How Long Do Engagement Photos Take?

Well, well, well, if you’ve landed on this article, that probably means someone popped the question: “How long do engagement photos take?”! If so, congratulations! 

There are 1000 things to plan between the time the ring hits your finger, and you finally say “I do.” However, if you’re swimming in venue options, veils, and 10 different kinds of icing, then an engagement session might not be top-of-mind. 

But, an engagement session should actually be one of the first things you plan. Why?

Well, let’s get into it!

What Is an Engagement Session?

Happy couple sitting on the ground under the sun rays
Photo by: Jessica Maddela Photography

An engagement session is a time for you and your beau to be intentionally present in the moment.

This season of life is incredibly unique, and your engagement session allows you to celebrate that! 

What Should I Expect from My Engagement Session? 

Сouple in love fooling around on the top of the mountain
Photo by: Wonderstruck Media Co

What kind of experience you have at your engagement session has a lot to do with what type of wedding photographer you hire.

Typically, you’ll book your engagement session with the same photographer you’re hiring to shoot your wedding and there are many benefits to this.

Often, they will have engagement sessions included in many of their wedding packages, making it seamless and easy to get your session in the books. 

Booking with your wedding photographer also gives you a chance to know him/her before the big day. You get to have a trial run of sorts while also getting gorgeous engagement photos. 

So, hire a dope photographer that you’re head over heels for, and you’re likely to have an enjoyable engagement session. 

You should also expect to choose a meaningful location, plan a few outfit changes, and be prepared to have your shoot either right before sunset or right after sunrise. 

How Long Do Engagement Photos Take?

A beautiful couple sitting on the bridge
Photo by: Jenni O Photography

Again, this is going to depend on your specific wedding photographer. 

Typically engagement sessions are 60-90 minutes long, but you might prefer to book something longer or shorter than that. 

There are some things you’ll want to take into consideration when you’re trying to decide how long your shoot should be:

Location + Activity

Dancing couple in the red canyon
Photo by: Allison Slater Photography

Depending on where you choose to have your engagement photos done or what you decide to do, your session could take longer than a typical one. 

Maybe your ideal location is a glacial lake that requires a 6-mile hike just to get to. Well, you’re going to have to book a bit more time with your photographer than a 90-minute slot. 

If you’re hoping to spend a morning surfing with your favorite person during your shoot, then your engagement session will likely be a bit more involved too. 

Talk with your photographer about what you’re dreaming of and they’ll guide you toward the best timeline for your session. 

Outfit Changes

Fabulous couple posing in sunrise
Photo by: Jaymi Nichole Visuals

You’ll also want to factor in time for outfit changes. 

If fashion isn’t your thing, and you’re not wanting multiple looks in your engagement session, then you can skip ahead. 

If, however, you’re hoping to highlight your best styles during your shoot, then it will take some time. Typically, photographers leave time for one or two outfit changes during a 90-minute session. 

Anything beyond that, and you’ll have to pay for more time. 

Travel and Getting Ready

Kissing couple in love
Photo by: Lavinia + Louise Creative Company

You’ll also want to consider how much travel time is involved and how long it’ll take you to get ready. 

Your prep time may not affect your photographer, but travel time certainly could, and travel expenses can add up!

Also, even if you’re not spending this time directly in front of the camera, it will add to your time commitment for your session. 

If you live in the city but you’re dreaming about an evening in the mountains, make sure to add up the time it’ll take to get to your location before your session starts. 

And if you’re hoping to get your hair and makeup professionally done, that’s also a time commitment you’ll want to take into consideration. 

When Will I Get My Engagement Photos Back?

A lovely couple posing in the field
Photo by: Jennifer Mercier Photo

Once you get all of this lined out and you rock your engagement photo session, how long will it take to get those photos back? 

Say it with me…this depends on your photographer.

Typically it will take 2-4 weeks to get your full gallery of images back. But you will absolutely want to consult your photographer about this timeline, especially if you’re planning on using the photos for something special like your save the date cards. 

Some photographers may surprise you with a sneak peek on social the night of your session; others wait to deliver all of your photos at once. 

To have the correct expectations, talk with your photographer about what you’d like and what they offer. 

Time Is What You Make Of It

Happy couple walking on the beach
Photo by: Kanoa Photography

No matter what the timeline of your engagement session looks like, only you can make it enjoyable!

Go into your photoshoot ready to have fun with your partner, and it is sure to be a blast!

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