Rock Your Engagement Session: Our Tips for Taking Awesome Engagement Photos

Often, engagement photos are when I first really get to know a couple’s personality. I like to use this time as a way to practice for the wedding day in a more relaxed environment. Most of our couples are excited and a little nervous about their engagement session. So, to take the edge off of those nerves, here are our tips for taking great engagement photos.

Engaged couple touch noses during Frontier Park engagement photo shoot in Erie PA

Location, Location, Location

Over the years, I’ve found my favorite spots to shoot engagement photos. However, I’m always open to exploring new sites and adding to my arsenal. One of my first tips for taking great engagement photos is to choose a place that either has meaning for you as a couple and/or fits your personalities. A couple of examples of this could be the coffee shop where you had your first date or the park where you walk your dog on weekends. The possibilities are endless. Don’t worry if nothing jumps out at you right away. Your photographer is there to help with generating ideas.

photo of coffee from Ember + Forge in Erie PA

Couple walks with their dog under an umbrella during engagement photos in Edinboro, PA

Engaged couple kissing next to Edinboro Lake at sunset


Three C’s of Wardrobe Choices

One of the most common questions we get asked before an engagement session is “What should we wear?” So, our next tip for taking engagement photos you’ll love is to remember these three C’s as you plan your wardrobe for the session:

  • Complimentary Colors – Personally, I’m not a fan of matching outfits for portrait sessions. Instead, coordinate and choose clothes that compliment each other. For example, if one person is wearing a solid navy blue top, the other could wear a plaid shirt with navy stripes. Keep in mind that bold colors draw the eye. Use bright colors sparingly. You and your partner are the focus of the engagement photos. So, that neon orange dress you wore the night the two of you met is probably not the best option, even if it does come with a great story.

Man kisses fiancee on the cheek while walking through Mellon Park in Pittsburgh PA

Couple holding hands while walking through Modern Tool Square for their engagement photos in Erie PA

  • Confidence – We are talking about being true to yourself and your personal style. If you want to get your hair and makeup done and wear a fancy dress, go for it! IF that’s what you like to do. Select outfits that accentuate who you are because that will go a long way in making you feel goodWhen you feel good, it shines through in the pictures.

engaged couple smiles for engagement portrait at North Pier in Erie, PA

Couple about to kiss next to ivy covered brick wall for engagement photos in Modern Tool Square in Erie PA

  • Comfort – Whether you decide to dress up or more casual, it is important to choose clothes you are physically comfortable in.  It is hard to look natural and relaxed if you’re constantly having to rearrange your clothing.  Also, this is not the time to break in new shoes. However, if you have a pair of heels you absolutely have to wear with your outfit, it’s a good idea to bring a backup pair in case your shoes start to hurt.

Consider Photos with Your Furry Friends

We’re 100% pet people. So, it only stands to reason that one of our favorite engagement photos tips is to think about incorporating your four-legged furry companion into your session.  Unless you’re bringing your pet mouse, we know animals typically aren’t very responsive to the classic “say cheese” method of photo preparation. The last thing we want is for your pet to introduce frustration or stress into your engagement photos.

Couple plays with their dogs for their Erie, PA engagement photos

With this in mind, we recommend coming prepared with all of your furry friend’s favorite toys and treats. These are a great way for us to grab your pet’s attention behind the camera. They can also be a welcome reward for your fur-child in between shots. We know that your finished portraits won’t be enjoyed by your pet as much as they will be by you, so we’re all about providing treats as we go.

Laughing couple pose with their dog during their Frontier Park engagement photos in Erie PA

Some of our couples have also found great success through inviting an additional human friend to their shoot to serve as your pet’s handler for the day. This is always an option — whether your friends walk on two legs or four, the more the merrier!

Dog poses for camera with owners in the background

(P.S.: Dressing your pet in a tiny tuxedo is not required, but it’s always a very happy surprise.)

Bring Props for Personalization and Posing

You and your partner’s happy smiles are enough to make any photo magical. Still, another tip for taking fun engagement photos, think about incorporating some props. We’ll bring the umbrellas in case it starts to rain, but the rest of the pieces are up to you! The options are endless, but we’re happy to suggest some of our personal favorites.

Couple stand under umbrella as it snows in downtown Erie engagement photo session

Couple kisses in hammock at Wintergreen Gorge engagement photos

Couple huddle under a blanket holding mugs of hot chocolate

First, incorporate dates! Many couples bring chalkboards or other homemade signs to display the day of their wedding. The resulting pictures are perfect to use for your “Save the Date” cards and are a precious, simple reminder of your anniversary. You can also pay homage to some of the happy couples and families that came before you. Ancestral heirlooms are incredibly romantic and sentimental, making them a natural addition to your engagement session.

Couple poses with their dog wearing a save the date sign

Engaged couple poses with a handmade sign announcing their wedding date in Mellon Park

There are even more subtle ways to acknowledge your one-of-a-kind moments as a couple. Any small mementos, objects, or outfits that highlight favorite memories are welcomed. Whether it’s an inside joke or relates to a story you tell friends over and over again, we’ll jump at the chance to commemorate it. Remember, an engagement session isn’t just about preparing for the future — it’s about celebrating your unique history.

Engagement ring placed on mini golf score card from couple's first date

Man hugs finacee next to Nittany Lion on Penn State Behrend campus in Erie PA

Last, But Not Least…

Our final tip for taking engagement photos you’ll love is to RELAX and HAVE FUN!  Smile and enjoy the moment. Remember these photos are not only to announce and celebrate your upcoming wedding, but they are for you to look fondly back on for years to come.

Man gives woman piggyback ride during engagement photos at Wintergreen Gorge in Erie PA

couple stands in front of old railroad bridge at the Barn at Conneaut Creek

Man lifts laughing woman during engagement photos at Modern Tool Square in Erie PA

We hope these tips help you in planning for a fun, relaxed engagement photo session – because that is the point after all. Do you live in or around Erie, PA? Get a hold of us for more information about booking an engagement session or inquiring about availability for your wedding.

For more engagement photo session inspiration, here are the full blog posts of some of the engagement photos featured in this post:


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matt mead photography 1821 oxford st. erie, pa 16505  (814)315-3353