Many couples arrange engagement portraits to commemorate the new status of their relationship, but choosing the best engagement photo poses can be challenging. Whether you are interested in a classic, timeless pose or a fun unique posture, the following poses will help you create the perfect portraits.
Elements of Great Engagement Photo Poses
Photographers strive to help couples choose poses that highlight their relationship, the engagement ring, and their unique personalities. In doing so, different elements must be considered:
- Setting: Couples can choose from in-studio neutral backgrounds, outdoor photos in generic locations (a flower garden, park, etc.), or sentimental locations such as the spot where the proposal took place, where the couple first met, or where they had their first kiss.
- Lighting: The light at the location should be adequate for the camera, preferably without needing flashes or extra lights that might create artificial shadows. Early afternoon photos are preferred because the sun is near zenith and will be bright without too many shadows.
- Contrasts: An interesting picture is visually appealing with color contrasts and texture. The couple should refrain from matching outfits, and take the background colors into consideration when choosing apparel.
- The Ring: The engagement ring, though small, will naturally be a highlight of the engagement pictures. The ring should be thoroughly cleaned before the photo session to look its best, and the bride-to-be should consider a manicure or other appropriate hand care.
Once the basic elements are satisfied, the couple needs to choose which photo poses most appeal to them.
Ideas for Engagement Poses
The type of pose you select will set the mood and tone for your pictures, so you will want to carefully consider all your choices before making your final decisions. While browsing the ideas listed below, think about where the pictures will be used and viewed and what type of message you want to convey. These pictures will become not only a valuable part of your wedding experience but a lasting memory for years to come.
Classic poses are used in many types of pictures and are good for a neutral, sophisticated shot. Classic options include:
- Either the man or woman sitting, with their partner standing behind them with a hand on their shoulder. This can also be accomplished with two stools of varying heights.
- A close up shot of the bride-to-be leaning on the groom-to-be's chest or shoulder, usually on his left side so her left hand (and the ring) can be on his chest. Alternatively, the couple may have their arms around one another.
- The couple reclining on the floor or a level surface, with their legs in opposite directions so their bodies are angled away from one another. Typically the woman is in front, and the couple's bodies are closest at the waist or hip.
An engagement is a romantic time infused with the love and optimism of building a life together. Many couples choose romantic poses to reflect that. Popular choices include:
- The on bended knee approach that mimics the proposal. Instead of presenting a ring, however, the man usually takes the woman's hand (the ring is already being worn).
- A close-up shot of the couple with their heads turned toward one another, gazing into each other's eyes. Because this is a profile shot, the couple should examine their profiles to be sure they will like the pose.
- The couple leaning together, with the groom-to-be gently kissing his beloved's hair or forehead, while her eyes are closed and she wears a soft smile.
- The bride-to-be behind the man, resting her cheek on his shoulder blade, with her arms wrapped around his shoulders and chest. His hands may cover hers on his chest.
Since every couple has a unique relationship and personal history, this can be captured in unique engagement photo poses. For personalized pictures, a couple can consider:
- Using personal props, such as something representing how they met or how long they've been together.
- Choosing a unique location instead of predictable photo spots. Pictures at home, at an aquarium, zoo or beach, or at a workplace can be very unusual.
- Posing back to back with both individuals equal, symbolizing the equality in their relationship.
- Posing casually, holding hands or laying down (particularly for an elevated camera) rather than a stylized picture.
Many couples want to have the intense joy and excitement of the engagement reflected in their photographs. Fun, quirky poses not only capture the couple's personality, but can also preserve those emotions with happy, lighthearted pictures. Fun poses include:
- The couple openly laughing or grinning instead of the typically more restrained camera-ready smiles
- A "peck on the cheek" picture
- Action photos of the couple wrestling together, tickling one another, running through a field of flowers, or otherwise celebrating their exuberance
- The bride-to-be openly admiring her engagement ring while the groom-to-be smiles quirkily and shows his empty pockets
- The bride-to-be attaching a novelty ball-and-chain to the groom-to-be's ankle
Whatever photos you take, the most difficult step may not be choosing poses, but choosing which photos to buy.
Choosing Your Photos
When selecting which photos you want to be made into prints, first consider what the photos will be used for. A fun or unusual pose may be perfect for informal engagement announcements, while more classic poses are necessary for newspapers or conservative relatives. A crazy pose may be fun at the moment, but it may not be suitable to be printed on wedding stationary or thank-you notes. In general, more conservative, traditional poses are considered timeless and less likely to become embarrassing after many anniversaries.
When a couple decides to arrange portraits, there are many engagement photo poses to choose from. The photographer will undoubtedly suggest popular options, but the couple should not be afraid to try more unusual styles to see what best suits their personality and relationship. In the end, a mix of poses may be best to truly capture the wide range of feelings - love, excitement, compassion, togetherness - that are part of being engaged.