As you start to brainstorm photo shoot locations, backdrops, and attire to wear to your engagement session, the most important thing is to make sure your pictures feel personal and natural to you and your partner. To help you start thinking about your own engagement pics, we’ve put together a roundup of 25 creative engagement photo ideas (feel free to steal these ideas and make them your own), along with some expert advice and tips on how to get the best photos from your engagement session.
For an epic engagement shot, work with your photographer to choose a scenic perch right on the ocean, amid the crashing waves in the background.
"High Bar" by Kimberly FitzSimons
Looking for winter engagement photo ideas? We love this magical photo! It's a dreamy, wintry scene straight out of a snow globe. Dress up for the occasion and head outside after a major snowfall to take some winter wonderland–inspired portraits.
"Adore" by AK Graphics
Commemorate your first date by revisiting the spot with your photographer in tow. Try to recreate the moment as best as you can. Snag the same table by the window at the coffee shop, grab the same seats at the cocktail bar, or reserve the same booth at that cozy Italian restaurant downtown.
"Together" by Eric Clegg
Don't forget to bring a bottle of your favorite bubbly to your engagement photo shoot. Give the bottle a little shake and uncork it together for the perfect, celebratory photo opp. Just make sure your photographer is ready before you pop the cork, as you only get one shot at capturing this moment.
"It's a Date!" by Joyce Pinheiro
Most photographers will want to schedule your photo session during "golden hour." This occurs during the first hour of light after sunrise and the last hour of light before sunset. You'll both look your best amid that flattering, soft sunlight. For those of you that aren’t morning people, you will probably want to aim for the sunset hour, but keep in mind there might be other folks milling about, so you might want to factor in some extra time as it'll take a bit longer to get the perfect shot.
"Brushed Foil" by Roxy Cervantes
Be sure to consult with your partner to make sure your engagement photo outfits complement each other, without being overly matchy-matchy, of course!
"Forevermore” by Angela Thompson
Head to one of your city’s most beloved monuments for a great engagement photo idea. Examples include the Brooklyn Bridge, on a cable car in downtown San Francisco, below the Space Needle in Seattle, etc. The picture will serve as a great memory for you both of time you shared with each other while living in that city.
"Simple Elegance” by Kasia Labocki
This is one of our favorite outdoor engagement photo ideas: Head up to the roof to pose for a round of pictures. The neighboring buildings will provide an urban, architectural backdrop for your engagement photos.
"Atmospheric" by Jennifer Postorino
Getting married in a city with an iconic skyline? Work with your photographer to figure out where to get the best vantage point to capture the cityscape in all its glory.
"Modern Couple" by Hooray Creative
Getting married in the fall? Take advantage of Mother Nature and the season's stunning fall foliage by scheduling your engagement pics a year before the wedding. You'll get gorgeous autumnal photos; plus, guests will get a glimpse into your fall-themed celebration to come.
"Balance" by Jessica Williams
A simple set of stairs makes a clean yet visually interesting backdrop for some romantic couple portraits.
"Scripted Note" by Lehan Veenker
Bring your pup (or kitty!) along to get all of your best friends into one engagement photo.
"Lettered Bliss" by Stacey Meacham
This one's a classic! Head to your favorite beach for a waterside engagement session. Have your photographer shoot you from a distance for a modern twist to the standard beach engagement shot. This engagement photo idea is great if you are planning a beach wedding.
"Clipped" by Kristel Torralba
Looking for some outdoor engagement photo ideas? Love exploring the great outdoors with your love? Then it's only fitting to take outdoor engagement photos together to capture you both in your element. Bring your photographer with you on your next great adventure, like a scenic hike, rock climbing, kayaking, you name it.
"Offbeat" by Kimberly FitzSimons
Let your photographer get creative with different vantage points for your engagement pics. Have your photographer shoot some shots head-on, of course, but also from unexpected angles like from down below or from overhead while lying down on a picnic blanket at the park.
"Classy Love" by Fatfatin
Use your engagement shoot as an excuse to get dressed to the nines—a sharp suit and tie for him, and an elegant, floor-length gown for her.
"At Last" by Lena Barakat
Using a colorful wall or backdrop helps express your excitement in a snap. Choose attire that will coordinate with the backdrop and really pop in photos (and on your save the date!).
"Swashy Save" by Anna Elder
What’s cuter than cozying up on the couch together with your morning coffee? At-home engagement sessions capture candid, real-life moments that will give wedding guests a little glimpse into your lives together. This is also a great option if you're looking for winter engagement photo ideas—if the weather isn't ideal for outdoor portraits, then an indoor photo session at home is a solid backup plan.
"Initial Here" by Jennifer Lew
If you're having a city wedding, stay on theme by staging your engagement shoot downtown. Look for backdrops that convey a hip, urban vibe like brick walls, graffiti art, subway stops, etc.
"This Modern Love" by Chryssi Tsoupanarias
Lucky enough to have a photo of the marriage proposal? Share the special moment with your friends and family members by featuring the photo on your wedding save the dates.
"Stacked Banner" by Amy Kross
If dressing up isn't your style, skip the fancy outfits and opt for your usual shorts and a tee, instead. What's more important than your attire is for you both to be your real selves during the engagement shoot. Have your photographer snap candids of you and your partner in a place that's comfortable to you both. Some ideas include relaxing at a nearby park or walking to get an ice cream cone.
"Subtle Statement" by Sandra Picco Design
If you're both the outdoorsy type, then hit your favorite local hiking trail with your photographer. Choose how you'd like to dress. You could opt for actual hiking clothes if you're hoping for a casual and realistic look, or you could step it up a bit if you'd like more polished pics. You'll be rewarded with gorgeous, lush photos if you're willing to get off the beaten path.
"Stacked and Foil" by Pixel and Hank
If you're a flower lover, schedule your engagement photos during wildflower season (this is typically during the springtime but varies by region). The hillsides and meadows will be bursting with color and you can coordinate your attire to really stand out. Or, you can head to a local flower farm when your favorite blooms are in season (for example, sunflowers usually peak during the summer through early fall).
"Brushed" by Amy Payne
Love camping in Joshua Tree? Met and fell in love at Burning Man? Head to the desert for your engagement photo shoot and pose for some seriously amazing pics amid the dry, arid landscape.
"Chic Monogram" by Hooray Creative
Revisit a favorite date-night spot with your photographer—a neighborhood bar, the local garden shop where you buy plants together, or your favorite restaurant—to capture the magic. This is another great idea if you're stumped for winter engagement photo ideas; if the weather isn't exactly cooperating, then it's a smart idea to visit a couple of your favorite indoor date spots for photos.
"Showcase" by Sara Hicks Malone
From what to wear to when to schedule your photo session, we've got four foolproof tips to help you nail your engagement photo shoot.
Your wedding photographer will likely offer an option to add an engagement session to your photography package. Take advantage of it and book a photo session, stat. This way, you'll get beautiful engagement photos (because when else will you have the chance to get professional portraits taken of the two of you?). And it's a great opportunity to spend some time with your photographer and develop a rapport. After all, he or she will be by your side for 8+ hours on the wedding day, so you'll want to make sure you're comfortable with them. An engagement shoot is also a chance to become more comfortable being in front of the camera lens, which will yield better, more natural-looking images on the actual wedding day.
Your engagement session isn't a fashion shoot. Rather than multiple outfit changes which will waste a lot of time, plan on one casual outfit and another slightly dressier look. Choose clothes that make you feel like you. There's no need to bring a floor-length dress if you're more of a T-shirt and jeans kind of gal. And make sure you and your partner's outfits complement each other but aren't overly matchy-matchy.
Figuring out when to book your engagement shoot depends on how and when you plan to use the engagement photos. Here's a guide to photo scheduling options. Choose the timeframe that best suits your photo needs:
Talk with your photographer about the best time of the day to schedule your shoot. If you're planning to shoot outdoors, you should consider golden hour (approximately the first hour of light after sunrise and the last hour of sunlight before the sun sets). Shooting during the golden hour assures you'll get soft, golden sunlight for your portrait session. Early-afternoon sunlight tends to be overhead and harsh, so you might want to schedule your indoor photos during that time. Work with your photographer to put together a shoot schedule that takes advantage of the sunlight so that you get the most flattering photos.