Engagement photos capture the sweet romance of the special time between proposal and wedding. The process of getting the shots also helps build a rapport with your photographer. Gone are the days of posed pictures against printed backdrops — engagement shoots have gotten more creative and evocative. Now, they take their energy and cues from the couple and use locations they love, flattering and interesting angles and fun-filled interactions to show their shared dynamic. Here are some of our favorite engagement photo ideas: we’ve rounded up creative shots of real-life happy couples doing things they love like boating, shopping for records, and boxing in cool locales like urban rooftops, foreign lands and even the subway.
Gorgeous rustic location? Check. Fashionable couple? Check. Brian Leahy Photography delivers a stunning shot with this couple gazing adoringly at each other at Washington’s Rattlesnake Lake. We’re still wondering how she got up onto that perch in that gorgeous dress.
Most wouldn’t consider New York’s transportation hub — Grand Central Station — a romantic location, but this Craig Paulson Studio shot in the iconic spot proves them wrong. This couple is blissfully unaware of the bustle around them.
It doesn’t get more Nantucket-cool than this Cameron & Kelly Studio shot of a happy couple in one of their favorite spots. We don’t need to see their faces to know they’re smiling!
These Brooklynites wanted to stay close to home for their engagement shoot. A Guy + A Girl Photography captured them digging the doughnuts and coffee in their neighborhood spot, Treats Truck Stop.
This giddy New Orleans couple gained behind-the-scenes access to the Mardi Gras parade staging area to use the famous floats as a colorful backdrop as vividly captured by Cattura Weddings.
Chicago-based figPhoto photographed this happy couple as they lovingly basked in each others’ company. The photographer’s stealth vantage point lends realism and spontaneity.
This couple is an island unto themselves as improbably captured by Jenna Lee Pictures off the coast of picturesque Honolulu, Hawaii.
San Francisco-based Sylvie Gil Photography captures one couple’s love of the water — and of each other — at Lake Tahoe on a vintage Garwood cigarette boat from the 1950’s.
There’s an undeniable romanticism in sourcing pre-loved vinyl and little-known B-sides and Cage and Aquarium captured the sweetness of the hunt for this record-loving duo in one of their favorite spots.
The beauty of this dreamy locale on the Amalfi coast of Italy is surpassed only by the gorgeous couple as captured by Dallas-based Allen Tsai Photography.
When going back to the spot where you first said “I love you” to get engagement photos, it helps if that location is as naturally-stunning as this Yosemite-based shoot by Clane Gessel Photography.
When a couple is planning a hip-hop-themed wedding and shows up sporting their favorite Air Jordans, a gritty shoot is in order — and New-York-based A Guy + A Girl Photography delivered with this quintessentially urban photo.
It’s not easy to act naturally with a photographer present, but this couple seems to have forgotten everyone one in the world but each other. Jenna Lee Pictures captured the photogenic couple in full-on “From Here to Eternity” glory in this classic black-and-white image.
Inspired by a Mike Staff Photography Michigan wedding shot in the Detroit Tigers dugout, this hockey-loving couple requested that their photos to be taken in their favorite Joe Louis Arena. Hurdles were jumped and red tape unstuck to make their ice dreams come true.
Just a gorgeous couple, nattily-dressed, sneaking a romantic kiss while out strolling along the Michigan waterfront as Chicago-based Rebecca Marie Photography looks on — from a beautiful distance.
This bride-to-be is a knockout in her heels, ring robe and giant smile as captured ringside by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography.
This poetic black-and-white shot by Chicago-based KingenSmith has it all — crashing waves, beautiful stacked rocks and a couple who doesn’t care where they are, as long as they’re with each other.
He + She + Pup = a happy three in this inclusive engagement shot that features a trio out for a happy stroll on a boardwalk as captured from a cool vantage point by Emilia Jane Photography.
Beller-Jones captured this couple who’ve managed to be alone, even in a crowd. Whatever the people behind them are queuing up for, these two seem to have already found it.
Man and woman’s best friend is content in the loving cradle of his romantic soon-to-be-married humans as captured by Chicago-based Andrew Weeks Photography.
Mike Staff Photography Michigan captured this playful bookworm bride-to-be sharing her favorite tome with her accepting sweetheart as they snuck a sweet kiss behind the colorful covers.
Jason Kaczorowski Photography helped this baseball-loving couple announce their engagement in a fun way that captures their personalities.
This shot is glamour doubled with a gorgeous couple confidently striding across a rooftop helipad with the glittering Los Angeles cityscape at their well-polished heels. Photographers The Youngrens captured this impressive shot from a vantage that makes it look as if they were circling in the actual helicopter meant to land on that spot.
The glorious structure of the Golden Gate bridge acts as mere backdrop for the epic romance unfolding on its shores as captured by San Francisco-based Misti Layne.
You know a couple is really in love when they can manage to smile through biking up one of San Francisco’s famous steep hills on a bike built for two. Photographer Clane Gessel even managed to include the famous Painted Ladies in the backdrop.
Location, location, location — doesn’t matter at all in this Craig Paulson Studio image. The New York cityscape fades in the distance and it’s all about the connection between these two lovers.
Even the sky is cooperating in this photo — providing a gorgeous cloudscape that pairs beautifully with the painted sun shining on this sweet couple as captured in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood by Jennifer Crenshaw Photography.
At-home engagement shoots offer the opportunity for a more casual setting and including all of the things a couple loves — in this case, good-timin’ tunes, an overly-loving pup, and genuine smiles as captured by Chicago-based Dennis Lee Photography.
We love how Craig Paulson Studio was able to capture the playful dynamic between this fun-loving pair.
A starry sky at sunset, a dramatic skyline and a deserted beach occupied by a single loving couple make for a surreal and beautiful shot by Chicago-based Andre LaCour Photography.
This Moroccan engagement shoot by New York-based Sarah Natasha Photography has it all: an uber-cool couple on a brilliant orange desert against a fiery sky as backdrop.
We love the motion of the cars in this mid-street shot by Wes Craft Photography. The traffic doesn’t distract this stylish couple from each other’s gaze.
The contrast of the wild outdoors with this formally-dressed couple perched on a couch in a garden is sophisticatedly cool in this Alba Rose Photography shoot.
This photo captures a groom’s dual loves — cycling and his lovely bride-to-be — in a relaxed space for an authentic pic by Jill Tiongco Photography.
We imagine the Artistrie Co. photographer precariously perched cliffside to capture this gorgeous shot — it was totally worth it!
Andre LaCour Photography gave this gorgeous shot a dreamy feel by focusing on the sweet couple, allowing the water and beach to merely be their misty backdrop.
It’s no easy task to capture a smiling couple midair looking this fabulous — our compliments to ChiTown Photography on this shot.
There aren’t enough words to express all of the things we love about this Jason Kaczorowski Photography image — the birds! the contrast of black and white! the foggy city! — and, of course, a couple very much in love.
Everything about this photo speaks to the personalities of the soon-to-be marrieds. New Orleans-based Elizabeth Dondis Photography captured their penchant for vintage clothes shopping and the fun they have together in one beautiful shot.
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