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Awkward-proofing your engagement session with 3 simple posing tips!

March 4, 2020



It’s #weddingwednesday and I’m here to share some advice for your engagement photo session!

Preparing for your engagement pictures is such an important and fun part of the wedding planning process – the couple and photographer will spend some quality time getting comfortable with each other before the wedding day, you get to hug and kiss your fiancee A LOT, and you’ll get some lovely images to share with guests on your invitations and wedding website to announce the festivities!

PS – did you know I include free engagement sessions as part of ALL my wedding packages? Click here to head to my Couples page and find out more about the Frames & Letters Photography Wedding Experience!

While on your wedding day, you will have a million things going on, the engagement session is just for you and your fiancee to relax and truly connect with each other. Think of it like a date night with a third wheel there to take some bomb photos of you two!

If you’re a couple who has never had professional pictures taken, it’s a lot different than taking selfies or a quick cell phone picture. If you may be feeling a little nervous, that nervousness can come off as stiffness in your engagement photos, which is probably the opposite of what you want to communicate – you’re a couple in love, after all! This blog post has some recommendations are doable for ANY couple – they’re straightforward and take the mystery out of the posing, so you can just relax and enjoy your session.

Here are some tips to ensure that you FEEL and LOOK comfortable, in love, and just gorgeous in your engagement photos with some real-life examples from a few of my recently engaged couples!

< < Before your session > >


Pinterest is amazing, because it’s got so much free inspiration for outfits, poses, and locations! Seeing different examples of how people pose with each other is great preparation for the engagement shoot. I love when couples send me Pins or Instagram pics that they personally connect with, it’s really helpful! I’m always looking for new ideas so every session is unique – check out this Pinterest board I’ve got with tons of inspiration for couples poses!

Pop some bubbly?

If you and your S.O. are into it, stop by a bar somewhere in walking distance of your engagement session and have a drink! There’s certainly no harm in loosening up a little before your session, especially if either of you is feeling nervous and want to relax. It can also lead to some great candid laughing pictures, which I’m definitely a fan of!

Okay, now it’s time to awkward-proof your engagement session by focusing on these 3 simple areas:


One tip I always give my couples at the start of the session is to always keep physical contact with each other. Not sure what to do with your hands? Put it on your partner’s waist, small of their back, cup their face gently in your hands, run it through their hair, wrap them around the back of their neck or waist, hold their hands. This will give you something to hold on to for emotional support, and any type of contact photographs wonderfully. Hold each other closely to avoid any awkward space between your bodies.

Can you feel the closeness between these two in their engagement photos? These are some of my favorites because whether their eyes are opened or closed, the physical contact they have in the pictures really show so much love!

Watch those limbs

Nothing looks sadder than a limp arm that you don’t know what to do with in your pictures – again, think contact and try to find a natural spot to put your hand or arm, or just try bending it (gentlemen can try a casual hand in the pocket, ladies can pop it on their hip), or again just place your hand or arm on theirs to convey a natural sense of connection.

Loving all these properly placed limbs! These photos are mostly posed, but the couple just looked like they are holding each other and enjoying each other’s company, exactly as it should be!


Good posture is especially important for you couples with a significant height difference, but also depending on the pose can be relevant for both people. If you’ve got a taller fiancee, they should avoid hunching over and try to stand up straight – the shorter person could stand on their tiptoes as the taller on leans in slightly, but without hunching. 

Feeling nerdy? Here’s some social media “Homework” before your session

Look at some of the favorite images you’ve saved on social media, and try to identify what you love about them – what are they doing with their arms, hands, faces, bodies? This is such an instructive activity that is easy to do and can help you pinpoint what makes a great photo – take note of the above areas (contact, limbs, and posture) and you’ll be surprised at how much that those seemingly small elements really impact the image you see.

Final takeaways

You don’t have to be professional models or feel super awkward during your engagement photos – ANY couple can have a drink together and hold each other close, just like a date night should be! Focus on your posture, remove the space in between the two of you, and enjoy the quiet time together with just the two of you (and your photographer) before the hectic time before wedding day arrives!

Recently engaged and looking for a a Louisville based photographer, or planning a destination wedding or elopement? Tell me all about it in the contact form below and I’ll be in touch!

Johanna Elise

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