How to make your engagement shoot unique

All, Engagement

November 14, 2022

Bridget Bellucci

Looking for a way to make your engagement shoot unique? In the age of cellphone cameras and selfies, some people find that their first intimate photoshoot with a professional photographer will be their engagement shoot. It can be intimidating when you aren’t sure how to go about planning your session. It may be tempting to follow the trends of others photos, or just choose the most epic locations, (I am all for there locations btw, if they do have meaning to you!) but you might also want to make sure your engagement photos are unique and personal.

A couple takes their engagement photos at their favorite park for a personalized session.

Choosing what to wear, what locations you want to visit, what type of photos you want, etc. can feel overwhelming. To end the worry about awkward poses, boring photos, or feeling disconnected from your shoot, you want to make sure your choices reflect you and your partner as a couple. This guide will help you avoid cliché engagement shots and give seven ways to personalize your shoot to capture your unique relationship together.

7 ways to make your engagement shoot unique to you

Choose the place you first met

What better way to capture your relationship in photos than going back to the place where it all began? Visiting the place you first met your partner will give you several advantages in a photoshoot. The photographer will be able to capture your nostalgia together, while also conveying the comfort you both feel in a familiar place.

A couple takes their engagement photos at one of their favorite places, Beak and Skiff, to make their session unique.

Some common examples of first meeting places would be your high school, college, favorite bar, coffee shop, gym, or park. Use this opportunity to recreate old photos, or revisit your favorite stomping grounds together again. Your photos will stand the test of time as they tell the story of how and where you met!

Where you went on your first date

When choosing a unique place for your photoshoot, you can’t go wrong with where you had your first date. Much like where you first met, your first date spot will help tell your story in a personalized way. Bonus points if your first date was anything but lowkey! This is an excellent choice for couples who had an adventurous or large scale first date.

Was your first date more traditional and quiet? Don’t discount a photoshoot at the first restaurant you ate at or bar you went to! When it comes to “dressing-up” for your photos, a romantic restaurant or bar setting gives you the perfect excuse for an outfit change, as well as giving you the option of more dimly lit, darkened, romantic photos!

Pick a place with meaning

Building onto the first suggestions, you want to pick a place that has special meaning to you both as a couple. Do you have a specific city or building you both love, or a park that you frequent together? is there a favorite vacation destination or place you routinely gather with family and friends? What is your favorite place to take day trips, or love to watch the sunset?

A couple goes to their favorite date night spot for their engagement session, under the bridge in their favorite city.

Picking a unique place that you share together will not only provide you a familiar space, but will also allow a peek into where you spend your time together as a couple. Your photographer will appreciate seeing your favorite scenery or hideaways that you retreat to on your own. This will also help build a personalized story in your photos.

Showcase activities that you enjoy together

When people think of engagement photos, they might imagine matching flannels in fall, waterfall pictures in summer, or flowy dresses in grassy fields. Traditional photos are classics that will never go out of style. However, you want to also give your photos personality–more importantly–you want your own unique personalities to shine through! Every couple doesn’t have to go hiking up mountains or down waterfalls for good photos. If the goal is to personalize your photoshoot, stick with what you know!

When you incorporate your favorite activities you will end up with photos that stand out from the rest. Think outside of the box. It doesn’t matter if you like reading together, gardening, working on puzzles, watching football, cooking etc. Whatever activities you do together regularly will not only create a distraction from any “pressure” you might feel to perform for the camera, but you will be having fun, creating more natural photos.

Show what your “everyday” looks like

You can’t get any more up-close-and-personal than allowing your photographer to capture you going about your daily lives in your home. This could be the perfect engagement shoot idea for homebodies, or those who have a unique property and home. As a couple, you have the “home field advantage” so to speak. You can choose to walk your property, introduce your pets, cook dinner together, lounge in your bed etc.

An engaged couple in their Airstream to show what is unique about their love story.

Your daily life can include a multitude of activities, especially if you spend most of your day together. The vulnerability and authentic nature of allowing a camera into your space to document your life together is about as unique and personalized as it gets. Not to mention the photos will capture your house in time which will give you great memories to hold on to through the years

Incorporate the proposal

Much like the first meeting or first date, it would be incredibly meaningful to return to where the proposal took place! A lucky few get photos or videos of their proposal. To remember the special place, why not return to it with your photographer? Sharing the details of your special moments will help them plan your sessions alongside you.

A couple who got engaged in Lake Placid, NY returns for their engagement session to make it unique!

On another note, if you can’t return to the exact spot of your first date or your proposal, no worries! You can always look for a similar environment locally that gives the same vibes. For example, if your proposal was in Paris, look for local buildings that are similar to French architecture that you can use for your background. If you can’t make it back to your favorite destination beach, let’s find a local lake or pond with similar features. This will honor your relationship in a way unique to you!

Choose your favorite season for unique engagement photos

By not following engagement shoot trends, you open up possibilities for more unique photos! The majority of engagement shoots are done in the summer or fall, but you don’t have to put off your shoot if your favorite seasons as a couple are winter or spring. If you love winter sports, sledding dates, or cuddling up with a fireplace and hot cocoa, you can have a creative shoot that showcases your love for winter. If you don’t mind rainy days in spring, you can have a really cute photoshoot with umbrellas, rainboots, and puddles. Veering towards unconventional timing for your engagement shoot will definitely give you stand out photos.

An engagement shoot taken on a rainy day makes for unique photos.

Ready to plan a unique engagement shoot?

Hopefully this guide has helped you narrow down some key ideas for your professional shoot! Remember you don’t need to follow any cookie-cutter formula to end up with amazing shots. It’s more important that you are comfortable and natural in the moment. Don’t forget that your photographer can be one of your best points of contact to help plan creative, meaningful, and personalized photoshoots.

If you are ready to plan your own unique engagement photoshoot, reach out! And let’s capture your love story!

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