As much as we love to shoot weddings, family portraits or any other photographic project, one of our favorite photoshoots is the engagement photo session. There are two main reasons. One, compared to the wedding day itself, the couple is way more at ease with each other, with us, and just in general. There is no audience, no officiant, no itinerary, no worries that something will go wrong. It’s just the groom and the bride having a little fun together out on location. Typically, we all have a great time together.
And that brings up the second reason: location, location, location. We photograph some really terrific wedding venues throughout Southern California but photographing engagement sessions at various locations really opens up more opportunities for the couple to get some really unique shots and allows us to be more creative. Some venues can be used for weddings, as well as engagement sessions, but some locations simply do not have the ability to host a wedding ceremony, thus a more unique opportunity for your engagement session.
All this got us thinking about what should be considered when deciding on a location for your engagement photography session. We know there are a lot of options for places to shoot your e-session, and it can be a bit overwhelming. So, we put together six things to take into consideration when you and your spouse are in planning mode. We know there are a ton of things flying around your brain now that you’re engaged! (Which- um- CONGRATS!) You’re thinking, “Well, what do I do now? Where do I even start? Who should I ask to be my bridesmaids?” And the list goes on! But don’t stress! We love to help out our couples to the best of our abilities, and one of the ways we try to do that is with helpful wedding planning tips. We hope this list helps you decide on the perfect location for your engagement photos!
1. Consider Where You Are Getting Married.
We recommend trying to do something a little different than what your wedding venue represents. For example, if you’re having a beach wedding, I strongly recommend having your engagement session somewhere other than the beach. Since you will be sharing these photos with family and friends, it will be nice to offer some variety. It also gives you something to experience that will be a bit different than your wedding day itself. And lastly, you really don’t want too many photos that all have that same feel to them with the same background and surroundings. Switch it up a bit!
2. Time of Year.
Having your engagement photos taken at the beach always sounds like a fun idea, except for when its December and it’s rainy, cold, or even windy. Keep in mind, even though we live in Southern California, and we usually have great weather, there are certain locations that are not as ideal during certain times of the year. For example, to avoid the cold and windy months at the beach, you might want to book your beach engagement photo session in the summer. But during the warmer, sunnier months, it can be extremely busy and crowded- which just makes it harder to get shots of just you and your fiance. If you want snow photos in California, you are pretty much limited to the end of January thru the first week of March.
For a location as well, keep in mind that the further the location is you might have to pay extra for travel fees for your photographers. Ultimately with us, we are always happy to cater to any location you might have in mind, but additional driving distances sometimes do require an additional fee.
3. Significance of the Location.
If you have a location that means a lot to you and your soon-to-be spouse, like where you met, went on your first date, your go-to coffee shop, or where the proposal happened- you should definitely consider incorporating that into your engagement session! Do you always go on date nights to Disney? Let’s shoot your engagement session at Disneyland! (Heads up-my wife might just have to tag along for a date night!) It’s those personal things that can make your engagement photos much more special to you and your spouse-to-be.
Keep in mind that your personality will show through your photos, and the location should have the same representation of who you both are as a couple.
For example, if you both love board games and drinking Boba, and that is what your friends know you for, you might really enjoy doing a lifestyle type of engagement session at a Boba Shop playing board games. If you love nature, camping, hiking, etc, you might really enjoy doing an engagement session at a forest-like park, a hiking trail, a park, up in Big Bear, or even Yosemite.
5. Save The Dates
If you’re wanting to use your engagement photos to send out your “Save The Date” to your guests, think about what you want your session to be like to fit your vision for it. Do you want a playful, brightly colored Save The Date? Then maybe consider an arcade as your engagement photo location! Prefer a more formal, floral invitation suite? Maybe choose a garden location or a building with beautiful, sophisticated architecture.
6. Feasibility / Flexibility.
If you have a limited schedule, you might want to pick a location that is easily accessible to save on time. Also, some locations have a high cost to them, such as the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. So, though the location might be beautiful, and it might be special, keep in mind some locations come with an unexpected cost.
We hope this list of 6 Things to Consider When Deciding Your Engagement Photo Location helped you make a decision on where to book your session! If you’re looking for more resources on helpful wedding planning tips- check out one of our other recent blogs: 30 Things Your Probably Forgetting About While Wedding Planning!