If you’re planning your engagement photoshoot and are looking for ideas, this engagement photo posing guide will help you feel comfortable AND have fun!
For those who like posed photos AND those who hate staring at a camera and want a more organic, candid engagement photo experience, this photo list of engagement photo poses is sure to spark ideas for couples and photographers alike.
Engagement Photos Poses | Photo Ideas for Engagement Shoots | Engagement Poses for Couples
Engagement Photos: Should You Do Them?
Engagement photos are great for several reasons. It’s a way to practice being in front of the camera before the big day, to see how you and your photographer work together, to get engagement photos done in a place completely different from where your wedding will be, or to have printed photos for save-the-dates, guestbooks, and more.
Plus, engagement photos are actually fun! I’m a creative wedding photographer, so I always shoot a mix of traditional, nontraditional, and more creative/adventurous engagement photos rather than just standard engagement photo poses. Plus, my photos tend to be very candid and enjoyable–not stiff and formal. So do you really need them? Couples don’t have to have them, no. But are they a good idea for all the reasons listed above? Absolutely.
→ DISCLAIMER: I hate the word “pose,” so instead of thinking about “DO THIS HERE. PUT YOUR HAND THERE,” think of it more as simple directions as you and your partner talk, and I’m just throwing out hints. In fact, many of us photographers like to use the word “prompts” versus “pose.” This way, instead of a command that sounds stationary, a prompt can be more of a suggestion. ←
I’ve listed example engagement photo poses below in 3 categories:
- Traditional Engagement Photo Poses – These are the types of photos you’ll often see posted online or on save-the-dates
- Nontraditional Engagement Photo Poses – For those who don’t want the usual romantic, typical shots, these less-common poses (and candid engagement photos) are a great option to throw into the mix
- Creative Engagement Photo Poses – If you don’t want formal, predictable shots and prefer incorporating your hobbies, pets, or outdoor activities in, I highly recommend creative and/or adventurous engagement photos!
Ready? Let’s go.
Traditional Engagement Photo Poses
This can be done close up or in a beautiful environment (like these banyan trees in Florida). Great for engagement photos and weddings alike, getting you physically AND mentally close.
The Reminiscent Prom Pose
Remember that awkward prom pose everyone dose? It’s actually a great starting pose for engagement photos, especially when the couple is chatting, laughing, and just going with the flow.
And no, you don’t have to have a flower beard and flower crown like these two, but if you do, I won’t complain!
A little hand under the chin (and a few other prompts from your photographer), and this cute pose looks, well, freakin’ cute. A beautiful view doesn’t hurt either!
The taunting task of telling two people to get close enough to almost kiss–but not–is really fun to document.
And no, I didn’t coach her on the little toe-knee bend there, but it sure is a cute addition to the photo.
Similar to the almost-kiss, the nose-to-nose is perfect for beaches, calm settings, windy weather, or anything. It’s just a cute pose for a more intimate photo–and that engagement ring, too. We did these on the beaches of Punta Cana, DR.
The Tip-Toe Kiss
This wasn’t planned, but after some clowning around and spinning around, this cute moment was definitely a perfect one to capture.
This is as simple as it gets as far as looks go, but getting the perfect shot means one person ahead of the other, the right hand being held, and no running for that imaginary bus (as in, don’t rush!).
Look at your photographer OR at the camera. Whatever you do, do it in a beautiful place like this in the Poconos!
The “Your Hair Smells Amaaaaazing”
This is a great pose for save-the-dates, and is perfect for couples who feel less comfortable in front of the camera. No one has to look at me!
Instead, there’s a special cue I give my couples to look really comfy in each other’s arms. A joke works well here, too.
The Dance Move
Dance the day away, and don’t worry if you’re coordinated or not. These shots are fun and very you. Plus, if you mess up, I’m literally the only person watching!
The Toe Kick
Definitely a fun pose, the toe kick is easy, cute, and perfect whether on the ground or being lifted up.
Running is always funny because of the expressions, and beautiful because of the landscape and flowy outfits. Hey, think it’s easy? YOU try running in a dress!
Non-Traditional Engagement Photo Poses
If you’re doing photos at sunrise or sunset (which I ABSOLUTELY recommend for your engagement AND wedding), getting colorful sunrise or sunset silhouettes is fun and beautiful, with an air of mystery.
The “We’re-Too-Cool” Stance
All you have to do is have access to a plane. No, I kid. This is a great pose for posh couples in botanical gardens, sculpture parks, museums, and more. So cool. Too cool?
Bring the Dog
“Can I bring my dog to my engagement session with you, Kathryn?” I get asked this a lot, and of course you can! I even have doggie bowties if you’re really nice to me.
Bring the Cat
There’s no hiding that I love cats. And flower crowns on cats? Yes, please! In addition to engagement photos with you dog, I’ll photograph your cat engagement photos, horse engagement photos, and nearly anything else with your pet.
The Smokin’ Reflection
For when you have a private villa in Asia and already look like models, you just strike a pose over your private pool. Easy enough, right? (But seriously, water reflection shots are fun.)
To get these luscious waterfall streaks, the couple has to choose a position and not move a wink. Uncomplicated poses work best for this!
At the end of your engagement session, why not do something extra fun? Jump in a lake, pool, or ocean. I LOVE these photos from the back or front, as well as the after photos.
Creative Engagement Photos
(Engagement Photo Poses + Candid Engagement Photos That Just Don’t Fit in a Box)
The Look Up!
This shot is super fun for when you’re in a tall or unique landscape, but getting the right angle isn’t as easy as it looks. A few adjustments to how the couple is standing from me and this type of shot comes out awesome! Plus, redwoods!
The Mask – Special Covid-19 Edition
What better way to commemorate love during a global pandemic? These Mammoth Lakes engagement photos were beautiful.
The “Life’s a Beach”
When on vacation or living near a beach, don’t be afraid to get wet and let the waves flow around you. I did a long exposure to get this engagement shot on the beach!
I made this photo from 9 different photos I took of my fun couple while in Mexico. The different colored walls were the perfect canvas on which to do this experiment…though stitching them together realistically was no easy task!
The YAAASSSS Queen
If you have fun accessories, be they hula hoops, light-up signs, or fans, bring them along! I can’t get over these two.
Kissing Under the Milky Way
Want to stand out? Here’s a unique idea that you likely won’t have time for on your wedding night–unless you do an adventure session! Milky Way photos. Your photographer should be able to tell you if the skies are right for the night you want to go out, and all you have to do is hold still for what is called star shots/couples’ astrophotography.
Lighting Up the Night Sky
If your photographer has a creative vision and a tripod or steady hand, you can get some pretty great night shots with no one around.
Masked and Mysterious
Want something less conventional: Love offbeat, horror, witchy, or spooky vibes? Go to a different kind of museum or attraction, don a mask, and do your thang.
Get in the Water!
Couples do trash the dress sessions all the time, but why not get in the water in your engagement photos as well? And would I encourage splashing each other?! Ummm…of course not??
I won’t give away exactly how this was done, but I will say that museums are unique places for getting very creative engagement photos! It’s less about the pose and more about the place.
Having Fun with Your Engagement Photographer
I hope this ever-growing list of engagement photo poses is helpful whether you’re a couple looking to do engagement photos, or a photographer looking for more inspiration. There are so many ideas that I could go on and on about, but in the end, it really depends on my couples and where we are. I go for a very organic approach that’s fun and easy for those who have never been in front of a camera before.
Want to have me document your engagement? Just click here to contact me, or email me at info@KathrynCooperWeddings.com.
To me, the most important part is having your engagement photos be very YOU. Love books? Have some of your photos centered around them. Love hiking? Go for a hike for your shots! Into candy? Do some shots in a candy store. Make them fun, and make them all about your relationship. Have a blast, and let me know what your favorite engagement photo poses are when you do your shots!
Kathryn Cooper Weddings: New York Engagement Photographer | San Francisco Engagement Photographer | Engagement Photo Posing | Engagement Photos for Couples