Engagement photos – What to expect from engagement session


Romance is in the air and the anticipation of a lifetime together comes to a crescendo in the fleeting weeks leading up to your wedding, causing you to wonder: Is an engagement shoot really necessary? After all, don’t the wedding pictures represent the beginning of our lives together?
At Paul & Sylvia | Photography & Design Studio, we believe having an engagement photo session is important for several reasons. First, this time allows you, as a couple, to get comfortable in front of the camera with your photographer, and figure out how you work best together before the main event. Next, you can showcase your personalities in a more casual setting, while creating some fun, memorable images for wall portraits, your wedding sign-in book, guest signature board and Thank You cards (shot early enough, we can also provide the images for your Save the Date cards and invitations). Engagement portraits also add another dimension to your wedding album, chronicling your story from frolicking fiancees to husband and wife. Best of all, you can remember this special time forever with personal memories of just the two of you, away from the throngs of loved ones and friends. Book your engagement session today by contacting our studio at 416-400-9700 or info@paulandsylvia.com. We will strive to accommodate your schedule in any way we can, but please allow 2,5 months in advance of your wedding for the optimal use and enjoyment of and from your images.
Please note that our studio is closed on Sundays and Mondays and therefore the sessions can be scheduled during the week or any available Saturdays.

Since the engagement photos session season is almost here we thought we’d share with you some of our ideas about what you should expect from an engagement session, how to prepare for one, and how to feel and look comfortable in front of the camera. We treat each engagement session as a way to get to know each other and become more comfortable before their wedding. In the process we want them to have some fantastic images of the two of them representing who they are.  For the most recent examples of engagement sessions please make sure to visit our BLOG or our portfolio page for some of our favourite photos.


Location for Engagement Session

What can we say.  We love when our couples come up with some amazing locations for their shoot.  So if you’re considering traveling somewhere spectacular (like anywhere in Europe or anywhere else with history and great architechture), or to any other places with special landmarks and character think of us and we might just join you and make a little trip out of it while incorporating your engagement portraits session in it.  Have we mentioned that we love traveling?   In terms of location and feel of the engagement shoot we always recommend to the couple to consider their interests, things they like to do together, the story of how they met or their journey together, places of special interest or meaning. We find that it really helps the couple if they’re surrounded by things they know or are in a place they feel comfortable with. It also helps us with getting great images and capturing the right essence of the couple. There is also the bucket list to consider. Think of all the things you’d want to do or places you’d want to visit in your life with your partner. Why not incorporating that into an engagement session to capture new memories and we’re willing to travel anywhere to get great photos. We recently spoke to a couple who always wanted to go to Centre Island in Toronto and thought of having a fun date, going on paddle boats and incorporating a fair theme into their engagement session. How fun would that be when you’re focusing on each other as opposed to being stressed out about the camera?  By choosing a familiar place or theme you’re not as worried about how you look or how to pose. Documenting a couples experience or story makes it a lot more comfortable for the couple to be photographed and feel less posed.  You can also consider your family and friends.  Do you know of anyone with a great property or house, a boat maybe?  There are so many options.

Bryan and Jaclyn had to deal with separation during their university years with Bryan studying in New York and Jaclyn being in another state . We decided to fly to New York to incorporate their story int their engagement session in Manhattan, New York.

Are you a baseball fan?  How about on of the baseball fields in Chicago.  Did you know that you can get a return ticket to one of the big cities  like Chicago, New York, Boston, etc. for around $200-$300 from Toronto?  That’s cheaper than trying to pay another photographer in that city for an engagement session.

If you’re planning a trip to Europe, then how about an engagement session under the Eiffel Tower, or walking the streets of London, or a romantic setting of Florence, Italy or an editorial shoot in Venice.

Here are some ideas for locations and themes: (if you have any more please add them to the comments below)

1. Balloon Festival
2. Winery tour on a bike
3. Dinner and dance boat cruise on lake Ontario with the Toronto skyline and sunset in the back.
4. CNE
5. Amusement park
6. Going out on a canoe and an outdoor feel
7. Beach engagement session

What to bring?

We love it when you can think of a theme for your shoot or bring some amazing props to add that bit of character and visual interest. Whether you have a dog, want to incorporate balloons, picnic baskets, bicycles, your favourite car, etc. Any of those things shift your focus to having fun with your partner and away from the camera.

What to wear?

Think colour and think your personality. Think of something that you won’t regret wearing a year or five years down the road. What do you feel comfortable in while still feeling trendy, or sophisticated. Clothing and style can make a couple portrait really pop. Generally, you should stick to more form-fitting clothing, something hip and trendy, and or more elegant clothing. It really depends on the style and feel of photography you’re looking for. The couple’s attire should compliment one another , so we suggest bringing at least one change of clothes so that you have few looks to play with. We always recommend for ladies to have their hair and makeup done prior to the shoot. It really makes them feel more confident and helps their personality shine during the engagement session. You can always schedule and appointment with a professional or have your wedding day makeup trial on the date of the engagement session.

Every couple and engagement session is different. Each couple has their own story, their own dynamic and energy. Some couples want more of a traditional feel to their photographs and some are looking for more contemporary, playful feel. We adapt to anything and anyone we photograph as we want to really portray the couple. If you have a session booked with us or are looking to book one, but need ideas, we have tons of them. We’re just looking for couples who are fun, creative, maybe want to travel to a different place, and are willing for us to capture their adventure and their love.

To view more examples of our engagement sessions please visit:

Our sample of our portfolio

More of our engagement sessions on our old blog at Paul Nelson Images

and our current blog which is in the process of being updated.