5 Secrets to Selecting an Ideal Location for Your Engagement Session
Now you’ve found the one. Congrats!
So the big day draws near and the nuptial bells are ringing. But you just noticed you haven’t checked the engagement session item on your to-do list. You and your spouse are already convinced about having an engagement session anyway. You think it would add fun and color to your wedding photography experience. These 5 secrets to selecting an ideal location for your engagement session will take the stress out of the main goal, Having Fun!
So, you have to book an engagement session, right away. You can’t wait to announce this special season to the world via pictures. But one question keeps popping in your head: “where can we have our engagement session?” Relax. Thousands of soon-to-weds are thinking the same – not just you.
Some great locations will bring out the story in your imagination, and tell it as is. But first, let me enlighten you on things to look out for when thinking of the best location for your shoots. These Five Secrets to Selecting the Ideal Location for Your Engagement Session will guide you in choosing a location that gives life and meaning to your sessions.
1. Photo Time Determines Photo Quality
Most times, ‘when’ and not ‘where’ matters most with photography. The outcome of your shoots is determined, among other things, by the quality of natural light at the time of the shots. No matter the attractiveness of your preferred location, without proper lighting, the shots could come out dull, and uninspiring.
What magic would you do with an android phone’s camera in a dark room? Little I think. This could be some exaggeration, but I’m sure you get the point. I get the best image quality from shots made two hours before sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise. If you are an early riser, sunrise is awesome because there is no one else around and the location to ourselves. The first hour of the session is used to get you ready for the camera. And when you are well absorbed into the moment, then the main deal begins. The magic happens.
You will always get good light at these times. Ensure you are at your preferred location early enough; so that you don’t miss this beautiful light. Remember once it goes, your fate is sealed.
2. The Season of the Year Counts Too
The time of the day, the season affects your photo quality a lot. The fall and spring are the best seasons for photo sessions, I would always choose the fall over the spring for engagement photos. The forage is fresh and full, the trees are vibrant and colorful and multi colors of the changing leaves are stunning.
In spring, however, the flowers are a beauty to behold, and the chirps of birds sparkle the moment. Yes, these are the best times of the year to get the best of your engagement sessions. Springtime gives you the best of water elements like water fountains. But remember that while waiting till fall to have your session at such locations, the water might have been drained and turned off.
Also, it’s important to check the location’s website for activities or events you wish to shoot your session at. Your preferred location might be one that usually hosts large crowds and attracts a myriad of activities at a particular time of the year. If such a place is where you desire, you may want to work on your photography plan to avoid the possible distraction by the activities. For example, an event The Cherry Blossom Festival holds in Washington DC around the first week of April annually. Having an engagement session at such a location is most couples’ desire. Yeah, Cherry Blossoms are lovely and a lot of people troop in year-in-year-out. So, for such a location, shooting at sunrise is your best bet.
3. Choose a Location That Tells Your Story
Your engagement session is about you and your fiancé. Personalize it. Do you have a location that is sentimental to you and/or your spouse? It may be the spot where you said yes to his proposal? The restaurant where you first met? Or a location you both love? What matters is you want to get a location that adds meaning to your photos and your love life. This photo below, Alyssa and Shane are both water people. Alyssa is a captain on a catamaran and Shane is a marine biologist. So it fit perfect that we chose the water as an element in St. Thomas USVI.
4. Spice It Up with Your Hobby
Engagement sessions should be fun. Go ahead and spice it up with your favorite activities or hobbies. Get your brains out of the box. Be creative with your hobbies. Be open-minded. Do you and your spouse have any favorite activity in common? Perhaps, cooking time is a fun time for you both? Was your first meeting at a coffee shop? Or a gym? Let them all reflect in your photo shoots. It can never be more fun. A good way to think of your engagement session as a date night, then allow your photographer to capture the moment. I mean, have fun like no one is watching you.
5. Think of Your Fashion
Your outfits tell a lot about you. Let them speak right of you in your shoots. You also want to be bold and comfortable with them. Do well to make your dress sense match with the location. You would be better off with natural colors if your photos will be shot in a garden or field. Bolder shades naturally go with downtown areas. We also recommend that you use shades that compliment your wedding colors. Personally, I recommend using three different outfits on at least two locations. The more the photos and variety, the spicier and long-lasting memories it leaves.
Do you have any particular theme in mind? Then check out for places where you can find the structural elements that tally with your theme. Research the venue you desire and get permission to shoot there. It may require a fee or just a permit to use the location – depending on their policy. Do you lack ideas for the perfect engagement shots spot? Talk to your professional photographer. Just tell them your desire; they’ll help you make it come true.
We do not only focus on capturing those special moments; we want to make them fun and memorable. It’s all about you and your spouse – we are here to capture it and make it last forever.