23 Gorgeous Summer Engagement Photos That'll Inspire Your Session

Get ready to have some fun in the sun.
chapelle johnson the knot assistant editor
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot assistant editor
Chapelle Johnson
Assistant Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated May 16, 2023

If you and your partner love warm weather and want to take advantage of the increased daylight hours, a summer engagement photo session is perfect for you. And a summer photo shoot doesn't just mean the beach as your locale, you can capture amazing images at the park, in a garden, at a family home or in the city. But if you don't know how to prepare for this type of session (because there is preparation involved), we're here to help. Read below for photography expert tips about how to stay cool on the day to the best time to take your photos. Then check out images of real couples during their summer engagement photo shoot to help get your creative juices flowing.

In this article:

Where to Take Engagement Photos in the Summer

Megan Breukelman, wedding photographer expert and co-founder of Megan & Kenneth, suggests choosing a summer engagement photo location that's meaningful to you and your partner. "Your engagement photos should reflect who you are as a couple and what you love, so consider choosing a location that has special meaning to you. Whether it's a place where you had your first date, a spot you both love to visit or simply a beautiful outdoor area that fits your style, selecting a location that resonates with you will make your photos more memorable."

Breukelman also warns couples to stay away from popular tourist areas that are usually more crowded during the summer months, "which can make it harder to get the shots you want with distractions in the background." And if you're trying to beat the heat, consider taking some photos indoors with beautiful scenic views behind you or posing in the shade.

Attire Considerations for Summer Engagement Photos

The best summer engagement photo outfits are lightweight and flowy because they're more breathable, keep you cool and give you more freedom to move around. Sarah Olson, one half of the CityLux Studios photography team and recipient of The Knot Best of Weddings 2020 award, advises you to switch it up for your summer engagement photo session look. "Don't pick out a T-shirt and Bahama shorts just because it's July. If that's your 'thing,' then go for it, but maybe have a wardrobe change on deck, so get a couple of different looks. You only get this opportunity once."

Olson wants to-be-weds to consider sweat stains when picking out their engagement wardrobe as well. "Be aware of sweat! Don't wear a light gray cotton shirt on a really warm day because, chances are, you'll sweat right through it, and you don't want sweat marks in all your photos."

Photographers' Summer Engagement Photo Tips

If you haven't found your ideal summer engagement photographer yet, use The Knot Marketplace to find the perfect person for your photo shoot. (Psst. Learn exactly what to look for in an engagement photographer here.) Until then, read these expert tips you can discuss with your chosen pro below.

Consider doing sunrise and sunset photo sessions.

Tracy Autem, owner of Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography with over 17 years of photography experience, says checking the temperature is the best way to figure out when to take your summer engagement pictures. "When planning your summer engagement portraits, consider light and temperature. Hop online or use a weather app to determine sunrise and sunset but look at average temperatures in your area. It can be hot or humid in summer, which can create havoc for your hair, makeup and attire."

Autem adds, "The best solution is a sunrise session starting at first light—you'll be cool and still be able to take advantage of that golden hour-like light. Not an early bird? Be adventurous by planning your session at sunset and dusk and embrace nighttime photos with direct flash, motion blur and strong city vibes."

Pack a few things to keep you cool.

A summer engagement photo shoot can mean high humidity and temperatures, which is why you should pack a cooling-off kit to bring to your location. Each wedding photography expert we spoke to said a damp towel was key to keeping your body temperature down––place it on your neck between shots so you don't get overheated. Other necessities are water bottles because hydration is crucial, sunglasses, oil-absorbing sheets, sunscreen and portable fans.

Don't forget to take breaks.

Ensure you include time in your engagement photo session to relax outside the sun's rays. "Consider taking breaks in air-conditioned vehicles or places nearby where you can cool down in between your looks and locations. Summer temperatures don't have to ruin your ideas; you just might have to plan around being warm and staying cool while you have fun," Jen Sulak, lead wedding photographer of Weirdo Weddings and featured in over a dozen wedding publications, says.

Summer Engagement Photo Ideas

Now that you know everything you need for your summer engagement photo shoot, it's time to get inspired. Look at these 23 beautiful photos of real couples enjoying being in love, despite the heat.

1. Scenic Lighthouse Summer Engagement Picture

    Even though it's posed, we don't think it takes away how romantic this engagement photo is. Plus, the lighthouse in the distance is the perfect touch for couples who want to do a nautical theme.

    2. Desert Summer Engagement Photo

      Hats are a great way to look stylish while avoiding too many sun rays. If you're planning a Western wedding, a desert is the best spot to capture your engagement photos so you can hint at your theme.

      3. Indoor Summer Couple Photo Shoot

        Sometimes it's a little too hot outside to take summer engagement photos, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on the extended sunlight. Move indoors to one of your and your partner's favorite places with lots of natural lighting.

        4. Couple Eating During Summer Engagement Picture

          Stop at your beloved pizza joint (or another restaurant of your choosing) for a casual and candid engagement photo moment. And we have to say that we love how this happy couple is wearing matching outfits.

          5. Country-Style Summer Engagement Photo

            Cowboy boots and hat? Check. Vintage Chevy Truck? Check. This couple has aced the countrified engagement photo theme effortlessly.

            6. Sunset Engagement Photo Idea for the Summer

              Sunset summer engagement photos are a great idea for two reasons. Number one, you avoid being in the hot midday temperatures, and number two, you get beautiful silhouette images like this.

              7. Family Home Summer Engagement Photo Shoot

                If you have a picturesque home or know someone who does, think about taking photos there. It will give your images a more intimate and personal feel.

                8. Happy Couple With Dog for Summer Engagement Photo

                  Do you consider your dog a part of the family? Then include your pooch in your engagement photos. This idea doubles as exercise for your dog—win win!

                  9. Beach Summer Engagement Photo Idea for the Summer

                    Drinking water is extremely important if you're taking summer engagement pictures, but that doesn't mean you can't drink other beverages. Pop a bottle of bubbly on the beach to bring a celebratory vibe to the photo shoot (and maybe even loosen you up in front of the camera).

                    10. Casual Summer Engagement Photo in the Woods

                      Take your engagement photographer along with you doing an outdoor hobby you love for a more unique and personalized photo session. Try going hiking on your favorite trail like this couple.

                      11. Blurry Summer Engagement Photo

                        Autem says "blurry, motion-filled images and direct flash" are a popular photography trend, and the summer is "the perfect time to be creative and utilize nighttime photography to beat the heat." Go to a late-night hangout (maybe during the weekday to avoid crowds) or walk around downtown to capture a dynamic image like this one.

                        12. Boardwalk Summer Engagement Pictures

                          If you don't mind getting down (and possibly dirty), layout and get romantic during your photo session. We love this intimate couple's photo with the sun reflecting off the water.

                          13. Brooklyn Bridge Summer Couple Photo Idea

                            You don't have to travel far to take advantage of the beautiful scenery in your neighborhood. Think about taking photos in front of a famous landmark, as this couple did.

                            14. Paint-Splattered Summer Engagement Photo

                              If you and your partner know a formal engagement photo shoot isn't for you, go with something different instead. We suggest taking some "normal" non-paint-splattered pictures before getting into the fun stuff so you don't have to worry about cleaning up.

                              15. Dancing Summer Engagement Photo Shoot

                                Do you and your partner not have an introverted bone in your body? Then dance in the streets during your engagement photo session––just ensure the coast is clear for cars and bikes, of course.

                                16. Cosplay Summer Engagement Picture

                                  Use your summer engagement photo location to inspire your outfit. We love how this happy couple wore ancient Greek/Roman garb to go with their lush ivy surroundings.

                                  17. Couple Kissing Summer Engagement Photo

                                  Don't be afraid of getting (tastefully) intimate in front of the camera. Start with a simple peck on the cheek, ask your photographer for guidance and see where it leads you.

                                  18. Floral-Focused Summer Couple Photo Shoot

                                    Get comfortable and sit among the blooms during your photo shoot. If you or your photographer know an area where bunches of your favorite flowers grow, let that place be the first one on your location list.

                                    19. Couple Kissing Their Dog Summer Engagement Picture

                                      Taking engagement photos with your pet is absolutely adorable and a must-do if you have a pet, depending on their temperament, of course. We've seen couples include their cats, birds, hamsters and much more.

                                      20. Park Summer Engagement Photo

                                        The easiest way to find fresh and beautiful foliage is at your local park. Take pictures by the park fountain or pose on the benches.

                                        21. Small Boat Summer Engagement Photo Shoot

                                          Do you have a boat or know a loved one that does? Then head to the water and ask your photographer to take photos of you cruising by from the shore or while on the boat with you.

                                          22. Botanical Garden Summer Engagement Photo

                                            What makes botanical gardens great is how naturally gorgeous they are. Walk around the property and encounter numerous areas to take editorial-style photos.

                                            23. Sunrise Engagement Photo Idea for the Summer

                                              For couples who love getting up early, try a sunrise summer engagement photo shoot. We love this aerial view of the to-be-weds and the stunning location.

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