Picking an engagement session location can be a tough decision. There’s literally endless spots out there to choose from, and you want a place that’s meaningful to you two, photogenic, and fits with your style and wedding theme. A good photographer can make any location look great, so pick the spots that are most meaningful to you. Not sure where to start? Here’s some fun, out-of-the-box ideas!
- Have a picnic in your backyard
You don’t even have to leave your property to have a lovely engagement session. Pack a blanket, a basket, and some cute glass soda bottles and make it a picnic day!
- Take your photographer on a date
Want to walk around your downtown? Maybe grab coffee at your favorite little spot? And go for a movie after? Pitch the idea of an actual date for your engagement session, and your photographer is sure to love it! With me, you get up to three hours, so that’s plenty of time for a stroll, a cup of coffee, and a movie. After a while, you won’t even notice me, and the real you will show in your engagement photos 🙂
- Visit your favorite professional team’s home stadium
Did you know that most professional teams allow private tours of their stadium? For example, this coming spring I’ll be shooting at Orioles Park at Camden Yards. Better yet, schedule on a day when you can stick around for a game, and make a whole date day out of it! You’ll have way more fun than your friends who went to the local park for their engagement session.
- Visit your proposal location
We ended up changing our plans, but John and I originally wanted to do our engagement session in Warm Springs, VA, near a waterfall where John’s dad proposed to his mother. Lots of couples like to visit their own proposal spot, or a location that has family history.
- In your own home – lifestyle photography
Your engagement session can be about you two, doing what you do every day. Making coffee, snuggled up watching Netflix, decorating your Christmas tree, playing with your dogs in the yard, making dinner together. Search for “in home lifestyle engagement,” and you’ll see countless examples of adorable engagement pictures about everyday life.
- Ask your photographer!
If you’re still stumped, your photographer is the expert. If you know your style and what kind of images you’re looking for, she probably has a list of scenic, historic, urban, or natural locations in your area. Every couple is a little different, and she can help you find a location that makes you excited for your engagement session.
Remember that any location can be photogenic if you’re willing to give it a try. Wedding photographer are experts at making beautiful artwork on the fly. On wedding day, we pull up to a venue that we may have never seen before, and make every moment of the day look pretty and elegant – from wedding details and rings, pictures of your wedding party getting ready, to posed portraits and the reception dance floor. We don’t get to choose the venue or the lighting, so we’re experts at making it work with whatever we’re given. So when you’re planning your engagement session, choose meaning over pretty. We can make your living room or an abandoned factory work just as well as a pretty park or historic downtown. No one location is superior to another, as long as you’ve chosen a photographer you have confidence in.
Have some fun ideas of your own? Tell me! Where are you planning your engagement session? I would love to hear!
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Jo Mahaney is a professional photographer of PhotographyByJo.net based in Staunton, Virginia, specializing in wedding photography. With over eight years of experience, Jo is dedicated to creating effortless, joyful imagery that authentically captures the essence of each couple’s unique love story. She is known for her ability to create meaningful galleries filled with emotion and personal narratives. Jo is not just a photographer; she is an active supporter of her clients, providing resources and guidance to ensure a stress-free experience. From the initial inquiry call to the wedding day, Jo is transparent, open, and ready to get to know her clients to provide the best service possible. Her commitment to her craft and her clients is evident in the glowing testimonials she has received. Jo’s work extends beyond Staunton, covering areas such as Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Lexington, Roanoke, and Richmond. She has also had the privilege of photographing weddings in various locations, including the Outerbanks, DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, and even Spain.