How to Set the Scene for Your Engagement Photos

October 25, 2016 | nicole

engagement-photos photo by Dawn Photography

With wedding photography taking a more natural turn as of late, we love to see an engagement session that really captures the heart of a couple’s relationship. It wasn’t so long ago that engagement shoots were synonymous with chalkboard Save the Date signs and wooden or balloon initials to hold. We’re happy to see couples ditching the props, but there are great ways to still personalize their photos. After looking through some of our favorite engagement sessions from the last year, we noticed a theme: couples setting the scene for their photos with an activity!

We love the context that an activity can provide for an engagement session. What better way to share what you love than doing it together? Whether it’s cooking in your home or hiking your favorite trail, having your photographer capture you enjoying your relationship just as it is makes for the most genuine images. Being engaged is such an exciting chapter of your lives together. When you look back on your engagement photos on your fifth, tenth, or twentieth wedding anniversary, what do you want to remember about that time?

If you’re nervous about being in front of a camera or feel uncomfortable having your picture taken, this is a great way to skip the unnatural posing you fear and just be yourselves. The best photos happen when you’re living in the moment and totally forget that the camera and photographer are there at all.

To show you what we mean, we’ve rounded up a few engagements where the couple really set the scene by doing one of their favorite activities together and inviting their photographer along for the ride.

A Picnic Engagement

Whether it’s on a dock by the water of your favorite park, have a sweet picnic engagement by throwing down a few comfy blankets and enjoying beers, popcorn, and each other’s company as your photographer snaps away around you.

picnic-engagement-photos photos by Tricia Victoria Photography; see more from this engagement shoot here!

A Carnival Engagement

If you consider yourselves to be a colorful couple, plan your engagement session around the carnival coming to town! The vibrant backdrop is a great setting for photos, and it’s easy to feel romantic when winning stuffed animals for each other and sharing cotton candy.

carnival-engagement-photos photos by Darling Photography; see more from this engagement shoot here!

A Motorcycle Engagement

If you spend the majority of your time together with your hair whipping in the wind on the back of a motorcycle, you should definitely bring the hog along for your engagement photos! Grit can be totally romantic, especially with the open road ahead of you, and just think of how incredible your a motorcycle is for motion shots.

motorcycle-engagement-photos photos by Dawn Photography; see more from this engagement shoot here!

A Surfing Engagement

Do you spend your weekends catching waves? Suit up and take your engagement photos at sunset while you hang ten with your sweetheart. Does one of you surf and the other doesn’t? We can’t think of anything cuter than surfing lesson engagement photos!

surfing-engagement-photos photos by Jason and Anna Photography; see more from this engagement shoot here!


snuggling-engagement-photos photos by Vic Bonvinci Photography; see more from this engagement session here!

An Engagement In Your Favorite Place

This photo shoot below proves that taking your engagement photos at your favorite place — even if that place is IKEA — is a great idea! It may sound cheesy, but playing together can bring out so much life in your photos. So maybe a local museum or sculpture garden is more your speed than your neighborhood Target, but the spirit you share while you’re there is what’s most important!

ikea-engagement-photos photos by Savannah Lauren Photography; see more from this engagement session here!

A Bird-Watching Engagement

The couple that watches birds together stays together. Isn’t that how the saying goes? Binoculars take engagement props to the next level by being actually useful and bringing you back into the moment you spotted a woodpecker together every time you look at your photos!

birdwatching-engagement-photos photos by L. Hewitt Photography; see more from this engagement session here!

A Bicycle Engagement

A bike ride for two is a pretty full-proof way to set the scene for your urban engagement session, whether you’re exploring a new part of the city or your favorite haunts. Bonus points for colorful bicycles and even more colorful outfits!

bike-engagement-photos photos by Celeste Noche; see more from this engagement session here!

A Boating Engagement

We always think water is a good idea when it comes to engagement photos, making a boating engagement a surefire way to have a beautiful shoot! Bring along blankets, snacks, and even a smoke bomb or two for an intimate boating engagement session.

boat-engagement-photos photos by Luke Liable Photography; see more from this engagement session here!

Looking for more inspiration for setting the scene in your upcoming engagement shoot? Check out these ideas for a comfy engagement session at home!


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  1. Thanks so much for the feature again, guys!

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