Chicago Wedding Photographer

6 Tips to Improve Engagement Photos

This is it. You’ve booked a photographer and you’re getting ready for your engagement session, but you’re not sure how to make the most of your session. If you haven’t had professional photographs taken before, or if it’s been a while since you were photographed together, read on for six tips to improve your engagement photos!

By implementing these quick tips, you’re sure to have fun during your session, look and feel great, and come away with images that are as beautiful as your love for each other.

Tips To Improve Engagement Photos


I encourage couples to bring two outfits to their session, as one dressy outfit and one comfy outfit immediately add variety to the final gallery. But what about the little details of your ensemble, or what if you’re only planning on one outfit? Bring a sun hat, wear some bracelets or a classy watch, or pack a coordinating blanket to cuddle with. Or…my favorite: Bring a small bouquet! Adding just a few flowers tied with ribbon immediately adds another level of interest to your images. Mixing and matching elements like hats, jackets, and flowers will enhance and diversify the final look of your session!

tips to improve engagement photos


Sometimes couples feel intimidated by the camera. Put yourself at ease by focusing on your spouse and conversing between shots. Make each other laugh, tell jokes, and soon, you’ll forget the camera is even there!


Ok, cheesy header aside, many couples feel uncertain about where to place their hands throughout the session. Having a few go-to ideas in mind can help you relax and be in the moment with your spouse, rather than focusing on what to do with your limbs. Here are a few ideas to get you going:

Poses with your partner:

  • Put your hand on their waist.
  • Wrap your arms around their shoulders.
  • Hold hands!
  • Place your free hand in your pocket.

Poses when solo:

  • Stick your hands in your pockets.
  • Place your left hand over your right for a more formal look.
  • Twirl a few fingers through your hair, or play with your jewelry.


It doesn’t hurt to look at Instagram and Pinterest to create a vision for your engagement session. Share some images that you like or dislike with your photographer. While I can’t replicate every Pinterest board due to time, daylight, and environmental factors, it’s always incredibly helpful to know what sorts of images you prefer — I can use this valuable information to control the flow of our shoot to make images that are unique to you.

tips to improve engagement photos


Have a conversation with your partner. If neither of you has had professional photos taken before, it’s a good idea to talk about what you are and are not comfortable doing during your photo session. For instance, some couples find intimate, kissing shots to be too much and opt for more straightforward portraits instead. Come to an agreement in advance as far as what your photo boundaries and preferences will be as a couple, and let your photographer know well before the session.


This is one of my favorite tips to improve engagement photos! One way to reduce “camera nerves” is to choose a location that’s special and memorable to you as a couple. This could be a place in your neighborhood or a park you visit to jog together. If you’re in a place that’s familiar and comfortable, you can focus on loving your spouse and having fun…and those two factors combined will guarantee some beautiful and meaningful images!

Love Wine? Head to your favorite winery or vineyard for your images. The same goes for apple orchards, breweries, canoeing, hiking…if you love doing it as a couple, it’s going to make your shoot gorgeous because you’ll look natural and probably have a great time during the shoot!

Embrace your inner foodie. Who doesn’t love a romantic picnic in the park? Bringing a sandwich basket, ice cream, wine or champagne to your engagement can make your images super fun and cute.

tips to improve engagement photos

For even more tips to improve engagement photos, and to learn about how to have a successful engagement session, then check out these resources on how to dress your best for your engagement session, and the simple posing process I use with every couple! 

If you are looking for a Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photographer for your engagement session, please reach out to Joshua Harrison Photography.

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