We are back it again today with our Wedding Wednesday series and today we are talking about something that all of my couples ask me about - where they should do their engagement session! Very rarely does a couple come to me knowing exactly where they want to do their engagement session, so this post is for all the couples out there that don't know what to do! To make it easy, I am going to give you a few "rules" to follow when coming up with your engagement location and share some of my all time favorite places we've done engagement shoots along the way!
Rule 1 - Consider your wedding
Are you having an outdoor barn wedding and looking to use your engagement photos for save the dates? Are you planning a ballroom wedding and love a classic city style? Is your wedding in the spring but you really love the look of fall photos? Do you want your engagement photos to "match" your wedding look and theme or are you hoping for something totally different? Depending how you answer those questions, you can get going in a great direction for your engagement session! If you are looking for your engagement photos to go along with the look and feel of your wedding, one great idea is to see if you can photograph your engagement photos at that location! Want something more classic to go well with your downtown wedding? Maybe photographing around the city would work best! Consider how you want your wedding to impact your engagement photos (all the way, as inspiration, or not at all) and then talk to your photographer about any ideas that they might have!
Rule 2 - Think about the time of day and year
We often get asked to do center city Philadelphia engagement session and one of the things our couples often forget is that the city is busy! There is this iconic engagement photo in front of the "Love" sign that everyone always sends me from pinterest and they always say how they love that no one is in the background! To get that look, you've got to be willing to do your engagement session really early in the morning and for some, that's not something they would be interested in! Time of year also plays into this as some locations will be more or less busy depending. If you can, checking out the location around the time of day you want to photograph and seeing how busy it is, what is typically going, ect can be really helpful.
Along with that, think about the time of day too! If I am shooting your engagement session, chances are you love the glowy light that you see in almost all of my engagement sessions! In order to achieve this look, we have to shoot around 2 hours before sunset! We photographers call that golden hour and it is how you achieve that glowy, golden look! If you are looking to shoot earlier in the day, shade is something we will definitely be looking for! So wide open fields, beaches, and the like aren't great locations for that time of day.
Rule 3 - Think about places that are special to the two of you
Have a favorite park? The place he proposed? Where she always takes you when your having a bad day? Those sentimental locations make for GREAT engagement session locations because they mean something to you! Some couples will even plan a date and have their photographer follow them around capture their engagement photos in a more lifestlye manner at places they love!
Rule 4 - If stuck, ask the professional
One of the worst things you can do is just pick a place at random and tell your photographer you want to shoot there! Often couples will feel stressed that they don't have any idea where they want to do their engagement photos so they will pick somewhere someone else did theirs or a random place that looked pretty online. And that can equal disaster. Instead, if you haven't been able to come up with a location, ask your photographer if they have any favorite places. For me, I have 2 places in Center City I love, 2 locations near me, a park in Jersey and vineyard in Bucks County I love. If a couple is stuck, I will recommend one of those places based off of where they live and what I think would match who they are. Those places are ones I know, love shooting in and can show past work from, so clients feel confident going into their session! So if you find yourself stuck...ASK FOR HELP! Its what we are here to do!
I hope that helps! While those rules aren't the end all of how to choose an engagement session location, they definitely will get you going in the right direction! Do you have a wedding question you want answered? Drop us a line in our contact form and we will be sure to answer it an upcoming #weddingwednesday post!