Updated: Nov 19
Many newly engaged couples start considering their engagement photo session shortly after the question is popped, but how do you know how long your engagement photo session should be? While many couples ponder this question, I am happy to provide some insight from an engagement photographer’s point of view! Rather than viewing this event as something stressful to tick off the to-do list, consider approaching your engagement photoshoot like a novelty date night! Once you've warmed up to the idea of getting dressed up for pictures and maybe an idea of an activity to do, you’ll want to determine how much time you’ll need.
So, How Long Should Your Engagement Photoshoot Be?
Planning an engagement photo session can be an incredibly exciting time! There's so much to consider, and one of the most important factors is how long your engagement session should be. The answer to this depends on a few things, including the number of outfits you plan to change into, the style or theme of your engagement photos, and the locations you will be visiting. Generally speaking, engagement sessions should last anywhere between one and three hours. This gives plenty of time for outfit changes, different lighting conditions at outdoor locations and standard indoor locations, and multiple poses or shots per location. All in all, engagement sessions can be planned according to what works best for each couple – whether it’s taking more time for creative poses or visiting a couple of different locations. Here is a breakdown of what different time frames for engagement photo sessions can look like:
1 Hour Engagement Photo Session
Most engagement photographers start their engagement photo sessions with 1 hour time slots, any less than that would not allow enough time to get quality photos. During this time, you’ll be getting comfortable in front of the camera, warming up to your wedding photographer, capturing great photos, and having fun all in one session. In one hour of shooting time, you can usually capture 1-2 outfits, but will want to stay in one general area as changing locations will take up too much of your session time.
2 Hours Engagement Photo Session
A 2 hour engagement photo session gives couples the full photoshoot experience. You’ll have time to warm up and learn a bit about how your photographer operates, and by the second hour, you feel much more comfortable and carefree during your session. For a two-hour session, it really helps to incorporate an activity into your shoot! Generally, for a 2-hour engagement photoshoot, you can have 2-3 looks, and shoot in 1-2 different locations. This time slot really yields a lot of options for you, and most couples are perfectly served by this time slot.
If you are planning a "surprise engagement" session, prepare at least 2hrs, our photographer Mia Kampka is a PRO of staying "underground" until the second you pop out your ring lol. We will plan your big day secretly with you to make sure it's perfect.
3+ Hours Engagement Photo Session
You will only need 3 or more hours for an engagement photo session in a few different situations. If you are driving greater distances between locations, or if you have a special activity in mind, you’ll want a longer time slot for shooting.
For example,if you booked a sunset cruise tour you will need the photographer to get onboard with you, the session will start at the on-boarding time and end at the off-boarding time. Or if you want to hike to the top of a peak for your engagement session you'll want to capture some moments at the bottom, as you travel up, and at the top as well. This can take well over 2 or more hours to shoot and you’ll want time to rest and enjoy your adventure along the way. Other activities that might require more time such as: a hot air balloon ride, an outdoor adventure in nature, or a horseback ride on the beach. Planning a whole date around your photoshoot is a great way to enjoy your time and get really wonderful photos!
Hire PKA Photography for Your Engagement Photoshoot
Now that you have a better idea of how long your engagement photoshoot should be and what can be included with different time slots, you’re ready to book your engagement photo session! Be sure to visit our website to learn more about pricing for my different sessions and see more photos of beautiful engagement sessions I’ve done in the past. And as always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or what to chat about ideas for your magical engagement photoshoot!
Hanne & Miguel Engagement on 09/13/2022
”Mia was so great to work with! She made my fiancé and I feel so COMFORTABLE and her photos are AMAZING!!! Even before retouching, we could not believe the amazing quality of her photos. We will definitely be working with her in the future because of her professionalism and talent! We have so many people asking who our photographer was, and telling us how beautiful our photos are. We could not be happier that we chose PKA Photography to photograph our engagement!“
Adam & Jasmine Engagement on 08/08/2022
"INCREDIBLE, ORGANIZED, PROFESSIONAL, PUNCTUAL, TRANSPARENT... Just a few adjectives to describe Mia. I am still in awe when I think about the amazing experience I just had. I was in San Diego for the weekend for vacation and to propose to my girlfriend. Keeping true to my modus operandi, I procrastinated and started looking for photographers when I arrived to capture the proposal. I got a few responses from OTHERS, which were either ridiculously pricey, or unwilling to be flexible for requests [I wanted to do this on a hiking Trail overlooking the ocean, and I wanted this to be a surprise]. Both challenging, I know. Enter PKA Photography. I reached out to Mia 2 days before my planned proposal and she RESPONDED IMMEDIATELY with excitement and right away offered her guidance and suggestions and was SUPER FLEXIBLE. She was extremely COMMUNICATIVE and we came up with a game plan for the big day. In fact, s
he even scouted the trail the morning of just so that she could get a lay of the land! One hour before arriving to the trail, I shared my location with her on my iPhone and we both let each other know what we were wearing so that it would still be a surprise for my girlfriend. Once I arrived, we recognized each other, and I walked my girlfriend to the part on the trail where I knew was the best view and proceeded with my proposal. From a faraway distance and with her amazing camera [she had so many lenses and gadgets] she caught EVERYTHING. The pictures were OUT OF THIS WORLD. After this candid moment, I introduced my girlfriend to Mia and we then proceeded to have a delightful hour of taking pictures. Mia made that experience PAINLESS with her HUMOR and her eye for detail. Within an hour of when it was over, Mia quickly messaged me a few pictures via iMessage so that we could share the news with our friends. Everyone [I am not kidding--everyone] commentedon how stunning the pictures looked. The drop box link for all 300+ pictures came shortly after. I can’t recommend Mia highly enough. I am not big on staged photography but she made the hour go by so fast. I am so happy with how the experience went and how great the photos came out. Thank you Mia!!! Thank you PKA Photography!!!"
Hire PKA Photography for Your Engagement Photoshoot
I guess now you’re ready to book your engagement photo session!
Be sure to visit our website to learn more about pricing for my different sessions and see more photos of beautiful engagement sessions I’ve done in the past. And as always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions or what to chat about ideas for your magical engagement photoshoot!
Contact Details 619-948-2826 LaRon Hello@pkaphoto.com
Instagram: @pka_photo PKA Photography, West Grape Street, San Diego, CA, USA