5 Expert Tips for Planning the Engagement Photos of your Dreams

Planning your engagement photos can be one of the most exciting parts of your wedding journey. Things start to get real once you step in front of the camera! Engagement portraits are a chance to capture the love and connection you share in a way that’s uniquely you. Whether you’re dreaming of a colorful shoot in your favorite park or a cozy session at home, the key to creating memorable and meaningful engagement photos lies in focusing in on personal details of your relationship and having fun! In this post, I’ll share five expert tips for planning engagement photos that truly reflect who you are as a couple.

Tips for planning engagement photos from a wedding photographer

It can feel like there’s a lot of pressure to get the perfect engagement photos! You’ll likely be using these photographs for save the dates, to share your wedding details with friends and family, and to hold onto as a memento of this time in your lives! I totally understand, it can be intimidating to have your photo taken. As a photographer, I think the absolute most valuable thing you can do to prepare yourself is to reframe this experience as a special moment in time being captured by a camera, just the same way your wedding will be.

Your engagement–long or short–is a moment in your life that will never be replicated! Your engagement session is simply an opportunity to capture you and your honey, as you are, in the days leading up to your wedding. No pressure to be perfect. Just have fun and enjoy this time in your life!

Now, onto a few of my expert tips for planning engagement photos, straight from a wedding photographer!

1. Turn your Engagement Session into a Memorable Date Night

One of the easiest tips for planning your engagement photos is to transform the session into a memorable experience by making it a date night!! People often associate photos with the emotions they FELT while taking them. So, turning your engagement session into an enjoyable evening can make your photos even more special.

Make your engagement photo experience a day you’ll remember fondly! Have fun getting dressed up and consider scheduling your hair and makeup trial for the same day if you’re having them professionally done for your wedding. This way, you’ll feel extra pampered and fancy!

Frame taking your photos as the first half of your date night. After the photo session, continue the evening with dinner at a place that holds special significance to your relationship. It doesn’t have to be extravagant–just somewhere that brings back happy memories for both of you!

Not only will you love your engagement photos for how beautiful they are, but you’ll have a happy memory associated with the experience. This combination of fun and romance will help you feel relaxed in front of the camera as well!

This is a tip I recommend to every single one of my couples. Making your engagement session a date night ensures that your real emotions toward each other are candidly captured.

2. Infuse your Engagement Photos with Meaningful Personal Details

Your engagement photos should feel like YOU. Every couple has special traditions, style, and activities that make them unique. Lean into these personal details to create meaningful and memorable photos! Adding special personal touches make your engagement photos not only unique but also a heartfelt reminder of these specific time in your life and the things that brought you together.

A great place to start is to consider choosing a location with personal significance. Do you have a favorite park you walk in? A dive bar you frequent every weekend? Land that’s been in the family for generations? Selecting a location that feels natural to you as a couple is a surefire way to make your engagement photos unique and personal. Not to mention, being in a familiar place may help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera!

Last year I had a lovely couple who did their engagement photos on the bride’s family ranch. We had so much fun walking around the beautiful space, and it was a really special detail for them. While the average person may not even realize these photos were taken on their property, the couple was able to enjoy being in a familiar and meaningful place. They will always be able to look back on that special location!

In a field on a ranch, bride and groom look lovingly at each other during engagement session

Don’t just stop at the location–bring along other personal elements to enhance your photos. Consider including your dog if you have one, as pets can add a lot of personality and warmth to your pictures. Wear jewelry or clothing that you’ve gifted each other to add a sentimental touch. You might even grab coffee from your favorite local place to bring along, creating a cozy, everyday vibe in your photos.

Engaging with these meaningful details ensures your engagement photos candidly reflect your relationship. These personalized elements not only make your photos more engaging but also help tell your unique story, making your images all the more special.

3. Choose Outfits that Feel Like You

Selecting the perfect outfits for your engagement photos can be one of the most challenging parts of the process. With so many choices available, it can be overwhelming to decide what to wear. The best cornerstone to come back to is: does this feel like me? Choosing outfits that make you feel like yourself is key to looking and feeling great in your photos!

For my couples, I always recommend choosing two outfits for your engagement photos. Start with one more formal outfit and one more casual option. This approach gives you good variety in your photos and ensures that your outfits don’t look too similar. It’s also essential to consider the location you’ve chosen and the overall aesthetic you’re aiming for.

Another great starting place for your outfits can be your wedding colors! While you don’t have to go full blown matchy-matchy, adding in some of the colors you’re incorporating in your wedding design is super special. It will also be a great design call-back when your guests receive their save the dates!

The couple pictured below had a wedding day full of vibrant jewel-tones. For their engagement session at an eclectic wine bar, the bride wore this pretty patterned dress with subtle nods to their wedding colors. This matched their overall aesthetic for their wedding day, which made their engagement and wedding photos so cohesive next to each other!

Like I mentioned above, incorporating meaningful pieces into your outfits can add a special touch to your photos. For instance, wearing jewelry you’ve gifted each other can bring a sentimental element to your photos. Additionally, consider sustainable choices by wearing items you’ll use again for other wedding events. If you love the outfit you bought for your wedding shower, don’t hesitate to wear it for your engagement photos too!

The most important thing is you both feel comfortable and confident in whatever you choose to wear. Your overall mood significantly impacts how you look in photos, so ensure you feel great so you can focus on enjoying your engagement photo experience! When you feel like yourselves, your genuine connection and happiness will be present in the photos too.

4. Add a Creative Activity or Unique Detail

As your photographer, I’m dedicated to ensuring that your engagement photos reflect your authentic selves. I will never push a trendy idea that doesn’t feel natural to you. However, if you want to include a creative activity—like a champagne toast, a picnic in the park, or a really specific vibe—be sure to tell me!

Incorporating your own style and personality into your photos makes them feel more authentic to you as a couple. For example, if you want to add an editorial edge or incorporate non-traditional elements, discuss your ideas with your photographer to find the perfect fit. Recently, I worked with a couple who wanted an Evermore-inspired picnic engagement session. Their photos turned out incredibly unique and genuine to them as a couple! They even brought along a cake made by a friend with their wedding date on it, to use for their save-the-date announcements.

Consider adding an activity that you both love to do together. Whether it’s spending weekends at an arcade bar or cozying up on the couch with a good book, these activities can add personal dimension to your photos. Literally anything goes when it comes to making your engagement photos your own!

By including creative activities and personal elements, you ensure that your engagement photos are not only visually stunning but also tell your unique story!

5. Relax & Trust Your Photographer

The most important of these tips for planning your engagement photos is to take a deep breath, relax, and trust your photographer. I understand this can be easier said than done—having your picture taken can feel intimidating. However, the absolute best way to ensure you love your engagement photos for years to come is to be yourself in them!

Your photographer is experienced and knows how to make you feel comfortable and look amazing in your photos. I’ve had many couples who initially felt unsure in front of the camera. But, with years of experience directing and encouraging couples, I can assure you it’s my job to make you look and feel your very best. All you need to do is relax and trust me!

Don’t feel pressure to take on all the planning by yourselves! Always feel free to ask your photographer any questions you may have, or alert them to any concerns. I always want to know how I can make your experience as comfortable and fun as possible. If you need location ideas or aren’t sure which outfit will look best, just ask!

I’m also always a safe space for any insecurities or nerves you may have. Having your photo taken can be a deeply personal and vulnerable for some people! I promise I’ll meet any worries you have with so much care–whether that’s anxiety about PDA or body image.

Treating your engagement photo session as a date with a third wheel (remember tip #1?) can make a huge difference in your mindset. When you’re comfortable and having fun with your favorite person, your genuine emotions will shine through. This authenticity is what makes your photos truly special and reflective of who you are as a couple.

A couple stands in front of a blue gate at City Park in Denver Colorado. They are laughing.

To help you relax, think of your photographer as a friendly third wheel. Engage in conversations, laugh, and enjoy the moment. Remember, your photographer is there to guide you through the process and ensure you feel at ease. The more you relax and enjoy the experience, the more natural and genuine your photos will be.

So, take a deep breath, trust in the expertise of your photographer, and focus on the joy of being with your partner!

Ready to Plan Your Unique Engagement Photos?

Planning the engagement photos of your dreams is all about incorporating meaningful details, enjoying the process, and trusting your photographer to capture your unique personalities. Following these tips, you can ensure your photos are both beautiful and authentically you.

I hope these tips help you feel excited and prepared for your engagement photos. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun with your person! Your engagement photos should be a celebration of your journey together, filled with genuine moments and cherished memories.

If you’re looking for a Colorado engagement photographer to help you create stunning and meaningful photos, I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to inquire here and let’s start planning the engagement photos of your dreams. Together, we can create heirloom photographs in a way that feels true to you.

More like this…

Looking for some engagement session inspiration in beautiful Colorado? Check out these winter engagement portraits at Cheesman Park in Denver, Colorado.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *