How to Prepare Your Partner for Engagement Photos


Let’s talk about engagement photos! You’ll get dressed up for a fun date, run around a pretty place, and there will happen to be a photographer there!

Oftentimes, one partner is really excited and CAN NOT WAIT for their engagement photo session, and the other partner is super super nervous. 😬 Some people fear needing to look perfect. Some fear the unknown of working with a professional photographer. And some may fear the concept of loving on each other so publicly.

Those are all valid fears. It’s common for “future-grooms” especially to show up thinking they’re not going to enjoy the session. But, one of the best parts of being a photographer is completely flipping that and giving them a fun experience that they can’t stop raving about.

I want to turn “This is going to suck”… into THIS👇👇

So, let’s dig in to the best ways to prepare your partner for your engagement photos!

Throughout this post, I’m going to use guys as the example. They’re usually the ones who are more fearful going into a photo session.

Tell them what to expect

When you first get engaged, it’s normal to have NO how to plan a wedding and what to do first. The same goes with engagement photos. It’s completely alright if your partner didn’t even know that engagement photos were a thing. To help them understand, show them some recent engagement sessions on your photographer’s blog. I also send all of my couples an Engagement Session Style Guide to help them plan and know what they’re in for.

Let him know that you’re also a little nervous, but that you trust your photographer to make the experience awesome!

This isn’t your momma’s photo session

Speaking of experience, I think we’re ALL a little scarred from taking photos with our parents as a kid. It was probably stressful, took a long time, and involved a lot of yelling in between the smiles. Sorry moms, but y’all know it’s true.

The good news is that taking engagement photos literally couldn’t be more different than that. In fact, I DON’T want you to hold a fake smile for 30 seconds without blinking. I DON’T want you to wear uncomfortable clothes that someone else picked out for you. I DON’T want you to stay perfectly still without moving or talking.

It also helps that you’ll be hugging and kissing your fiancé, not your brother. 🤪

And while we’re on the subject, make sure you hire the right photographer! The right person will:

  • make the session fun and light – not serious or boring
  • personalize your photos as much as possible
  • make you feel comfortable and encourage you to be yourself

This last point is the most important. Some guys don’t want their photos to feel disingenuous by doing fake or awkward poses. I totally agree with that! Sure, I might push you from your comfort zone a couple of times, but my #1 goal is to make you feel comfortable by doing things that feel genuine.

Give them a say

Like all things related to wedding planning, you should make decisions together. Excluding your partner from the conversation and setting up the shoot without their input will automatically make them feel excluded. Work together with your photographer to choose a date/location, and to plan what you’ll actually DO during the session.

Do things you both enjoy

This is my favorite tip! It’s fun to just show up to a local park and take cool photos, but actually doing something in your photos takes them to another level.

So, what do y’all normally do together? Hike, try new restaurants, go camping, drink beer, play sports, watch movies… etc.

Tossing around a football or basketball will make your groom come ALIVE. I’m not kidding. Bringing something fun for them to do could make a huge difference in their comfort level. Here are more ideas:

  • sports – football, basketball, mini-golf
  • drinks – beer, cocktails, champagne
  • food – favorite patio restaurant, food truck, picnic
  • activities – build a campfire, ride bikes or scooters, drive a cool car

Let them know that this matters to you

You’re choosing to spend your lives together, and you want to make each other happy. Let your partner know that this is really important to you and that you’re looking forward to spending this quality time with them.

The best engagement photo sessions feel like a fun date with a photographer tagging along. You don’t have to show up feeling like a professional model. You just need to show up with a good attitude. 😄

I hope this is helpful as you prepare for your own photo session!! Do you have another question on this topic? Let me know in the comments, or send me a message on Instagram!

One of the best parts about engagement photos is that it will make a HUGE difference in your comfort level in front of the camera on your wedding day. It may sound strange, but if your partner doesn’t like taking photos and may struggle to be themselves, taking MORE photos (with your wedding photographer) is the answer. 😉📷

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