Hey, I'm an elopement photographer based in Alaska! I love genuine moments between people and love that I get to document them for a living <3

Meet Donna

There are lots of engagement photo ideas floating around the internet that it can be a little overwhelming. You want to be comfortable, you want unique photos, you want to have fun, how? You can’t go wrong by drawing inspiration from your relationship and activities and experiences you enjoy or want to do together! This applies to any and all couples, engaged, married or dating. You don’t have to be engaged to celebrate your love!

A lot of couples come to me worried they’re going to feel awkward because they don’t know how to pose or what to do, or where to go. I always tell them the same thing: Plan it similarly to how you’d plan a date!

Feeling awkward or nervous about being in front of the camera is totally normal, I’ve been on the other side and get it! Sometimes it feels easier to default to specific poses or pinterest shots you’ve seen, but then those can feel stiff and forced.

Not only does centering your engagement photos around a date-like activity or experience help shake off some of that photo session awkwardness, it also personalizes the photos to you as a couple. Having photos that are meaningful and reflect your relationship and all it’s nuances are so much more memorable than pinterest poses and themes.

Without further ado, here are some engagement photo ideas to get you inspired for your upcoming photosession!

Adventurous Outdoor Engagement Photo Ideas

1. Sailboat Adventure

Sailing isn’t the most common activity in Alaska, but if you’re around Homer, Seward or Lake Clark you might be able to make it happen! Imagine the gentle lull of waves, the breeze in your hair, and the limitless horizon as your backdrop. A sailboat adventure offers a blend of peace and adventure, perfect for couples who love the ocean.

2. Enjoy a Hike Together

Hiking can be anything from a nature walk to bagging a huge peak, there is no min. or max. If your engagement photographer is down(which for the record, I am!) then the sky is the limit! It makes things easier to plan if you have a tried and true trail already.

3. Horseback Riding

If you love horses and want to feel the breeze in your hair, then this is for you! I typically recommend this for couples who’ve ridden before, it makes posing and navigating with the horses a lot easier. Want to explore the Knik River area? Alaska Horse Adventures is AMAZING and I love working with them!

4. Stargazing

Stargazing is best enjoyed in Alaska between August-May, sometimes into April. This is a really fun one if you’re a couple who enjoys the romance of standing out under the night sky. Want to add in a campfire? Maybe chase some northern lights too? I’m game!

couple standing on a snowy mountainside with their snowboards as he kisses her on the cheek

5. Winter Snow Activities

From a playful snowball fight to hitting the slopes, this can be open to interpretation based on your relationship and your activity preference. Sledding, skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding and more are all options here!

6. Have a Lake Day & Picnic

There is nothing more fun than a carefree, splashy date by the lake. Bring your best floaties, wear your fun suits and jump in! Bring a picnic and a cold drink to enjoy and plan on playing and having a blast!

A couple holding hands on a frozen landscape with snow-covered mountains in the background and a red helicopter parked nearby, posing for their engagement photos.

7. Helicopter Tour

Helicopter tours are not just limited to elopements and are SUPER fun to do for engagement photos, you can incorporate other fun activities like paddle boarding, rafting, ice climbing and more!

8. Off-roading

Off-roading is for the couples who love to get off trail and aren’t afraid of a little dirt! This makes for great in the moment action photos, as well as awesome photos in a unique destination when all is said and done!

9. Camping & Campfire

The whole process of camping is a fun photosession in and of itself. From setting up the tent to gathering wood, roasting s’mores, snuggling in the tent and exploring your campsire, there is no shortage of things to do!

10. Hot Air Balloon Ride

If you’re in Alaska, sadly we don’t have this option, but if you’re somewhere that has hot air balloons, I highly recommend trying it at least once! Want to include it in your engagement photos? Yesss!

A couple elopes in a tent in an Alaskan forest at night.

Low-Key Indoor Engagement Photo Ideas

If you’re less outdoorsy and more homebodies, that’s A-okay! Not every photosession has to be a big adventure, and sometimes it’s those slow, intentional moments that showcase your love best. Here are 10 low-key engagement photo ideas I think you’ll enjoy!

11. Indulge in Ice Cream at Your Favorite Shop

This date is as nostalgic as it is sweet, and really leans into a carefree, “lets just hang out” kind of vibe. It’s fun and playful between licks of icecream, laughing and playing and channeling your inner kids. if you’re local, Big Dipper’s new location in Wasilla would be SO CUTE.

12. Visit a Brewery

If you’re more into craft beer and those kinds of vibes, there are tons of local breweries with really cool interior and exterior seating areas. You can clink glasses, explore the brewery, or simply enjoying a quiet moment together, share some sips of your favorite brews and just enjoy.

This couple did both a brewery and museum visit in one day for their engagement photos and it was so fun!

13. Visit a Local Museum

A museum provides a sophisticated and enriching backdrop that reflects a shared love for art, history, or science. These photos can be very artsy and fun, and a little editorial depending on your style!

14. Bowling

Bowling alleys, with their colors and retroy vibes, are such a cool and underrated location! They offer a dynamic and fun setting for engagement photos. It’s an opportunity to capture playful competitiveness, high-fives, and hugs. Whether you’re aiming for a strike or cracking up over a gutter ball, the photos will be SO FUN!

A couple cuddling on a grey sofa, with the man embracing the woman from behind while both hold a mug, a guitar resting in the background, perfect for engagement photo ideas.

15. Snuggle Up at Home

Sometimes your favorite memories and moments will be snuggling at home. These sessions can be SO cozy, from snuggling under a blanket, sharing a cup of coffee, watching a movie, baking, or cooking together! Do you want to branch out and do something similar outside the house? VRBO can hook you up with some adorable spaces *be sure to check that photography is allowed*.

couple playing a game of chess with wine during engagement photos

16. Board Games

If you love playing games together, this is SUCH a fun thing to include in your session. It showcases your competitive side in a casual and fun setting and allows for lots of little interactions to unfold. These can be done at home, at an AIRBNB or VRBO, or taken in to the great outdoors on a picnic!

17. Puzzle

Puzzles are VERY chill, and would make a great addition to a cozy at home session, or a coffeeshop moment if you want to do a small one somewhere else.

18. Cooking or Baking

If you love hanging out in the kitchen together, this is a fun one! Whether it’s in your home, at a rental, or you’re taking a cooking class or cooking over a campfire, there is always fun in cooking a delicious meal together.

19. Coffee Shop and/or Bookstore

If you love a good book or a cup of warmth, then visiting a local cafe or bookstore(bonus if it’s BOTH!) is a great option. You can sneak kisses between the shelves, or give each other kiss me eyes over a mug of coffee. Lots of fun photos to be had here!

20. Arcade/Video Games

Arcades and video games are a blast, and if you consider yourselves a gamer couple then this is fun to explore! Hit up your local arcade or set up some games at home and make it happen!

Please note: If you’re going to any businesses for your engagement photos make sure that you or your photographer are doing due diligence to make sure permission is received before coming in cameras blazing. Always be respectful of other customers and make minimal impact unless you’ve booked the whole space for yourselves!

couple standing in hatcher pass on their elopement day

Ideas to Personalize Your Engagement Photos

In addition to doing any of the activities above, or anything else not listed that is activity based, here are a few things to think about to truly personalize your session:

  • How you met or where you met
  • Where you went or what you did on your first date
  • Going on vacation somewhere exciting soon? See if you can dream up a fun session there!
  • Include your pets if you have any. This blog can give you all the tips for that!
  • Think about seasons or vibes you love
  • Is there scenery you love
  • Music, movies, art can all be good inspiration for your session
  • Think about props(sparingly) that could add to the experience, bikes, canoes, coffee mugs, etc. We’re not going for cheesy here!
  • Do you play any instruments? You can bring them!
  • Do you have an overall style as individuals or couple? It would be fun to lean into your fashion sense if that’s a big part of your relationship!I’ve

As an engagement photographer I help with a lot of brainstorming, but it REALLY makes all the difference when the couple is inspired and has a loose vision of what they want to accomplish with there photos in addition to ‘engagement photos’.

Why Engagement Photos are Important

Engagement photos are definitely optional, but there are some perks before you completely write them off! Getting photos taken before your wedding day is super helpful if you’re not used to being in front of the camera. Also a great way to get to know your wedding and engagement photographer and how they work. Your comfort level when getting your photos will have a direct impact on the outcome. Having more time to build that camera confidence never hurts! Plus you get more sweet photos of your honey that will always bring back good memories.

When it’s all said and done, engagement photos are a fun way for you to express yourselves as a couple. Plus, you’ll never be this young together again, so document those sweet moments while they’re here. Don’t forget, activities, locations, outfits, and props aside, YOU are the special sauce. Your personalities, your quirks, your love for each other, all of that is what ultimately leads to the most authentic (yess buzz word!) photos.

If you’re looking to book engagement photos, or any other kind of couples photos with me… Reach out here and let’s make some magic! I’m here to guide you through very step of the way!

A couple paddle boarding on a glacier lake smiling delightedly on a sunny day for their engagement photo.

Frequently Asked Questions About Engagement Photos

What should we wear?

Depends on what you’re doing, choose your outfit and colors to fit the location/activity you have planned. When in doubt avoid crazy prints, large logos and neon colors. Aim to be comfortable in whatever you choose so it doesn’t distract from your experience. Check out this blog on How to Plan The Best Engagement Session

Where should we go for our engagement photos?

If you’ve gotten this far and still aren’t sure, that’s okay! Here is a blog on the Best Places for Engagement Photos in Alaska! It is not the end all be all list, but will get you started brainstorming places!

How much do engagement photos cost?

This can be very photographer and location specific. If you’re hiring a high-end engagement photographer for an hour or longer that can range between $700-2000. You can see my pricing here. I recommend having more time than not with your photographer because a large portion of the time is to simply get comfortable. After the comfort level has been met then you start enjoying yourselves, having fun and getting those REAL photos!

Want more personalized engagement photo ideas? I’ve gotchu! Reach out and let’s chat about making your engagement photos a reality!


20 Fun Engagement Photo Ideas That Feel Like a Date

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you’re a adventurous couple that loves epic experience and being on the water, Glacier Paddle Boarding might be for you! You can check two things off your bucket list between the glacier paddle and the helicopter flight! It’s also a great addition to your engagement photos or elopement day. Incorporating activities into your session […]

A couple paddle boarding in blue waters near a large white glacier, both smiling and paddling together.

You May Also Enjoy:

Discover unique and fun engagement photo ideas inspired by your relationship and activities that feel more like a date than a photosession.

Consider this your ULTIMATE elopement dress guide for your Alaska elopement, from choosing your style to material & so much more!

You May Also Enjoy:

One way to make your elopement unique: HORSES!! That’s what Shayla & Geoff did for their winter Knik River elopement and it was SO cool!

knik river elopement

Drop me a quick line...


Loving what you're reading and want to see more of my work and look into working together? Check out my portfolio!

© Donna Marie Photography 2016-2024

Privacy Policy

Terms of Site