20 Engagement Session Poses

Planning an engagement session? Here are 20 different poses to incorporate into your photos.

Engagement photos are the warm-ups to your wedding. They are perhaps the most versatile of couples photos–uses range from save-the-dates, RSVP websites, announcements, and of course, your social accounts! These sessions are fun for couples and photographers alike, especially when there’s a plan!

Having a set of poses makes session planning a breeze on both sides of the camera. Below we’ll walk through 20 engagement session poses that’ll help your engagement sessions as fun and beautiful as your wedding day.

1. Standard Portrait Pose

Classic and timeless, the Standard Portrait Pose is likely to be the one that likely ends up in a frame on the mantle. Its beauty is in its simplicity.

In this pose, the couple stands side by side, with the partner wearing the ring standing on the left. They give each other a side hug, and the partner with the ring puts their hand on the other’s chest (show off that glitz!) while the other wraps their arm behind.

Variation: Rest the sides of your heads together.

Fall engagement session in Boom Island Park in Northeast Minneapolis.

2. Foreheads Together

Almost as intimate as the kiss, the Foreheads Touching Pose is as romantic as it is cute. Unlike a kiss, this pose allows the couple to show off their smiles while keeping intimacy at the forefront.

The couple faces each other, and gently rests their foreheads and noses together (no smushed noses or bonking forheads). One person should wrap the hand that’s closest to the camera around their partner’s ear or neck.

Autumn engagement session in wildflower field at Longfellow Gardens - South Minneapolis.

3. Piggyback Ride

Who doesn’t love a piggyback ride? This pose is bound to bring smiles and lighten the mood. If a couple is shy, this is a sure-fire way to make the experience fun.

It’s simple–one person jumps on the back of the other, then exchange smiles. This pose can be stationary, but adding some action the couple walking gives some variety with a wider shot.

4. Over the Shoulder Hug
One person stands behind the other, and wraps their arms in an over-the-shoulder hug. The person in front places their hands on the wrists of the hugger. The couple then leans their heads together.

Variation: Have the person standing in back whisper something into the ear of the person they’re hugging – bonus points if there’s laughter.

Fall engagement session in Hayward, Wisconsin.

5. Bear Hug
This pose takes the over-the-shoulder hug to another level. Usually the pose turns from intimate to goofy because one partner cannot resist squeezing the other.

One person stands in front of the other, and they embrace in a bear hug.
Variation: Have the person standing in back give a big squeeze, or a tickle – laughter is key!

6. Follow the Leader
This pose is definitely for the an adventurous couple and big, open spaces. One person takes the other’s hand, and leads them for a walk. Glance backwards every few feet for a photo of you looking at each other while walking. Then, switch roles so the other partner gets a chance too!

One partner leads the other through a field while holding hands.

7. The Lift
This pose is romantic and intimate and adds glamor to the shoot. It can be done it a number of ways, but a killer background, like the waterfall below, really make these photos pop. The couple faces each other, and one lifts the other. The partner being lifted should wrap their arms around the other’s neck, and lift one foot, pointing their toe parallel to the ground. The couple looks at each other, and could also kiss for a couple photos.

Summer adventure style engagement session at Cascade Falls waterfall in Osceola, WI.

8. Twirl Your Partner
Another pose that brings lighthearted fun to the session. This photo can be easily paired with another taken during the wedding. One partner twirls the other around like a ballerina. Spin a few times and switch roles to give everyone a chance!

Morning engagement session on the Stone Arch Bridge in Downtown Minneapolis, MN.

9. The Kiss
Another classic, this pose brings the real heart-melting romance to the shoot. Don’t be afraid to add some grandeur this shot. The couple faces each other, holding each other’s hands. After a couple shots, the couple leans forward and holds a kiss.

Couple holds a kiss during a winter night photo session at the Hewing Hotel in Downtown Minneapolis, MN.

10. Embracing Hug

The couple faces each other, and each wraps their arms under each other’s armpits in a warm embrace. Both then turn their faces towards the camera, and rests their cheeks together while in a hug.

North Shore summer engagement session

11. Picnic Style
This shot can be done in most weather, but probably works best with summer vibes. The couple sits together on the ground, one person in front of the other. The person in back wraps their arms around their partner, and they cuddle together.

Couple sits in a grassy field for engagement session in Downtown Minneapolis.

12. Dramatic Dip

Who doesn’t love the dip? It’s the more breathtaking cousin of the twirl and the couple and photographer can really go big with this one. Try this pose in front of an interesting background to add flair. One partner dips the other in their arms, while the one being dipper keeps a foot planted to the ground while their other foot is raised to the air.

Variation: Have the partners switch!

Couple pauses for a dip at the Broadway Building in Northeast Minneapolis.

13. Show off Your Ring
You’ve got the bling, so show it off! Showing of the engagement ring can add pizazz to a couple’s engagement session. There’s also an infinite number of ways show off the ring, so let creativity run free.

The couple shows off the ring by holding it out in front of them — couple holds a kiss in the background.

Winter engagement session at Cascade Falls in Osceola, WI.

14. Prince(ss) Charming
It’s a classic movie move – a typical moment when the main characters fall in love. A gentle kiss on the the hand is cute and romantic and it’s a chance to show off that ring!

Give your partner a sweet kiss on their left hand. You can do this with eye contact or make it more candid like the photo below.

Winter engagement session couple in Forest Lake, Minnesota.

15. Hold Hands
Face each other and hold hands, keeping a few inches of space between you. This shot looks amazing at any angle, but we love this particularly stunning sunset against the lake.

Same-sex couple holds hands at sunset for engagement session at the lake in Hayward, WI.

16. Silhouetted Kiss
A good silhouette makes for a great kissing shot — popping a toe, or allowing fingers to hang loosely while hugging add that extra “oomph” for a great silhouette.

Couple kissing while silhouetted against the stone arch bridge in Minneapolis, MN. Taken from the Guthrie Theater in Downtown Minneapolis.

17. Hand on Face
A variation of the picnic pose, the hand-on-face pose adds a dash of intimacy (hint hint: see that ring?)

Sit side by side. One person should rest their hand (preferably the left) on their partner’s face. The couple should rest their temples together, and then try to make each other laugh.

Summer engagement session in Northeast Minneapolis, MN.

18. Go For A Walk
Who doesn’t love taking a walk with their partner? These shots are fantastic at sunset or sunrise. The couple holds hands, and walks together side-by-side, while looking at one another.

Engagement session couple walking along the lakeside beach at sunset in Minnesota.

19. Together By Your Side
You can freeze the walk and have the couple side-by-side. The couple stands a few feet away from each other, facing the camera, and holding hands.

20. Rest Your Hands on My Shoulder
This is pose is another sweet, but not over-the-top romantic. One partner stands slightly behind the other, and rests their hands and cheek on their partner’s shoulder. Variation: the couple can look directly at the camera or each other.

Looking for Minnesota engagement photography? Let’s chat!

Rachel Lahlum is an award-winning Minneapolis wedding and engagement photographer with experience in hundreds of sessions. She takes a guided approach towards working with couples, from helping with planning and scheduling, to guiding with poses and prompts during the session. Her photography is crisp, clean and bright, with true-to-life colors and a mix of traditional poses and candid moments.