As California + Destination wedding photographers we shoot a lot of engagement sessions. The number one struggle clients have while preparing for their shoot is choosing a location. We love to offer suggestions for the perfect location, but ultimately let the couple make the final call. We want them to feel connected and invested in the place they’ve chosen. Today we are going to share how to choose the perfect location for your engagement session.
Choose A Location That Reflects Your Personality
If you hate the beach, then it doesn’t make sense to get your engagement photos done in that environment. Choose a location that fits your personality. Outdoorsy? Find a campsite, pitch a tent, and share a few s’mores together. Coffee lovers? Find a coffee shop that has tall windows for you to cuddle up next to. Home bodies? Stay home and throw on your favorite casual outfits to hang out in.
It’s all about how you fit into the location. The setting, location and weather will affect your mood. So make sure to surround yourself with what you love.
Match Your Clothes To The Environment
If your aiming for an outdoorsy session – head into the forest with plaid, hiking boots and jackets. If you want something romantic, consider a flowy dress that allows for a lot of movement. Embrace the environment – all of it, the dirt, the wind messing up your hair and all the other spontaneous imperfect elements.
Choose A Location That Is Sentimental
Make your engagement session personal. Think of a location that is meaningful or part of your love story.
- Where did you share your first kiss?
- Where did he propose?
- Where did you first meet?
- Where was your first date?
- Where did you first say “I love you”
Consider Your Favorite Activity Together
Sometimes you have to think outside the box. Make your engagement session an adventure and have fun doing one of your favorite activities together. Do you love to hike? Then research the nearest national park to adventure to. Turn it into a whole day event and enjoy the time you are spending together.
Check For Required Photography Permits
Depending on the location, you may need to purchase a photography permit. As the client, you are responsible for paying for this. For example, if you wanted to shoot photos in a botanical garden, then you might need to pay a fee between $50-$150 for a permit. This is good news because it gives you full access to the property, and you don’t have to worry about being kicked out for breaking any rules. Always do your research ahead of time.
Public Vs. Private
If you are shy, then don’t choose a super public place where you will be self conscious of people looking at you. This being said some of the coolest and most easily accessible places to shoot are outside, in public places. There are plenty of places that are more private, however they may be a drive, or harder to get to. One upside to private locations for an engagement shoot is that you won’t have to contend with other people walking into your photographers shot, or even other photographers trying to use the same location.
Think Outside The Box
Think about the connections with people you’ve built over the years. Do you know someone that could get you access to a private property? It’s fun and stretches our creativity when we shoot in new places.