Engagement Photo Ideas

July 6, 2020

As the wedding budget adds up, your engagement photo ideas can start to feel like a non-vital wedding expense. It’s tempting to skip them, or have someone other than your wedding photographer do them. So why take engagement photos?

Most photographers include engagement photos with their packages. For some, it’s a value-added service and they might be open to removing it if you ask. But I caution against this.

When I first started shooting weddings 10 years ago, engagement photos were expendable. But after a couple of seasons, I noticed something: the wedding photos for couples who had an engagement session were so much better than for those whom I met on their wedding day. I learned that engagement photos are an extraordinarily valuable experience for you AND your photographer.

Of course, an engagement session will give you get great photos that you’ll love, but more importantly, your wedding photos are so much better because we’ll be familiar with one another. I’ll understand how you move and show each other how you love one another, and you’ll understand how I work to help you show that. Then there’s no surprises and no steep learning curve about posing on your wedding day portrait session.

Another perk: our relationship and comfort with one another is reflected to your guests—they see how comfortable you are with me, and it immediately gives them a sense of trust that I’m a welcome guest, not a stranger you’ve hired, so photos of your loved ones are a lot better, too!

I no longer photograph weddings without an engagement session—they’re that important to the outcome of your wedding photos! Beyond the value in having a relationship with the person documenting some of the most emotional moments of your life, you can also use your photos for fun stuff. Here’s a list of engagement photo ideas to help you get excited for your engagement session!

  • Go where you’ve never gone before: Use your engagement session to go to a place you won’t be able to on your wedding day. It could be a mountain top, a secluded forest walk, or a pretty beach at sunset. Hit the art gallery, get lost in city architecture… you can go anywhere time permits. You won’t be limited by your wedding day schedule!
  • Home sweet home: Your home is a reflection of you, it’s your comfort zone, and when you’re feeling your best self, your photos capture that. Ask your photographer to come hang out at your place as you enjoy the every day things that bring you together. 
  • Let’s get physical: Your engagement photo ideas can involve anything you love to do: road tripping, latte sipping, canoeing, Settlers of Cattan-ing… Did you meet while playing a sport? Enjoying the outdoors? Your engagement photos can reflect who you are by showing what you love doing–and your loved ones will love seeing these genuine feelings on your save-the-date cards and wedding website.
  • Where it all started: How did you meet? What do you love doing together? Revisit your first date, your first kiss, where you got engaged… reliving those special moments brings visible, authentic feelings to your engagement photos. This makes your engagement session fun and romantic!

Your engagement photo ideas…

should include places and things that are meaningful for you. Engagement sessions are a no pressure scenario to get comfortable with the camera and your photographer. Above all else, you’ll have a bunch of images that will remind you of how excited you were at this time in your lives!

Connect with me here to learn more about getting the most out of your engagement and wedding photography.