Ten Engagement Photo Ideas

by LizM

Engagement photo ideas, examples, and tips to help you take great engagement shots for your couple

Only slightly less stressful than wedding photography is engagement photography. Engagement photos are used in wedding announcements and shared across many social platforms as the happy couple announces to the world they are engaged. Whether you are a professional photographer or a friend helping out friends, figuring out poses and ideas for engagement photos can be a challenge. These example engagement photos and tips should help point you in the right direction of creating a wonderful set of memories for your couple.

The Right Location

The first step in a great engagement session is to find the right location for your couple.  Outside of studio shots, you'll try to match the location to the couple's personality.  For many, a park is fine.  For some more rural settings such as old pick up trucks and barns are great.  For others it is urban and graffiti.  You can also look for interesting backgrounds that are fairly neutral, like the interesting stone work in the example photo.

Coordinate The Looks

If you take the time to ask your couple to coordinate their clothing for the photo session, you'll get much better photos than if your couple shows up clashing dreadfully.  The unity of clothing (coordinate - not copy the other's clothing) will help tie your couple together in the photo for shots like the example where they are standing slightly farther apart.  This also makes finding a good background much easier.

Don't Forget the Kiss

Regardless of your couple's personalities, you'll most likely be taking lots of kiss photos for an engagement session.  This can be a bit embarrassing for the couple to kiss in public, much less kiss for the camera.  Don't start out with your first shot asking them to kiss for the camera.  Try to put your couple at ease and let them relax before moving on the kiss photos.  The results will be much better than if the couple is self conscious.

The Chase

Try telling a story with your photos.  A great option for this is to tell the chase of the relationship.  Whether the woman chased the man or the man chased the woman, there are a lot of great ideas out there to capture the courtship in a photo.  Take the time to talk to your couple and find out a bit about how they met and got to the point of being a couple so you can get an idea of how to best represent the chase.

Shared Activities

Find something the couple likes to do together.  Some things you may only be able to represent in a photo with props (skydiving for instance) but others can be captured for the engagement photo set.  Bicycling, running, music, birdwatching, there is a long list of things your couple might enjoy that can be used as part of the engagement photo session.  Including a favorite activity also has the added bonus of further relaxing your couple and bringing out more smiles and candid moments.

It Doesn't Have to be Cutesy

It doesn't have to be cutesy.  In fact, many couples will thank you for not trying to make it cute.  While many couples will love walking along abandoned train tracks or lying in tall grass, others will cringe at the thought of such photos.  Keep with your couple's personalities and work with them to find photos that reflect their tastes.  And don't be afraid of studio poses for engagement sessions.

Don't Be Afraid of Cute Either

As I said, many couples love the cute shots.  If your couple is willing, don't be afraid of trying some cute shots.  Reluctant prospective groom, food fights, bunny ears, even water balloons can make a really cute shot.  Remember that facial expressions are key in keeping things light and happy if you stage a friendly pretend fight of any kind.

Capture the Romance

Sometimes it is good to throw a bit more serious photo into the mix of the engagement session.  Try a candlelit scene to capture some of the intensity of feeling between the couple.  Of course, depending on your couple's personalities this might quickly be followed by something similar to the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp.  Still capturing the romance but a bit more on the silly side.

Jump for Joy

Jumping photos are very popular right now for engagement sessions.  To capture a good jump, remember to shoot at an upwards angle or up a hill to increase the illusion of height.  Also, unless you are very lucky on sun position you'll need a flash to make sure you capture the faces in the photo.

Don't Forget the Basics

Whatever you do, don't forget the basics of engagement photography.  Capture the couple looking happy.  Make sure you get at least a few "standard" shots with the happy couple smiling for the camera.  And always include some sepia and black and white options in your package mix.  Sometimes a vintage look is just what a photo needs to reduce distraction from the happy couple.

Updated: 03/20/2013, LizM
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Ritika Madan on 06/11/2013

Thank you so much for the wonderful information.This is really important for me.I am searching this kind of information from a long time and finally got it.

dustytoes on 03/27/2013

Couples are so creative these days- or maybe it's the photographers - or both. I love the photos you've added here. Personally, I don't care to see couples kissing, I like the fun, jumping or doing something else type.

Sandi on 03/26/2013

Great capture and ideas, for some meaningful photographs during such a special time in life. Well written and love the photos.

WiseFool on 03/23/2013

Very nice tips! I particularly like the shot of the couple on the bike and the very last one - the smiles are all natural; they're not posing, it's just a great spontaneous moment captured. I think that's what makes a truly great engagement photograph.

katiem2 on 03/20/2013

Very touching and provoking ways to take engagement pictures that capture the new love one day the happy couple will look back on only to ignite a much deeper and meaningful love. Very nice indeed. :)K

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