Engagement Photo Tips

engagement photo tips
Jenna Bechtholt Photography for 100 Layer Cake

Capturing the perfect set of engagement photos can seem like an overwhelming task before getting started. After all, how do you find a photographer that will put you and your partner at ease enough to feel natural in front of a camera? Then there's the issue of settings to choose, clothes to wear, and poses to strike—if any. If you're a little camera shy, you may be looking for engagement photo tips that will capture you at your best. Try to think of your engagement photos as a practice for your wedding photos. While of course you want your engagement set to turn out beautifully, keep in mind that these are meant to be casual, natural depictions of you and your S.O.—not the all-done-up look of a wedding photo. Keep reading for five engagement photo tips that will have you looking your best.

Make an Outfit Change

Don't be afraid of an outfit change during your shoot—you never know which will turn out best once you get the final set. Bring one classic outfit in a solid color and timeless silhouette. Then go a little bolder, injecting the more experimental side of your personal style into your look. Bolder prints tend to work better on camera than micro-patterns, whose fine detailing can get lost in the final photo. Choose clean, bright colors that will look crisp in the final result. Don't be afraid to ask your photographer their advice on colors and patterns depending on the lighting they'll be shooting you and your partner in.

Do Your Research

This piece of advice goes a couple ways. First, don't be afraid to be picky when it comes to photographers. There are many talented engagement photographers, so be sure to look through a few portfolios before deciding on a final result. You want a photographer who not only understands the technical side of shooting but one who is good at capturing the type of feeling you want to evoke. Once you know your photographer, send them examples of photosets you love so they can get a feel for the type of result you want. Take note of specifics like poses, angles, and settings so your photographer can adjust to fit your tastes.

Don't Be Afraid to Experiment

Not only should you bring a couple changes of clothing to experiment with different looks, you'll want to be flexible throughout your session. Try different poses and angles, using the advice of your photographer. Try both indoor and outdoor lighting, which can have a huge influence on how your images turn out. If your photographer suggests something you're not positive about, try it out—they're the professionals behind the lens, so trust their instincts. Ask their advice along the way if you're unsure whether a specific pose or angle is flattering.

Take It Outside

Some of the most gorgeous lighting is found not in a photographer's studio, but in the great outdoors. Even if you weren't originally planning to shoot outside, consider a couple experimental shots. Shooting during the golden hour shortly before sunset is particularly favored because of the softened contrast between light and shadow. It also doesn't hurt that sunset is one of the most romantic times of the day—perfect for capturing in engagement photos.

Be Natural

Above all, your engagement photos are a time to have fun and show the chemistry you have with your partner. This won't come out in overly posed photos. Instead, a good photographer should try to capture you and your S.O. during natural interactions that aren't planned. Although it's good to come to a shoot with an idea of what you'd like to see as the result, don't worry too much about capturing your "good side"—or else your worry will be apparent in the final photos. Relax, have fun, and try not to overthink every move.

Sendpoints Publishing Co. "Will You Marry Me" $50 $25
Pablo Neruda "Love Poems" $12 $9
Paige Appel "The New-Fashioned Wedding" $20
Carrie Denny "The Bride's Instruction Manual: How to Survive and Possibly Even Enjoy the Biggest Day of Your Life" $17

Related Stories