How to Pose for Engagement Photos

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One of the most asked questions I get is how to pose for engagement photos. It can be scary to be in front of the camera; trust me, I know!

In this blog post, I’ll guide you through tips for engagement photo posing so that you can feel like your best self with your partner in front of the lens. As a Boston wedding photographer, I have lots of experience photographing couples over the years and I’ve pulled together all of my best tips in this one blog post.

Keep reading to learn all about how to pose for engagement photos.

How to Pose for Engagement Photos

A couple sits on rocks outdoors in fall.

Directing vs posing

First things first, let’s talk about directing versus posing. Directing encourages you and your partner to act naturally in a moment, which will allow candid, genuine emotions and spontaneous moments to be photographed. Photos like these really reflect your relationship and different personalities.

Meanwhile, posing involves structured and specific positioning. This can be great for more artistic or formal shots but doesn’t always necessarily come off as the most authentic. 

Most photographers will use a combination of directing and posing to get engagement photos so that their couples have a balance.

Stylized candids vs rigid poses

Stylized candids are a more modern approach to engagement photos which have both an artistic intention and spontaneous movement combined to capture moments. This is unlike rigid poses, which can sometimes seem a bit more forced and awkward for a couple.

A method like this allows photographers like me to show your real connection. The result is photos that are a bit more personal and memorable. 

A couple poses while hugging one another outdoors in fall.

Lots of movement

Incorporating movement into engagement photos is essential. This makes the images a bit more dynamic and fun! Whether it’s something simple like walking hand-in-hand with your partner, giving each other a twirl, or even busting a dance move, movement adds a fun, spontaneous touch to photos.

Photos with movement feel very energetic and emotional. Plus, incorporating movement will give you and your partner a bit of distraction so that you can focus on the movement at hand instead of remembering that you’re in front of a camera.

Be yourself

It’s completely normal to feel awkward in the beginning of an engagement shoot before warming up and feeling comfortable. Being yourself is really the key to creating engagement photos that are meaningful. Your authenticity will shine through when you’re comfortable and true to your personality.

If you can let go of the pressure that you might have associated with the photos, you can just explore the bond that you have with one another, which is exactly what engagement photos should show.

A couple leans in for a kiss by a waterfall.

Do something with your hands

As a photographer, I have been asked, “What do I do with my hands?” more times than I can count! In engagement photos, there are lots of things you can do with your hands to avoid awkwardness. You could hold hands with each other or even touch each other’s faces. Small gestures like this will add lots of emotion to photos and can also show the love and care that you have for one another. It will also show a connection between the two of you, which brings me to the next point!

Be intimate with your partner

Be intimate with your partner because the more points of contact you have, the more your love and intimacy will shine through. Share small expressions, tell a joke with one another, or give subtle whispers. These intimate interactions can feel deeply personal but come across in a very loving way in imagery. 

If you don’t know what to do with one another, don’t worry, that’s what your photographer is there for! I can help to direct you and give you ideas and you can act on the ideas that feel most comfortable and natural to the both of you.

A couple looks at one another while leaning against a stone wall.

Use triangles

Next, try to use triangles in your poses if you can because triangles create a sense of stability and balance. This can be with your body, your legs, or even your arms. You can even do a quick Pinterest search for triangle poses, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Look at each other

Look at each other (not the camera) to convey more of a candid storytelling feeling that feels more natural. You can also include some traditional camera-aware images. 

Looking at one another shows the deep bond and unspoken intimacy between the two of you, creating powerful and emotional images that show genuine expression and sometimes even vulnerability. It also allows me, as the photographer, to take more candid imagery of the two of you, showing you both as you really are.

Laugh together

This tip may seem a bit silly… but, laugh together! Laughing together during your photos can create some fun energy in the imagery and also show the true happiness that you both have in your relationship. Plus, it can help you feel a lot more natural and less stiff in your imagery. 

Truthfully, it’s normally these spontaneous images that end up being some of the best photos from the entire engagement photoshoot because they show the warmth and love that define your love. For a pro tip, consider telling each other a quick joke to get the most natural laugh possible.

Use your environment

Your location could potentially be very meaningful to the two of you when it comes to your engagement photos. Well, what if I told you that you could leverage your environment to add even more depth to your images and help you pose?

For instance, let’s say we’re on the beach here in New England for your photos. You can wear sandals and dip your toes into the sand or even walk along the water’s edge hand in hand to really interact with your environment. This helps to create a much more natural scene in a photo that also seems very thoughtful. 

A couple hugs one another in a field.

Incorporate props

Last but not least, if you want to feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed during your photoshoot, consider incorporating props! This can help to personalize your images and you can bring meaningful items into it if you want. Try to think of props that really reflect your shared hobbies or interests, or even ones that are representative of your love story to add to the images.

Be careful not to go overboard with props, though. This is too easy to do! Be sure to thoughtfully select each prop. If you’re ever not sure if a prop is a good move or not, you can always ask your photographer for advice.

Final Thoughts: Engagement Session Poses

Well, there you have it! You now know how to pose for engagement photos based on what I’ve learned over the years. I hope that this post has helped you to feel more confident going into your engagement session. Of course, if you’re still looking for a perfect-fit photographer to document your love story, I’d love to be considered. I’m located in Boston and would love to learn more about the two of you. Click here to get in touch with me!

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