Add a little more variety to the poses you already use!
The Importance of Engagement Photo Poses
Let’s dive into why it’s important to photograph engagement portraits.
As a photographer, an engagement session is more useful than any other consultation. It’s the perfect opportunity to photograph your clients without the wedding day pressures. You can experiment to see what works for the couple.
It gives you an insight to what poses work. You can see if the couple are willing to show affection or not, or are playful and want something more fun on their wedding day. It also helps you to get to know your clients on a much more intimate level without the guests present.
Some couples might want to get a sign-in book with the engagement photos as well. In this case, the shoot serves as an opportunity to sell clients unique products.
All right, let’s get into the various poses that you can do while doing an engagement session!
1. Kissing Hands for Affectionate Shots
Have your couple get close and have them hold hands. Then ask one of your clients to kiss the hands of the other person and capture the intimate moment!
This cute pose for all couples shows connection, affection, and doesn’t only show photos of the couple kissing on the lips.
2. Shoot from Behind for a Beautiful Image
Pose the couple so that they are standing next to each other. Have them put their arms around each other’s waists and look at each other or have one person lean their heads onto the other person’s shoulder.
Photograph the couple from behind and get beautiful shots of their connection from behind.
3. Act Natural with Tummy to Tummy Pose
Saying tummy to tummy is a great way to direct couples to face each other naturally, without being too literal and stiff. From here, they can hold hands, kiss, get close, look away, hug, and talk and laugh.
It’s a nice and authentic pose that most couples instinctively do while waiting in line at the movies, for example.
4. The Great All-Rounder: The T-Bone pose
The T-bone pose works within all other poses, and it’s an excellent foundational pose to start from and then change it up as you go.
Have one client face the camera and then have the other person t-bone the other client so that together they form a “T”. From here, you can have their hands holding, hands wrapped around, arms hugging, or one person leaning on the other.
The couple can look at the camera and each other without having to get out of the pose. Works for every couple!
5. Get Close-Up Details by Looking over the Shoulder
This pose is perfect for mid-length and close-up details of the ring while including the couple! Ask one person to face away from the camera. Have the other person stand in front of them facing the camera. Have them wrap their arms around the shoulders as if to hug close.
Photograph your client looking at the camera, at the other person, down, or somewhere else. This pose also works with both clients facing the camera and having one peak over the shoulder of the other person.
6. Add a Touch of Elegance with the Arm Hold
This pose looks flattering on any couple, and it also gives a more elegant feeling to the photos. Especially useful for getting one person looking at the camera at a time and still making the picture feel romantic.
Have the taller person, person A we’ll call them, stand facing the camera parallel. Person B, the shorter person, we’ll have them go slightly behind person A and hug their arm. Have them hug the arm loosely as if they were standing in line at the movie theatre like that.
Then, have person B lean their head on person A’s shoulder or arm. Be careful that the person holding the arm isn’t hiding too far behind the arm/shoulder. If they are, bring them out a little bit so that they are more visible.
Here you can get different angles of this same pose. Shoot full length, mid-length, and up close. Have the hands hug the arm a little higher and at different levels and get a close-up shot of the engagement ring. Get photos of them looking past you as if they are looking at a mountain behind you. You can also get a shot of one person looking down and the other person looking straight at the camera.
If the couple is around the same height, you can stand B a little behind A. Have them rest their hands on the shoulder rather than doing an arm hold. This way, you won’t need them to lean their heads. The hands will connect the couple.
Have the couple face at a 45-degree angle from the camera to get more moodiness and a slightly more profile view of the pose. This pose offers a lot of variations and will give you lots to work with without having to move the couple very far.
7. Try Different Poses While Sitting on Steps
If you’re at a location where there are steps, this pose can be a great one to try for any couple!
Try and sit the couple together on the same step. Pose one person lower than the other. Next, one person standing and one sitting. Try going up the stairs or coming down the stairs too.
8. Create Romance with the Almost Kiss
The almost kiss is perfect for couples to add a little more romance to the shoot. Ask your clients to get close as if they were to kiss. Then, have them close their eyes, and as they inch closer and closer, have them stop just as they are about to touch lips.
This pose is very romantic and getting up close shots of it can make for really intimate looking photographs! Try it with the couple in any of the other poses. Works best if they’re facing each other though or able to go in for a full kiss after.
The wrap-around is a lovely pose for engagement sessions as it allows your clients to get close while both people face the camera.
Have one client hug the other from behind and wrap the arms around the waist or shoulders. This opportunity is excellent to get photos up close of the rings or hands wrapped around each other.
10. Break up Stiffness with Dancing
Dancing is not only romantic, but it can break up the stiffness of the session! Have your clients choose a favourite song, play it on your phone and then have them dance to the song.
It’s more romantic if it is a slow dance or a more romantic style of song.
11. Get Relaxed Shows with Walking Poses
Walking can relax a couple, especially during the start of the session. Give them space to walk around the location holding hands and looking at each other.
The key here is for the couple to walk slow, enjoy the walk, and connect. It might take a few times to get right, but they’ll like the movement and having a nice break from posing.
Another walking pose is for the couple to walk close together while you encircle them. Get close up photos of their connection, arms, hands, faces, and feet.
12. Add Intimacy by Laying down
Laying down the couple can also add a little more intimacy to a photo session! Have the couple lay down with their feet opposite each other. This way, they’re heads are close together but not facing the same way which can be a little awkward if you’re photographing from above.
Have them cradle their heads as they snuggle into each other. This pose is also useful to get one person looking at the camera while the other person looks away or closes their eyes.
13. Stand Back to Back
This pose is always fun and can even make a game out of it! Have the couple go back to back but at an angle so that they’re not directly back to back. Have them hold hands with the hands that are in the front, or closes to the camera.
This pose can be done either sitting or standing.
14. Walking While Looking Back
Walking while one person looks back is a fun pose to try at any engagement session. Have the couple hold hands and begin to walk away from you slowly. Ask one person to turn back and look at the camera as they walk.
15. The Iconic Pose: Forehead to Forehead
This is probably the most iconic engagement photo session pose, and that’s because it works! Ask clients to get close, touch forehead to forehead, and close their eyes.
A relaxed pose that everyone can do!
16. Use The Piggy-Back for a Fun Shoot
Very similar to the previous pose; however, this pose is a little more fun than romantic and might take a few tries to get right.
Have the person who is picked up come out to the side a bit, so the heads aren’t right on top of each other to get the perfect shot of this pose!
17. Get Close and Hug Each Other
Some poses are great when they require less direction, and this is one of them. Ask your clients to get close and cuddle. From here, lots of natural posing will ensue, and you’ll be able to capture the expressions on your clients’ faces and their emotions.
18. Create Connection with Pickup
This pose is romantic and can help show the connection between your clients. Have one person pick the other person up onto their waist. Here the couple can look at each other and also get close enough for a kiss.
You can also have your clients pick one of the people up and hold them in a more cradling pose with the legs over the arms. Here the couple can hug, kiss, look at each other, and get close.
19. Temple to Temple for Solid Portraits
This is much like the forehead to forehead pose. However, this pose asks your clients to put their temples together so that they’re facing the camera. It’s a very staged pose and usually great for announcements, engagement party invites, and for parents who want a solid portrait of the couple.
20. Rubbing Noses for Intimate Shots Without Kissing
Rubbing noses is a great pose to use when you want to shoot something intimate of the couple without all the kissing. Have your clients close their eyes as they rub their noses together.
Getting in close will give you great results, use a long lens to compress the backgrounds and get that beautiful bokeh.
21. The Dip Pose
The dip is a cute pose for couples and usually takes a few tries to get it right. It’ll bring about a lot of laughs and some romance all at the same time!
22. Hug from Behind
This pose is helpful to use when you want to focus on one person and then the other or have both people in the frame but with one looking at the camera.
Direct your clients to pose one person hugging the other from behind. Bring out the person who is hugging out a little toward the camera so that they’re not directly behind. If they’re shorter, they can rest their head on the shoulder of the other person.
Ask them to hug naturally and even maybe give a squeeze, which will bring out some laughs and smiles.
23. Using Foreground and Background to Create Separation
Another creative pose to try at your engagement session is one person in the front and one in the background. This pose creates some separation while still including both people.
24. Have Fun with Your Clients
Engagement photo sessions don’t always have to be the same every time. You can enjoy doing something fun with your clients if they’re up for it.
The possibilities are endless. Doing something fun can bring about the real character of a couple more than a directed shoot can.
Allow them to pose naturally while you capture them hanging out and being comfortable around the camera. Get some posed shots of them while they’re doing the activity so that you have a good mixture of natural and directed posing.
25. The Prom Pose
Begin with the taller person behind the shorter person. Have the person in the back reach around with their arms and hug the person in the front.
From here, you can vary the pose with moving the hands from the waist to above the shoulders in a wrap-around hug. The couple can hold hands, or have the person in the back grab the person in the front around the hips.
This pose works well to get close-ups of the couple looking down and enjoying the moment.
26. Holding Hands in a Beautiful Location
Adding variety to engagement sessions can seem hard. They are usually trying to show the love that the couple has for each other. Most shots will be of the couple close together.
However, you can get stunning shots of the couple holding hands with some distance between them. This pose works well when you’re in ample space and want to get a beautiful full photo of the location. Use a wide-angle lens to get everything in the frame.
While in this pose, have your clients look at the camera, off into the distance, or at each other.
27. Natural Posing
Natural posing can make a couple feel comfortable during an engagement session. It’s not forced posing or having them worry about standing in a particular pose.
Natural posing allows the couple to be natural around each other while you photograph them. Before they know it, they’ll forget you’re even there!
The best way to direct this pose is to tell your clients “stand here and enjoy the moment as if I wasn’t here.” This direction cues them to act natural, even if that means hugging, talking, sitting, or just enjoying the view of where they are.
Natural posing can help break up a session so that it doesn’t feel too posed, too directed, or too curated. More natural and authentic, which can also give them a break from worrying if they’re doing it right.
28. Capture Mystery with Against the Wall Poses
Against the wall works for those sessions where you want to capture a little more mystery in the photo! Have one person lean against the wall and the other person come in front of them. While in this pose, get them to look in each other’s eyes, rub noses with eyes closed, and the almost kiss.
Against the wall also works perfectly for posed photos of each person during the session.
29. A Simple Trick for Smell the Hair/Temple Poses
Having one person looking down at another, so it seems like they’re caressing or about to kiss the other person on the head, can feel a bit stiff.
The trick is to ask your client to smell the hairline right by the temple, then look down or close their eyes. This keeps the nose from getting squished and the pose looking delicate and romantic.
Jumping can be a fun icebreaker for the couple, especially if they have a more fun personality.
Do variations of the jump where one person is jumping. Both are jumping or running and then jumping. Either way, don’t put your camera down, they are sure to laugh quite a bit, and those are always great candid shots to add to the final gallery.
Engagement sessions can be both fun and romantic. Use these 30 beautiful posing ideas at your next couple’s session to add variety and impress your clients!