We met up with Lifestyle and Fashion influencers Ashley Wierenga of Sincerely Ashley, and Kristin Jones of Kristinjones.co to get the style and planning tips for your own engagement photo session!

Unless you’re a model by profession, the idea of being in front of the camera for two or more hours is probably all kinds of scary for you.We’re here to make sure you don’t go in without a plan!If you’re anything like me, preparation and lots of insight into what you can expect for your engagement shoot goes a long way.

Sincerely Ashley mixes a perfect cocktail of useful lifestyle tips, soul thoughts, and style advice, while Kristin Jones focuses on personal style, home renovations, decor, DIYs and all-over lifestyle.

We sat down at Wax Poetic Candle Bar, and in between mixing our own fragrances and pouring custom scents, we discussed photo session style, location and the wedding planning process. Also, check out our previous post with Dear Olive Photography for even more tips on being relaxed in front of the camera on shoot day!


01. Do my fiancé and I need to match?

Ashley: I think for engagement shoots it’s a really fun opportunity to coordinate versus match. Sometimes people feel pressured to wear a certain thing like ‘we both need to wear khaki pants and a white shirt’. It is good to think about coordinating both your color scheme and the general style that you’re going for but also connecting those two things with your location. If you’re going to be in the middle of a downtown area you probably don’t want to wear cowboy boots!

Kristin: Right. So if you’re going to be on a beach, maybe think of going a little more boho and effortless.

02. How should location influence your outfit choices?

Kristin: I love flower fields. I think they’re really pretty and I feel like that’s outside where you can dress a little bit more basic and airy, maybe not something super tailored.

Ashley: I really like when people do engagement shoots in locations that are significant to them and are more lifestyle focused. It could be a coffee shop, where they met, or a restaurant that’s “their place”.

Or, someplace weird, the weirder the better! I love when the destination is really tailored to the couple like a bookstore they often go to because when you feel at home in the place that comes out really cute.

Kristin: When we had our engagement photos taken, our photographer told us to just plan our day, do what we would typically do, and they would just follow us around. We went to a brewery, went for a walk with our dog and our photographer captured it all, almost like a lifestyle shoot.

Ashley: And then when you’re in those places that feel like your routine or your natural habitat, you’re so much more relaxed and that comes across in your photos.

03. If you have an outfit change, what are some pieces you should bring?

Ashley: I think you should keep the vibe to something you would actually wear in real life. People will go out and buy something new or pick a specific outfit just for the photo shoot that they would normally never wear.

When it comes to outfit choice, I do love when couples wear something contrasting. For ours we first went to a field and were in jeans and sweaters looking really cozy but then for the other one we are wearing more formal pieces to give some variety.

04. What are some DO’s and DON’TS for photo sessions? 

Kristin: Don’t go to a hairstylist that you’ve never been to before right before your pictures!

I definitely did that. I went and got a blow-out somewhere where my hair was not me. So if you’re going to get your hair done, either do your own hair or go to someone that knows you and your style.

Ashley: I think along with hair and makeup, in general you shouldn’t try something new right before…so wearing clothes you wouldn’t normally wear, going to places you’ve never been to as a couple. You should do things that feel like you.

Engagement photos are so special. You will always treasure your wedding photos, but there’s something so sweet about photos that capture this moment in time while you are looking most like yourselves. We actually use our engagement photos a lot more than our wedding photos for different things.

There’s a lot of stress on your wedding day and a lot of photos. It’s a big blur, so having engagement photos taken is really nice. You’re able to spend time together like you normally would and the result is photos where you feel and look like yourself.


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05. What was your favorite part of your own wedding planning process?

Kristin: We did have a planner and that was very very helpful. She took away the stress and kind of guided me, especially the day of. I’m sure I would have had to deal with more things if it wasn’t for her. Definitely worth it!

     06. What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Kristin: Marrying Matt! And also dancing and partying with him and our friends. It’s the one chance to be with everybody that you love so much and have them all in one spot.

Ashley: I used to plan events so it was fun for me to be able to plan one that reflected my personal style without any limits.

For the actual day we took a minute to go off by ourselves. A lot of people encouraged us to do that. It is a beautiful but overwhelming day that goes by so quickly. It’s overwhelming in a good way, but it was really nice to have a minute together. During that time, we were looking over our reception venue and were completely humbled thinking these are our people. They love and support us and are here in one place. That was powerful.

      07. What was your biggest wedding stressor?

Ashley: I think I got lost in a lot of the smaller details. They make your wedding significant and guests do notice them, but there are some things that are not worth the battle.

I remember we had a candy bar and on the bags for it I wrote “Love is sweet.” I was looking at all of them one night and thought “I really wish the words were darker.” So, I took a pen and re-wrote every single one. Looking back, no one would have noticed, but you get lost in the process. I think it’s important to balance the significant details that will mean something to your guests and what isn’t worth the stress.

       08. If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently, if anything?

Ashley: I would have done my hair myself. My hair was up and was really tight ringlet curls which I never do. Now when I look back I sometimes think that I don’t look like myself.

Kristin: I agree! I had individual lashes put on by my makeup artist and they kept falling off!

We also DIY’d some of our wedding like our invitations. We even laid the gold foil ourselves. They turned out really cute and I was happy with them, but it was a lot of money, work and time.

Ashley: I think that’s a misconception-you think if you tackle projects yourself you will spend money but once you compare buying supplies and your time you end up spending way more.

Sincerely Ashley and Kristin Jones would love to collaborate with your own business and lifestyles. To check out more of their amazing work, connect with Sincerely Ashley and Kristin Jones on Instagram. Drop them a line and tell ’em Paper Hat sent you!