Richard Grenfell Photography

Taken at Mooloolaba at sunset.

Suggestions and what to expect for a successful Engagement Photo Session

Where should we have it?

On the Sunshine Coast and South East Queensland in general the main three options are 1) Beach 2) Parks 3) Urban.

As far as beaches go there are a few that I personally really like for photographic reasons. Point Cartwright which is near Mooloolaba is really really nice. Plus you can bring your dog if you want. Mooloolaba is great away from the main beach. It is really nice with the rocks and beautiful trees just up from the sand. Happy Valley in Caloundra offers a lot of visual variety. Some of the areas around Noosa are just gorgeous. We are lucky here people come from all over the world to visit here.

There are some really nice parks to consider. Maroochy Botanical Gardens is outstanding, Kondalilia National Park is just incredible.

My suggestion would be to keep it simple. Pick a location or theme that resonates with you personally or maybe that will match what your wedding will look like.

Taken at Maroochy Botanical Gardens.


1. Please ensure you get there on time. This is mainly because of the timing with the light. If a session starts late we might run out of light and that will mean we may not get the photos we want. My main goal is to get beautiful, timeless and fun photos and the right light is the key here.

2. Ladies Clothing. The main thing is to choose clothes you feel comfortable and beautiful in. A good guideline would be to choose something you would wear to a wedding as a guest. If you are not a ballroom gown type then that may not be a great idea. In my opinion it is important to look and feel like yourself but at your best. In regards to colours as a couple, look at complimentary colours but do not mirror each other. Neutral or Cool monotone colours always photograph well in almost all situations. I find red and green do not work that well outdoors a lot of the time. Keep in mind that it is you that we want to be the main focus of the photograph and if you are wearing a super vibrant outfit it can take away from that and potentially clash with the environment you are in. If you do wish to do an outfit change I would suggest just keeping it to two changes. Take into account if it is actually possible to do a wardrobe change based on the location.

3. Mens Clothing. Same again. A good guide is to choose something you would wear to a wedding. It is best to avoid stripy or busy patterns for shirts. Ever notice that TV presenters are always in single colour shirts? That is not an accident. The main thing is that you are comfortable. My observation has been that a lot of men would not put a photo session in the top 10 things they would like to be doing. So we want to make it as easy, fun and painless as possible.

4. Hair and Makeup. This is a personal decision and I do not have strong feelings either way and it really depends on what look you are after. Consider getting hair and makeup done for more impactful looking photos if that’s what you want. My goal is always primarily for people to be comfortable. If the shoot is outdoors it is really worth taking a hairband or bobby pins in case of emergency should it be super windy.

Mooloolaba Beach

What to expect

My goal is always for it to be a fun experience and a good chance to get comfortable in front of the camera before the wedding. You really will get much better wedding photographs after having had an engagement session. I am repeating myself but I want you to get natural unforced timeless beautiful photos that you will treasure for years. I understand that the majority of my clients have never done any modelling and it can be a daunting experience having a camera pointed at you for an hour or two. With this in mind I will not force you into weird fashion poses and endeavour to keep the session moving in a fun and easy manner.

I aim to photograph in four to six different spots at the location for variety in the photos. Plus I will find some beautiful light and get some head and shoulder portraits. Speaking from experience you will value these more and more as the years rolls by.

Why have one?

The obvious answer is simply to get some nice photos. There are some other good reasons.

  1. You can get some practice in before your wedding and get comfortable in front of the camera. It is quite daunting having a big camera pointed at you if you are not used it.
  2. You get to know your photographer a little. This is pretty important in my opinion. I believe that it makes for better wedding photos as the ice has been broken before the day.
  3. You can use the images for invitations, a guest book and for images at the reception room.