wedding photography for the colorful lovers

How to pick the perfect engagement photo locations

Saying “yes” to your partner? Easy. Saying “yes” to your engagement photo locations? Maybe not as much. 

You may be asking yourself things like “Is it necessary or is it just a waste of money?” “How does it benefit me?” or “I’d rather stick your head in the sand than be in front of the camera more than I have to.”

First of all, it’s totally optional. And second, please don’t stick your head in the sand! 

As for how it benefits you?

#1 – It’s a great way to get to know your photographer, to feel comfortable communicating and working alongside them, and to build trust between the three of us.

#2 – An engagement session can help loosen your camera jitters by getting you comfortable doing moving and flowing in front of the lens. 

#3 –  You’ll have some super sweet, professional photos of just the two of you, not in wedding attire, that you can display in your home and office.

#4 – Because you will have already gotten comfy talking with your photographer and being in front of the camera, you’ll be even more prepared to ace your wedding-day photos.

Still on the fence? No worries! Keep reading to learn even more about engagement sessions, how to pick the best location, and simple, but effective, ways you can prepare.

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How to Select your Engagement Photo Locations

There are a million and one places you could pick for your engagement photo locations. Not to mention, a few factors to consider (time of day, weather, holidays, etc.) But forget about all of that for a hot minute. And, instead, start to think about meaningful locations for you and your partner. 

Think of a place that’s special to both of you. Not only will this help you narrow down your choices, but choosing a location that’s relevant to your lives will add a personal touch to your photos. 

What stories live behind the places you and your fiance frequent? Maybe your special spot is a charming old book store where you first locked eyes across the shelves. Or maybe it’s the rustic winery where you had your first date. Maybe it’s the park where your partner proposed and where you both walk your dog every weekend. 

Wherever is near and dear to both your hearts is a sure bet for some amazing engagement photos. 

For example, Tim and Ashley always ride their bikes to the beach and have a picnic. So naturally, they did their session at Little Corona Del Mar Beach!

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How to Prepare for your Engagement Photo Locations

Now that you have an idea of where you want to have your photos taken, you can start getting prepared for your camera debut.

For some people, getting in front of a camera is no big deal. They’re naturals at posing and strutting their stuff. If that’s you – great! If that’s not you – also great! Some pre-sesh jitters #CantStopWontStop you from getting engagement photos that you love. And I’m here to help you, no matter how natural or nervous you feel.

So let’s have a pep/prep-talk about some of the best ways you and your partner can prepare.

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Prep Tip #1: Find an Outfit

If you’re stumped on what to wear for your engagement photos, fear not. Finding the perfect engagement session outfit is all about picking something that’s comfortable, complementary, and, most of all, feels like you.

Be You. 

What do you feel confident and comfortable in? How about your partner? Are you a jeans and tee kind of person? Do you both love a chance to get dolled up? Look through your closet and find your favorite pieces. Think about your personal styles. Is there a particular outfit you love seeing your fiance wear or vice versa?

You don’t have to dress up, unless you want to. And you don’t have to compare yourselves to the couples you see on Instagram. This is about the two of you and what you feel your best in.  Because if it looks or feels awkward, it’s going to look awkward in photos.

Feel Comfortable. 

If you look great in an outfit, but it’s complicated to move around in, think twice before choosing it as one of your engagement session outfits. 

Do some tests. Can you walk/stand around in those heels for hours? If there are some specific poses you want to capture (like jumping), will your outfit hold up? Will you always have to adjust the straps on that dress? Is that hat going to fly away on a windy day?

I know it seems like a lot to think about, but honestly, if you keep your outfit and accessories comfortable and low-key, there’s not much to worry about. 

Complement Each Other. 

Playing off of each other’s outfit looks super rad in engagement photos. For example, you could choose one color to focus on, like your blue shoes to match your partner’s blue shirt. Or play with matching patterns and colors, like your black and white patterned dress to match your partner’s black tie. 

And of course you can always turn to me for guidance. If you have some outfits in mind and would like ideas or suggestions, I would be happy to help!

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Prep Tip #2: Boost Your Confidence

Raise your hand if you could use a self-care day? Now take that hand (and the rest of you!) straight to the salon because it’s time to boost your confidence!

Okay, okay, self-care and confidence isn’t all about beauty. But let’s face it – It feels pretty damn good to get your hair, nails, and makeup done. (Or, for the guys, to get a clean shave and haircut.)

Whether you’ve nailed contouring and elegant updos (thank you, YouTube!) or would rather sport a bare face and a top knot, consider preparing for your engagement session by giving yourself a mini makeover. Get your nails done. Try a flattering natural makeup look. And have your hair styled. All of these can boost your confidence and make you feel like your best and most beautiful self. 

Ultimately, the goal is for you to feel like Queen Bey walking into your session. 

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Prep Tip #3: Communicate with Your Photographer

Communication is such an important thing when it comes to feeling comfortable in front of the camera. If you’re anxious or self-conscious about something, let your photographer know. If you’re nervous or don’t know what to do or how to pose, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your photographer is there to provide guidance and direction AND capture you to look like your best self. Good photographers are open to ideas and suggestions, especially if you feel awkward about something or if you have an idea for a pose/location/prop/etc.

Your engagement photo session is an expression of your love story, so getting the details right and helping you feel comfortable and confident is of the utmost importance.

Having engagement photos taken should be anything but stressful. In fact, everything from picking out a meaningful location to walking hand-in-hand in front of the camera should be a fun experience. 

Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying some lens time with your love in no time. 

And if you’re already feeling amped about booking your engagement session, let’s chat about scheduling one today!

Check out the most recent engagement sessions in my portfolio!

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