infographic stating 12 engagement photo themes to fit every mood and budget

Some things in life deserve to be picture-perfect. Being engaged happens to be one of them. Couples are on the lookout for engagement photo themes that speak to them – from location to personality. They want engagement photos that are unique and uniquely them! Themes often create a compelling storyline and help the couple tell their story. Thanks to ever-changing trends, the options for themes are plentiful and create endless options for creativity. Lively, fun, or dreamy – whatever it is your client wants, we have created a collection of engagement photo themes you can suggest when it’s time to start planning!

Top 12 Engagement Photo Themes

From winter wonderland to fun candids, this list is set to inspire! So, let your imagination fly with these incredible engagement photoshoot ideas & curate a personalized engagement photo session for your client.

1. Straight Out of a Fairytale

Fairytale engagement photo theme

Reality is no fairytale but some moments sure can be. Blending the realms of reel & real might not be a common engagement photo theme, but it can make the session stand out. Moreover, adding bokeh adds to the fairytale element. Another great idea would be to use a dream-like background or photo booth. Couples can also visit a Disney-inspired location or can reenact engagement photo poses from their favorite movie/book.


  • Reflections, fireworks, and fairy lights are a plus to create a fairy tale resemblance.
  • Use colored smoke bombs (though be sure to check if you need permits to do so and stay away from busy areas).
  • Include props that resonate with your theme. Eg: Sparklers, crown, cherry blossom tree, etc.

2. Golden Hour Glow

12 Engagement Photo Themes To Fit Every Mood and Budget

The golden hour is the ideal time for photographers to capture romance. It is the brief window just after dawn and right before dusk that provides the ideal light for photographs. Usually, when set against the colors of the setting sun, even the slightest details will stand out. Whether at dawn or dusk, shooting at golden hour can be perfection…think wind in the hair, locked in an embrace, and a warm, golden glow over everything. No wonder it is one of the most sought-after times of day for any engagement photo theme.


  • Check ahead for sunrise and sunset times and reach the location early.
  • Play with subtle sun flare to add a creative element.
  • Experiment with front light, backlight, & rim light.

Suggested Read: Top 5 Tips: Photography Lighting Basics for any Location

3. Dream Destination


Whether it is a famous landmark or a favorite spot, some places bring out the best in your couples. Providing a perfect backdrop for love, destination-themed engagement sessions never get old. Whether you wish to add a touch of royal, rustic, or glam, a dream destination can set the mood for the entire engagement shoot. A dream destination theme may not be for those on a budget but some people are lucky enough to live there, so you can always go to them!


  • Plan the logistics in advance.
  • Get photography permits if required.
  • Experiment with different angles like a bird’s eye view, low angle, high angle, etc. that really incorporate the location.

4. Into the Wild

couple sitting on log in a forest

Nature often offers the most breathtaking backgrounds in the most interesting locations. Whether a majestic mountain peak or a cascading waterfall, natural backdrops make for truly cinematic shots. No wonder this theme dominates in many engagement photo ideas. Whether it is a nature walk in the woods or a boat ride on a beautiful river, romance naturally follows. A striking setting has the power to make head turns when they see your photos, and nature happens to effortlessly provide the backdrop for these kinds of images.


  • Scout the location ahead for natural backdrops.
  • Let colors stand out to enhance the visual appeal.
  • Experiment with light exposure in these locations to create a dramatic or natural-looking image.

5. A Story Set in Black & White


Black and white images can stir the deepest emotions in the viewer. Owing to its diverse tonal range, a black and white treatment is also frequently used for candid images to communicate mood and moments. A black and white engagement photo theme adds a timeless touch that has the power to tell a compelling story. So, if you want to channel your inner photojournalist, this might be the way to do it.


  • Experiment with exposure.
  • Minute details can speak volumes when converted to black and white.
  • Look for contrast and shadows.

Suggested Read: Black And White Images That Will Inspire You

6. Winter Wonderland

man carrying woman in a snow covered forest at sunset

Ironically, winter has a way to add warmth to your moments, thus making winter wonderland one of the most used engagement photo themes. Snow as a background helps bring out the colors of the subject. And, when snow is paired with fairy lights, props, and snowfall, it makes for some incredible images. The winter theme can also be associated with the holidays that occur in this season. A little innovation is all it takes to make a winter engagement session gorgeous.


  • Go location scouting ahead.
  • Check the weather forecast before heading out.
  • Snowfall can add magic but so can sunrise and sunset after a snowfall.

7. A Starry Night

couple standing on a rock during a starry night wearing headlamps

Call it a cliché, but standing under a thousand stars sounds picture-perfect. The night sky sets a magical backdrop for engagement photos. Moreover, there is a lot to experiment within this theme. However, shooting under the night sky can be as challenging as it is gorgeous, so it is a good idea to plan ahead for this engagement shoot idea.


  • Check weather forecasts for a clear sky.
  • Try to select a place with minimal light pollution.
  • Enhance your images in post-processing for a creative effect.

8. Posing With Pets

man wearing a kilt and woman wearing a dress with a checkered plaid walking a corgie

If pets are an important part of your client’s lives, encourage them to bring them along. The four-legged friends can make for unique engagement photo themes. Posing with pets – usually dogs or cats – adds an extra dose of cuteness to your images. Another great idea is to make the pets pose with a chalkboard stating “save the date” with the client’s upcoming wedding date on it.


  • Remember – practice and patience go a long way when working with animals.
  • Ask the couple to bring treats and toys to engage the pets.
  • Include personalized props & costumes.

Suggested Read: Posing Your Couples

9. Cityscape

black and white photo of a couple standing on the top of a building with other buildings behind them

Incorporating the couple’s favorite city into their engagement session makes for another great engagement photoshoot idea. Whether it is a gorgeous courtyard surrounded by tall buildings or a local café where they met, city life images can really tell the story of the couple as they explore their most memorable spots in the city.


  • Look for juxtaposition to add interest – especially when it comes to setting people against tall buildings.
  • Experiment with your composition – vertical and horizontal can show off city architecture in different ways.
  • Experiment with slow shutter speeds to create motion blur – think taxis zooming by as the couple stands still.

10. Fun Candids

black couple in a suit and formal black dress laughing at each other

Fun candids capture the unfiltered essence of a relationship thus making them a precious part of the engagement session. Being a little playful never hurts, especially when you can capture it for real! Encourage your couples to just be themselves, enjoy each others’ company, and let the rest unfold. Let the couple have “real” fun, indulge in something they love, and the candid images from this engagement photo idea will naturally happen. Snowball fight, water splashes, or swinging on swings at the park, anything that creates moments for laughter will do.


  • Use burst mode to capture the action as it is happening.
  • Include foreground elements like leaves, branches, a windowpane, etc., to add visual appeal by creating depth.
  • Try to be as discreet as possible and avoid using flash.

11. Wanderlust

couple sitting forehead to forehead in front of a campfire

If a longing to explore and travel, or simply put, a love for wanderlust is something the couple shares, then this theme is tailor-made for them. Not only is it a refreshing take as an engagement photo idea but it also makes for a compelling storyline. Through this theme, couples can recreate their favorite wanderlust moments. A favorite road trip, time in a camper van, or roasting marshmallows over a fire at a favorite campsite, this theme allows you to capture moments that your couples most resonate with.


  • Have your couples include their travel gear like trekking poles, backpack, etc.
  • Recreate the client’s favorite travel moments.
  • If possible, capture the couple partaking in an adventure activity.

12. Dancing to the Tunes

couple dancing in a square at sunset with their shadows in the background

Dancing to the tunes is another fun engagement photo theme. Rather than executing a choreographed dance twirl or a jump shot, it’s better to just….dance! The images captured in these moments will showcase the couple being silly and sweet as the music moves them. So keep the song playing and the camera rolling as these silly moments make for the most spectacular photographs.


  • Have your couples listen to the songs beforehand.
  • Give your client the space to feel at ease.
  • Prepare for both slow and upbeat tunes.

Further Read: Your Engagement Photography Workflow

Epic moments can make for captivating images. Intricate details can create a compelling story. And a great photo theme can blend both into a masterpiece! Use our engagement photo theme ideas and create amazing images your couples will cherish for a lifetime.

Here at ShootDotEdit, we love bringing you resourceful tips that help you make the most of your time doing what you love. But, if editing is blocking your way, let ShootDotEdit make it effortless by taking editing off your plate.

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