Top 5 Ways to Make your Engagement Shoot Awesome! (for the couple)


I wrote this article after watching hundreds of engagement shoots.  I noticed that there are some simple things that could turn a good shoot into a fantastic shoot.  It’s not difficult and some suggestions may seem like common sense but even so it’s the common sense things that often get overlooked.  I’ll follow with more tips and articles but I think this one is important and will make a real difference in your experience as well as your end result.                            JON BRIGGS


1. Dress Appropriately

Obviously choosing the right clothing is an important part of the photo shoot. Think about the style of pictures you want and the setting you’d like to take them in. If you want a city setting dress for a day or night out on the town just like you’d normally do. Outdoor settings open you up for even more possibilities. You can dress in outdoor style clothing or go with something more formal to give contrast to the setting. Choose colors that will pop in the environment, not blend. The environment and your clothing choices should compliment each other, not match. That goes for the two of you as well. Be careful not to match your clothing too much with your fiancé. For example, both wearing red shirts and matching Chucks.  A good photographer can give you some guidance.

2. Prepare for the Setting

As I mentioned before you’ll want to choose appropriate clothing for your setting. Doing this not only includes what you’ll wear for the shoot but what you’ll wear to the shoot. If you want an outdoor shoot remember that you’ll be doing some hiking or trudging through snow to get to the best location. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve watched a poor bride hiking through the snow wearing a mini skirt and high heels or through a desert setting in delicate shoes that are ruined by the harsh environment. So what’s the solution? Wear snow boots, hiking boots, or just tennis shoes while carrying your high heels or other delicate shoes. If it’s cold wear a coat and some sweats under your skirt. When you and the photographer find the perfect spot change your shoes, take off your coat and your ready.

3. Show Up On Time

This is probably the most important advice I could give for having a great shoot. If you’re having your shoot done in a studio remember that your photographer scheduled the studio for a specific time. At the end of that time a new client or photographer will be there for their session and you’ll have to leave without getting all the pictures you hoped for. What about outdoor shoots? Remember that with great photography it’s all about the light. Your favorite shoots you’re hoping to duplicate were amazing because they were done with an excellent photographer that combined every environmental element (location, life, and light) to capture the perfect shot. We schedule your shoot to be exactly during the time of day with the best light for the shoot you want. If you’re late to the shoot then you’ll have fewer pictures done in the optimal light to get the pictures you were hoping for.

4. Have Fun!

Sounds trite, I know, but having fun will result in great pictures. Laugh and joke and be at ease. You’re there with the person you most love in all the world. Lose yourself in that other person and enjoy being there with them. The photographers job is to capture you and your fiancé doing just that…having fun and enjoying being together. Most people think they look better not smiling but it’s not true! A genuine smile brightens everything about you, your fiancé, and even the environment itself. Then when it’s time to take a few of those more serious shots your expression will convey passion and love. Trying to be serious when your not having fun looks an awful lot like anger when the pictures come back. The last reason for this is a more practical one. It will make your parents and future in laws happy. The most common response back from parents and in laws is that they wish there were more of you smiling.

5. Gloomy Groom

You don’t like to have your picture taken. You’ll make sure everyone knows that you hate it and dread it. You discuss it for weeks before how bad you look in pictures and how dumb the whole thing is. So…you wonder why you don’t look good in pictures? Think the attitude may have something to do with it? Listen, few people actually like to have their picture taken…what you do like, even love, is your fiancé. You love being together and when it’s just the two of you you’re relaxed and at ease. That’s exactly the attitude to have when you go with her to your shoot. Just be with her, enjoy her, have fun with her and do the things you know will make her smile. Her smile makes you smile and brightens your day. Focus on this and you’ll find yourself realizing the shoot is over, you had fun after all, and your fiancé just fell in love with you even more.

Kenady & Jordan Engagements | Salt Lake City, UT

Hey kids, its Amanda again. I have a little Sunday magic for you that I just had to share.

Let me start this way. If anyone ever asks me how I feel about my job, I give the same answer every time: I LOVE it. Where else could I get to see the things I see, meet the people I meet and experience the life events I get to be apart of, if I didn’t have my camera in my hands? But, like any other other job, photography requires its own form of research, leg work and time outside the actual shooting of my camera. This engagement shoot was a perfect example of just that. Before the day of our shoot, I called Kenady and made sure we were on the same page as far as location ideas, concept ideas, outfits, etc. She told me that as much as she loves pictures of couples in the mountains and pretty places like that-she would much rather have pictures of her and her and Jordan doing things they would actually do. Date-gagements as I like to call them.

About an hour before we shot, I drove to our location and started to walk around. After asking the owner of a cute gelato shop if we could shoot there, I walked into this amazing dive theater called The Tower and started to poke around till I found the manager. I asked her if it would be okay for us to shoot around inside the theater lobby and she was all for it. I even convinced her to let us shoot inside the theater itself (because their projector was down) but by the time we got back it was running again, so we were confined to the lobby. After the theater I made my way down to Chipotle to grab a quick bite and noticed they had those awesome glass Mexican coke bottles so I grabbed two, not even knowing if my couple liked coke. But hey-it was worth a shot! Once my couple got there, I knew I was going to have an amazing shoot. Not only were they beautiful, but they were so fun and full of life. We walked over to the theater, grabbed some popcorn and started to shoot. Lucky for me, they both loved Mexican coke, popcorn AND gelato. After a good walk around 9th and 9th, some good food, laughs and amazing shots, we headed to our second location.

Remember that leg work thing I mentioned earlier? Before our shoot I also came to our second location to scope out where I would be shooting them. I didn’t notice till I got there however, the big sign that said NO PHOTOGRAPHERS ON THURSDAYS. Huh. So what does a girl do when she only has a couple that day (a Thursday, of all days)  and has her heart set on shooting at a place where apparently they have a thing against Thursdays? Shoot there anyway. I figure if I get asked to leave I either play stupid or the “I’m pregnant” card. (Which I’m not. But a girl can still try, can’t she?) Regardless, we shot without a hitch and left with some of the most beautiful engagements I’ve ever taken. So yes. If you ever ask me if I love my job, the answer is yes. After an afternoon of popcorn, Mexican coke, gelato and sneaking into gardens with fun, beautiful people-how could I not?



Emily and Mikey Bridal shoot | St. George, Utah

This shoot could not have been more perfect… St George is one of my absolute favorite places to shoot ever..the desert is my absolute favorite scenery. And this couple is just freaking awesome. I have so much fun shooting them its ridiculous.

Side note, my whole little family got the flu way bad while on this trip :/ haha, but I came back with some gorgeous shots that turned out better than I even imagined so it all balanced out !

Jordyn & Kellen engagements- Salt Lake City, Utah

Literally I’m a tad obsessed with this couple. I did not want our shoots to end. Kellen looks like a different movie star from every angle, everyone apparently tells him he looks like James Franco, I think he looks like Jamie Dornan, but when he smiles he looks like Henry Cavill. And I think Jordyn looks like AnnaSophia Robb. All in all they’re amazing looking, and just as cool on the inside.  Just wait till you see their bridals 0_0

We shot these downtown SLC on top of a parking garage and then at my studio!

enjoy 🙂


Melina and Christian engagement shoot | Salt Lake City, Utah

Loved shooting this cute as h couple. Melina is stunning, and I loved the “Notebook” vibe of their outfits…  I wanted them to dance and be cute and crazy for part of the shoot and usually when I ask couples to do that its like pulling teeth, but Melina and Christian just started salsa dancing all perfect! I guess they love going dancing together, how cute is that?

This location was totally trespassing :/ I had to climb a fairly high fence at 8 months pregnant haha…


Mckenzie and Dan bridal shoot | Jessica Janae Studios Salt Lake City, UT

Ya so this couple…. I literally couldn’t stop shooting them. I didn’t want their pictures to end! haha

They both look like models, her dress was unreal, and the locations worked out perfectly with their vibe… One was in my natural light studio downtown SLC and the other was behind an LDS church in Salt Lake.

I shot their wedding a few weeks ago and was way sad when it was over because I realized we don’t have anymore shoots to look forward to with them! Well unless if they start having pretty babies soon 🙂

Styled Bridal Fashion shoot part 2 | Salt Lake City, UT

This is the second half of the “vintage mod” bridal shoot I posted a few days ago. This whole day was just photography magic.

90% of this shoot was done with my film camera, Contax 645 so the editing was minimal.

Hair and makeup was by Vivian Williams-

The AMAZING Monique Lhuillier gown was lent to us by fellow photographer and friend Lizzie-

The bridal headpiece I made the morning of the shoot out of a flower from my own bridal headpiece and some sheer fabric from an old curtain in my house haha. It turned out surprisingly perfect for the vision I had. Very couture bridal looking.

enjoy 🙂


and heres a little behind the scenes of me getting the shot from above haha…