It goes without saying that no two engagement sessions are the same, because no two couples are the same! Something that is disheartening to see is couples expecting that their engagement photos will be a cutout of what they saw on Pinterest or what they were told was expected of them, instead of allowing their natural relationship to influence the session.
Something that I've learned over the years is that not every pose is going to work for every couple. Sometimes my favorite pose just isn't working one day for whatever reason. Or the pose that I think would work well might not be all that exciting or comfortable to my couples. It's important for my work to be adaptable. A common trap in engagement photography is to keep a backlog of poses to revisit each session. And not that every session can't include specific "winning" poses, but it's all too easy to get into a routine and forget the client behind the pose. Which isn’t my personal goal in shooting these sessions.
Something that I challenge myself to do is to stop looking at old poses that I've done, or poses that I see other photographers doing, and focus on letting the moment guide my decisions. If the couple hasn't had time to warm up to the camera, I would want to allow them time to get comfortable by adding in movement like walking together or holding hands and swaying. If they are feeling giggly and silly, I would want to use that to my advantage and pose them in natural positions and give them cues to make each other laugh.
It's been a great benefit to me because I stop trying to recreate somebody else's moment, and give my clients a unique session that they will personally enjoy. All that said, these are a few of my favorite poses from the past year that highlight the couple in their own element. This is why lifestyle photography is such a great fit for me, because I can use my creative eye to design a pose, but also allow the couple to be candid and take the pose wherever they want it.