The Engagement Session

You’re engaged, time to pop some bubbly!  What an incredible time in your lives.  Congrats!

Below is some information and frequently asked questions about Real Life Photographs’ engagement sessions.  To connect with Real Life Photographs about your engagement session please click this link : E-Session Inquiry

Book a wedding collection and receive a complimentary engagement session.  To inquire about your wedding date, click this link: Inquire about your complimentary engagement session

Telluride Engagement Session in the San Juan Mountains with champagne

What is an engagement session

An engagement session is quite simply, a portrait session of you and your future spouse.  It’s a time to document this very special moment in your lives.  It can also fulfill a specific need.  Such as, save the date cards, a custom sign in book for your reception or a time to capture fun and natural images for your wedding website.  The engagement period is a very sweet time in your relationship, and it’s lovely to commemorate that with photographs of you both together. 

Fall Telluride Engagement Session

Are you camera shy?

Trust me, I get it.   And most couples feel the same way.  Being in front of the camera makes you nervous. You feel vulnerable and most of us aren’t use to being in front of the camera. You’re not alone.  Real Life Photographs is here to help. 

I photographed my first Telluride wedding in 2005 and 90% of my clients have this same fear. “We take horrible pictures and we’re not very photogenic”.  I’ve been doing this a long time and I honestly don’t believe it!  I highly recommend you rip off the bandaid and book an engagement session.  My collections all include an engagement session for this reason.  Even if you don’t use your engagement images for anything, this time is invaluable for both of us.    I’ll show you that you have nothing to worry about.  You may start out feeling awkward and uncomfortable.  But it is my job to help eliminate this fear and I promise, I’m good at it!  I promise to do everything in my power to make you feel comfortable and at-ease during your engagement session.  We may even have FUN!  You’re having your engagement pictures taken to document the love that you have for your future spouse.  If you concentrate on that , relish in that, and focus on your upcoming nuptials, you’re going to be just fine.  I promise!

Telluride Winter Engagement

How does an Engagement Shoot work?

The first thing we do together is choose a location.  Then we set a time for the shoot.  On the day of the shoot itself, we will meet at our pre-determined location and get started.  Before I even take a single photograph, I will show you a couple of helpful posing tips and language I use to simplify the process.

Instead of just walking from landmark to landmark and working through a list of predetermined poses, we’ll simply take a walk and shoot along the way.  I’m looking for beautiful light, interesting compositional scenarios and then of course the gorgeous setting of where we are!  If we’re in Telluride, there’s not a bad place to be.  While I set you in “poses”, making sure the lighting is perfect and everything is in place.  It’s more like subtle guides to interaction.  I want to see how you are together.  What makes YOU tick as a couple.  If you’re not into public displays of affection, rest assured that I won’t have you do anything that doesn’t feel natural to you.  On the contrary, if you’re outgoing and exuberant, I won’t set you into poses that are reserved and hands-off.  I’m looking to document you and YOUR love, however you define that!  Since the first time I photographed a wedding in Telluride, Colorado in 2005, it is this very thing that makes me love what I do.  No two loves are alike.  I will make sure your engagement photos are just as genuine and unique as your love.

fall-ridgway-engagement-session at Rowdy Lake

We don’t know how to pose? Will you help us?

The “poses” that we’ll work with are really just designed to get you interacting together.  For example, I may have you take a walk through the long grass, with the gorgeous Telluride peaks behind you.  I might ask you to talk to each other the entire time, not looking at me.  What I’m looking for is how you make each other laugh, your reactions to what the other says.  How their touch makes you fee and the natural cadence of how you two interact.  Or, I may have you stand close to one another with the simple instruction to “hold each other and show each other how much you love each other by your embrace and actions”!  I want to see how you naturally put your arms around each other, how you get close to one another, where your safe place is and how excellent your chemistry is.  I’m interested in capturing the “real” moments.

While our location choice is a team effort, or perhaps, you already know where you’d like to go.  We perfect the lighting and place you in the perfect setting with a gorgeous background, but your interactions and your emotions are entirely your own.

summer telluride engagement session in town park in the river

What should we wear?

I want you to be comfortable in your OWN style. Feel free to bring an outfit change (one casual look, one dressy) and make sure you consider the entire outfit from head to toe.  This is because  your entire body will show in many shots. Plan out jewelry, tops, bottoms, and shoes in complete sets. Don’t forget the accessories – a great hat, belt, scarf, sunglasses, or shoes can take your outfit from cute to WOW. Bring a casual look (jeans, tee, cute skirt, light materials), and a more formal look (slacks, button shirt, gorgeous dress). Try to avoid anything with logos, words on them and loud prints.  Also, please consider that we may be tramping through the grass, a field, or even snow depending on the time of year, so plan extra shoes!

Avoid being to matchy-matchy.  Gone are the days of both couples wearing white t-shirts and jeans.  You’ll want to simply complement each other, not copy. Use a pop of color to tie both of your outfits together.  Try on Everything a few days before the shoot.  Confidence in your choices will help you the day of your shoot.  And most importantly, where what you feel comfortable in. If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, it will show.

winter telluride engagement session with dogs, mount wilson

Can we bring our dogs?

Yes PLEASE! You have no idea how much joy this brings me to have the opportunity to meet the whole family.  I’m a huge dog lover and love the spontaneity and joy this brings to our session.  We won’t be incorporating them into every photo. So if we need to have someone else along to help manage the furrrbabes, it’s something to consider.  For other options, please let me know.


Can we bring props?

Bring them! Especially if they mean something extra special to your relationship or upcoming wedding .

grand junction engagement session at the national monument in Colorado

What if the weather is bad?

With most of my clients coming in from out of town, I like to have 2 dates scheduled.  First date is the ideal day and time for you with the back up date being whatever works with you schedule.  Really the only thing I don’t like to shoot in is the wind!  The wind is unforgivable !  If it’s raining, usually we’ll get a window.  It’s not like the PNW, where it will rain ALL DAY LONG. Something to consider, clouds make for awesome photographs!

telluride engagement photographer real life photographs documents this telluride engagement on wilson mesa with mount wilson in the background

What time of day should we schedule our engagement session?

Depending on the time of year and where you would like to shoot, will depend on what time we plan your session.  Typically, I like to shoot when the sun is lower on the horizon.  Either in the morning or the evening.  With that being said, with the right lighting we can shoot at anytime of day! If your eyes are sensitive to light, I would not recommend the middle of the day, when the sun is at its highest.  If you’d like to have sunset photos, I recommend planning your session to start an hour to an hour and a half before the sunsets.  If you’re planning a winter shoot, morning time is best.  This also allows for you to have the rest of the day to ski or hike!

town of telluride engagement session on main street

How many photos will receive from our engagement session?

The average engagement session produces around 50-75 images.  


When will we see our engagement photos?

Standard turn-around time for engagement sessions is 2-3 weeks, weddings are is 3-4 weeks. If we need to rush certain images (Save the Date shots or engagement party for instance), discuss that with me ahead of time and I’ll be sure to have a couple of images ready within 3 days. 

telluride-aspen-trees-engagement session photographed by real life photographs

How will we see and receive our engagement photos?

3-4 weeks after your engagement session you, we will meet up in person or zoom. We will watch your slideshow together and then go through the images and narrow them down to the vary best for your album or custom guest book.  If you don’t want an album, we will pick out your images you want to display in your home but we will discuss this during your consultation.  Once your order is placed you will receive your slideshow mp4 download to keep! I think this is a fun way to view your images for the first time.   Plus, it’s a great way to share with your loved ones. Here are some examples of what they look like:

Winter Engagement Session in Telluride, Colorado : Winter engagement session with dogs

Fall Engagement Session in Telluride, Colorado : Telluride Fall Engagement Slideshow

I’m truly grateful for you taking the time to inquire about Telluride engagements and wedding photography collections. I’m truly blessed to do what I love and I appreciate your time and consideration in advance! Available for local, national or international commissions.


ridgway engagement session photographed by real life photographs

Because I accept only a limited number of weddings each year, I like to get to know my clients very well to ensure we’re a good fit. If you could take just two minutes to answer the following questions, it would streamline our communication and ensure you’re well taken care of! 🙂
Call today for availability 970.275.5637 or Please fill out the form below to inquire about your wedding date.

E-Session Inquiry


To inquire about your wedding date, click this link: Inquire about your complimentary engagement session

Engagement photographs should be much more than just a casual encounter. It should document a part of your life in a way that compliments the beauty of your wedding day and of course your relationship. Timeless photographs of you two, perhaps in a different season and/or location than your wedding. So many cool locations to explore, whether that’s in Telluride, Ouray, Ridgway, Silverton, out of state or another location within Colorado!
Capturing the beauty, joy and your love for one another. I truly love my job. I love connecting with people and finding out what’s unique in their relationship, their love. Everyone is different and I love the opportunity to explore that with my friends/clients! We will have soooooooo much FUN! I look forward to welcoming you into the Real Life Family!


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If you are looking for an experienced Telluride engagement photographer who specializes in taking natural, fun and candid photos, you have come to the right place! I can make sure your engagement photos are just as genuine and unique as your romance.



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