Engagement Photo Checklist That Every Happy Couple Needs

You just entered into one of the most exciting and chaotic times of your life. That’s right, friend. You are engaged!

Two snaps for you. 

This time in your life is what I call a “both-and” season. It’s both exhilarating and makes you want to stress-eat a whole bag of marshmallows (they’re basically air anyway, so do they even count?). 

One of the first items on the wedding preparation list is an engagement photo shoot, and along with it comes engagement photo shoot stress. 

Somehow, as soon as you say “I do,” your brain goes into hyperdrive, asking you a million questions that you just don’t have the answer to, like, “when do I schedule an engagement session?” “do I even need an engagement session?” “what even is an engagement session???”

Well, you probably haven’t asked yourself that last one. It’s pretty self-explanatory. 

But the others are valid. 

Once you bob, duck, and weave through the myriad of questions your brain is ambushing you with, and finally decide an engagement photo session is for you, what should you know?

Please take a deep breath and put down that marshmallow. Read on our complete engagement photo checklist that can help.

Engagement Photo Checklist
Photo by: CAMM Photography

The Complete Engagement Photo Checklist 

Pick a Dope Photographer

girl kissing his husband-to-be
Photo by: Chelsey Logan Photography

Let’s stop right here, shall we?

If there was ever a piece of advice that I would want to stick with you, it’s this – pick a wedding photographer you love. Please don’t skimp here. 

If you want gorgeous photos where you and your partner are just looking **soooo** relaxed and in love and somehow you’re glowing, and everything seems more vibrant, then get you a good photographer.

That doesn’t happen by accident. 

Those photos are the work of an exceptionally skilled photographer, not only behind the camera but also interpersonally. They’ll know how to set you at ease. 

If, however, you don’t mind selfie-grade photos where you have a slight double-chin, then, by all means, don’t prioritize your photographer. 

Choose your own adventure. 

Plan a Location and a Time

beautiful couple walking on the bridge
Photo by: Mindee Malloy Photography

Ok, now that you have prioritized a bomb photographer, you will have to pick an engagement shoot location and time. 

Hopefully, your photographer will guide you on both of those things, especially the time. Morning and evening (around the time the sun rises or sets) are the best time for photos. 

It’s that famous golden hour. Remember that glow I was talking about. The lighting around this time of day will get you a long way toward that glow. 

So, of course, consult your photographer, that’s why you’ve spent the money to hire a good one. But, you’ll also want to think about where you want your engagement photography session. 

Pick a place that’s meaningful to you. 

Drawing blanks? Think about your first date or a park you like to visit. Maybe consider where you walk your dog every day or that beach you two love so much. You could even stay in if an at-home engagement session is your type of thing. 

Yes, that’s an option. 

Think it out, and pick somewhere meaningful. 

Pick Clothes That You Feel Good In

young couple kissing in the field
Photo by: Olivia Hope Photography

There’s a whole lot of clothing advice out there. You know the “find the right color for your skin” advice or the “make sure your outfit choice is flattering” advice. 

And if that speaks to you, then, by all means, do that. 

However, I’m going to float another option your way – select outfits that make you feel good. 

If making sure your skin tone blends effortlessly with the cardigan you’re wearing makes you feel good, I am here for it. 

If neon pink makes you feel good, but you have a pink undertone to your skin, rock it, friend! A happy you, who’s excited about what they’re wearing, is a lot more attractive than a you who feels meh about their correct clothing. 

Just my two cents. 

Schedule a Hair and Makeup Trial Run

amazing couple in black clothes posing near the river
Photo by: Lily Kroner Photography

Your engagement session is the perfect time to test your wedding day stylists. 

If you’ve got some tried and true hair and makeup folks, then why not book them for your session anyway? But if you’re using someone new for your wedding, now is the time to test them out.

I’m sure they’ll have you looking flawless, but it’s best to be sure, yea?

Don’t Forget Your Nails

laughing couple laying on the ground
Photo by: JackElope Photography

Fresh nails, fresh face, killer engagement photo session. 

If you’re into getting your nails done, treat yourself so that when you show off your bling during your shoot, your nails are standing up to the test. 

This is also a great time to test out the nail technician you hope to use for your wedding. 

If, however, you’re like me and feel like you can’t breathe when your nails are painted (I know, it’s a strong reaction), then at least clean ’em up.

Again, your hands will be a focal point here, so make yourself presentable. 

There is nothing more cringe than an engagement ring picture featuring some grungy nails (actually, there are things far more cringe, but you get me). 

Only Wear What You Care About

laughing couple laying on the terracotta sofa
Photo by: Alex Hoedebecke Photography

What I’m trying to say here is to pay attention to what you’re wearing. 

Unless that scrunchie on your wrist is part of the whole ‘fit, I’d say lose it. 

It’s so easy to forget some of the little things you rock every day (phone in the pocket, hair tie on your wrist, marshmallow residue on your cheek). 

Do a once over, so you’re only wearing what you care about. 

Talk to Your Photographer if You’re Nervous

funny couple in black walking hand in hand
Photo by: Madison Leigh Creative

As I mentioned earlier, a good photographer will put you at ease. So if you’re feeling nervous about your upcoming shoot, talk to them about it. 

Let them hype you up (and they will). 

Almost everyone feels incredibly self-conscious when a camera is pointing at them. Your engagement photographer is a professional. You’re not the first person to feel uncomfortable in front of a camera. 

They know what to do to get you out of your head and start having fun. 

Trust them. 

Make It YOU

a couple lies in the trunk of a pickup truck
Photo by: Emily Ruth Photography

Finally, and equally as important as the first point, make it you

The world does not need more cookie-cutter engagement photos. I’m falling asleep right now just thinking about it. 

We need fewer photos of people thinking less about getting it right (what does that even mean?), and more photos of people having an absolute blast. 

There’s no right way to do an engagement session, and if there’s someone out there who is trying to convince you that there is, please know they are very bored. 

Your family and friends want to see you being yourself with your favorite person. 

So put down the overthinking and just have fun with it. If you do, you’re almost guaranteed gorgeous photos!

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