How to Take Beautiful Engagement Photos—Without Looking Too Posed

Last week, I wrote about how to book your wedding photographer. Now, I'd love to share my engagement photos with you! Brides-to-be often use these images for their engagement announcement, Save-the-Dates, or to display as artwork during the reception. Since those near and dear to you will be viewing these photos on multiple occasions, it’s extremely important that you are happy with the end result. (I’m pretty sure most couples want to avoid looking awkward or uncomfortable in pictures they are going to see time and time again!). To ensure that your photo shoot is both positive and productive, learn from my experience and follow the tips I’ve listed below.

1. Photographers Wanted: After Michael proposed in July 2010, we decided on a two-year engagement and wanted to run an announcement in our local newspaper right away. Since we were nowhere near ready to book a photographer, but still wanted a professional picture for our announcement, we turned to our family friend, Sally Stilwell. It is important to note that the majority of wedding photographers offer FREE engagement photos as part of their package. Take advantage of this opportunity! Your budget will thank you.

2. Location, Location, Location: Pick a scenic location that offers you and your photographer a variety of different backdrops. You can also select a place that has personal meaning for you and your fiancé. As my bio states, Michael popped the question overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge, so it was a natural selection for the two of us.

3. Loosen Up with a Prop: I'm so thankful that our photographer Sally suggested we pick up some gerbera daisies for our photoshoot. The flowers added a punch of color to our pictures and helped Michael and I loosen up during the sessio. Props can range from balloons to champagne, toasting flutes, and even a full-on picnic. Just remember to select items you feel comfortable using. For example, if you aren’t a fan of your fiancés’ motorcycle, it’s probably not a good idea to use it during your session.

4. Patience is a Virtue: It can be frustrating taking the same picture over and over again (honestly, at a point my mouth started to hurt from smiling), but, as the pictures below show, your patience will pay off. The second image below is the photo we used for our announcement! To only think that if we had let the wind deter us, we wouldn’t have had such a beautiful picture to share with our family and friends.

5. Remember to Have Fun: My favorite pictures are the images below where Michael and I are just being our natural, silly selves.


Crista Asks: Where did you take your engagement photos?

Photos courtesy of Sally Stilwell


—Crista Camerlengo



crista camerlengo

Crista Camerlengo is a real bride and the co-founder of Style She Wrote, who will tie the knot in July 2012 with Michael, her fiancé of six years. This chic NYC couple describes their wedding style as “modern romance"—fitting for a pair who had their first date at a quaint seaport and became engaged in the same spot, overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. This fashion-forward blogger loves to infuse her traditional taste with unexpected contemporary accents.