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A Fine Engagement: How to Get the Best Engagement Photos

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Get ready for a whole lot of face time, starting with engagement photos. Here’s our handy guide to getting those precious pre-wedding days on record.

Why: “Engagement photos are the first formal introduction of soon-to-be newlyweds, which is why these shoots are so unique,” says Portland photographer Andrew Larkin. Generally included in a photographer’s wedding package, engagement photos are handy for save-the-date cards, wedding websites or to share with family and friends at the wedding.

Where: “Oregon is great because we have so many options to choose from for an engagement session,” Larkin says. “Mountains, ocean, big cities, small towns—you name it.” Locations personal to the couple (the coffee shop where she bought him the first of many espressos, the street corner where he proposed) are also sweet ways to recall a couple’s history.

How: While it might be tempting to copy an idea burning up Pinterest, personal touches look timeless rather than dated. Photographer Laura Sonnenberg of Portland’s New Moon Photography advises her clients to pick an activity they enjoy doing together, as it usually produces great results. “Engaged couples are usually gaga over each other,” Sonnenberg says. “There is no wedding-day pressure at an engagement session, so they feel relaxed.”

To avoid “stiffly posed” photos, Sonnenberg suggests couples move around and enjoy each other’s company. Learning to be comfortable in front of the camera is also good practice for the big day when all eyes and photo lenses are on the happy couple.

Until then, remember the heady days of the engagement period by getting it on film.