Engagement photography session is a photo shoot of a couple, which is taken before the wedding. Below I’ve gathered 33 useful engagement photo session tips for beginners on how to perform your first engagement photo shoot.
If you want to take really romantic and touching engagement photographs from the first time, follow my simple engagement photo session tips about composition, recommended gear, camera settings, creative ideas, poses, photo editing tricks, picturesque destinations, etc.
Arrange a meeting with a couple, somewhere outside and discuss the aspects of a future photo session. Ask the following:
It would be beneficial for you to find out what kind of images they are into. For this, view their Instagram pages and ask them to pick approximately 5-10 photos they like from your own portfolio.
Your main purpose is to take real-life pictures. Lifestyle shots allow you to show really genuine and warm moments. Cooking in the kitchen, doing a musical gig, playing table games, spending time with pets or sipping hot drinks in your bedroom. Everything will look special and real.
We all love gorgeous and aesthetic couple images, but the couple does need some standard portrait photos for a family, their wedding website and maybe for their invitations as well. In addition, choose a proper light, a plain background, and your pictures will look first-rate.
You will probably be surprised but natural photos are frequently staged. Brides and grooms don’t understand anything in engagement photo poses. They don’t understand how to stand and pose their bodies, what to do with arms and legs, what facial expressions to make and so forth.
Ring pictures can become a specialty of your full photo shoot, especially if you make a photo collage for the couple.
I usually use a 24-70mm lens since it helps me see closely and regulate poses.
Offer them to choose matching clothing but not the same color outfits. Ask to wear neutral, plain colors that will be highlighted on the background.
Mind the location. If you are going to shoot in a formal place, suggest putting on some formal clothes as well. But if you’re going to shoot near the sea, formal clothing will not match this romantic location. Ask them to take some change clothes.
These hours provide the warmest, the most subdued and gorgeous light for portrait photos. During this time of the day, you will not have to deal with those nasty unpleasant shadows in contrast to the mid-afternoon.
I prefer to take photos on aperture priority with ISO as low as possible, better if 100-200. The camera settings depend on the place of shooting. If you’re going to shoot outside, don’t use the flash. Shoot close to sunset time and if you have a reflecting screen, use it.
If you aim at achieving great blurred background, you will have to use a telephoto lens or a universal 35mm lens. Stay at least 15-20 feet from background for better results. The aperture’s value should be as wide open as possible (with the lowest aperture applicable - f/2 or maybe even f/1.8).
Ask them to dance, leap, walk, give each other glances without talking. Don’t make them move very actively, like running in the water and splashing it at each other. Use poses holding hands or just standing close to each other and looking somewhere.
Even though couples normally ask for portrait pictures and full body size photos, take some pictures that can express them the way they are in a couple.
The majority of people keep the standard body position at couples photoshoot by standing still and cross-legged with arms pressed to the body. Make them change this pose into something more relaxed.
Get unusual and creative angles. The only condition is a picturesque place. Keep your drone close to the ground to take the contours of the landscape and your couple. Look for symmetry and contrasting textures.
A person who is taller needs to have a position of 45-degrees from the camera. The other person has to stand with their shoulders vertically to their partner. Then they both need to stay close and embrace each other.
This pose will look better if the couple is in the middle of a picture. Ask one person to look directly in the camera and the other – to the side with closed eyes. Take a close-up picture of the person looking at the camera.
This pose will help your clients relax and get more confident in front of the camera. Action poses combine walking, dancing, talking to each other, any movements will do.
Besides this, it would be a nice idea to ask them to walk towards the camera while communicating, smiling and enjoying each other. This will look very pretty and natural.
If a fiancé is wearing a multicolored shirt or a suit, then a fiancée needs to choose one of the colors he has and select a dress in that color.
If they both are wearing uni-colored clothes, it is better to include those colors into shoes or accessories of the partner.
Moiré is a design which appears when two repetitive patterns overlap each other. These patterns create a strange color effect, as it seems that they are constantly moving. In particular, it often happens with ties and scarfs.
Don’t be afraid to play with textures. Such cotton fabrics as lace, crochet, and Swiss dot look great on camera due to their visual volume and give the pictures some vintage definition.
Get an appealing shot by choosing a location with a masterful mural.
Use the beauty of each season to create beautiful outdoor images.
If you enjoy peaceful and quiet places, why not try taking engagement photos in the mountains or woods?
Go to Antelope Canyon in Arizona for breathtaking engagement pictures.
Work with angles and use your creativity. How about taking shots of a couple through a café window?
Grab some champagne with you for the mood.
For elegant pictures, stage the couple at a corresponding setting.
Arranging a photo shoot at a place from the couple’s past makes it very special. Imagine shooting them in the restaurant where they went for a first date. What can be more romantic?
Being in nature is probably the most romantic environment for engagement photography. Especially when it comes to the starry sky.
Having your photos taken at the amusement park among plenty of colorful attractions and by the Ferris Wheel can’t get any sweeter. Definitely worth being chosen as a photo shoot location.
Fooling around and having pillow fights can be great options to show the real emotions of a couple.
Beautiful sky creates nice pastel colors that supplement rocky hills.
Willing to feel some Wild West movie reality? Have a photo shoot in a hot dusty desert and feel that western vibe.
Consider shooting a breakfast in bed scene for an intimate vibe.
Relaxing sound of waves, splashing water will surround a couple in a romantic dreamy atmosphere.
I have included FREE Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions that can help you edit your engagement photos.
With this preset, you can improve your engagement pictures by making them genuine and magical with a soft, bright and fresh look.
The preset adds softness to photos, making them warmer and the colors yellow.
Use it to make your photos brighter and more intense, even if they are light-colored.
If your picture is in dark colors and needs some extra brightness, this preset is highly recommended for you to make the colors stand out.
Download this collection if you want to edit photos in several minutes and get the perfect results. It contains 400 professional Lightroom presets that fit any engagement or wedding photoshoot.