Engagement Photo Shoot 101:
The 4 W's

He popped the question. She said yes.

Whether it is a proposal long overdue (“Oh, he finally asked?”) or a surprise that your best friend isn’t 100% comfortable with (“Wait, what does he do again?”), getting engaged is one of those few life events you’ll remember forever.

Putting a ring on it makes it official and marks the beginning of something bigger. Sure, there are little technical changes like subbing out boyfriend for fiancé. But the real magic is when you start subbing out I for We and Me for Us.

It better happen fast, too, because you’ll have a storm of planning to do together. After you’ve made it Facebook official, decisions on top of decisions are coming your way, beginning with engagement photos.

These photos are worth a little more than a thousand words. And because of the highly personal nature of engagement photos, we’re refraining from specific do’s and don’ts. Instead, for timeless engagement photos, consider a strategy and narrative that answers the four W’s.



Express your personal style and decide who you are—as individuals and as partners. If you love your Louboutins and he has a vault of sneakers, you might just find a perfect balance in that contrast of individual expression.


Decide on what you hope to convey with the engagement photos. While the list doesn’t have to be exclusive, discuss what you want others and yourself to see—not just now but in a year and in 10 years. You might want to supplement traditional, formal shots with moments of whimsy or outright silliness.


Always take into consideration the seasons. If the shoot is scheduled during spring, commemorate the season with pretty pastels and floral details. If it’s fall, class up or down flannel. Remember to coordinate with Mother Nature to tell your story (Spring Shoot from 100 Layer Cake, Plaid Wedding Details from My Wedding).



If you aren’t a huge fan of hiking through the great outdoors, skip the Little House on the Prairie cliché and consider a setting that has meaning to you. You’ll worry less, feel more comfortable, and be happier—all of which will be reflected in your photos (Photo Courtesy).

Coming up with ideas for your engagement photos is a perfect precursor to weightier wedding planning that is still to come. The engagement is the beginning of a union that’ll have compromise as a foothold and you’ll want to these photos to capture who you are and who he is in the short period before husband and wife. (Photo credit: Katie Jackson Photography)

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