When thinking about where to shoot your engagement session, it either hits you right away (that spot where you had your first date?!) but for some, it’s a bit of a head scratcher. Having photographed at countless locations over the years, I’ve stumbled upon some tried and true spots with great light and a beautiful background. First and foremost, though, is choosing a location that suits YOU best!
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Is there a location that’s significant or special to you? Where you first met? Where you got engaged?
Some of the most popular spots I use for sessions are parks, gardens, historic locations, downtown areas, cities, or even your own backyard. Keep in mind, some locations, like well-manicured gardens, often require a photo permit. It would be the client’s responsibility to obtain and pay for any required permits. So check a site’s website before we make plans.
Since the majority of my sessions are during the weekdays, crowded locations aren’t usually a concern. If we are planning a weekend session, consider if we should plan around high traffic times. Imagine the first nice weekend in spring at a local park. It’s packed and will likely mean lots of photo bombers in our shots!
I also prefer to shoot in quieter locations because most people don’t like having an audience during our session. If a passerby happens upon us it can make an already nervous subject feel even more uncomfortable. The more you are focusing on each other and not distracted by the environment, the better our shots will be!
Here are a few of my favorite spots:
Click the link of each location to view a sample session taken there.
Colonial Park (Perennial Gardens)
Colonial Park (Canal Bridge/Old Farm)
Olde York Cellars
(requires permission with location staff prior to session)
Black Wells Mills (D&R Canal)
What time should you schedule your session?
My preference is always to start sessions 90 minutes before sunset. This gives us plenty of time to utilize the softest and most flattering light of the day. We also get the opportunity for some beautifully painted skies as a background for an engagement silhouette picture.
Not sure what to wear for your engagement session? Read my tips and tricks here!