When to Take Engagement Photos: 7 Factors to Consider

December 1, 2023

A couple sitting on a stone wall while one rest their legs over the other as they reach up towards their face.

Engagement photos are the perfect way to commemorate such a big moment in your life before the actual wedding. But you’re probably starting to wonder when to take engagement photos. How far in advance should you contact a photographer to use them on wedding materials like your save the date?

Well, I’ve got you covered! I’m a wedding photographer in Pennsylvania, and I’ve photographed countless couples for their engagement photos and their wedding.

From understanding the significance of the seasons to aligning your engagement photo date with your wedding timeline, I’ll guide you through the crucial decision-making process of when to take engagement photos. Keep reading to learn more!

When to Take Engagement Photos: Ideal Timing

If you’re reading this, you know that timing is key when it comes to capturing the perfect engagement photos, especially if you’re planning to use them for your save-the-date cards. Ideally, scheduling your engagement session with your photographer should happen within a 6-9 month window before your wedding day. I’ve found this to be the sweet spot!

Most couples choose to send their save the dates around 6 months before the big day. By having your engagement session 6-9 months before the wedding, you’ll give yourself and your photographer enough time to capture the excitement of the engagement and edit the photos without feeling rushed.

One of the fun things about getting your photos taken this far before your wedding is that the season in which you take your photos can beautifully complement the backdrop of your wedding photos. For instance, maybe your wedding is in the fall, but your engagement photos are taken in late winter/early spring. 

Factors to Consider for Professional Engagement Photos

So, what factors should you consider when it comes to when to take engagement photos? Here are some considerations that you may want to take into account when deciding the perfect timeline for yourself and when booking your photographer.

Time of Day

When it comes to engagement photos, time of day actually plays a pivotal role in capturing the mood, ambiance, and overall aesthetic of your images. You’ve probably heard of the famous “golden hour,” which is the magical period shortly after sunrise or just before sunset. This time of day is the most popular and highly recommended for the best lighting possible!

The natural beauty of golden hour can truly elevate your engagement photos and also serve as a great reflection of the warmth and depth of your relationship. However, if you want a different time of day, like sunrise, that’s totally possible, too. You’ll just want to make this consideration when finding your perfect photographer!

Time Needed for Wedding Materials

As mentioned a bit earlier, another huge consideration when it comes to choosing the actual time of year for your engagement photos is the lead time you need for wedding materials.

You have to plan in advance because you need to account for 1) your photographer’s schedule and editing time, 2) how long your printer will take to print and mail the save the dates, and 3) how long it will take for you to then mail out the save the dates (if you’ll be sending them on your own).

Venue/Photoshoot Location

Next, be sure to think about the venue and photoshoot location. The location is going to set the stage and create the backdrop of your engagement photos. Whether it’s a cute local cafe where you had your first date or a tranquil park, each setting will have its own unique vibe.

You want to take the time to think about location because some locations will be better than others depending on the time of year. For instance, a cafe can work great year-round, while a park or other outdoor location means paying attention to the weather. Here in Pennsylvania, we do get all four seasons!

Photographer Consultations

When you reach out and hire a photographer, there will also be a consultation or two leading up to your engagement. This is so that your photographer can get a feel for you both as a couple and understand more about what exactly the vibe of the engagement photos is meant to be. Be sure to take into account this, too!


Are there any traditions that you want to make sure get included in your engagement photos? Do any of them have to be during a certain time of year? That’s an important factor if you’re wondering when to take engagement photos. 

If they are traditions that can happen any time of year, then you’ll want to make sure you give yourself enough time to get any props or supplies needed for the tradition to take place when choosing your engagement photo date.

Personal Style/Photo Aesthetics

Every photographer has a different photo aesthetic that they are known for, so it’s important to try to find a photographer that matches the style that you want. Whether it’s dark and moody, true-to-life and vibrant, or even editorial, there is a perfect-fit photographer for you.

The majority of photographers will not change their editing style when it comes to engagement photos, so make sure you love their portfolio. That’s what’s most reflective of their personal style!


Lastly, you’ll want to think about the time of the year. What season will your engagement photos take place? Depending on the season, you’ll have different options available to you.

For instance, summer means warmer weather and a multitude of outdoor locations for your photos. Meanwhile, fall/winter has shorter days and chillier weather, so an indoor location may be better unless you want to be all cozied up in your photos! (Which can also be a vibe.)

How to Make the Most of Your Engagement Session

So, now that you know when to take engagement photos, let’s briefly discuss how to make the most of your engagement session.

Pick Comfortable Outfits

If you’ve read my other blog posts, you know I say this all the time, but please, pick comfortable outfits! Wear something that you’re comfortable in because this way, it’s easier to get candid photos. You’ll also feel a lot more like you, which really gets translated into the image and allows you to be more present with your partner.

Incorporate Activities

Sometimes, it can feel awkward being in front of a camera. Trust me, I know! Are there any activities that you both love doing that you can put into your photos? Maybe you’re puzzle people and love doing them on rainy days. Or, maybe you both love cooking in the kitchen together for date night once a month.

These can be easy ways for you to feel “busy” during your photo session and can be a fun way to add a personal touch to your engagement photos. Don’t worry, though – photographers will always give you pointers, too, if you’re not sure what to do!

Choose Meaningful Locations

I mentioned this a little bit earlier, but be sure to pick locations that are actually meaningful to you. It by no means has to be a life-altering location for you both, but it can be a place you frequently visit or maybe even always dreamed of visiting.

The location could even be something as simple as a Taco Bell, and yes, I really mean that. I’ve done a photoshoot at a Taco Bell before!

FAQs: When Do You Get Engagement Photos?

How long do engagement photos take to get back?

This will vary depending on your photographer, but if you book with me, you will receive your gallery within 14 days from the date of our session. Weddings are delivered within 6 weeks from your wedding date.

I make it nice and easy, as you will get your photos delivered through an online, password-protected gallery! You can even order prints from the gallery directly.

Do you use engagement photos for save the dates?

Yes, you can use engagement photos for save the dates. This is one of the most common uses of engagement photos! Feel free to let your photographer know exactly what you’ll be using your engagement photos for so they can get photos for that specific medium.

What is the average cost of engagement photos?

Engagement photos can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to thousands – it really depends on your photographer. At Tiffany Lantz Photography, you can get a complimentary engagement session by booking a wedding package or book a couples and engagement session for $700 with up to 1 hour of coverage (minimum of 45 photos).

Why take engagement photos?

Engagement photos are the perfect way to showcase your love and really celebrate such a fun occasion in both of your lives. You can then use your engagement photos for many different things, whether it be a print to frame and hang on your wall or even your save the dates.

How do I pose for engagement photos?

Your photographer will give you tips (I know I do!), but really, my best piece of advice is to just be yourselves. Everyone feels awkward in the camera, and it’s a photographer’s job to make you feel comfortable for the most authentic photos possible. 

Final Thoughts: When to Take Engagement Pictures

Hopefully, you now know when to take engagement photos with this ultimate guide! Again, the rule of thumb is generally 6-9 months prior to your wedding date.

Are you still looking for a photographer to capture your engagement? I’d love for you to get in touch. You can click here to learn more about my services and here to start the conversation. I look forward to learning more about your love story!

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