photos: Jen Fariello Photography

Engagement photos can seem like a daunting task. Even if you feel comfortable in front of the camera, there are so many different ways to spruce up your photo session to make it your own. By doing so, you’ll create photos worth cherishing for the rest of your lives.

The best moments will be those when you are acting casual with your significant other. You can turn part of your photo session into a fun outing or grab some photos in one of your favorite spots at home. Every couple is different, and we all want our photos to be unique and special to our relationship. There is no pressure to go too extravagant and showy, but there is also freedom to go all out and express yourself in any way you prefer. And, this is a great opportunity to give your friends and family a glimpse into your love story.

To help guide you in planning your engagement photo session, we’ve compiled 10 favorite poses by real Virginia couples as well as tips on how to personalize each.

HOBBIES

Incorporating something that you love and enjoy doing together can help bring out your natural self. It can also serve as a special reminder of something you enjoy doing together. Hobbies and interests play important parts in all of our lives, as well as in our attraction to one another. If you love to paint, incorporate an easel into some photos, or attempt to work on a painting together for some in-action shots. Or, if you love hiking or gardening, try incorporating these settings into a few photos as a reminder of those private moments.

photo: 3 Cats Photo

photo: Jen Fariello Photography

HUGGING

Hugging is a natural expression of love and adoration, and you won’t be able to help the flood of emotions a photo of you and your partner ignites. Hugging poses also tend to bring out natural reactions and expressions on your face, which equate to stunning and sincere moments. This pose is also a great way to get more comfortable in front of the camera. Turning towards one another and embracing will only bring about senses of comfort and stability. So, get close and cuddle.

WALKING

Walking in photos is a proven method to getting some more natural and less staged-looking keepsakes. Walking poses may seem a bit awkward, but they will have you loosening up in no time. The symbolism these poses represent of “walking through life together” will also make for great gifts to others. Oftentimes, these photos work well at a place that has meant something to you along the way, or can create beautiful photos in natural, outdoor settings.

photo: Aaron Watson Photography

photo: 3 Cats Photo

PLAYFUL

Playful photos are key to making engagement photos fun and enjoyable. If you and your fiance love to laugh and be silly with each other, this is a great time to show off your playful energy. Jump in some leaves, dance in a vineyard or play tag. These candid photos will lighten the mood and showcase your love. No matter what setting you are in, feel free to use it as your prop and engage with your landscape. A playful photoshoot is important to showing off the ways in which you and your significant other have fun together. 

photos: 3 Cats Photo | Jen Fariello Photography

PETS

Incorporating pets into your photos gives off a sense of family and gives others a peek into your daily life together. No matter what kind of pet you and your partner have, there is always a way to bring them into a photoshoot. Make it candid by tossing your dog the ball or by taking a close up of you snuggling with your cats. Pets are the best companions and are sometimes a big part of a romantic relationship, so take advantage of this connection and get cozy with your furry friends. 

photo: 3 Cats Photo

KISSING

Your engagement photos are ultimately about you and your significant other and the love you have for one another. What better way to show that off than with a kiss? To keep it classy and tasteful, try a light kiss or a kiss on the cheek or forehead. These photos will be sure to melt anyone’s heart. Don’t worry about looking into the camera or having awkward eye contact with the photographer; these photos are about the two of you. So just focus on each other and do what feels most comfortable. 

photos: 3 Cats Photo | Jen Fariello Photography

EPIC

This time is all about you, so go ahead and  be bold with your engagement photos. Take pictures at the top of a mountain or by the ocean. There are so many different ways to have an epic photoshoot that you should make it your own and have fun with whatever you choose. Whether you’re posing in front of a breathtaking backdrop, horseback riding in a local vineyard or biking along the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway, you will be sure to wow your friends and family. And, this will certainly be an engagement to remember. 

photo: Jen Fariello Photography

DETAILS

Detailed, close-up photos can be the perfect way of emphasizing companionship and connection. They can also highlight things like your engagement ring or family heirloom accessories. These poses capture love in its simplest forms, and these moments can really emphasize your connection and love. All of our Virginia photographers have an eye for both big and small details, so if you’re unsure of what to capture, just ask when planning your photoshoot.

PROFILES

Photographs that capture side profiles or profiles from the back can be uniquely intimate but less intimidating. Try staring into each other’s eyes, locking into that moment. These photos also allow the photographer to capture multiple angles. A photo capturing you and your fiancé looking out into the distance can also be a great way of getting a snapshot into your love story without feeling too up close and personal. 

photo: Weddings by Hana Photography

photo: Aaron Watson Photography

REENACTMENT

Oftentimes, it is hard to capture the exact moment of your proposal, so why not reenact that special time to capture on film. Taking these photos in the very space that the proposal happened is helpful in creating a unique tie to a place, and it gives your friends and family a look into a once-in-a-lifetime moment. If you prefer to keep the actual engagement more private, consider having some fun with the reenactment by recreating a scene from your favorite movie or TV show. The options are endless, so express yourself and put on your best excited face. 

photos: Jen Fariello Photography

Engagement photos are a wonderful way to showcase your style, interests and personalities as well as the genuine love and excitement between the two of you leading up to your special day. You want this process to be fun and stress free, so be creative in your planning and have fun with it. The best part will be the documentation of your love for each other, so you can always remember this special time in your journey to marriage.  ~

LIZA STONER is a University of Virginia student and a Charlottesville local who is dedicated to making her community a better place. She also enjoys exploring and writing about all that Virginia has to offer.

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