Menu +


The Journal

5 Tips for Planning a Miami Engagement Session

November 1, 2018

The love of your life asked you one ever so important question and here you are planning your Miami wedding! How fun and I know from past experience also sometimes a little overwhelming. As you might be thinking about engagement photos, here are 5 Tips for Planning a Miami Engagement Session. 

5 Tips for Planning a Miami Engagement Session

Miami Engagement Photography, Coral Gables Engagement Photography, Tessa Maxine Photography

5 Tips for Planning a Miami Engagement Session

Tip #1

Be your [Best] Self.

You want these photos to be a reflection of the best version of yourselves. Do you remember that night when your hair looked great and your lipstick was perfect?  You walked in the room and he couldn’t take his eyes off of you…. Felt great right?  

Whether you’re wearing a formal gown, a long flowing maxi dress or a perfectly preppy ensemble a little effort goes a long way. These photos will be seen by all your friends and extended family. You may even be using them as part of your Save-The-Date announcements. So it’s a good idea to invest in a new outfit that makes you feel great. You’ll definitely be able to wear it throughout your engagement to parties, dinners, and meetings with vendors.

And as for your man, the same goes for him.  If he doesn’t already own a suit, now may be a good time to invest in one or perhaps a jacket and separates that he can mix and match for all the dinners and parties that you two have coming up.

Deering Estate Engagement Session

5 Tips for Planning a Miami Engagement Session

Tip #2

Dress on the Same Level.

While you don’t want to show up wearing matching shirts, you at least want to look like you are attending the same event. If your fiancé is wearing jeans, don’t show up in a cocktail dress and heels. Not sure where to start? Try checking out the website, catalog or store of your favorite brand and study how they put things together. Look for inspiration that can give you a fresh idea of how to add to what you already have.  If you have one outfit that you love but are stuck trying to match with your partner, you can always bring the outfit that you have to your favorite store and ask them to help you build a second look. They may even be able to suggest a few accessories to help complete your own.  

Miami Engagement Session

5 Tips for Planning a Miami Engagement Session

Tip #3

Pay Attention to Details.


It’s the little things that can make all the difference in a good outfit. I’m a huge fan of neutral colors as they let the person shine through. A pop of color somewhere is usually a better choice than colors everywhere.  A bold necklace or earrings can add interest to an outfit. They also make focal points for the photographer, creating more interesting compositions and more visually-interesting shots. This goes for the guys too. Ties, Pocket Squares, belts are great details and amazing shoes look great on everyone and instantly take a casual outfit to the next level. Just remember to make sure those Louboutins are walkable as we may be moving around during your shoot.

Deering Estate Engagement, Miami Engagement Session

5 Tips for Planning a Miami Engagement Session


Ladies: Your photographer is definitely going to want several shots of your hand with that gorgeous new ring. This means having a manicure. This is also a great time to have your hair and makeup professionally done. Your engagement session is a perfect time to have a trial run with your hair and makeup team and it will help you to feel extra confident and radiant for your close-up!

Gents: Like your bride, clean up your nails for close-ups. Also, get a haircut about a week before the shoot so that it can grow out a little bit beforehand. Facial hair is fine, but please make sure it looks well kept.

And the one thing I tell every couple is to exfoliate 2 days before your shoot.  This will help your skin to have a fresh glow. 

I really wanted to end this part with a list of items to avoid completely, but I can’t. I’ve seen some amazing photos where the couples have on less- than-traditional outfits. My suggestions may not fit every couple, but I hope that they give you a good starting point for planning.  If you have the confidence to pose in your swimsuit or the style to pull off a vintage ensemble, go for it! Your Engagement photographs are all about showing the best version of yourself and creating a legacy for the future to remember this once in a lifetime point. 

A few of my favorite stores to consider are J. Crew for a classic preppy look.  Anthropologie for a chic boho influenced look and BHLDN (Anthropologie’s sister wedding website) is a personal favorite and a perfect place to find a dreamy gown to blow in the breeze and of course, Nordstrom or Sak’s 5th Ave are always great options.

Coral Gables Engagement Session, Miami Engagement Session, Tessa Maxine Photography

5 Tips for Planning a Miami Engagement Session

Tip #4


Here is number 4 of 5 Tips for a Perfect Miami Engagement Session. Make sure that leave enough time for traffic and mishaps when you are traveling to the engagement session.  I once had a couple show up more than an hour late for a sunrise session.  Needless to say, the sun had already risen and we could only shoot for about 10 minutes.  The light looks prettiest at the beginning and end of the day and your session will most likely be scheduled at a time when the best light is available.  Arriving on time means that you won’t have to rush and will have a more relaxed and enjoyable experience in addition to the prettiest light. 

You’ll also want to check ahead of time to see if you need a permit to shoot at your location. While most locations are ok with amateur snapping pics on their iPhones, many locations require a permit for a professional shoot. I’m working on a blog post with details for popular areas in Miami for Engagement sessions and a link will be in at the end of this post soon so be sure to check back for that. 

Deering Estate Engagement Session, Miami Engagement Session, Tessa Maxine Photography

5 Tips for Planning a Miami Engagement Session

Tip #5


And now the final of 5 Tips for a Perfect Miami Engagement Session.  We live in a really warm climate in South Florida is wonderful for beach days but not so great if you want to look fresh and it’s noon in August.  If you can wait until a cooler month then do.  If you can’t, one way to beat the heat is to start early in the day.  We have beautiful beach sunrises and most areas are not crowded at this time.  Make sure that you hydrate before and during your shoot.  There is a reason why models are known for drinking a lot of water.  Staying hydrated in the days leading up to your shoot makes your skin look gorgeous and in our warm climate, it is a necessity.  Pro tip- If you place your water bottle in the freezer before you leave it will stay cold during the shoot.

I hope that these 5 Tips for a Perfect Miami Engagement Session will help you prepare. Above all else your engagement session should be fun and a time for you to connect with your partner in this ever so busy time in life!

xoxo Tessa Maxine

PS – If you found this blog entry helpful feel free to share with a link back to the entry and if you’re ready for some more tips just click below.