The Guide to Perfect Engagement Photos

Hello! Sorry, I have not posted in so long! Luckily, I am basically through finals week and will be graduating this week. I will be able to post regularly with a clearer schedule and because I got a new camera. A couple weeks ago, my fiance and I took engagement photos because our wedding photographer offered us a mini session. Pleaseeeee check out her amazing work at and follow her instagram: @michelemaloneyphotography. All pictures below are photographed by her. I am going to list the top shots you need to get during your session, makeup tips, the best clothing options, and show you how to get timeless pictures that don’t involve any awkward poses:p


  1. Choose a color palette to wear- Jake and I choose grey tones. You don’t want to wear the same color because it can blend together in photos and make you look like a blob.
  2. Take your height into account- I am 5’1, while Jake is 6’2. I wore heels so that we could nuzzle and kiss in photos without having to awkwardly lean together or have him pick me up the entire shoot. If you and your partner are the same height you may want to wear flats, but it is all preference.
  3. If you only have an hour or less for the photo shoot; don’t bring a second outfit…ACCESSORIZE! Seriously, a bright coat and hat can make you look like you changed clothes while saving time and not ruining the fluidity of the shoot.


Top Shots You Need:

  1. Portrait Style (For your family members)
  2. A Photo Featuring The Guy (This is typically left out)
  3. A Ring Photo (The reason you are in this situation and you probably only have phone selfies of it:p) 
  4. Fun loving and careless (To show off the natural and non-posed love with your partner)

Hair and Makeup:

  1. Use makeup products WITHOUT SPF (sunscreen) in them because the SPF reflects light and can wash you out in photos!
  2. Make-up style is preference, but I recommend a natural look and maybe a red lip if you want something more glam.
  3. Professional vs. DIY- I did my own makeup and hair. Our session was only for an hour and I am used to doing my own makeup for big events. If you don’t have any good photos with your S.O. you may want to invest in getting hair and makeup done for a dressed up session. If the session will be relaxed, keep your hair and makeup relaxed. As for nails, I had those one-week press-ons on! They said “love” on them and that is why I wanted to wear them:) Make sure you have your nails done for the session and that they match your outfit!


  1. Location depends on the style of photos you want. We choose our photos to be downtown Detroit because we like the city’s urban yet chill vibes. We choose a rooftop and just random areas while walking where there was good lighting. Switching backgrounds can have a drastic effect on the photos. Look at the difference in this stair shot vs this rooftop shot below. Same kissing shot, same day, same hour, but different location and accessories!
  2. If your photos are outdoors and you live in a city where it rains frequently, you may want to a) bring and umbrella and embrace it or b) have a plan b indoors location/ have a rescheduling date planned.
  3. Use your surroundings for different types of shots! The example below is a reflection shot from a window at a building, nothing special at all but we used what we had. The next shot is us walking across the street, a normal day-to-day activity that we turned into a cute shot. Lastly, using string lights on a tree or shooting when the lighting is soft and bright can accentuate photos like the last photos below.

Things to Look For in Photographer:

  1. Personality- Typically, the engagement session lets your photographer get used to photographing you so the wedding photos turn out great. If you for some reason really clash with your photographer or hate your engagement photos, you will want to look into a different photographer for your wedding. Michele Maloney was amazing!! It was like having a lifelong friend be our photographer.
  2. Editing style- I wanted a photographer who doesn’t edit the photos heavily, so when talking to photographers ask them how much they edit their photos and if they use a natural looking technique or if they have their own niche looking style of editing. *Black and White* When looking at photographer’s portfolios, look for a photographer that only uses black and white to enhance and add drama to photos. See black and white vs color below.

Tips for Looking Natural:

  1. Look at pinterest for ideas and see what you like. Notice the hand positions in other photos and keep them in mind, you want to keep all motions and positions very loose and feminine. I have seen engagement photos where hands are over the breast area and it looks weird, not elegant.
  2. Smile the entire time except for a couple model shots:p If this is the love of your life you should be close to them and smiling:)
  3. Act as if you are all alone and nobody is there. This will lead to natural shots.  I think you an tell that I’m pretty obsessed with Jake. Hope my tips can help you or my photos can give you some inspiration! Love, Claire:)


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