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Go-To Engagement Photoshoot Poses

a landscape photo of a couple in an engagement pose on the beach during sunset

When it comes to my go-to poses for engagement shoots, it’s important to remember that the location you’re based out of will bring its own unique flair to your couples’ photos. For me, as a local Carmel, Big Sur, and Pebble Beach photographer, I know those stylistic elements like the back of my hand! While at the same time, every engagement shoot is a novel experience with my lovely couples, I always have a few go-to poses tucked in my back pocket for sessions. These ones work for any location: read on for some of go-to poses for engagement shoots!

Of course, it goes without saying that the first twenty minutes of a session tend to be the most awkward. Especially if we’re still getting to know each other as the photographer and the couple! These initial twenty minutes is the getting to know each other stage- and I actually have another Journal entry in the works on this very topic coming soon! Keep your eyes peeled for the Five Questions I Ask My Couples in my wedding questionnaire! 

Every couple is different. One of you may be more nervous. One of you may be more prepared. So part of my go-to poses for engagement shoots involves getting both of you comfortable in the session! After all, when you two are on cloud nine together, the pictures practically take themselves! That’s my Carmel engagement photographer promise!

The first of my go-to poses for engagement shoots is what I like to call the Mom & Pop Shop pose. I ask my couples to go cheek-to-cheek and look at me. As a Carmel engagement photographer, this gives me a better idea of how the two of you like to position yourselves. No one knows you two better than you two! 

I’m a firm believer that every couple is like a pair of puzzle pieces. There’s a certain arrangement that lovers like to gravitate towards when they’re together, and the Mom & Pop Shop pose makes for easy, breezy, beautiful portraits! Being a Big Sur engagement photographer, I especially love starting Journal entries with these!

Two images of a couple in an engagement pose

Next up in my go-to poses for engagement shoots, I have my couples turn and face each other. I like to have one of you drape your arms over their shoulders and have you both nuzzle noses. “Don’t worry about me!” I tell my couples, “Just enjoy each other!” I just love the results of this pose. They always turn out so tender and sweet! 

Another one of my go-to poses for engagement shoots is more spaced-out portraits. I have my couple stand a little further apart from each other. For example, holding hands and leaning back. This gives the photographs a lovely editorial touch! When it comes to wedding portraits, closeness is key for the couple. When it comes to engagement shoots, there’s more room (literally and metaphorically) for some distance and creativity!

Two photos of a couple in engagement poses

I also LOVE capturing hugs from behind and kisses on the neck. There’s such intimacy in those poses, hence why they’re part of my go-to poses for engagement shoots! Imagine the coastline of Pebble Beach behind you two with your arms wrapped around each other and a little kiss- romantic, right? It’s my favorite part of being a Pebble Beach engagement photographer! I always look for opportunities to capture shots like that. Pebble Beach, Carmel, Big Sur- all these locations have such picturesque views. They really take engagement photography up a notch! It’s just one of the reasons I love where I work!

Speaking of locations, when I’m scouting out places as an engagement photographer, I take into account where my couples can sit. If the venue has pretty stone steps or a park bench under a flowering tree, those are added to my go-to poses for engagement shoots too! I love sitting portraits where her legs are in his lap. This is also a great go-to pose for getting both of your outfits in the photo. For my couples who coordinate their outfits for the session, this one’s for you! Plus, resting and relaxing for the moment and enjoying each other’s company is just as lovely as more dynamic poses! Definitely one of my favorite go-to poses for engagement shoots.

Two photos of a couple in engagement poses

For those more dynamic poses, of course, I like having the two of you walk together and even playfully bumping each other with your arms. What’s being a Pebble Beach engagement photographer without some photos on the beach? You can take your shoes off and play in the sand together! Your footsteps trailing behind you are such a romantic detail that often goes unnoticed, but not by me! The beach itself becomes part of the session with the waves and bubbly foam at your heels. Lovely!

Other movement shots I look for in my favorite go-to poses for engagement shoots are twirling. This one is just SO whimsical and fun! There’s a windswept tousle in your hair and smiles from different angles. I love taking a series of photos during twirls too. It really makes the session that much more playful, and at this point, we’re all much more comfortable with everything anyway! 

With that in mind, I like opening it up to my couples to freestyle. A favorite interpretation of that is when one of them becomes the other’s potato sack- and I say potato sack with all the affection in the world! Warms my heart every time!

Two photos of a couple in engagement poses

Finally, what’s an engagement session without some gorgeous closeups of the ring? I have her on his left side and wrap her arms around his one arm to showcase the ring. Another alternative is part of when I have my couples turn and face each other with draped arms over shoulders. The hands become such a gorgeous center to the shot and we get a really soft and beautiful focus on the engagement ring!

I hope y’all enjoyed reading about some of my go-to poses for engagement shoots and are excited to try them in your own session. I’d be delighted to be your local Big Sur photographer and capture your love story! Of course, I’m also based in Carmel as a Carmel engagement photographer. And I love my sessions spent as a Pebble Beach engagement photographer too! Contact me here, let’s make it happen!

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