirroring the easy-going vibe of the coastline.
Check out Maddie and Chris’ full engagement session blog here!
Ellie and Aaron’s engagement session was set in the vibrant urban landscapes of St. Louis, featuring spots like The Last Hotel and Union Station. These locations were chosen for their personal meaning to the couple and their connection to the city. The session showcased their infectious energy and love for the city’s dynamic backdrop. Their attire for the first part of the shoot – upscale and chic – was perfectly in tune with the sophisticated urban settings, adding an extra layer of elegance to their photos.
For the second part of their session at Union Station, we took a more casual approach to capture the goofy and fun-loving side of their relationship. And, of course, we ended the session with a trip to a local ice cream shop!
Check out Ellie and Aaron’s full St. Louis engagement session blog here!
I am so excited to curate a session that accurately reflects you, your personalities, and your relationship. If you haven’t already inquired about your wedding photo/video package or standalone engagement session, you can do that here!
Whether it's through photos that resemble oil paintings or films that make you feel like the star of your own movie, my aim is to offer an effortless and worry-free experience. So, go ahead and explore the blog, and if you feel a connection to our work and philosophy, we’d love to be part of your adventure.
Feel free to dig into the archive and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need personalized guidance. We're here to make your journey towards 'I do' as magical as possible!