Engagement sessions are a photo session that a couple has when they are newly engaged. The engagement session captures the fun and excitement that comes with being newly engaged. One of the first steps of the wedding planning process is finding a photographer for your engagement session. Most wedding photographers in Austin actually include an engagement session in some of their collections. We actually include an engagement session in every single one of our collections.  

What is an Engagement Session?

Most couples have never been in front of a camera before. Engagement sessions are the best way to get comfortable in front of the camera with your spouse. The last thing you want to feel in front of the camera  on your wedding day is stiff, awkward, and uncomfortable. Building a relationship with each other in front of the camera during an engagement session is essential to getting those authentic expressions on your wedding day. For those who get to photograph with their wedding photographers, this is when you get to grow that relationship with them. You get to understand your wedding photographers specific posing system, their process, their jokes, and everything else that will make your wedding day special. After your engagement session, you will feel so relaxed and full of confidence that your wedding photography is going to be perfect.

Why are Engagement Sessions Important?

Engagement sessions can take place really any time during your engagement. It could be immediately following the proposal, all the way up to just a few days before your wedding. We have found that there isn't really a "bad" or "good" time to have your engagement photos taken in Austin. Normally we plan sessions based around a particular look the couple have in mind, blue bonnets for example, or based on their schedules.
The length of your engagement session will vary depending on your photographer. Our engagement sessions in Austin typically last 1-2 hours. We prefer to shoot when the sun is lower in the sky to avoid very harsh shadows and really bright patches of sun. For sunrise sessions, we love to start right before the sun starts coming up.
For our engagement sessions, we try to schedule them for when will be the best light of the day. That means it is so important to be on time. If you are running late to your session, that could cause us to lose light in the evening or for the sun to become more harsh as it rises.


Is there a "good" time to take engagement photos? 

TIME & LIGHT

We have devoted so much of ourselves to finding only the best locations in Austin, Texas for your engagement session. No matter what type of look and feel you are wanting for your engagement session, any of these locations that are around Austin will give you absolutely beautiful engagement photographs.

The best Engagement Photo locations in Austin

About 45 minutes west of downtown Austin in Johnson City, Pedernales Falls provides everything you love in Texas hill country and so much more. When you drive to the very back of the park, you walk down the trails to the Pedernales River, you will gasp. Large rock formations, beautiful trees, and even sandy hills. So many options for your engagement session. Plan on having your session in the evening. Having your engagement session in the morning is possible, but may be tricky since it opens after the sun rises. The sunsets at Pedernales are beautiful and the crowds are usually minimal. An evening engagement session at Pedernales Falls state park is perfect for the couple who love texas hill country and breathtaking landscapes

Johnson City, Texas

Phone: (830)-868-7304

Address: 2585 Park Rd 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636

Website: http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/pedernales-falls

Pedernales falls state park

Located right next to downtown Austin along the Colorado river, Butler park gives you so many options for your engagement photographs. Beautiful trees along the river and lots of open spaces allow photographers to really get creative. Butler Park is also one of the best locations to get the entire Austin skyline. Anywhere you go in the park, you can get beautiful photographs with the Austin skyline behind you. Having your engagement session at either sunrise or sunset will be fine at Butler park. Our favorite thing about Butler Park is it is right across the road from Jack Black's BBQ. When you are finished with your engagement photos, go and get some Brisket from Jack Blacks, we will say you're welcome in advance. 

Austin, Texas

Butler Park

Phone: (512)974-6700

Address: 1000 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Website: https://austinparks.org/butler-park/

The motto "Keep Austin Weird" perfectly describes South Congress. So many fun shops and restaurants up and down congress. Every photographer will agree, there is so much to use when photographing in South Congress, no two engagement photo sessions will look alike. Start your session at the top of the hill by Torchy's tacos, then work your way down finding whatever unique elements you find. We always make sure to take a few engagement photos with the different murals to add some zest to your photo gallery. Finish your engagement session off on the South Congress bridge, where the sunlight during golden hour is in just the perfect place to give you those bright and golden photographs you are crazy about. 

Austin, Texas

South Congress

Address: Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704

The University of Texas Austin campus is a great location for couples who love architecture and history. The Architecture & Planning Library and the University of Texas Tower are the most popular spots for engagement photos. We have found by just walking around you can find some amazing hidden gems on campus as well. The best time for your engagement session on the University of Texas campus is in the morning. By the evening, the South Mall and the rest of the campus will be full of students and other photographers photographing. A morning session will ensure that the campus is empty and quiet. This way you both can really enjoy your engagement session and still enjoy the entire day in downtown Austin afterwards. 

Austin, Texas

University of Texas Austin

Phone: (512)471-3434

Address: 110 Inner Campus Drive g8000, Austin, TX 78712

Website: https://ugs.utexas.edu/

Address: 3800 Mt Bonnell Rd, Austin, TX 78731

Website: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/park-directory/

Mount Bonnell is on the northwest side of Austin, right along the Colorado river. It is a bit of a climb up the steps to the very top, but the view is absolutely worth it. Stand along the rocks and take in the views of the Colorado river and Texas hill country. These views are the perfect backdrop for your engagement session. Your friends and family will have their jaw on the floor when they see your engagement photographs. Mount Bonnell is a very popular destination and will have be very packed with tourists wanting to see the view in the evening. Plan on having your engagement session at sunrise at Mount Bonnell. There is absolutely nobody there and it is so quiet, which is so much more relaxing than 100 people watching you at all times. 

Austin, Texas

Mount Bonnell

Phone:(830)685-3636

Address: 16710 Ranch Rd 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

This location is a bit of a drive, but it is worth it. Enchanted Rock is located an hour and a half west of Austin, just north of Fredericksburg, Texas. The 425 foot tall Granite Batholith is the central point of Enchanted Rock state park. To get from the parking lot to the very top takes about 30 minutes. For the best engagement session possible, we strongly recommend a session in the early evening. Start at the bottom and work your way up to the very top of Enchanted Rock, taking engagement photos along the way. The views of Texas hill country are incredible at the very top. Be sure to bring plenty of water for your engagement session to make sure you are hydrated. (We absolutely make sure all of our couples have water during their engagement sessions).

Fredericksburg, Texas

Enchanted Rock

Phone:(512)243-1643

Address: 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744

Website: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mckinney-falls

Mckinney Falls state park is right on the south side of Austin. Waterfalls and beautiful rock formations are found around the falls themselves. What we love is that there are still beautiful wildflower fields and rock beds that can be used in addition to the falls. Having your engagement session in the morning at Mckinney Falls would be ideal as the park does fill with visitors in the afternoon and evening. Having said that, it is very easy to work around visitors during your engagement session. The trees at Mckinney falls do lose their leaves in November and do not grow them back until early April, so make sure to schedule your engagement in late spring or early fall to guarantee the best color in your engagement photographs.

Austin, Texas

Mckinney Falls

Phone:(512)974-6700

Address: 6701 Lakewood Dr, Austin, TX 78731

Website: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/park-directory

Bull Creek is right off of highway 360 in the north part of Austin. The creek itself is surrounded by beautiful rock cliffs and trails. The northern part of Bull Creek also has waterfalls along the creek that are just steps from the parking lot. Bull creek is perfect for the couple who wants to really showcase nature during their engagement session. We STRONGLY recommend a sunrise engagement session at Bull Creek. This is a very popular swimming spot and will be full of people all day. Start your engagement session at the lower part of Bull Creek, then finish by the waterfalls as the sun rises. 

Austin, Texas

Bull Creek

The 360 Bridge is one of the most popular spots in Austin, Texas. The cliffs along the side of the bridge give you a fantastic view of Texas Hill Country. Across from the hills, on the other side of the Colorado river is a fantastic little park where you can lots of room to dance and have fun together during your engagement session. Since the 360 Bridge is so popular, a sunrise engagement session is almost necessary. You can easily use both sides of 360 bridge during your engagement session in the morning, get ready for that beautiful sunrise as you both sit at the very top of the hills.

Austin, Texas

360 Bridge

Address: 234 RR 1050, Concan, TX 78838

Phone: (830)232-6132

Address: 234 RR 1050, Concan, TX 78838

Website: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/garner

Garner state park is 3 hours from Austin. If you are a couple who has dreamt about the perfect location to showcase Texas hill country, Garner state park is the worth the drive for your engagement session. Start at the very bottom of Old Baldy in the afternoon and work your way up to the very top. Spend time on the trail growing that connection with each other during your engagement session. When you arrive to the top you may be a little winded, but the views are absolutely spectacular. The hills look like mountains at Garner state park. The sunsets from the top of Old Baldy will make your engagement session truly memorable, as well as make your friends scream at how gorgeous your engagement photos are. 

Concan, Texas

Garner State Park

The Colorado River bends all the way around Austin, Texas. Along the river there are so many hills and cliffs leading down to the river. Many parks along the river have trails that lead down to the water. This is a great option for couples who live by the river and also want to use their home for their engagement session. Depending on how dense the trees are around the river is, both morning and evening sessions are great. Be prepared to go into the water so bring some water shoes for the rocks just in case. 

Austin, Texas

Along the Colorado River

Phone: (888)425-4753

Address: 6285 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77551

Website: http://www.galvestonbeachinfo.com/

For a lot of couples, lakes & rivers aren't enough. They want the ocean for their engagement session. We absolutely love the palm trees and the ocean, which is why we recommend Galveston Beach for those couples who want a their engagement session on the beach. Galveston is about 3 hours southeast of Austin and has so many fantastic spots to photograph up and down the coast line. Galveston is a very popular area full of tourists. The best time to photograph your engagement session is right at sunrise. The sun comes up right over the ocean, giving you vibrant colors and beautiful light in your engagement photographs. Enjoy breakfest on the beach right after your engagement session ends. 

Galveston, Texas

Galveston Beach

Mayfield Park is right next to the Laguna Gloria wedding venue in Northwestern Austin. This is a great location for the couple who want a little tropical paradise for their engagement session. Little pools surrounded by palm trees and flowers will add so much color to your engagement photographs. Also the park is full of peacocks and they are gorgeous. Anytime of day works at Mayfield Park since there is an abundance of shade. There is a permit fee for $50, but it goes right to the park's annual costs since they are a non profit. 

Austin, Texas

Mayfield Park

Phone: (512)974-6797

Address: 3505 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703

Website: https://mayfieldpark.org/

For the couples who love to be spontanious and let the day guide you, start your engagement session on a parking garage in downtown Austin and lets see where it takes you. Maybe you randomly tacos from a taco stand? Or hop on a couple of electric scooters and ride down Congress parkway? Sometimes it is just more fun to see where the day takes you on your engagement session. We suggest starting in the center of the city and just see where your feet take you for your engagement session.

Austin, Texas

Date Night in Downtown Austin

Did you know that every photographer has a list of secret locations that they use for engagement sessions? These are hidden gems that we found while out and about that are absolutely perfect for engagement sessions. Locations that most people don't even know about, you can't even find them on a map! When you put all of your trust into your engagement photographer and let them find you the perfect location, this is how we reward you. Beautiful locations that NOBODY knows about, giving you an intimate setting to have fun, relax, and take gorgeous engagement photographs that your friends and family are going to lose their minds over when they see them.

The Photographer's Secret Spots

Your Wedding venue is a fantastic place to take your engagement photos at. This is the place where you are going to make some of the most important memories of your lives. Make it even more special by also getting your engagement photos taken there. Most venues will not be open in the mornings, so plan on having your engagement session in the evening. Definitely take note on what types of trees are at your venue as the leaves may be not have leaves on them during the winter months.

Still don't have a wedding venue?

Check out our list of the best venues in Austin, Texas!

Your Wedding Venue

While most Austin engagement photographers photograph year round, most couples choose a season based on the location they want to be photographed at.

Just a few things to keep in mind when planning for your engagement session:

Seasons

If you are wanting to take your engagement photos in Austin during the winter months, keep in mind that your session may begin as early as 3pm to catch the sunset. Although most days the temperatures are mild, there are cold days as well. Make sure to have a warmer back up outfit option in case it is cold the day of your engagement session.

comfort, relaxation

Winter

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Spring is one of the most popular times of the year for engagement sessions in Austin. The temperatures are perfect and the Blue Bonnets are in bloom! It is also rain season so make sure you schedule both a primary date and backup rain date for your engagement session in Austin.

fresh flowers and sunny days 

Spring

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Even though it is super hot in Austin, we are big fans of summer engagement sessions! The sun sets pretty late during the summer in Austin, 8:30pm or later, so if you are wanting an evening session, expect to start it around 7pm for the best light. Most of the popular locations are full of tourists during the evening, so if there is a particular location you are wanting your engagement photos at in Austin, we strongly recommend starting your engagement session around sunrise.

walks through Texas hill country hand in hand

Summer

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This is another great time of the year for engagement sessions. The leaves are starting to turn different colors, which gives you unique photo opportunities that you would not get any other time of the year. Schedules fill up quick with family sessions for most photographers in Austin this time a year so make sure to get it scheduled as soon as possible as you book

colorful leaves and snuggling close

Fall

When you are picking out your outfits, keep in mind the word "compliment" rather than "matching". For example, if the groom-to-be is wearing a blue and white pastel plaid shirt, the bride-to-be may want to choose a long, soft pink dress. It may be a great idea to choose your outfits from "Color-families" such as jewel or pastel tones.

Usually couples pick two outfits for their Austin engagement session, a casual outfit and a more formal outfit. We recommend keeping the more formal outfit for later in the session. That way you are more comfortable in front of the camera and with your photographer. Of course bring accessories! Cute shoes, classic watches, and statement necklaces are great way to add some details to your outfits.--

for your engagement session in Austin, Texas

Outfits

for your engagement session in Austin, Texas

Outfits

MANICURE

HAIR & MAKEUP

WHERE TO SHOP

ACCESSORIES

Outfits

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Heels are great for lengthening your legs. If your heels are uncomfortable and make it difficult to walk, bring an extra pair of comfy shoes to wear when you are not taking photos.

We absolutely love patterns and how they photograph. If you are choosing a pattern, be very careful to make sure it isn't too small. It could accidentally make the photo look really busy and distracting.

Soft pastel colors do photograph better than bright colors, especially when those bright colors reflect back on your skin. Just be mindful of how your skin looks when you are picking out your dresses.

Wardrobe Tips

for the ladies

FOR THE LADIES

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Accessories

If you have a simple dress, statement jewelry is a fantastic way to add some color or pattern. Tulle and lace look great in photographs.

A dress that has lace sleeves is a great way to help slim arms in photographs. Depending on where you have your engagement photos taken in Austin, definitely consider to a fit and flare or a flowy dress

These dresses look great in photos where you both are moving and interacting. Make sure to pick an outfit you are both comfortable in, but do not be afraid to dress up. After all it isn't everyday you have professional photos taken on just the two of you!

for the ladies

FOR THE LADIES

MANICURE

HAIR & MAKEUP

WHERE TO SHOP

ACCESSORIES

Outfits

find it fast

Lulu's 
H&M 
Shabby Apple
Vici Dolls
Nordstrom
One Loved Babe
Arden 
Filly Flair

Rent the Runway
ASOS
Morning Lavender
J. Crew
Anthropologie
Free People
Francesca’s
Jessakae
ModCloth
Shop Ruche
Hazel & Olive

Favorite Shops

for the ladies

FOR THE LADIES

MANICURE

HAIR & MAKEUP

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We think it’s so important that you look and feel your best for your engagement photos - and if you’re planning to do a hair & makeup trial anyways, the engagement session is a great time to test how your hair & makeup look on camera.

We both agree that it is so important for you to look and feel your absolutely best for your engagement photos in Austin. We strongly encourage all of our couples to get their hair and makeup done professional before their Austin engagement session. Not only will you look and feel confident, but your hair will hold up better to the humidity and wind that you will find in Austin, Texas. 

Hair & Makeup

for the ladies

FOR THE LADIES

MANICURE

HAIR & MAKEUP

WHERE TO SHOP

ACCESSORIES

Outfits

find it fast

Photographers in Austin LOVE to photograph up close photos of your hands with the engagement ring on it during engagement sessions. This means it would be a great idea to clean up your nails before your session (this also goes for guys!)

Manicure

for the ladies

FOR THE LADIES

WHERE TO SHOP

Outfits

find it fast

Guys, for your engagement session, you really can't go wrong with a suit and tie. Definitely consider pulling out the suit your buddy had you wear the last time you were a groomsmen! You can also layer with a blazer and a tie, mixed with a pear of nice jeans! You also can't go wrong with a bow tie 

Make sure not to choose a shirt with a really small pattern. That could make the photo look really busy. Just like with the ladies, softer pastels tend to photograph much better than really bright colors. A button up layered with a cozy sweater is a fantastic way to look good and stay warm during the winter months.

Wardrobe

for the gents

FOR THE LADIES

WHERE TO SHOP

Outfits

find it fast

Rent the Runway
ASOS
Suit Supply
J. Crew
Zara
Leather & Cotton
Jack Threads 
Frank & Oak 
Nordstrom 
H&M
Urban Outfitters

Wardrobe

for the gents

FOR THE LADIES

"What do I do
 with my hands"?

One of the last things you should ever have to worry about during your engagement session is how to pose. Every photographer is completely different. For us, we have an entire process that starts with basic "posing" and progresses into more fun and movement. Where to put your hands, how to stand, where to look, what to do, etc. You don't have to make any of these choices, we will guide you through the entire session. 

Our goal is to make your engagement session in Austin fun and carefree so you both can truly enjoy your time together.

"what do you want me to do with my hands"?

Authentic posing

We totally get it. Having your picture taken for a couple hours probably isn't at the top of your favorite things to do. At first you might feel awkward being in front of the camera. That is totally normal, most guys do! We believe that by the end of your engagement session in Austin, you are going to be having so much fun and thinking that it wasn't nearly as bad as you thought. It goes without mentioning that if you have a blast, it is going to earn you serious brownie points with your bride-to-be as well!

The Guys

A NOTE TO

Austin engagement session costs will definitely vary from photographer to photographer. For us, a 1 hour engagement session is $500.

How much do engagement sessions usually cost?

Every Austin engagement photographer is different when it comes to multiple locations. For us, we totally understand that you may have a couple of spots that are really important to both of you. That is why we allow our couples to go to two separate locations for their engagement session. We usually limit it to two locations so we are spending your session time taking photographs of you both and not just driving from location to location.

What if we want to go to multiple locations for our engagement session?

Pets are a big part of so many families in Austin, Texas. That's why we love pets being a part of engagement sessions. We would recommend that photos with your pets be at the very beginning of your engagement session. After they are done, either have a friend take them home or tag along to watch over them. Also since there are your engagement photos, be sure to groom your pet if they need it and bring one of their favorite toys to help get them excited.

Can we bring our pets?

Photographing your engagement ring up close is essential to any Austin engagement session, so it is a great idea to have it clean or clean it yourself before your session. If you are going to clean it at home, soak your ring in some warm water mixed with dishwashing soap for 30-40 minutes. Gently brush the stone with a soft toothbrush and rinse. Repeat if necessary.

Should I clean my engagement Ring?

Although rainy days in Austin aren't common, they still happen, especially during the spring. We always try to schedule two dates to make sure your engagement session happens in a timely manner. The week of your engagement session, we will check in repeatedly, including the day before, if there is a chance of rain. The last thing we want you to do is get all dressed up and drive out to your engagement session, just for it to rain the entire time. If the weather doesn't look good, we will try to make the call at least twelve hours in advance.

What if it rains during our engagement session?

Each engagement photographer in Austin is different. For us, it normally takes about 2-3 weeks for galleries to be edited and delivered to our couples. During peak wedding season, delivery times may take a little bit longer.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR US TO RECEIVE OUR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS?

If you are planning to bring any props to your engagement session, we strongly recommend including them only if they mean something to you. Drinking coffee from Houndstooth or BBQ from Jack Blacks is cute if that is how you met. However, riding scooter's down Congress Parkway together when it is not part of your relationship could come off as contrived.

Can we bring PROPS?

Most locations in Austin, Texas don't require a permit. For us, if a permit is required, we will get the permit, then just add the cost of the permit to your invoice. We will let you know if a permit is needed before hand.

What if we need a permit for the location we want our engagement session to be?

We would absolutely love nothing more to be able to photograph your engagement session in Austin, Texas, Fill out our contact form below and we will make sure to get in contact with you as soon as we can. You can also email us directly at hello@joannaandbrett.com

How Can We Have the Best Engagement Session Ever?

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