33 Engagement Photography Tips for Beginning Photographers

Engagement Photography

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.

33 Engagement Photography Tips

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.

1. Kiss or Not?

engagement photography

Arrange a meeting with a couple, somewhere outside and discuss the aspects of a future photo session. Ask the following:

  • How do you imagine and what are your ideas for engagement pictures? 
  • What atmosphere would you like to convey in the shots?
  • What background do you want?
  • Where would you find yourselves more relaxed for the session?
  • What is your peculiar location?

2. View Your Clients’ Instagram

photo examples for engagement photography

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.

3. Take Lifestyle Shots

lifestyle engagement photography

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.

4. Start with Basic Portrait Photos

portraits for engagement photography

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.

5. Direct Couple

engagement photography tips

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.

6. Don’t Forget about Details

engagement rings photography

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. 

7. Use Different Outfits

outfit for engagement photoshoot

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.

8. Golden Hour Is the Best Time

golden hour engagement photoshoot

The golden hours are the first hour after dawn and the last hour before dusk. To understand the exact period of these hours, use The Photographer’s Ephemeris, PhotoPills, GoldenHour apps.

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.

9. Recommended Camera Settings

camera settings for engagement photoshoot

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.

10. Choose the Right Lens

lens for engagement photoshoot

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).

11. Experiment with Engagement Photo Poses

natural poses for engagement photography

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.

12. Hide Faces

no-face poses for engagement photography

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.

13. Use Drone If You Have It

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.

14. Suggest the “T” Pose

T-pose for engagement photography

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.

15. Use Action Poses

action poses for engagement photography

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.

16. Colors Should Complement Not Match

complimentary outfits for engagement photoshoot

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.

17. Avoid Moiré

moiré clothes

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.

18. Experiment with Texture

matching textures for engagement photoshoot

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.

19. What about Mural Backdrop?

mural background for engagement photoshoot

Get an appealing shot by choosing a location with a masterful mural.

20. Seasonal Photoshoot

seasonal engagement photography

Use the beauty of each season to create beautiful outdoor images.

21. Rustic Session

engagement photography in nature

If you enjoy peaceful and quiet places, why not try taking engagement photos in the mountains or woods?

22. Canyon Session

canyon engagement photography

Go to Antelope Canyon in Arizona for breathtaking engagement pictures.

23. Find Unique Angles

unusual engagement photography

Work with angles and use your creativity. How about taking shots of a couple through a café window?

24. Use Festive Props

festive engagement photography

Grab some champagne with you for the mood.

25. Exquisite Venue

exquisite engagement photography

For elegant pictures, stage the couple at a corresponding setting.

26. At Their Favorite Nearby Café

engagement photography at the café

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?

27. In Front of a Romantic Starry Sky

romantic engagement photography

Being in nature is probably the most romantic environment for engagement photography. Especially when it comes to the starry sky.

28. A Ferris Wheel Date

engagement photoshoot by the ferris wheel

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.

29. A Fun Day in Bed

engagement photoshoot in bed

Fooling around and having pillow fights can be great options to show the real emotions of a couple.

30. In Front of the Ideal Sunset

sunset engagement photoshoot

Beautiful sky creates nice pastel colors that supplement rocky hills.

31. With A Wild West Theme

engagement photoshoot in a desert

Willing to feel some Wild West movie reality? Have a photo shoot in a hot dusty desert and feel that western vibe.

32. What about Perfect Brunch? 

engagement photoshoot with food

Consider shooting a breakfast in bed scene for an intimate vibe.

33. Amidst the Ocean Waves

engagement photoshoot by the ocean

Relaxing sound of waves, splashing water will surround a couple in a romantic dreamy atmosphere.

FREEBIES for Editing Engagement Photography

I have included FREE Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions that can help you edit your engagement photos.

Leica Effect

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.

Vintage Tone

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.

Wedding Complete Collection

lightroom presets wedding complete collection lightroom presets wedding complete collection

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.

Tata Rossi

Hi there, I'm Tata Rossi - a professional blogger, read more