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Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers

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Engagement sessions have grown in popularity over the years. Images from these sessions are great for save-the-dates and guest books! Each couple is unique, and each engagement session needs to be personalized. As a photographer, creativity is key when planning an engagement photo shoot. At Zookbinders, we see A LOT of sign-in albums with beautiful engagement session imagery.  We’d love to share some engagement session ideas for photographers.  

Historically, couples posted traditional engagement portraits in the local newspapers announcing their upcoming wedding. Now, engagement sessions can produce hundreds of images that illustrate a couple’s relationship, their hobbies, as well as their personal style. 

Photographers who offer professional wedding albums in their collection benefit by offering an engagement portrait album, or sign-in guest book in two ways. 

  1. They have the opportunity to increase profits with the add-on sale of the sign-in book, or any upgrades on the album.
  2. The engagement portrait album will be displayed at the reception and viewed by many people including potential new clients. 

 

Engagement sessions are also a great way for photographers to get to know their clients. These photo sessions allow everyone to work in an environment that’s a bit more relaxed than the actual wedding day. 

Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Zookbinders
Guest books or sign-in books are a great way for a couple to show off their engagement session images. The EZ book (pictured here) comes with a special pen for guests to add a heartfelt message. Engagement images by Portraits Couture in Chicago.

Traditional & Modern Imagery

Classic posed portraits and editorial-style imagery make a great combination, especially when providing couples with an engagement sign-in book

 

Tradition Images Ideas.

  • Try head-and-shoulder or three-quarter-length portraits with heads placed close together. Have the couple gently tip their heads toward each other. For the best portrait composition, the eyes of one person should align with the mouth of the other person.
  • Give that shiny new piece of jewelry a little attention. Portraits that include the couple showing off an engagement ring, or rings, signal what the photo session is about. Try to place the left hand of one subject on the chest or shoulder of their partner.
Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Zookbinders
In this traditional portrait image, the couples heads are close with eyes and mouth in alignment. The woman’s hand on the man’s shoulder shows off the engagement ring.
  • Another timeless look is having one subject stand behind the other. The person in the back wraps their arms around the other’s shoulders or waist. This “big hug” is a cute pose to show off an engagement ring and it keeps the couple close together. You can make this pose more candid,  with a kiss on the cheek, a whisper in the ear, or a mutual laugh.

    Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Zookbinders
    This hugging pose can go from a traditional portrait, with heads facing the camera, to a candid moment by encouraging a little snuggle.


Modern Image Ideas:

  • Candid, editorial photos that show physical connection are great storytelling images. Having a couple walk slowly side by side with legs/hips touching can create an intimate feel. Have them look at each other, talking and walking together.
  • Giving couples prompts can help create fun, natural, and loving reactions. Try things  like, “Whisper something funny in her ear.” or “On the count of three kiss him as many times as you can in 5 seconds.” Be ready to capture their genuine expressions.
    Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Zookbinders
    Giving couples a private moment to whisper secrets and jokes, or list all of their favorite desserts in a sexy voice are great ways to get natural intimate images.

     

  • Having the clients do an activity together is also a great way to set them at ease. Invite them to cook together, share cups of coffee, fly a kite, or even go fishing. Just be sure that whatever the plan is, the couple should be close together and always touching one another. 

 

Location Location Location

Photographers who offer engagement sessions add value to their collections. A well-planned engagement session should be a great experience for clients. Taking clients to a special location helps to create something more customized. This may take a little bit of extra effort on the photographer’s part, like scouting locations and getting any photography permits

Ultimately, the service that is delivered at the engagement session helps build the client/artist relationship. It’s important to establish rapport and trust so that the big day is less stressful.  Here are some engagement session location ideas for meaningful and magical images.

 

Natural Outdoor Setting

  • Choose a scenic location such as a park, beach, forest, or garden, and determine what the best time of day will be for lighting and crowds. If the park has sentimental meaning that’s a plus.
  • Be sure to coordinate your client’s look with the location. A more polished wardrobe might be better suited for a manicured landscape, or sculpture garden,  and buffalo check flannels might not belong at the beach.
  • Use the natural beauty of the surroundings to create a romantic backdrop. Shoot through foliage, compose images with the couple in the distance of a landscape, and utilize any water features for movement or reflections.

    Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Zookbinders
    Casual clothing is an organic setting creates an effortless connection in an engagement portrait composition. Image by Silvernale Photography

 

Urban Exploration

  • City streets, alleyways, and cute hometown villages set a cool vibe for engagement sessions when couples aren’t into “nature”.
  • Capture the couple against graffiti walls, colorful murals, iconic landmarks, or shops. Visit the neighborhood where the couple first met, or the place they went on their first date.
  • Reenacting the proposal on locating is another storytelling option.
  • Always get permission when photographing inside privately owned businesses or on property that may require permits. 
Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Zookbinders
This couple did part of their engagement session at the firehouse where the fiancé works. A nice personal touch! Image by Silvernale Photography

Adventure Theme: 

  • Plan an adventurous engagement session that reflects the couple’s shared interests. This could include activities like hiking, rock climbing, biking, or even a hot air balloon ride.
  • If the couple loves to travel, consider planning an engagement session in a different city or country. Paris anyone?
  • This type of engagement session may be a top-tier item in your collections or something a couple could upgrade to. Don’t hesitate to put it on the pricing menu if you’re game for it!
Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Engagement Session Ideas for Photographers, Zookbinders
Documenting the couple’s mutual interest makes great images to share in the engagement sign-in book.

The most important thing about engagement sessions is to tailor the photo shoot to the couple’s personalities and preferences. Engagement session ideas for photographers can come from Pinterest boards, paintings, movies, graphic novels, and fashion magazines.  A planning consultation beforehand will ensure the session reflects their unique love story that they can show off in a professional photo album from their session. 

For more information on sign-in books for engagement sessions check out this BLOG. To get started offing albums with your engagement session register HERE for your professional account with Zookbinders.  

 

Maureen Miller CPP

Maureen Miller CPP

Contributor to Marketing & Client Experience at Zookbinders. Professional photographer for 25+ years. An advocate for making money and doing what you love. My motto, ”Photography is a BIG DEAL!”

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