4 Tips For Choosing Your Engagement Session Location
I talk about all the reasons I love engagement sessions in this post, but one of the reasons I didn't touch on is the fact that the engagement session allows you to choose a location that is stylistically entirely different from your wedding venue.
Having a city wedding? Let's go to a garden for your engagement session.
Having a gorgeous open air wedding? We could do something more urban or industrial for your session.
Having a destination wedding? The engagement session is the perfect opportunity to have some professional pictures taken in your hometown or city.
Let's say you love nature, and your wedding reflects that, but your ceremony and reception will be taking place in the same spot. For your engagement session we could switch up the location or type of nature backdrop we choose. If you are getting married in the summer next to a river, we could do a fall engagement session in a forest preserve with all the gorgeous foliage.
Orrrrr you are getting married in the city, but we just don't have enough hours in the day to make all of the stops at all of the places on your shot list. I know Chicago makes it pretty hard to narrow down your list to just a few. Well, the engagement session allows us to break that list up and cover some of those spots for the engagement session and the others on the wedding day (or during the bridal session if you happen to book one of those).
Now that we have covered the endless possibilities with the engagement session, let's talk about the HOW to choose your spot. There really isn't a one size fits all solution for this, but I can provide some tips for choosing the best engagement session location for you.
1) Do you have a location that has any sort of significance?
Sometimes this can be a fun way to incorporate your personalities into your shoot. Chances are, you probably won't want your entire shoot to be in a crowded, dingy bar, but stopping by for a drink and a shot (as in picture, you animals) can be a fun thing to document for your engagement shoot.
2) Think about the feel you'd like for your engagement shoot.
This is where your photographer comes in big. Think about the feel you'd like for your engagement shoot. Maybe it is the complete opposite of the feel of your wedding. That's not only cool, but I honestly encourage that. Then ask your photographer to help you brainstorm locations that may accomplish that feel or style. Chances are, your photographer has shot one or two "boho engagement sessions" in his or her day.
3) Take the season into consideration.
One of the reasons I loveeeee living and working as a wedding photographer in Chicago is because of the different seasons. Each season brings with it a beauty and a charm that you should totally consider playing up in your engagement session. Winter? Maybe think cozy or festive around the holidays. Summer? Beach. Fall? Leaves and colors and boots, oh my! Again, your photographer is your greatest resource for location suggestions--all you have to decide is what season speaks to your heart and your photographer can help you come up with a list of locations that will best show that off.
4) Default to your photographer. Always.
The last thing to keep in mind is you may think you have the greatest location of all time, but your photographer may have some reservations. If the location means a ton to you, see if there is a compromise you can come to; but ultimately, your photographer wants to serve you well and if they think the location may hinder great pictures, you should listen. Based on the things you are looking for, your photographer will be able to suggest some other locations that may accomplish the same feel but be way better conditions for gorgeous photos.
At the end of the day, have fun with this! Take some time considering locations you find exciting, and then work with your photographer to bring that vision to life.
Tell me about your favorite engagement session locations. Are you a city or rural couple? Did you do an activity for your engagement session (hiking, cooking, etc.)? Or maybe a destination engagement shoot? Let me know in the comments!
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