Wondering how to choose the best location for your engagement photo shoot session? Cavin Elizabeth, author of A Bride’s Guide to a Picture Perfect Wedding. covers this topic for us with the ultimate tips for choosing your engagement photo shoot location!
As a photographer, I often work with my couples to choose the best engagement photo shoot locations for their photos. While their first inclination is to simply choose pretty places, I find that the best photos are taken at locations that speak to the couples’ stories, hobbies, and interests. For example, I’ve photographed couples in cute coffee shops with gorgeous lighting because every weekend they spend hours at different coffee shops around town. I’ve also taken engagement photos at their homes because that’s where their favorite memories were made.
Unless couples are dead set on a location because of its beauty, I always encourage them to be open to locations that will have significance to their relationship and will tell a story about who they are. How can you achieve the same thing? Follow these simple steps and you’ll have a great list of location options to share with your photographer!
Understand Travel and Timing Logistics
Before selecting potential locations, you should know that unless you want to purchase an extra engagement session, you should limit your single session to no more than two locations. Ideally, those two locations would be less than 15 minutes apart. Why? You don’t want to waste too much of your session driving in the car. The less time you spend in the car or changing clothes, the more time you have for photos. Keep this in mind so you don’t end up with a wish list of two locations that are on opposite ends of your city!
List Your Hobbies and Interests
Incorporating your hobbies or interests into your engagement photos will not only make you feel more comfortable during your session, it will also be a very genuine and authentic way to show your personality in the photos.
Sit down with your fiancé to brainstorm the hobbies and interests that you both share. I’ve had couples tell me everything from surfing and hiking to craft beer and coffee drinking. Whether your hobbies and interests are adventurous or simply include at-home activities, you’ll certainly have an exciting list of potential concepts that your photographer can use to suggest locations.
Photo Credit: Cavin Elizabeth
Consider Your Favorite Locations
Do you two have a few favorite locations around town, such as your local library or a nearby park or hiking trail? Are there any places that have special memories such as where you got engaged or had your first date? Write them down on your list! It’s ok if there is some crossover between your hobbies/interest list and your favorite location list.
Share Your List with Your Photographer
Once you’ve listed a few photo shoot locations and concept ideas, share them with your photographer. They can help determine location options that will incorporate the best ideas from your list that also have beautiful lighting. Definitely be flexible and understand that some spots around town just won’t be suitable for photos, whether because of lighting, safety, or even photography restrictions from the location itself.
Your photographer knows best what will be ideal for photos, so be open to their feedback and suggestions and you’ll be sure to end up at the perfect location for your session!
Cavin Elizabeth is the author of A Bride’s Guide to a Picture Perfect Wedding, and a modern style wedding and portrait photographer based in San Diego, CA. More information regarding her book, as well as her wedding photography services, can be found at https://www.cavinelizabeth.com/.