Engagement Session Tips for Success

Mad men themed engagement session
I'm Bella!

My work has a very editorial look. I am for classic, clean imagery that isn't heavily altered from real life.  My art is created through framing, composition, emotion and connection rather than props and trends.

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My wedding packages include an engagement session so we can get to know each other in a shooting environment. This will help you gain confidence and feel safe that you’re well taken care of on your wedding day. When planning your engagement session, start to brainstorm what feels authentic to you two! The following are my top engagement session tips.

Engagement session in Boston
Are you two fun and quirky? Or more serious and formal?
Mad men themed engagement session
When I saw their outfits and the location, I felt the quiet introspection and fashion-focus of this couple. This drove me to play with light and shadow and architectural elements

1. What would make this session “you”?

This couple absolutely adores movies and the theatre! We got permission to shoot here and had a blast.

This is the first thing you should think heavily on when planning your engagement session. Was there someplace where you two met that’s sentimental? Is there a concept you’ve always wanted to play with photographically? Is there something you always do together as a couple? Think long and hard on this because it will help guide you to an engagement session that’s right for you.

Unique engagement session ideas
When I asked about their hobbies in their couple questionnaire, they said they took Muy Thai classes together. That inspired this photo!

2. Decide on the season for your engagement session

Are you looking to use these photos as a coaching session, or are you hoping to use them for save the date cards? Timing can come into play if you’re hoping to meet a deadline, or if there’s a specific element that you desire that’s tied to the seasons. Keep in mind that winter is great for snow sessions and architecture, but not for foliage or blossoms. The wettest seasons are definitely spring and fall, so do know you have to remain flexible when booking a spring or fall date unless you’re ok with some drizzle!

snow day engagement session
With a storm looming on the horizon, I reached out to J+J to see if they wanted to do a winter snow session. They loved the idea and made it happen in 2 days!

3. Decide on your location

Oftentimes couples reach out asking for advice on this, but I always say it’s a very personal choice. I am heavily drawn to architecture, street art, hard light and interesting shadows. Maybe even something fashion-driven. When I suggest these items, it then becomes apparent to most couples that they prefer a pretty park downtown. Be honest with yourself so that I have a starting point for location suggestions.

If you’re up for something adventurous and off the beaten path, then I’m totally open to inspiration and ideas! A mood board would help me suggest some locations that might come to mind. So please create one and feel free to share it with me. It’ll help guide me which will in turn fine tune our session!

Harvard Medical School
These two met in Harvard medical school, so we wanted to make this the backdrop of their love story.

4. Outfits set the tone

Posing, outfits, mood, expressions, and how I use the backdrop and the light all come into play to creating a cohesive look. If you analyze fashion spreads in a magazine, they have set designers, wardrobe stylists, hair and makeup and models all doing their part to create a cohesive look. In order to get that polished, tailored look a lot of effort has to go into finding a common thread throughout your session. It doesn’t mean it has to be formal! It can be casual and playful, but that has to run throughout the session’s theme. The kiss of death is the “can I get a little of everything” request. All elements coming together to create something synergistic is my #1 Engagement Session tip.

If you have no sense of fashion, look to Pinterest and Instagram for ideas! Rely on the pros, they’re sharing content and expertise for free

urban engagement session
Urban engagement session looked so great with a white tshirt and jean look. We were inspired by Korean fashion whereby couples dress similarly to show their love for one another. The muted tone of the outfits were perfect for the colourful backdrop.

More tips for planning your engagement session

I’m an open book and I’ve been doing this for years so I’m here to help and guide you. Here is a page I’ll send you once you book your wedding package to help you plan your engagement session.

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About me

My path here is a bit different than most. I have a background in engineering and accounting/auditing. Like every good Asian daughter, I wanted to make my parents happy. With my first paycheck I bought a camera. I was instantly addicted to capturing life's details and observing people's interactions. When I moved from Toronto to Boston, I found myself without a job but with a fresh start. I got my first gig off Craigslist (crazy!) and have been fully booked ever since. The family that had booked me on Craigslist still keeps in touch with me to this day and I've photographed them quite a few times since. I've been featured in numerous publications both online and in print (Martha Stewart Weddings, Boston Magazine, The Knot). 8+ years later, you've stumbled onto my page.  

I am candid, communicative and caring. For those that know me, they know I have a pretty wicked sense of humour to get people to relax. My goal always is to ensure you are heard and that you are comfortable throughout the process. In my portfolio you can see each family's genuine happiness and comfort in their body language. It takes a lot to create the environment of trust. The rave reviews from my families afterward show you how much they care about me in return. This environment of trust builds from the beginning and I honestly attract the kindest families that allow me to create consistently strong images with heart in order to tell their story.


Starting in late Summer of 2021, Bella Wang Photography will be offering Studio Sessions in a brand new studio location right in the heart of the South End in downtown Boston.

Currently only accepting clients willing to sign a model release for these special portfolio-building rates.

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