Man and woman holding hands and running in the ocean at sunset.

Tips & Guides

14 Tips for an Awkward-Free Engagement Session

Man and woman holding hands and running in the ocean at sunset.

I get it, being in front of the camera can feel so awkward! What do you do with your hands? Do you look at the camera? Do you not look at the camera? So what can you do to help you feel less awkward so that your photos turn out better than you could imagine? Keep reading to find out my top 14 tips for being more comfortable in front of the camera.

1. Wear Clothes you feel Confident & Comfortable in

Don’t wear something that “hugs” you in the wrong places or is hard to move around in! Wear something that flows and is easy to move in. Wear something that makes your feel confident. The last thing you want is to look back at your photos and see yourself tugging at your clothes.

Woman sitting on the front of a bike while a man rides it.

2. Meet or call your photographer beforehand

Ask your photographer questions and get to know them beforehand. Be open about what makes you feel uncomfortable, what your relationship is like and what you want out of the photos. Let your photographer know if you like all the PDA or if you are a more reserved couple.

Prompts for how to communicate with your photographer

  • “I don’t like being in front of the camera, how can we make this less awkward?”
  • “We are laid back and more chill, we don’t like to run around and act crazy”
  • “We don’t like super posed photos, can we focus more on how we interact with each other?”

Woman straddling man in the ocean during photoshoot.

3. Be in the Moment

Slow down and take a look around! What do you see? Beautiful mountains, falling leaves, grass blowing in the wind. Soak it all in!

Take the day off of work to relax!

It’s always important to show up to your shoot relaxed. Don’t show up stressed about work or fighting over something that happened earlier in the day. Really take time to connect with each other even before the session starts.

Man and woman dancing and smiling at each other with the mountains in the background.

Don’t be afraid to move around

See somewhere that you’d like to explore? Want to try something fun or take a look around? Go for it! Those genuine moments translate into your photos so much better than you being told what to do or how to act.

Play your favorite music during the session

Ask your photographer if they have a speaker so they can play your favorite music during your session. If they don’t, then bring your own. Do you and your significant other like to dance around the kitchen to while your cook? Do you blast music while you are cleaning? Awesome, bring that energy to your session!

Woman holding mans hand and leading him down the edge of the water.

Do your best to forget someone else is there

I know it’s easier said than done but try to pretend you’re not in front of the camera. Don’t try to force moments or “smile for the camera”.

Bring some champagne!

When in doubt, bring a bottle of champagne to pop or drink! This is sure to help you relax! And it’s so much fun!

Make it a date

Tell your love story through your photos by including a fun activity or something you two love doing together. Love coffee? Hiking? Swimming? Watching Netflix? Cooking? Camping? Fishing? Board games? Taking a drive? Include that in your session. Make your engagement photos something unique to you two.

Man and woman sitting on a blanket having a picnic while looking at the mountains.

Focus on each other

By focusing and talking to each other, you block the rest of the world out. You feel more confident and natural because your forget that someone is watching you! Ultimately, this will allow you to just be true to yourself and your love.

Laugh through the awkwardness

Ultimately, if you are feeling awkward and you can’t seem to get past it then just laugh at how awkward it can be to be in front of the camera. Honestly, I get it, it can be extremely weird and uncomfortable. So just laugh through it! Those photos of you two laughing will be so fun!

Stop overthinking

Trust the process and don’t overthink every little move you make! That is what your photographer is for, they will guide & prompt you, so that you feel natural. Your photographers top priority is making sure that you are comfortable because that will make for the best engagement photos.

Don’t overthink to the point where you take the creativity out of the process. The more creative you and your photographer are together, the better you will feel about your photos.

Man and woman standing on rocks in front of lake while holding lanterns.

Be yourself

Be true to yourself and how you are feeling that day! If you aren’t really feeling into photos then just hang out, explore the area. Let your photographer know and ask them to just give you some space and not pose you so much. That you’d prefer more grand landscape photos of you two just hanging out. Those will be some extremely special photos too! Don’t force yourself to feel any sort of emotions!

Just breathe & Have fun!

It is totally normal to feel uncomfortable and anxious for your engagement photos but don’t get overwhelmed or let yourself stop enjoying it. If you need a break, just let me know, chances are that I do too! YOU GOT THIS!!

Man and woman on an air mattress in the water in front of a waterfall.

Your Engagement Photographer

Hi, I’m Tessa!! I am a micro-wedding & elopement photographer based in South Carolina but love to travel! My goal is to give couples the space to truly be themselves in front of the camera. So that I can give them meaningful photos that feel unique to their love story. If that resonates with you then I’d love to be your photographer! You can contact me HERE!!



I'm a micro-wedding and elopement photographer in Upstate, South Carolina. My style is documentary—I love capturing the in-between, unposed moments between you and your love. I strive to know you and capture you at your most authentic.