When it comes to deciding where to do your engagement photos, it may be difficult to narrow down your vision. One check of Pinterest and you will find every location, every style, and every idea and they will all be surprisingly yet equally beautiful.
Some couples opt out of engagement photos but in my opinion they give you a chance to have another small celebration of your engagement as a couple. Your wedding photos will be fun but they will (potentially) be rushed and there will be lots of other people and factors around when you take them. Your engagement photos are just you, the photographer, and no rush.
Before you book your wedding photographer you should decide how you want your engagement photos to look and if they will be a similar aesthetic to your wedding photos. Many wedding photographers will throw in an engagement session “for free” when you book your wedding with them. However, if you pick a photog who shoots ultra-glam, fitting for a black-tie wedding, and you want a boho engagement session, their styles & editing may not match. In this case you may want a separate photographer for the engagement or you may adjust the location & feel of your engagement photos to match the style that your photographer shoots best. It is incredibly important to think of your budget when making these decisions and deciding how important each session of photos is to you.
To simplify things, I think engagement photo themes & locations can be narrowed down to three types – lifestyle, adventurous, or romantic. Of course no matter which way you lean there will be overlap but if you think of them in terms of which of these 3 words do you MOST want these pictures to look like, then you will have an easier time picking a location.
1. Lifestyle Theme
A “lifestyle” engagement photo location is more along the lines of a simple casual shoot. These are couples that just want photos that show their casual and flirty side without any distractors. If you are too overwhelmed with wedding planning details, this is an easy option and way to prevent yourself from stressing out about one more thing. Lifestyle shoots are low key but loving, with all of the focus on the couple. A great location for a “lifestyle” shoot is your local park, a café, or even your own home.
Example: These photos we took with Lissables Photography was taken in our favorite bar in our city as we wandered around downtown. This shoot embodied us as a couple in our favorite city so it just felt like us playing around in our “hometown.”
2. Adventurous Theme
An adventurous engagement photo location is going to be a backdrop you don’t see every day – maybe a circus or fair, a beautiful hike, or a fun bike ride by the beach. There are going to be a lot more “action shots” in an adventure shoot than in what I would label a “lifestyle” one. This can also be a way to get away from the stress of wedding planning and have some laughs and do something that identifies you as a couple. Adventurous shoots incorporate more than just a couple, they show the details of the adventure itself. Example: These photos taken with Gaby J of us in Zion National Park. We actually walked a considerable amount in these clothes before taking our shoes of and wandering through the river. This isn’t a place we go on a daily basis, it is a place people go to be outdoors and have an adventure.
3. Romantic Theme
A romantic engagement photo location is a location that just makes you immediately think of love and romance. The most obvious of these is the beach at sunset. Another option could be an open field full of flowers or if you are in Europe, a castle or ruins. These tend to have a lot of close ups, and a lot of gazing into each others eyes or kissing (or almost kissing).
Example: These photos taken with Abbey Leigh of us at Hohenecken Castle ruins. The Castle was built around 1200 but was blown up in the 1600s and has remained in ruins. It stands as a beautiful backdrop without drawing attention from us as a couple.
What type of engagement photos did you take or will you take? Comment below!
Think you know which direction you would go but aren’t sure what to wear? Stay tuned for another post on my tips for that!