10 Tips for Engagement Photos You’ll LOVE

As fall quickly approaches, I thought I would share 10 tips for engagement photos. Fall is one of my favorite seasons here in Michigan, and celebrating couples and their engagements as they get cozy in front of the camera has got to be one of my favorite things. Although you really don’t have to do ANY preparation before your engagement photo shoot, I know that a few of you reading this are just so excited to document this time of your lives. This post is definitely for you! Then, if you are looking for a Detroit wedding photographer to continue celebrating your love with, I would love for you to connect with me directly here.

In the meantime, let’s jump right into planning your engagement photoshoot!

engagement ring closeup

fall engagement photos in Detroit MI


1) Choose an Engagement Photo Location Unique to YOU.

The more meaningful, the better. When you look back on your engagement (and share your engagement photos with your family and friends), the more personal you can make them, the better. There are so many gorgeous locations around Detroit (and I am always happy to brainstorm with my couples) but some of my favorite engagement photoshoots have been at the places they met, somewhere they visit all the time as a couple, where he proposed. If you are an adventurous couple, why not combine a hike with your engagement photos to get some EPIC engagement photos?

couple kisses in front of a lake

Seriously, I’m the kind of engagement photographer always up for an adventure and am willing to travel just about anywhere. Pics or it didn’t happen, right?

A perfect example of a unique engagement photo location is Alyssa and Nick’s engagement. They are obsessed with the zoo so naturally, that’s where we headed. I’m still obsessed over some of these shots and it was so fun to see them in their element!

Detroit zoo engagement photos

unique engagement photos at the zoo

2) Do Something during your engagement photoshoot.

This kind of goes hand in hand with choosing a location, but if the idea of posing for an hour or two doesn’t make you (or your fiance) overly excited, why not actually do something at the same time? Again, the more personal and unique to you as a couple, the better. You can have a coffee date, plan a picnic, do an activity together they love. A perfect example? Making smores in the middle of winter with Kristen and Jake. It was so, so fun and I loved capturing the fun they had together!

making smores in winter for engagement photos

winter engagement photos drinking hot chocolate

While you are dreaming of locations and activities, don’t be afraid to bring props that represent you too. Angela and Alarik brought out their guitar for the second half of their fall engagement photos which was such a fun addition to the shoot, but the options are ENDLESS here (and honestly, the more creative you can get the better). Grab a bike and some flowers, a stack of your favorite books, throw an at-home pizza party or cook your favorite meal together. I’m here for it!

fall engagement photos in Detroit MI

fall engagement photos in Michigan

3) Look for Tips for Engagement Photos Outfits.

Seriously, you look good in EVERYTHING so more than worrying about looking “perfect”, choose an outfit or two you will actually be comfortable in. If you are swapping outfits halfway through, I usually recommend a fancier outfit for one, and something more “everyday casual” for the other. But seriously, make sure you are comfortable. Nothing ruins a good time more than tugging down your shirt or knowing you only feel comfortable from that *one* angle. I’m going to do my absolute best in making sure you don’t feel awkward in front of the camera, so meet me halfway in choosing an engagement photo outfit that makes you feel fabulous.

I can’t bring up engagement photo outfits without sharing Jamie and David’s! They wore traditional clothing from their heritage and I was absolutely obsessed with it! The more authentic you can make your engagement photos, the better.

unique engagement photo outfits

tips for choosing engagement photo outfits

4) Consider getting your hair and makeup done professionally.

If you can, schedule your wedding hair and makeup trial for the same day! Not only will this make you feel a little extra confident in front of the camera (not that you need it!), but it also feels good to get pampered. What better way to get in the mood to have your photos taken than to spend a little extra time getting done up?

summer engagement photos

5) Plan a Date Night after your Engagement Photos.

Listen, you are already dressed up so take advantage of it! I know that your fiance (or you!), might not be as excited to step in front of the camera for your engagement photos. Trust me, I get it. I’ve heard it all. Even though I’m completely confident in my ability to get you out of your shell and have a good time during your engagement photoshoot, planning a date night after gives you a little extra something to look forward to!

Remember in one of my earlier tips for engagement photos I mentioned props? A glass of champagne might be one of my favorite ways to end an engagement photoshoot (and start your date night!).

winter engagement photos with champagne pop winter engagement photos with champagne pop

6) Always schedule your engagement photos around sunset (or sunrise!) for the best light.

It seems like everybody is talking about golden hour lately…

Listen, an hour before sunset is a WONDERFUL time to book your engagement photos. The lighting is soft and it’s usually a convenient time for couples who work during the day. If you are choosing a busier location, however, you may want to consider sunrise as well. You will get that same soft lighting you love, but you may just have that dreamy outdoor location to yourselves.

outdoor engagement photos during golden hour

7) Book them early to include your photos for your Save the Dates!

If you are planning to use your engagement photos for your save the dates, book them early! Although I always try to send a few sneak peaks right away, it can take a few weeks to get all of your images back so make sure you are giving yourself ample time before save the dates go out. Honestly, you can just book them as soon as you get engaged. That’s definitely my favorite option (although I might be biased).

Although it seems like there are no “rules” anymore, save the dates are typically sent out about 6 months in advance so you’ll want to book 8+ months in advance for your engagement photos. Don’t forget once you get your photos back you’ll actually have to order your save the dates too!

coffee and engagement photos outdoor engagement photos in Detroit garden engagement photos

BONUS tip for engagement photos: If you are using your engagement photos as your save the dates, consider your wedding theme when choosing an engagement photo location. I love how Spenser and Jocelyn chose the Inn at 97 Winder for their engagement photos (and looked absolutely regal) before their wedding at the Gem Theatre!

bonus tips for engagement photos - choose a location around your wedding theme

engagement photos at the Inn at 97 Winder

8) What season is right for your engagement photos?

Although I am encouraging you to take engagement photos right away, I always wanted to share some tips for engagement photos in regards to choosing a season. Depending on time restraints, you might not be able to choose your favorite season, but if you are having a longer engagement you definitely can! How do you picture this part of your love story?

coffee shop engagement photos engagement photos in downtown Detroit

Do you love the springtime with the abundance of greenery, sunshine, and flowers? Do you love the fall colors and changing leaves and want to take engagement photos in crisp outdoor air in a dreamy outdoor location like the apple orchards? Or, are our Michigan winters more your style with the falling snow, peacoats, and hot cocoa – preferably with warm boots and cuddled up in a blanket? This is your permission slip to book a few different engagement photoshoots if you want 😉.

rainy spring engagement photos in Detroit fall engagement photos summer engagement photos winter engagement photos

hot cocoa during engagement photos

9) Dogs are ALWAYS allowed!

I don’t speak for every photographer, but let me just tell you that here at Brittany Allen Photography, dogs are 100% always allowed. Seriously. This will always be one of my favorite tips for engagement photos. Your dogs are a part of your family, let’s include them in your photos! I’m very available for dog cuddles (and I know a few great dog-friendly locations around Detroit, MI).

engagement photos with your dogs closeup of dogs during your engagement photos dog friendly engagement photographer in Michigan

10) Ask Your Photographer for Ideas & Inspiration

Last but not least, don’t forget to plan your engagement photos WITH your photographer. Seriously, if you need help with locations or activities or literally anything, I am always ready with suggestions. At the end of the day, your job is to show up ready to have fun and be super in love. I will take care of the rest. I’m going to guide you through posing (in a way that I promise won’t make you feel like you are standing around forever). You are going to dance, cuddle, kiss, play games, and HAVE FUN.

castle engagement photos outdoor engagement photo tips in Michigan

I know if you have fun, you’ll see it in the photos. I know that you might be nervous because you don’t do this every day but don’t worry, I do. That’s why you hired me! So reach out and let me take it from here. 

rainy engagement photos

Ready to Use These Tips for Engagement Photos?

These tips for engagement photos are just that – tips. There are no rules, and nothing is set in stone. I want to take engagement photos that truly and authentically represent you and the love you two share, whatever that looks like. So pop the champagne, head outside, and wear what you want. That’s all I want from you. If you are looking for an engagement photographer (or wedding photographer), you can learn more about the Brittany Allen Photography experience here. I would love to celebrate this time of your life with you!

Want to hang out in the meantime? Say hi over on Instagram and follow me for a little behind-the-scenes and a lot of Detroit wedding inspiration.


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