to THE MAIN WEBSITE

 SAVANNAH ENGAGEMENT  GUIDE

ESTHER GRIFFIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Savannah, GA

Welcome

AND THANK YOU

Whether I'm photographing your wedding or you're in Savannah for a couples get-away, I love doing shoots with couples in love!

Engagement shoots capture who you are as a couple, whether laughing or sharing a quiet, deep moment of connection.

This guide will help you prepare for your shoot by providing location options, clothing suggestions, and by telling you a bit about what to expect. So let's go!

I get it, my dear. Having photos taken probably isn't your favorite. But I know you love your fiancee so much, and you'd do anything for her, yes even this. And trust me, honey. She will reward you sweetly for participating with a joyful heart. I commit to making it as easy and painless as possible. I'll be giving you guys direction the whole time, and it will go by quicker than you'd imagine. And you might just have a teeny tiny bit of fun. Especially when it comes time for that reward.

The Guys

A NOTE TO

Engagement sessions can take place anywhere from immediately following a proposal to just a few days before the wedding. Many couples choose a time of year based on when they will be in town, what season of the year they prefer, or when they want to send Save-the-Date cards, if they plan to use engagement photos on them.

Many of my brides choose to do their session right after they complete their hair and makeup trial. It's a great test-run for how your hair holds and how your makeup looks in photos. Many brides also choose to add on a bridal shoot at the conclusion of the trial and BEFORE they meet their fiance for the engagement shoot. 

Sessions last an hour and a half to two hours, depending on whether we build in an outfit change. I normally start shoots two hours before sunset, when the sun is lower in the sky and the light is softer. Early morning is also an ideal time to shoot. However, I can and do shoot at any time of day!

Is there a good time to take photos? 

TIME & LIGHT

I shoot engagement and couple sessions all year. 

A few things to keep in mind during each season:

Seasons

01

02

03

04

Winter

or as much winter as Savannah has

If you’re planning to take your engagement photos during the winter, keep in mind that winter skies tend to be overcast. We can shoot any time of day, just so we finish before sunset, which is earlier in winter so we need to start no later than 3 to 4 p.m.

Spring

fresh flowers and sunny days 

When does spring arrive in Savannah? Good question, my dear! Warmer days and spring blooms arrive anywhere between February and April, but this area is beautiful ANY time of year. 

01

02

03

04

Summer

walks on the beach hand in hand

In spite of the heat, I'm a fan of summer sessions! Because of the later sunset, sessions sometimes begin as late as 6 p.m. Morning sessions are beautiful in summer - and far less humid! We tend to have afternoon showers, but they usually move through quickly.

01

02

03

04

Fall

(a few) colorful leaves and snuggling close

Fall is a beautiful time of year, even if we don't have an abundance of colorful leaves. We do have SOME, and our parks and squares are always beautiful.

With it's cooler temperatures, fall is a welcome reprieve from both heat and humidity, and tends to book quickly.

01

02

03

04

If you are local to Savannah, save-the-dates should be sent between 6 and 8 months before the wedding. For a destination wedding, you’ll want to send them out 8 to 10 months before the wedding. 

I deliver my engagement galleries between 2 and 4 weeks after the shoot. 

If you’re hoping to use your engagement photos for your save the dates, we recommend scheduling your session at least two months before you plan to send out your save-the-dates. Between inclement weather, editing, designing your save-the-dates and printing, two months is generally a safe amount of time to make sure your images and cards are ready. 

Save-the-Dates

Locations

savannah, the islands & the low country

The locations below are beautiful, but I also love exploring places that have special significance to my couples. I would LOVE to hear your suggestions! 

FORSYTH PARK & HISTORIC DISTRICT SOUTH

Forsyth Park, with it's iconic white fountain, is the crown jewel of Savannah's grid of park-like "squares" throughout the historic district.  Forsyth Park also features gorgeous oak-shaded lawns and the white-columned Fragrant Garden.

Surrounding the park is the famed residential part of the historic district, including Jones Street, which has been called the prettiest street in America. Nearby squares feature smaller fountains and a beautiful white gazebo.

BAY / RIVER STREETS & HISTORIC DISTRICT NORTH

The northern end of the historic district offers such beautifully, diverse settings: River Street, of course, with the riverboats and ferries, the cobblestones and pedestrian bridges of Factor's Walk,  shady Emmet Park, and the historic architecture of gold-domed City Hall and the columned Chamber of Commerce and the Customs House.

WORMSLOE STATE HISTORIC SITE

The more than mile-long avenue of moss-draped oak trees of Wormsloe, settled as a colonial estate in the early 1700s, is a popular spot for engagement photos. I find every part of the vast property, from the arched entry gate to the low-hanging branches of trees at the far end of the avenue, to be exquisite and epic. The site is a 15-minute drive from the historic district.

Please note that the site is open from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The site charges a $10 entry fee per person, and you'll also need to pay their $25 professional photography fee. 

TYBEE ISLAND

Tybee Island, a 20-minute drive from the historic district, is Savannah's beach community. It's a fun, quirky little beach town with a few secret spots that I absolutely love for engagement photos. On the very southern tip of the island,  you can experience the most glorious sunsets. There are - at least at this writing - some beautiful pieces of driftwood. And a swing that you could just spend days on. 


FARTHER AFIELD

I've shot sessions in Charleston and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina., Athens, St. Simons, Jekyll and Sea Islands, Georgia, and beyond. 

If you have a location in mind that is significant to the two of you, let me know because if our schedules align, we might be able to take your engagement photos outside of our normal area.

Travel fees may apply depending on the location and our availability.

Oh yes, honey! YES.

I LOVE sessions that include your pets because they bring out your smiles, and they are such an important part of your life and your love!

Depending on your pup's personality, you may want to spend just part of your session with your pet. Some dog-owners bring a stake to which they can leash their pup, and pup will be quite happy as long as their humans are in sight.

Please note: Tybee does not allow dogs on the beach. The rest of the locations listed are dog-friendly!

TIP: Don't forget to bring along treats or toys and a water bowl and water if it's warm out.

Can we bring our pup?

Outfits

TIPS FOR LOOKING YOUR BEST

I'll get into details, but overall, the main thing to remember is to wear clothes that you look and feel confident in and that you can walk and move in easily.

I'm a fan of flowing dresses and fitted dress shirts in muted, solid colors. That said,  I absolutely LOVE it when my couples arrive in clothes are are uniquely THEM. I would stay away from tiny stripes or checks. (Here's why. In print, they look fine. On screens, the pixels can't handle those tiny stripes and checks, and it ends up looking a little wonky.)

Make sure you don't have to worry about bra strap showing or a neckline going too low or a dress hem going too high. If your shoes aren't super comfy, bring an additional pair that is for walking between photos.

Many of my couple's begin their engagement session in a casual outfit, and then they change into a dressier - even formal one.

find it fast

If you love patterns - such as floral prints - choose a larger versus a smaller pattern, which can make your photos look busy.

Softer, pastel colors tend to photograph better than bright colors - especially since bright colors could reflect on your skin. Stay away from neon oranges, greens, etc. (But I don't think you were going there any way, my dear!)

I'm a fan of muted solid colors. They tend to be classic and let the love on your faces capture all the attention.

Wardrobe Tips

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

for the ladies

find it fast

Honey, you know a high heel makes your legs long and sexy, but if they're not comfortable, bring a pair of flats for moving easily from place to place.

As you're packing your bag for the outfit change, don't forget accessories. Statement jewelry is a great addition to a simple dress. 

Accessories

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

for the ladies

find it fast

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

Favorite Shops

Lulu's 
H&M 
Shabby Apple
Vici Dolls
Nordstrom
One Loved Babe
Arden 
Filly Flair
Virginia Dare Dress Co.

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

for the ladies

find it fast

Engagement sessions are the perfect time for a hair and makeup trial! Professionally done hair & makeup last longer than typical hair & makeup. They also tend to hold up better for humidity and wind.

If you’re planning to do a hair & makeup trial, the engagement session is a great time to test how your hair & makeup will look on camera.

Need a recommendations for hair and makeup artists? Just ask!

Hair & Makeup

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

for the ladies

find it fast

During your session, I'll likely take photos of the two of you holding hands, and I will DEFINITELY get photos of your ring on your hand, so a fresh manicure is always nice.

Manicure

ACCESSORIES

WHERE TO SHOP

HAIR & MAKEUP

MANICURE

Outfits

for the ladies

find it fast

I love seeing the guys in shirt and pants that fit well and are ironed, and maybe for the second look, a jacket, even a tie.

Just as for the ladies, I would stay away from small checks or stripes and from neon bright colors. 

And of course, nice shoes are the finishing touch.

If it's exceedingly warm, do your guy a favor and don't force long sleeves or jacket. I'd rather have him happy than hot and bothered, my dear.

Wardrobe

WHERE TO SHOP

Outfits

for the gents

find it fast

Rent the Runway
ASOS
 Suit Supply
J. Crew
Zara
Leather & Cotton

Jack Threads 

Frank & Oak 

Nordstrom 
H&M
Urban Outfitters

Wardrobe

WHERE TO SHOP

Outfits

for the gents

Inclement Weather

what to do if it rains

I’ll check in the week of your engagement session to confirm the time and location we’re meeting. Like you, I'll be looking at the weather.

I always prefer to shoot on a sunny day. Even if it's not raining at the time of your session, I prefer bright skies to overcast.  If my schedule allows and yours does, too, I am always willing to be VERY flexible. I want GORGEOUS photos, and I know you do, too.

I always ask my couple's to make the call about whether to move ahead with a shoot if weather is threatening. I can't shoot in driving rain, but I can shoot with overcast and cloudy skies.  And I can't predict exactly how the weather will turn out, so honey, I leave that in your court.  You are going to far more trouble to make this happen, so I shoot when you say shoot!

And somehow, no matter what the weather throws our way, we find a way to make it work!

I love capturing ring photos during your session, so it’s a good idea to have it cleaned or to clean it yourself.

To clean at home, soak your ring in warm water with dishwashing soap for 20 to 40 minutes. Then gently brush the stone with a soft toothbrush, rinse and repeat if needed.

Get the ring ready!

next level Luxe

champagne is always a good idea

Make your engagement photos an unforgettable experience - and maybe make your man a bit more comfortable.

For an additional fee, I can set up a champagne picnic, a sailboat excursion or a horse trail ride. 

Honey, I don't know how in the world you manager those hands of yours when I'm not around, but yes, yes, yes, I will tell you what to do with them.

In fact, I will give direction nearly the whole time. I'll give you easy things to do that will create natural movement and interaction.

And if you have ideas for photos, by all means, tell me! 

"What do I do with
 my hands"?

"What do I do
 with my hands"?

POSING

Date Night

Maybe you don't get dressed up often, which means that the day of your engagement session is the perfect occasion for a date night (or brunch if your session is in the morning!)

Need recommendations for restaurants? Just ask!


I deliver engagement images within two to four weeks.

I deliver them in an online gallery. You can download and share the gallery. You can also order beautiful albums and wall art.

When to Expect Your Images

My full-day wedding packages include the engagement session.

If you are booking separately, the fee is $499. The shoot will last and hour and a half to two hours and can allow for one outfit change.

PRICING