Posing
Aug 2020

19 Engagement Photo Ideas and Poses That Are Fun, Easy, & Elegant

19 min read

These romantic and fun engagement photo ideas are fun and easy to recreate with any couple. Use the prompts to inspire your clients and keep your creativity flowing!


Engagement Photo Ideas, Poses & Prompts

Couples come in all makes and models. They’re tall and short and thick and thin. Some are shy, while some love the spotlight. And some fall naturally into photo-worthy poses, while others need a bit more guidance.

One thing is true, though: no matter who the lovebirds are, they expect you as the photographer to capture that connection on camera.

Before the Posing: Start with Connection

The engagement shoot is often the first time a couple has been professionally photographed with one another. You have the wonderful opportunity to show your clients what their love looks like from the outside: the way they laugh together, hold one another and interact with each other.

The best thing you can do at the outset of your engagement photo shoot is to help your clients relax. Explain that their only job is to be as absorbed in one another as possible. You’ll guide them as needed to make sure their engagement photos are fantastic.

Find Out What Makes Your Clients Unique

If you’re on the shy side (or your clients are), get the couple to open up by asking them to share their wedding story with you: how they met, their first date, how they fell in love and decided to get married.

If you can do this before their photo shoot, plan ahead for a themed engagement photo shoot that will highlight what truly makes the couple unique.

Dani Marie’s clients brought their retrofitted van to the beach for a series of breezy engagement photos, while J.J. Au’Clair’s clients took a more formal approach to their afternoon in a light-filled atrium. Sometimes all you need is a colorful background, like the carnival in Heather Frank’s photographs!


Best Engagement Photo Poses

The following are inspiring pre-wedding photoshoot and engagement photo ideas that work with any clients. Add your own creative photographer spin, and don’t forget to have fun! Your clients will thank you for making them look amazing.

Best Traditional Couple Poses

Hold Hands

Getting a couple to hold hands is one of the best starters poses for clients who are a bit nervous in front of the camera. The couple can stroll along with their hands clasped, adopt a standstill pose with their fingers intertwined, or evolve their handhold into a fun little twirl!

As a photographer, you can use this opportunity to get a few close-up photos of your clients’ hands – especially if they’re wearing engagement rings!

Embrace Like You Mean It

A hug is a hug is a hug. Or is it?

Every couple has their own way of embracing. Draw out their most natural hugs by telling the couple to:

  • “Leap into each other’s arms”
  • “Give each other a bear hug”
  • “Snuggle close, close, CLOSER!”

Nose-to-Nose & Forehead-to-Forehead

Set a foundation pose by getting your clients close and connected by instructing the couple to stand nose-to-nose or forehead-to-forehead with one another. They’ll respond with every emotion from quiet romance to big belly laughs, giving you the chance to capture engagement photos that are sure to be some of their favorites!

Back to Front

This engagement pose is one of the simplest ideas to keep your clients close with one another while still seeing both of their faces.

Ask the shorter partner to stand or sit with their back to their sweetheart’s chest. If both partners are approximately the same height, use a staircase to create height variation with the back partner sitting one step higher.

Guide the partner in the back to wrap their arms around their fiancée. You can make a wide variety of photographs using this pose simply by changing lenses, adjusting your angle, and slightly tweaking the way your clients are positioned.

Side-by-Side

Positioning a couple side-by-side is one of the most natural ways they can pose. Let them feel what it’s like standing side-by-side with one another during their actual wedding day. Ask the couple to hold hands with one another and position their bodies facing the camera while looking at each other. 

Kiss Lightly

If your couple is going to kiss, remind them to “kiss lightly” so you don’t wind up with a series of NSFW photos. And if your photography clients still don’t get the hint, tell them to “kiss like your grandmother is watching!” That should tame their passions enough for a few loving photos that are safe for sharing.

If the kiss still feels too intimate, encourage the couple for a kiss on the forehead, cheek, nose, or hands instead. And don’t forget: keep shooting, even after the kiss ends. The “not-quite-kissing” moments are some of the most romantic moments!

Do the Dip

This cute pose is another way of doing couple kissing shots for a wedding photographer. Instruct one of the couple to wrap their arms around his fiancé’s waist for this engagement photo. She’ll need to hold onto the nape of his neck while placing another hand over his chest. 

Once she tosses her head back, this is your cue to capture the photo-moment pose. The couple can also end the pose by kissing or dancing around. This technique makes the pose much more romantic! 

Ring Shots

Most engaged partners have at least one engagement ring between them. Sometimes you’ll find an engagement ring on each partner’s hand or a personal token like an engagement necklace or bracelet with one another. Find out what symbols of love your couple is wearing, and document those treasures with the same care you’ll use to document their love in the engagement photo shoot.

Detail Shots

Darling details like lightly-held fingers or intertwined legs offer the opportunity for a beautiful detail photo. We love the great way the Scobeys capture their clients blurred by bokeh behind their hand-to-hand connection and the great way Dani Marie’s photo emphasizes the sandy bottoms of her clients’ feet.

Get One for Grandma

Creative angles and emotional motives are must-have in any collection of photos. But with every new pose you should also ask your clients to turn and smile at the camera with one another for at least one photo. 

These more traditional portraits are perfect for newspaper engagement announcements and will look gorgeous framed on Grandma’s mantle.

Best Fun and Creative Couple Poses

Themes & Stories

While it’s great to take inspiration from other photos, you don’t want to get so obsessed with duplicating a specific pose that you overlook the natural connection happening right in front of the camera and in front of you. Follow the light and your clients’ lead, and you’ll make photos that tell their unique story – not someone else’s.

Fresh Perspective

Think BIG when planning your next pre-wedding or engagement shoot. Do you have a ladder that would allow you to shoot down on your subjects? What happens if you lie on the ground and angle your camera up?

When you shoot from a dramatic perspective, you can highlight vast architectural details, like in the photo from the Scobeys, above. Or, as in the above two engagement photos from Jules Photography, you can get creative with big chalk drawings or prism-enhanced photos.

Cheery Chow Down

Food is a global connector. We all love to cook a new dish in the kitchen or snack on yummy treats! Use this universal passion to inspire a food-themed photo shoot your clients will LOVE.

  • have the couple share a meal on one plate for intimacy
  • go out for ice cream or milkshakes and take a stroll through town
  • pop a bag of popcorn and snack on the sofa
  • whip up something delicious in the kitchen and take it on a picnic
  • meet together at a cafe for coffee and croissants in a cozy booth
  • connect over beers or glasses of wine at a moody dining establishment

Rainy Day Portraits

You can plan and communicate until you’re breathless, but you can’t control the weather. Bummer, right? Avoid last-minute panic by preparing engagement shoot locations that include covered options.

  • the home can be a super-cozy spot for indoor photos
  • get permission to take engagement photos in a store or restaurant, like LaJoy Cox did for her IKEA photoshoot
  • parking garages, subway shelters, and train stations offer awesome light and beautiful lines

While train stations can look amazing in engagement pictures, shooting on the train tracks themselves is almost NEVER a good idea. You can get permission to shoot in the station (or look up your local ordinances), but photographing on railroad tracks is both illegal and highly dangerous.

The only time your clients should pose on the tracks is when they’re walking on a legally designated pedestrian path, as in Alyssa Joyce’s photo above.

Stunning Scenery

Did your clients choose a special location for their engagement photo shoot? Commemorate the experience with simple engagement photo ideas that allow plenty of room for the scenery. Soften the “snapshot” feel with a wide aperture and some sweet bokeh, and you’ll have a photo great for postcards and save the dates.

If the beautiful background includes meaningful signage or other details, use a smaller aperture (a large f-number) so those background elements will be in focus. If your aperture is too large (a small f-number), bokeh may blur the backdrop into an unrecognizable mish-mosh of shapes.

Don’t Forget Fido

A couple with a fur-baby would LOVE to have their pets pose in a few portraits! Every pet, from dogs to cats to lizards, adds one-of-a-kind cuteness to any photo.

If your next photoshoot will include pets, come prepared with an assistant to help wrangle the animal for a few fur-free portraits. These guidelines will help you and your clients involve their animals without any added stress!

Perfect Props

“Props are cheesy.” “No one uses props anymore.” “I don’t own any props.”

If those phrases mirror your own thoughts, think again! ANYTHING you add to an engagement photo is a prop – and there are some cool ones out there! Find out what props might have meaning for your clients, then coordinate with them to have the right props on-hand.

  • smoke bombs (check your local laws!) or balloons
  • bikes, motorcycles, and cars
  • hand-made signs, like in the Scobey’s photo above (#1)
  • printed photos of the couple when they were younger, or portraits of their parents or grandparents, as seen in Shelby Laine’s photos (#2 and 3)

Playful

Getting a couple to move is one of the quickest engagement photo ideas to help them feel comfortable. Go for a piggy-back ride pose, or ask one partner to pick up the other and spin them around.

Some partners don’t do well with scripted posing. In this case, try playing some fun music and let them play around. Have the guy lift his lady in the air, much like how actors pose for romantic-comedy film posters. 

Maybe they prefer making goofy faces instead of serious poses. Whether it’s a tickle-fest or snowball fight, discover what makes a couple laugh genuinely. Natural and spontaneous interactions often result in better storytelling. 

Engagement Reenactment

Your couple may not have photos during the actual proposal, so this is the perfect chance for a photographer to re-stage the romantic moment! It’s either you take shots at the proposal location or create a whole new mood for them to reenact the proposal. 

Best Relaxed Couple Poses

Walking

A walking pose is one of the easiest engagement photo ideas to help a couple loosen up during a shoot. You can try ideas and variations like walking forward, walking sideways with one person leading the other towards the camera, directly facing the photographer, or walking away from the photographer. 

Ask the couple to hold one another’s hands and walk at a normal pace. As a photographer, it’s your job to coach them on what they can do while walking, such as smiling or talking at one another. You can also tell them to imagine how they will walk on their actual big day. 

Bring a Blanket

Throw down a picnic blanket and get the couple to snuggle close on the ground. This is a simple solution when there isn’t any proper seating available outdoors.

You can keep a neutral-colored blanket in the back of your car for use with any clients for engagement photos, but it’s even better to ask the couple to bring their own blanket. Their blanket from home holds its own memories for the pair – and they can color-coordinate it to their outfits!

Face Away from the Camera

One fun way to help a couple feel comfortable posing for a photographer is to ask the couple to face away from the camera. Let the couple imagine how they would pose if no photographer is pointing a camera at them. In some instances, an unscripted pose can create more natural-looking yet romantic photos. 

Lazy Day Lounging

We love our partners for all the things we have in common, from the activities that keep us busy to the ways we choose to spend our laziest days. Make sure you find out how your clients like to lounge and capture a few shots of the couple connecting in a quiet space.

Having an engagement photo shoot in your clients‘ house is a sweet way to commemorate their first home together. But if shooting in their residence isn’t an option, make sure you look for other spaces and engagement photo ideas that offer a homey vibe.

Kiyah Crittendon’s Airbnb ideas create a home-like ambiance without the need for her clients to deep-clean their house before their photo shoot. Other engagement photo ideas include:

  • bring a cozy chair outside that’s big enough for two to lounge in
  • hang a hammock and invite your clients to snuggle close
  • get permission to take photos in a shop or restaurant with a warm vibe

Home is Where the Heart Is

Photographs inside the home are wonderful, but what about engagement photos that show off the house’s exterior? Whether your engaged couple lives in a compact apartment or a sprawling mansion, make sure you get the couple to pose outside of their new home will be treasured as they move into the future together.

Conclusion

The best engagement photo ideas happen once you set foundation shots and then build upon a couple’s vibes. Pose the couple, yet don’t forget to let them feel free. 

Whether your clients want a romantic or fun setup for their engagement sessions, what matters most is that you capture all the beautiful and natural moments they can cherish forever. 


For many couples, their engagement feels the most “real” when they finally see their photos! Make sure their engagement photo-viewing experience is top-notch with a gorgeous ShootProof gallery, a custom Gallery Intro Message (or video!), and an array of printed products they can’t resist.

Watch the Sell More with Packages webinar!


We want to see your best engagement photos!

Show off your favorites engagement photo ideas with a link in the comments below!


Written by ANNE SIMONE | Photographs by ALYSSA JOYCE PHOTOGRAPHY | DANI MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY | HEATHER FRANK PHOTOGRAPHY | J.J. AU’CLAIR FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY | JULES PHOTOGRAPHY | NICOLE NERO STUDIO | THE SCOBEYS | SHELBY LAINE PHOTOGRAPHY


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