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Engagement ring on mother of pearl shells

How to prepare for a Cape Cod Beach Engagement Session | Cape Cod Engagement Photographer | Christine Hazel Photography

Here’s your dilemma: you crave beautiful Cape Cod beach engagement photos, but you’re nervous about scheduling a session. You dream about cotton candy skies gracing your save the dates, but then you start to wonder. Where do I even begin? Are a bunch of people in their swimsuits going to stare at me? Where will I park? 

All of these are fantastic questions, and I’m here to help!

What colors to wear for a Cape Cod beach engagement session

To start, I always recommend neutral colors. Why?

Neutral colors are timeless. It doesn’t matter if we’re all wearing high waisted jeans, embracing minimal makeup, or making more drastic changes. Neutrals always appear ageless since they maintain a classic look.

You won’t look back at your engagement photos with your kids and roll your eyes at your outfit color choices when you wear neutrals.

Neutrals are also pretty foolproof to coordinate. No one has to wear exactly the same shade and look “matchy-matchy”, yet the outfits still have a cohesiveness to them.

Neutral colors also allow the beauty of your surroundings to truly show off. If you’re hoping for the sunset to do her thing during your Cape Cod beach engagement session, then you don’t want a bold color fighting with the colors in the sky.  

Couple hugging and kissing at the beach

What do you wear to a Cape Cod beach engagement session?

In my opinion, you can never be overdressed for your engagement photos!

I always recommend stepping up your style and really showing off. If you want a romantic feel in your final images, think of ultra feminine fabrics. You are going to want a flowy dress or skirt in a soft fabric. Having the groom wear business casual, or even more formal, will complement nicely.

One thing to keep in mind is to be a bit more conservative with skirt and dress hemlines due to the surroundings. The beach can be windy. I’m guessing you don’t want to flash everyone on the seashore. A longer hemline just helps you feel more relaxed even if we get a few bursts of wind during your Cape Cod beach engagement session.

And, while you will most likely wear shoes to your Cape Cod beach engagement session, don’t stress about bringing your best ones along. Most of my couples end up kicking their shoes off once we’re out of the parking lot and onto the sand.

No shoes at the beach looks perfectly normal, and it’s a lot more comfortable during your session. 

Couple popping champagne at the beach while sitting on a Jeep

What to bring to a Cape Cod beach engagement session?

  1. You’ll definitely want to bring bug spray! It may not be the first item on your list, but this is a big one.

It’s super challenging to relax if you’re fighting off bugs, which can come out with the beautiful sunset. You’ll be grateful in the moment and afterward when you aren’t itching!

  1. Hair brush or comb and hairspray or gel.

Since the beach normally has a breeze, hair can quickly get tossed out of place. If you have a touch up kit on hand, it’s easy to tackle flyaways and keep everyone looking their best during your Cape Cod beach engagement session.

I love helping clients perfect all of these little details, so don’t feel like you’re overdoing it by bringing a touch-up kit!

  1. A lint roller

Sometimes sand leaves behind stubborn flecks of dirt. A lint roller can help clean up.

  1. An extra pair of comfortable clothes for the ride home

When my couples are willing, I love getting them into the water to take pictures with the waves. Is there anything more romantic?!

On a practical level, no one wants to be sitting in wet clothes for the ride home. So if you have dry clothes waiting for you, you’ll have even more fun in the water.

Couple watching the sunset together at The Knob in Falmouth, MA Cape Cod

What not to bring to a Cape Cod beach engagement session

You’ll want to leave the sunscreen behind!

I know it’s second nature (rightly so) to bring sunscreen to the beach. But when you’re getting your pictures taken, you’ll want to skip this step.

Sunscreen can make your face more reflective than you might like, and it can attract tons of dirt and sand to your hands and clothing. 

I schedule my portrait sessions around sunset, so we will miss the strongest sun of the day. 

Couple holding hands and walking at the beach

Where to park for a Cape Cod beach engagement session?

Beach parking can feel stressful, but I’ve found that parking is much easier than anticipated for sunset sessions!

While there are still people that love to watch the sun set, most beach dwellers get hungry and head off to dinner beforehand. This frees up a bunch of parking spots!

Plus, parking tends to be free after 6 PM. I haven’t had a Cape Cod beach engagement session yet where either myself or my clients have had to pay for parking, which is a huge win!

Couple hugging and looking at each other at the beach

Will people watch during my Cape Cod beach engagement session?

They might. But I don’t think you’re going to notice them!

When you have an engagement session, I provide you with gentle prompts to guide you through natural movements in front of the camera. 

Even the most camera shy people have fun at my sessions because you spend so much time having fun with your spouse to be! You won’t be stuck in stiff poses where you feel like you’re getting your school picture taken. Promise.

A Cape Cod beach engagement session is the perfect way to celebrate this season of your life. I’d love it if you inquired with me so that we could start planning your own session!



Looking for more photography advice? Take a peek at some of my other journal entries below:

Do you need a first look?

Have you shot at our venue before?

Want to see some of my recent work? Check it out below:

Sarah and Dan’s central MA elopement

Courtney and Schuyler’s Boston Seaport engagement

Ashley and JJ’s The Coonamessett wedding