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How To Take Unique And Creative Engagement Photos -- Ideas, Tips And Examples

Updated on February 18, 2011

Why Take Engagement Photos?

If you are engaged or getting ready to be engaged, you should prepare yourself for all of the things that you now are 'supposed' to do now that you are on a direct path for marriage. One of these things that will most likely come up quickly is getting your engagement photos taken. Engagement photos might not seem like that big of deal, but after going through this entire engagement picture-taking process I now realize that some of the decisions that were made before we even took a single shot were some of the most important ones that were made.

Whether you realize this yet or not, your engagement photos are going to be more important than you probably realize and thinking through the process will help you end up with pictures that best reflect both the couple and their love for one another. Also, the pictures that you get taken during your engagement photo shoot most likely aren't going to be cheap and they are going to be used in other things such as your save the date mailing, wedding program, guest book and reception decoration so you need to make sure that you have your stuff together before you're standing there in front of the camera,

The rest of this guide will help you make some of these important decisions once you get ready to have your engagement photos taken so that you'll end up with the type of creative and unique pictures that will reflect the awesome relationship that you have with your future husband or wife.

Be sure to find a photographer that really fits your style as a couple.
Be sure to find a photographer that really fits your style as a couple.

Finding A Photographer That Fits Your Style

One of the most important things that I have learned now that I have had my unique engagement photos taken is that you need to find a photographer that fits your style. I really can't stress this enough. There are a lot of photographers out there that tend to forget that this is your wedding and not just another addition to their portfolio, so as you begin to look for photographers for your engagement photos please try to find one that you know will match your personality as a couple and who will really listen to your thoughts and ideas.

Luckily we had an amazing photographer named Henry Sun from H Creatives Photography, who you should probably get in touch with if you're looking to get some engagement or wedding photos taken in Northern California (or somewhere else -- he'll hop on a flight if you really want him to).

When you first meet with photographers, here are a few questions that you might want to bring up with them when they are showing you their portfolio (which I hope they have!):

  • Why did you choose these different locations for the photos that you're showing me and what did they have to do with the couple? (this will show their interest for the couples as opposed to the art)
  • How many different locations do you allow us to shoot at and how open are you for some brainstorming before we go out and start shooting? (this will show their willingness to be flexible so that you can learn each other's style)
  • How do you normally find your clients? Are they referred? (this will tell you how satisfied their clients have been -- more referrals = more satisfaction)
  • How many of your engagement photo clients end up asking you to shoot their wedding as well? (more engagements that turn into wedding shoots means more happy clients)
  • Can I speak to one of your recent satisfied clients? (it's always good to check a reference or two)

Also, I've found that it's also good to meet the photographer in a restaurant for dinner or coffee shop for a drink so that you can really get a good feel for who they are and what type of photographer they are. This might seem like a lot of work for just getting engagement photos, but if you're spending the money and taking the time to get them, then you should do it right the first time.

For Better...
For Better...
or For Worse
or For Worse

Getting Creative

After you have found the right photographer to take your engagement photos, you can then move on to the part that stumps most couples -- how to make the photos really fun, creative and memorable. This can be done several ways, but before making any decisions you should decide, as a couple, how you want the final overall look and feel of the photos to end up after everything is said and done. This is going to be different for every couple, but it's definitely a decision that you need to make before you can begin to think about anything else. Also, you don't need to have one set theme for all of the photos, but you need to have a plan for what each of the themes are going to be.

For example, before our engagement photo-shoot my fiancée and I decided that we wanted a 'For Better or For Worse' theme to string through all of our sets of pictures that has taken. So, no matter what location we were at, what we were wearing or how we were posing we always knew that we had to get two specific photos -- one that ha d a 'For Better' theme (us getting along as a couple) and one that had a 'For Worse' theme (us not getting along as a couple). We're a pretty crazy and fun couple, so this was easy to weave into our photo shoot and it really kept us thinking during our day-long shoot. This was our way to have some fun and add in a little of our own personality along the way. We also ended up using the For Better or For Worse theme and engagagement photo poses for our save the date invites, which really worked out great.

This yellow field was an unplanned stop and turned out to be one of our favorite locations.
This yellow field was an unplanned stop and turned out to be one of our favorite locations.

Choosing The Right Locations

The next thing you need to decide are the locations where you would like to have your engagement photos taken. These locations are places that would either look really cool i your pictures or places that are special to you as a couple for one reason or another. By choosing different locations that have some type of connection to your relationship you'll be able to be much more genuine during your shoot and you're almost guaranteed to appreciate them more in the long run.

Some great places that could potentially make your list of locations are:

  • Where you first met
  • Where you had your first date
  • A restaurant, coffee shop or any other location that you frequent as a couple
  • A really cool looking landscape or skyline that's near by
  • A location with lots or bright and vibrant colors (see my graffiti wall pic below)
  • A location that would be the last place that you would think of getting your engagement photos taken, like an abandoned warehouse or old junkyard

Once you select your locations, don't be scared to get outside of your comfort zone a little bit when you're getting your photos taken. Have fun and explore the spaces -- you're only going to have one chance, so don't leave anything out that you'll regret not getting once you're finished. As a side note me and my fiancée actually took our beach engagement photos (see below) in freezing cold water, although you can't really tell. It was ridiculously cold when we did it, but now that we have the shots we're so glad that we sucked it up!

Also, while you're traveling to your different locations, don't be afraid to make an impromptu stop if you feel the need to take advantage of a new place or background. Some of the best shots that we we took were at locations that we didn't plan on stopping at (like the yellow field above).

This pose wasn't planned, but it still turned out really well. She really loves Pugs!
This pose wasn't planned, but it still turned out really well. She really loves Pugs!

Clothing Options And Ideas For Poses

The final engagement photo ideas that you should know about before getting your engagement photos taken are the clothing that you're going to bring along for the shoot and what poses you're going to do once you get all dressed up and are finally in front of the camera.

Depending on how many locations that you're planning on going to and how long you've paid your photographer to stick around, you may only need one outfit. But, if you're in it for the long haul and have plenty of time and patience, then you could even go so far as having multiple sets of clothes for each of your locations. Just remember that if you have the room to haul around a bunch of clothes, it's always better to pack more stuff than less. Having options is never a bad thing and once you're on the clock with your photographer it's going to be hard to head back to your house for additional wardrobe changes. So, be prepared and once again, have some fun with it!

Your poses tie in with the clothing that you choose because potentially some of your clothes could limit your poses due to being too restricted, revealing or who knows what. Your poses should once again reflect your personality as a couple and you should try to get as many different poses in at each location as your time allows. Also, I would suggest that you try to mix in some serious poses with some fun and romantic poses so that by the time your photo shoot is over you'll get a great mix of everything. One other thing -- be ready to do a lot of smiling, kissing, nose-rubbing and cheek-brushing because these are what help create some of the most amazing shots you'll take.

I've included some pictures below of poses that I took with my fiancée during our engagement photo-shoot so that they can hopefully get your wheels turning a little bit, too. Enjoy them and also be sure to enjoy the entire process once it's time for you to take your own. The more fun you have, the better your engagement photos will be, I can guarantee you that!

Looking for a photographer? We can help!

If you're looking for an engagement or wedding photographer, we can help you find the right one. All you need to do is take a couple of minutes to fill out this Engagement and Wedding Questionnaire and once we find a photographer for you we'll let you know asap!

A Few Engagement Photo Examples

You've got to let your personality shine through!
You've got to let your personality shine through!
Great looks by both of us and what a perfect sunset on the beach
Great looks by both of us and what a perfect sunset on the beach
Try some serious poses, too. We call these the 'Blue Steel' shots.
Try some serious poses, too. We call these the 'Blue Steel' shots.
What an amazing shot -- we really love this one
What an amazing shot -- we really love this one
I was really going in for the kiss on this one
I was really going in for the kiss on this one
Out of the water -- it was a little chilly, but really funny
Out of the water -- it was a little chilly, but really funny
We were in it to win it and the water was freezing!
We were in it to win it and the water was freezing!
Brrr...we decided to take a dip -- don't be afraid to push it a bit
Brrr...we decided to take a dip -- don't be afraid to push it a bit
What a great dip (beware for profanity on graffiti walls)
What a great dip (beware for profanity on graffiti walls)
Take away the color so that the focus is on us
Take away the color so that the focus is on us
You've got to show your personality
You've got to show your personality
Something is funny!
Something is funny!
This was my idea and it turned out great (at least I think so)
This was my idea and it turned out great (at least I think so)
Not quite kissing, but we definitely want to
Not quite kissing, but we definitely want to
I really like this one for some reason, it's a whole new vantage point
I really like this one for some reason, it's a whole new vantage point
At this point we were just having way too much fun...haha
At this point we were just having way too much fun...haha
We just started running around and jumping like crazy -- a lot of fun
We just started running around and jumping like crazy -- a lot of fun
Candid shots are always a nice touch, too -- not everything has to be a pose
Candid shots are always a nice touch, too -- not everything has to be a pose
Black and white with us looking serious in front of a random door -- it somehow works
Black and white with us looking serious in front of a random door -- it somehow works
This was impromptu, but great because she loves Pugs...especially ones named Churchill
This was impromptu, but great because she loves Pugs...especially ones named Churchill
Pure happiness and me in the back like chopped liver
Pure happiness and me in the back like chopped liver
A jump pose with a peace sign
A jump pose with a peace sign
Good colors and ring shot
Good colors and ring shot
This is our 'missed connection' theme that we also had a few shots of
This is our 'missed connection' theme that we also had a few shots of
The jumping shot is one of our favorites
The jumping shot is one of our favorites
Don't be scared to get some interesting vantage points
Don't be scared to get some interesting vantage points
Love the sky in this one
Love the sky in this one
This was a fun pose (it took a few shots to get it)
This was a fun pose (it took a few shots to get it)
We have no idea who that guy is but the photo looks awesome
We have no idea who that guy is but the photo looks awesome

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    • profile image

      sahil 14 months ago

    • Wasimkhan04 profile image

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      Ravi Tyagi 20 months ago

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    • annmackiemiller profile image

      annmackiemiller 5 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      loved it great photos

    • Sophie Mortimer profile image

      Sophie Mortimer 5 years ago

      These are great photos! I love your advice, too. I've been searching for good ideas, and so far yours are the best photo ideas I've stumbled across. I showed some of your pics to my fiancé, and he got excited just thinking about all of the crazy stuff he wants us to try. Did you guys come up with these or did you check a site? Thanks so much for posting. You've actually gotten me to look forward to my engagements! http://JourneyIntoPhotography.com

    • profile image

      DD 5 years ago

      I love the Pug!

    • profile image

      troy 5 years ago

      wow, someone has some killer ideas! ich bin impressed..

    • profile image

      beth 5 years ago

      these pictures are amazing!! thank you so much for sharing. gave me some great ideas :)

    • profile image

      Mateo 5 years ago

      That last pic was the best, i think. good luck, guys!!

    • profile image

      soshoe 6 years ago

      nice

    • profile image

      lori 6 years ago

      I loved the site and even though I thought I had everything figured out you helped a lot!! Thanks

    • MarkMAllen15 profile image

      MarkMAllen15 6 years ago

      wow...so lovely pictures here.

    • profile image

      Toni marie 6 years ago

      THESE are AWESOME pictures :) So many different poses you did a great job, I'm sure they LOVED all of them :)

    • daviddwarren22 profile image

      daviddwarren22 6 years ago

      Interesting and sweet hub. All are lovely photos.

    • profile image

      jessica 6 years ago

      can you tell me what lenses you used for these pictures please, it would be really helpful.

      thanks

    • profile image

      sonogram technician 6 years ago

      hi this is really a fantastic post and i really love this blog..keep sharing...

    • profile image

      ZohaN 6 years ago

      Cute Photos

    • profile image

      Annie 6 years ago

      I love your pictures !! There amazing and fun!! Your couple is awesome !! I love how outgoing they look in the pictures ! That makes it fun !!

      I'm doing a friends engagement photo's later today! I'm no professional but .. maybe someday ;)

      I've been very interested in photography since I was 13. I lvoe it. Everyone tells me I have the eye for it. I have the most random pic's if you check my blog out go to the post on the side that reads "What i see threw my lens" Those are some of mine !!

    • profile image

      P3 6 years ago

      Your wall shot above....either take the groom completely out of focus or put him in-focus. It simply looks misconstructed like this. It looks like you need to stop down another 2 stops....or open it up all the way.

    • ajaffe.com profile image

      ajaffe.com 6 years ago from Mumbai

      Engagement the time for two hearts committing their life for long, hence you needed the best photos to keep this moment alive. Nice photos.

    • profile image

      beckyrose 6 years ago

      Thanks for posting this! I'm taking my best friend's engagement photos this week and definitely needed some ideas. Great pictures by the way. Beautiful couple :)

    • Holly R profile image

      Holly R 6 years ago

      Great hub! I love the photos.

    • profile image

      foto prewedding 6 years ago

      it's great picture, I really like it.

    • profile image

      Andrea 6 years ago

      Love your guys photos so much! Thanks for writing this blog, passed it on to my friend about to take her photos. Good luck in the Congo. Xoxo

    • _cheryl_ profile image

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Great photos and ideas! I love the fact that you both actually got into the water on the beach, it brings much more of a personal, relaxed feel to the photo rather than traditional poses with a beach background. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Mrs. Rivers 7 years ago

      Your pictures are amazing!

    • profile image

      Restless28 7 years ago

      Beautiful pictures...I love the creative style

    • profile image

      Urban Tableau 7 years ago

      GREAT ideas!! Shooting a couple this morning!!!

    • profile image

      Ramy 7 years ago

      i just love it ..amazing

    • profile image

      Angie 7 years ago

      Me and one of my really good friends are just now opening a photography buisness. We really have a passion for it and we are very excited!! We are taking our first engagement photos on Saturday and we have been researching anything and everything. I just wanted to say that I got the most help through you. Its nice to hear what people want from their photographer's. Thanks

    • profile image

      Sophiaa. 7 years ago

      -i think you should submit these professionally- if you haven't all ready. they're really good,

    • profile image

      Sophiaa. 7 years ago

      such good photos. you seem like such a good couple!

    • profile image

      Anup Shrestha 7 years ago

      Really !!!fantastic ideas and tips... learned a lot...

      thanks...

    • profile image

      Sarah 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing ... always great to see some new ideas and it looks like such fun!

    • profile image

      Nadine Birge 7 years ago

      I really Love your photos.. I am excited to see these.. I had a photoshoot today.I had fun today with this couple, that wanted there photos done.. I can appreciate your work on these photos. I know I was out for three hours, I enjoyed every minute of it too. I really like these unique shots you have .. I just wanted to share that with you... Thanks for shareing

    • profile image

      Michelle B 7 years ago

      wow! I really loved looking at your photoshoot!

    • profile image

      jabez 7 years ago

      realy i enjoye and shere

    • TroyM profile image

      TroyM 7 years ago

      Trying to learn some of these with my Droid camera. Thanks for starting tips!

    • profile image

      e11world 7 years ago

      Very nice images here and good ideas as well.

      I guess all that is possible in one LONG day (early morning at park, sunset at a beach, night at city)..

    • profile image

      AMB 7 years ago

      I loved these photos! They are some of the best I've seen! You two seem to click with each other and compliment each other well. And she's beautiful! Great job, here!!

    • profile image

      Hayatt 7 years ago

      LOVED THEM ALL!!!

      Gave me GREAT IDEAS =)

      Wish you both an abundance of happiness!!!!!

    • profile image

      Larry Warmsley Photography  7 years ago

      Very nice and very helpful.

    • profile image

      Wedding Songs 7 years ago

      Incredible photos! They really did a fantastic job describing your personalities and developing an incredible story...

    • Wedding101 profile image

      Wedding101 7 years ago

      I love your engagement photos. They are very unique, and the best I have seen. It looks like you both enjoyed the photo shoot as well. Great Hub! Good luck to you both in the future!

    • profile image

      emma 7 years ago

      wow am not in love but the pictures made me envy all that.nice enviroment.

    • profile image

      dd 7 years ago

      this is good advice even for photographers like myself- just to remind us that it IS about the couple and not about the artsy side for there profolio. =] i am gonna be taking my brother and sister in law to be engagement pictures, so it is nice to know these things- and things to have them think about when the time comes for it. =]

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      With This Favor 7 years ago

      These are some really cool pictures! I am going to share this link with my brides for engagement photo tips.

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      Jordan 7 years ago

      Excellent points. My friends just got married and the photographer was more interested in having artsy shots for his portfolio than really getting nice shots of the couple.

    • profile image

      Songs For A Wedding 8 years ago

      Very informative post with many great pictures! Thank you for sharing these for couples who are planning their wedding. I know that we weren't very happy with our engagement photos... so I really wish we would have read up on them before making our decision!

    • profile image

      Carson 8 years ago

      The pictures and advice are great!!! The only sad part is you didn't give your great photographer any credit!!

    • profile image

      janizky 8 years ago

      i love your pictures..i love taking pictures and i like creative ideas in engagement pics..great idea! i like mine in a theme park/carnival...lolz because we always go in there..and i think the colors are perfect,,,just thinking of new poses....any suggestions?thanks....^_^

    • profile image

      ashley 8 years ago

      these are amazing. i love them all. and i like it the most cause people sometimes never show who they are during the most important photos.

    • profile image

      tish 8 years ago

      Great article on the reasons for an engagement photo session. It's much more important than people may think.

    • Ryan Hupfer profile image

      Ryan Hupfer 8 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      kathryn -- the field shots were taken in a field in Half Moon Bay here in Northern California. We weren't planning on stopping there, but once we saw it we knew that we countdown miss that opportunity. :)

      Here's a link to Half Moon Bay's Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_Moon_Bay,_Califo...

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      xxxx 8 years ago

      for fun and spontaneity it is 5 out of 5, for zaniness of image and photographer (if that is her) 5 out of 5, but I rate the shots 2 out of 5.

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      kathryn 8 years ago

      Where were these shot? Especially the field?

    • alwaysabridesmaid profile image

      alwaysabridesmaid 8 years ago

      Interesting photos...

      Great!!

    • Jen4Weddings profile image

      Jen4Weddings 8 years ago from Canada

      Wonderful pictures...Great!!

      Thanks!

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Wow! These are great photos!

      No, I'm not planning to get engaged because I am happily married already, but I'm very much into photography.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      azim 8 years ago

      That's awesome photography, did pick up few pictorial lessons, thanks and keep fillinf the memo stick.. klick @ all around.

      musafirs

    • Isela profile image

      Isela 8 years ago

      Very nice! Loved the pictures:

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 8 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Love the Pictures! They are wonderful and so are your Tips. So here is a high five...

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Your tips are almost as amazing as the photos! You picked a *wonderful* photographer! Will he/she be doing your wedding too?

    • ForTheInterim profile image

      ForTheInterim 8 years ago from Montreal

      Aw I love all these photos! Hopefully I'll be coming back here to check out these tips some day when they're more appropriate for myself ;)

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 8 years ago from Georgia

      Great pictures!! Those are definitely postcard photos you should cherish. By the way that last picture is on there twice, just a heads up.

    • Reg Brittain profile image

      Reg Brittain 8 years ago from South Burlington, VT, USA

      Very nice, Ryan!

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Great start! Amazing photographs...

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      C. C. Riter 8 years ago

      LOL@funride. haha I'm harmless, but I bet she has some nice toes too. hehe

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 8 years ago from Portugal

      Hey Hup, be careful with C. C. ... I think he only has eyes for Steph ;D

      You forgot to tell us who was the photographer, he/she is an amazing professional. And this hub makes a perfect portfolio, thumbs up ;)

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      C. C. Riter 8 years ago

      Great looking pictures and greater looking fiancée. Was this a hub? I dint see no text. hmmm great pics anyway. LOL good tips, lucky man

    • Trekkiemelissa profile image

      Trekkiemelissa 8 years ago from Illinois

      Great hub :)

    • futonfraggle profile image

      futonfraggle 8 years ago

      Oh, this is great. I love the photos. You offer some really excellent advice for couples.