When to Take Engagement Photos and How to Prepare

Many couples decide to schedule engagement photos to announce their upcoming nuptials. This is a great way to celebrate your love and share your excitement with friends and family! However, it’s important to know when to take photos. 

There are a lot of factors that go into when to take engagement photos. For example, you may have a specific location in mind, which may look better during certain times of the year. Or you may want to get married during a specific season, so you might want to have your engagement photos taken at the same time of the year. 

Not sure when to take your engagement photos? Don’t you worry. I’ve compiled several things for you to keep in mind so you can plan accordingly. Here are some key considerations to help you determine when to take engagement photos.

Couple smiling during their engagement shoot in the park with modern wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen

When to Take Engagement Photos: Plan For Editing And Printing

If you plan on using your engagement photos for your wedding announcement or invitations, this will dictate when to take photos. You want to give your photographer enough time to edit your photos, and you’ll need extra time to design and print invitations. If you’re ordering customized wedding invitations or save-the-date cards, this may add even more time to your planning.

Some couples have multiple engagement photo sessions for this reason; one session for wedding announcements and save-the-date announcements and another for wedding invitations. Think about how much time you need for these respective timelines, and that will help you decide when to take photos.

Consider The Season

Engagement photos can have a different feeling depending on the backdrop, which often relies on the season. Each season has its own unique beauty. And many couples know when to take photos based on what season they like best.

  • Spring offers a beautiful natural background with blooming flowers, vibrant colors and lush greenery. Many couples decide this is when to take engagement photos due to the mild weather and soft lighting.
  • Summer brings long, golden days of sun and warm temperatures. It’s perfect if you’re looking for outdoor locations, like at the beach or on the mountain. Summer sunsets are also a great time for photos, especially since you’ll have more time for your shoot.
  • Autumn provides a rich tapestry of warm hues and crisp weather. These vibrant fall colors make for an incredible background, especially if you’re partial to fall activities like apple picking or going to a pumpkin patch. Plus, the weather is usually warm enough for you to be able to be outside for a bit.
  • Winter creates a truly magical wonderland, especially if you can access a snow-covered landscape. Plus, if you both love outdoor activities like skiing or snowshoeing, you’ll be able to capture doing this together. Couples that love snow, evergreen trees and snuggling by the fire should consider wintertime as a backdrop for their photos.
Engaged couple sitting on the grass and sharing an embrace, taken by Nikk Nguyen Photo

Think About Lighting

Light makes a big impact on the overall mood and feeling of your engagement photos. Even though the famed Golden Hour is the most popular time for outdoor photography, it’s not the end all be all time for engagement photos. For example, if you shoot indoors, there’s no limit on when to take engagement photos. The season and weather will impact your lighting as well, regardless of whether you’re inside or outside.

  • Natural lighting: Natural lighting is ideal if you want an organic, soft look to your photos. Morning and mid-afternoon are ideal for this.
  • Indoor or studio lighting: If you don’t have a specific outdoor setting in mind, indoor engagement photos have much more flexibility in lighting. Studio lighting gives you complete control over lighting, but it may look less natural.
  • Golden Hour: This is just before sunset or right after sunrise, and it’s popular for various reasons. It has a warm, soft light that gives you a romantic glow. Depending on your location, you can use Golden Hour indoors or outdoors.
  • Nighttime: For couples who want a unique setting for their engagement photos, an evening shoot is particularly magical. You can take advantage of city skylines and starry nights to make your photos really stand out. This is a great option if you live in a big city and love celebrating city life.
Guy planting a kiss on his fiance's temple as he hugs her next to an aircraft, taken by Austin wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen

Featuring Activities or Themes

Sometimes planning for the shoot itself will determine when to take your engagement photos. For example, if you and your partner enjoy doing particular activities or have a theme in mind for your wedding, this may dictate when to take engagement photos.

Some couples are particularly passionate about outdoor activities. In that instance, you may need to wait until the summertime to take your photos in the great outdoors. Or, if you’re both Disney fans, you may want to take them at Disneyland. Factors like these will require you to adjust when to take engagement photos.

I’ve heard of couples taking weekend vacations with photographers, so they have multiple locations and options for taking their engagement photos. A trip like this would take ample planning, but it would give you a lot of photos to pick from. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to reconnect as a couple, which is important to do as you plan for your wedding.

Engaged couple holding hands as they approach an aircraft, shot by Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen

To Sum Up

There are several factors to keep in mind that will determine when to take your engagement photos. Whether you’re looking for a stunning natural background, specific lighting, a certain activity or theme or something else, you’ll have plenty to consider. Regardless, planning ahead for when to take engagement photos to celebrate your upcoming wedding is crucial.

That’s why it’s important to find a photographer that understands your story and will take pictures that resonate with you as a couple. You’ll want photos that showcase your love story in an authentic way. If you have a wedding coming up and are considering options for when to take engagement photos, I’d love to connect with you!

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Couple smiling at each other during their engagement shoot with Nikk Nguyen; image overlaid with text that reads When To Take Engagement Photos and How to Prepare

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