engagement photo tips

Engagement Photo Tips – Helping You Photograph Beautifully

Congrats on your engagement!  What an exciting time for you!  We’re thrilled to be considered for your photography and want to make sure you get the most out of your images.  We include a complimentary engagement shoot, anywhere in the nation because it helps us to get to know our couples.  The photo magic starts once we’re comfortable with each other.  It’s not easy getting there though.  We’re happy to help you on that journey before the big day approaches, so by the time the wedding comes, you’re completely at ease and ready for your close-up on the best day ever.  We hear it all the time “I’m not a model” or “I don’t know how to take a good photo”.  Rest easy, we’re here to help guide you with some great engagement photo tips.

engagement photo tips

Tips for engagement photography

Engagement photos should be fun!  Keep an open mind, go in without expectations –

The engagement photos have a double purpose and benefit both the couple and me as the photographer.  The couple get (often their first set) of professional photos together.  These photos are often just as timeless as their wedding photos because they embrace the personality and style of the couple.  We try to allow our couples to pick the date and location of their engagement photos (anywhere in the country is included at no cost) because we want the photos to be somewhere you love or feel comfortable.  This will speak to you more than just portraits somewhere random.  As the photographer, I get the comfort of knowing how you photograph.  Each couple is different, your styles, personalities and love should shine through the photo, and if we want that to shine, the wedding day should not be the first day we shoot together.  It’s so important to me that I learn each couple, that I include the engagement shoot in all our collections.  It’s part of the wedding collection because already being comfortable with me is part of an amazing wedding experience.  Our belief is that you should have already shot with your photographer by the wedding day for those exact reasons.  As you’re thinking about the engagement photos – please remember not to worry, the images will be better the less you worry.

engagement photo tips

Engagement photo tip: Your engagement photos are part of your wedding story

Getting ready for your engagement photos–

There are lots of engagement photo tips for getting ready about outfits, colors, etc.. but each couple’s style and taste is so different, we prefer that you pick the clothes.  As a warning, shirts with large logos, emblems or patters tend to distract from the overall image.  There is a lot of advice you can get from a wedding coordinator, designer, DJ, and florist, but the best advice you can get from your photographer is actually letting them photograph you.  We’re very hands-on, and will direct you on what angles look best, where you should stand, where to look, etc.  We’ll also show you the images right on the camera, so you can see what we’re getting.

san francisco engagement photography

Taking great engagement photos is easy once you’re comfortable.

On the day of the engagement shoot –

One thing to remember on the day of engagement and wedding photos is this: getting great photos of you is my job, not yours.  Your job is to simply come relaxed with an open mind and change of clothes.  I’ll take care of the rest.  The key to coming in relaxed is to let all of your preconceived notions of yourself in photos go.  You will photograph beautifully if you let yourself.

engagement photography

Sunset engagement photos

Most importantly –

Remember to be yourself!  One of the most important engagement photo tips we can give you. Think about things that you two do normally in everyday life and how you interact normally.  Engagement photos should be an extension of that.  Does he kiss you on the forehead? Do you hold hands or do you make goofy faces at each other?   Do you go to the farmer’s market on Thursdays, or like roaming through the woods searching for your next camping spot?  The little things that make your relationship special is what we want to see.

engagement photo tips

San Francisco engagement photos

Timing and location –

For locations, we ask our couples pick where they want their photos done because we want you to pick spots you love.  This could be a place that means something to you as a couple-  Like the courtyard of the school you met at, the downtown park where the proposal took place.. the restaurant of your first date.. or are you huge fans of your cities football team?  One of the most overlooked engagement photo tips you should think about is the location – it says a TON about your style, personality, and love.  You’re welcome to pick where we shoot, we want it to mean something special to you.  Just ask yourself, where would you really want to be and spend time out and about if we were not following you around with a camera?  Your favorite spots will make you naturally relax and open up much more than us picking some random tree in a field for you!


NYC engagement photos

New York City engagement photos


What to wear for your engagement photos –

Don’t over think your outfits.  Let your personal style shine, but keep in mind solid colors with fun jewelry or pops of color always photograph best.  As we said earlier, stay away from logo tees or gaudy patterns, things that will make you think “Really I wore that?” later on in life.  Men, bring a button down in a nice neutral color and a few other tops that are just easy and you.  Dark jeans are great in photos.  Ladies, grab a fun sundress (weather permitting) and layer on the necklaces.  Bring at least two changes with well-thought outerwear close by just in case!


New York City engagement photos

Exploring the city is a great idea for New York City engagement photos


Most importantly, come ready to enjoy shooting.  Let go of all your ideas about what being photographed means, and we will handle the rest.  Plan for a few hours of laughter and remember to just have fun, engagement photos are just another part of your wedding story and you will remember them for years to come.  If you’re nervous about it, feel free to have a drink before.  Remember also to eat before your shoot!


beautiful engagement photos

Make sure the engagement photos showcase your personalities!


Are you recently engaged?  View more engagement photos and beautiful wedding photos on our gallery page here, or drop us a line so we can talk about your special day!  Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Article by Clane Gessel Photography