Engagement photo outside rustic wood

Photo: Jennifer Weems Photography

An engagement shoot is a great way to get acquainted with your photographer and to have a lasting memory of this amazing time in your life. You can also use engagement photos for your save-the-date, guestbook, or other wedding décor.

Find a photographer
Check out WeddingWire’s Vendor Search Tool to find a photographer near you. It’s always a good idea to interview several photographers to find the one you and your fiancé(e) best “click” with. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your photographer, so it’s best to make sure that he or she is someone you actually enjoy spending time with. Ask potential photographers to share examples of engagement photos so you can see their work and get ideas for your own photo shoot!

Figure out the date and time
Usually an engagement shoot occurs at least two to three months before your wedding date. And while most engagement shoots occur in warmer weather, there’s nothing wrong with a gorgeous winter engagement shoot either! Also, consider the timing of your engagement shoot—the light is usually at its most flattering at sunset or first thing in the morning.

Pick the right place
When deciding on a location for your engagement, think about places that are meaningful to you and your fiancé(e). A local park is a classic option, but also think about the streets of the town where you live, a historic landmark you like to visit, the spot where you got engaged (or first met!), or even a favorite café. Also consider seasonal locations, like a pumpkin patch in the fall, the beach in the summer, or a botanical garden in the spring! As long as you’re comfortable in the location, anything goes!

Coordinate, don’t match
Picking an outfit may be the most stressful part of your engagement shoot! But there’s no need to fret. You and your significant other don’t need to perfectly match, just wear clothes in colors that look good together. Also make sure that you coordinate in terms of formality–if he’s wearing jeans, don’t put on your fanciest dress. Avoid bold patterns, and steer clear of brand-new clothing (and shoes!) that you’re uncomfortable moving around in. You want your engagement shoot to reflect your personal style, so make sure your ensembles reflect that. And don’t forget to bring a change of clothes or two, just in case!

Bring props
This isn’t a must, but if there are certain items that speak to your relationship, feel free to bring them to the photo shoot. A picnic lunch, favorite books, a board game you love, even your pet–props, so long as they don’t look forced, can help add a personal touch to your engagement shoot.

Act natural
It can be difficult to be yourself in front of the camera, but if you focus on your partner and not the photographer snapping away, it can be easy! Try to avoid too much posing, and definitely get up and move around! If you’re not majorly into PDA, it’s no biggie, but definitely show some affection, even if it’s just holding hands or sharing a loving gaze.