BTS | Catherine's Engagement Session

Hi Everyone & Happy Wednesday! This post brings me such joy to share. As many of you know, I am also a bride to be, and will be saying ‘I DO’ next June. With that being said, I thought I’d share first-hand my experience with my engagement shoot. I chose one of my dear friends and past co-worker, Mindi Mills to photograph my session and my wedding day. Her and her husband work together on weddings and I couldn’t be happier to have them as my photographers.

I think my biggest challenge preparing for my engagement shoot was what do I wear? I had no clue! I’m definitely not used to being in front of the camera and I certainly had my anxieties about it. So, I thought about it, and my intuition said, JUST BE YOU. Well, that’s simple enough to think, but what does that mean as far as outfits?! Well, I made the decision that I would choose one formal outfit and one casual outfit. I relate more to the casual side, but I wanted the excuse to buy and wear a new dress! I knew that if I planned out my outfits first, it would be much easier to then figure out what Eliott would wear.

I did some research *cough*cough* PINTEREST IS A LIFESAVER, and found the perfect post about coordinating outfits with your significant other. Yes, this is important! You don’t want your outfits to clash on-camera. Your engagement photos can be used for many things – guest book, wedding décor, save the dates, etc. So you want to look good and feel great in front of the camera. I’m sure you want in on this secret too, so here is a link to the pinned photo I found.

I really didn’t want to spend too much money on new outfits, so I first took a look through my closet for the casual look. I found my favorite pair of black jeans, paired with an acid wash black baby tee, but I knew I would need a pop of color. So, I decided to go to American Eagle Outfitters to find the perfect denim jacket. This outfit was by far my favorite and I know that’s because it was me. I felt comfortable in it, and I know I looked pretty cool. Plus, I would definitely be wearing that denim jacket after the shoot was over.

So, formal outfit – Being that I was on a budget, I went to straight to the clearance rack in Macy’s. I knew I wanted to look nice, but didn’t want to look cheap. I was in luck because it was their end-of-season clearance on formal wear. I found the perfect royal blue, lace dress that had the cutest cold-shoulder detail. I knew this was my dress from the moment I put it on!

Alright – so now that I am done, I had to help Eliott figure out his attire. Just a side note, it is totally unfair how easy guys have it in this scenario. I started with Eliott’s closet and found his nicest pair of denim jeans. He’s really not the type to dress up, so I didn’t want to put him into something that really wasn’t him. I found some nice shoes of his in the closet and voila, his waist down look was done. Being that I had two outfits, I figured we would look for two different nice shirts to compliment my looks. Seriously, it took one easy shopping trip to the mall – same clothing section, same store to find his shirts. Like really?! I think it took him 20 minutes to find both. But, I was happy because I knew our shopping was complete and we both purchased items that we would wear again.

Here are our gorgeous photos – You have to check out Mindi’s work, it’s amazing!


In the last part of this post I’d like to talk about location. Now, your photographer probably has a million and one amazing locations they’ve shot at, so don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions. I get that all the time and I’m more than happy to make my recommendations. In fact, trust in your photographer. Some locations may seem ideal, but may not work for photographs. Work together to find the perfect spot for you.

When deciding on my locations, I knew right away that I wanted a more urban look and feel. Pittsburgh has always been a part of my life and nothing felt more fitting. However, I didn’t want the iconic Mt.Washington skyline view. I wanted a different, less utilized view of the city – the North Shore. I adore how there are multiple yellow bridges on this side of the river. I wanted city side streets and back alleys. I wanted my photos too look like my own little urban adventureland. I’m pleased to say that Mindi captured just that.

Being that my session took place in the summer, we had many extra hours of daylight. We all wanted variety in the time of day for these photos. So we started around 4-4:30 PM on the North Shore, walked across the bridge into the city, and then walked back to the North Shore for a beer stop. We were all quite parched and wanted a break. This also gave the sun some time to get a little bit lower in the sky. So, right as the sunset was getting low, we made our way over to the Strip District.

I had an old bottle of Champagne in my fridge and I thought it would be fun to pop-some bottles in my shoot. I’m glad I saved this for the end of the session, as the sunlight hit the champagne perfectly. Overall, I had such an amazing experience with my engagement session. Naturally, I have a lot more experience with the planning part, but that doesn’t mean that your engagement session can’t be as fun. Because, it definitely will!

As always - thank you for taking a look at this post. You can follow me on instagram or facebook for daily updates.