posing for your engagement session

Summer has finally graced us with its presence!  In MN that means its time to get outside for those gorgeous summery engagement photos! Engagement sessions are actually my second most favorite thing to do apart from weddings.  I adore being able to see the unique relationship between each couple during their engagement session.  That look he gives only her, the way she snuggles into him like no one else. It really is quite a special time for you as a couple.  I think capturing those meaningful gestures that you had for each other in the beginning is a great thing to have later on when you might not being  feeling so in love.  And of course, I think it’s very important for you and myself as your photographer, to get to know each other a little more before the wedding day.

Posing for your engagement session can be an intimidating thing to do!  On top of that, having someone taking pictures of your vulnerability with one another is a whole other level of insecurity in itself.  I realize this is harder for some than others, so I want to walk you through how I shoot an engagement session to help you be more comfortable and prepared, and hopefully excited to get your photos taken!

Ive found myself backing off more and more when it comes to posing.  Instead of posing, I’d like to use the word prompting. I want to prompt you to move naturally into places that feel comfortable to you and what best showcases your intimate affection for one another. As Ive grown over the past few years as a photographer, I want more and more to catch people how they are naturally. To give you a collection of images that amplify your connection to each other and exemplify your lifestyle.  I will still help you to chose the best locations, back round and lighting scenarios, but then I want you to be YOU!

Here are a few examples for you to get a better idea of the process…

I like to start out with simple cues that let you warm up a little before we get into the more intimate prompting. For this image I told Lindsey to take his hand, splash through the water, and drag him.  This is what I got! I love this shot.  It got them both to be a little more natural and I love the way Tyson is looking at her.

destination shoot mexico 50 posing for your engagement session

Here, I set them up to be standing in the doorway.  Then I stepped back and let them be together for a second. Lauryn was being super cute with Josh, kind of giving him a bitey face as a joke.  But right when I lifted my camera to capture it,  they got serious.  I asked her to do that face again!   I was able to get them being silly together! What a great shot!

DSC 3991 posing for your engagement session

This is right after the above image.  They were laughing at themselves and truly enjoying a moment of silliness.   I was able to catch how Josh naturally falls into Lauryn’s shoulder so lovingly. He adores her. : )

blogposing1 posing for your engagement session

On the left, I told Joel to come up and hug her from behind and just breathe her in.   For the image on the right, I prompted them both to just look at each other and think of the first time they knew they found the one.

posing5 posing for your engagement session

Below, I told Joel to just lean up against that tree and just be. So a little bit of posing + location selection from me, but totally his natural stance and what is comfortable to him.  Abby just fixed herself right in there next to him.  : )

blog7 posing for your engagement session

Once Ive got you all loosened up, I might have you do something called sequencing.  I told Rebecca to run into Taylor’s arms.  The last shot was completely them just melting into each other.  I couldn’t have planned it better myself!

Untitled 2 posing for your engagement session

Then, I like to get a couple individual shots, now that you are feeling like a runway model that can conquer the world. : ) And also a few detail shots including the ring.

minneapolis wedding photography copy posing for your engagement session

minneapolis wedding photographer copy 3 posing for your engagement session

Of course, there are points were I need to do a little more invasive posing if you cant think of any more loving sweet nothings to whisper in each others ear. : )

minneapolis wedding photos posing for your engagement session

And let’s not forget a nice formal shot for mom and dad! : )

minneapolis engagement photographer copy posing for your engagement session


Not too scary, right?  Engagements sessions really are such a fun experience!  I think its a fun way to remember that new love you had and cherish it always.  It is also usually a stressful time while planning for the big day.  Being able to just take a few hours and focus on each other  while getting it documented, is priceless.

Let me know in the comments  if you have any other fears or questions about getting your engagement photos taken! I would be happy to answer them below!  Email me to schedule your engagement photos at: bookings@danajphoto.com.




  • http://twitter.com/mwpillowtalk sarah goodman

    you are a GREAT photographer dana! our pictures that you took of us during our dating days are STILL our favorite set!

    • Dana Johnson

      Thanks Sarah! That is so sweet. You guys were a fun couple too!