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The Secret to Finding the Perfect Engagement Photo Shoot Location

We have made it easy - take our quiz to find the location that is best for you. A great place to start is by asking yourself “where would we have our perfect date?” Check out all our ideas and see what answer you get!

Do you want to know the secret to choosing the ideal location for your engagement photo shoot? It’s all about matching –and I’m not talking about your outfits - yikes- don’t do that!

What I’m actually referring to is how to match both your personality as a couple​ and your outfit to the location; that’s the secret sauce to creating engagement photos that you’ll love. In other words, I’m going to help you match you’re the location to your personality and level of dressiness. By selecting a place that represents you as a couple, right now, at this time of your life, you’ll find it way easier to choose outfits that will result in you feeling attractive and confident.

Approaching the location in this way also relieves a ton of pressure from the photo shoot. Engagement photos are like a bonus to your wedding photography: a celebration of your relationship up until this point. Adopting this mindset towards your shoot will help spark your creativity and spontaneity as a couple, which is guaranteed to shine through in the photos. I mean, when else do you have a pro photographer follow you around and create stunning images of you in everyday life?

Now, I’m going to show you how to choose a location that sets the desired tone for your engagement photo shoot, and how brilliant some couples are at matching the right outfit to that location.

A great place to start is by asking yourself “where would we have our perfect date?”

Here are a few examples:

Cosmopolitan​ – Are you a couple that has a variety of creative, artsy interests? Do you spend hours navigating the urban landscape together - unearthing hidden street art, coffee shops and microbreweries? Or perhaps your shared passion is music.

If this, or anything similar sounds like you and your partner, then a cosmopolitan setting for your engagement shoot may be ideal. Your relationship is full of discovering fun, hidden treasures together, so an artsy and unique engagement photo shoot location only makes sense! Graffiti-strewn walls decorated with murals, unique coffee shops, wine bars, music venues, even an underpass or alley you came across when you were lost together – all of them have the potential of providing the perfect backdrop for your shoot.

Photo shoots in this kind of environment lend themselves to casual outfits, so you can wear whatever makes you usually feel cute and confident in this sort of setting. Alternatively, in an ironic contrast, you might go super dressy and stylish – if that’s something that reflects your personality as a couple.

Beach ​– If your relationship evokes memories of getaways by the coast: the sun caressing your skin, the wind in your hair, and the sand between your toes – then the beach is your perfect location.

You clearly don’t mind getting a little wet and messy, so kick off your shoes and have fun! This is an opportunity to wear a gorgeous, flowing dress, or to simply match a cute top with a pair of jeans before rolling up the legs and frolicking in the water. Beach photo shoots can be both fun and light-hearted, yet highly romantic; especially with the right view. Dogs work really well on the beach too!

Natural - For us here in downtown Chicago, ‘nature’ means a park! Photographers love to shoot in parks because there are benches, alleys of trees, lakes, ponds, and fields of flowers. However, your definition of nature is likely to be something completely different: It could involve mountains, snow, caves or anything in between – but as long as the location represents an ideal time spent together, then it’s perfect for your engagement photo shoot. So in that spirit, head to your favorite hiking spot; a botanical garden; or even your favorite, little, natural hideaway tucked away in your city.

A key component of shooting in nature is to have a number of places to stand, sit, and lean against, preferably at different heights, to create variety. For instance, you can see how a flat grass area with a lake behind compares with a park full of bridges, paths, plants and, sculptures.

As with shooting at the beach, a location set in nature calls for more casual, less dressy outfits which reflect the experiences you’ve shared in such a setting.

Cityscape – If you and your partner enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city, then a ‘cityscape’ location could be ideal for your engagement photo shoot. As opposed to a ‘cosmopolitan’ setting outlined above, which hones in on the smaller, intimate details of your city, a cityscape setting represents the larger things that make it special.

This could be any famous landmarks, buildings or architecture that you admire, or any location the provides a perfect view of the city skyline.

Locations of this kind allow you to dress up a little; like you would naturally in downtown Chicago on a date night.

Home ​ - Quite simply, sometimes, there’s just no place like home. If you’re the kind of couple that likes nothing more than sharing a home-cooked meal before curling up on the couch together to watch DVD boxsets, then this is the perfect location for you.

Casual and stylish is the order of the day here – think what you’d wear if you were entertaining guests.

Some Parting Advice:

  • Although I’ve suggested your perfect date as springboard of ideas for an ideal location, this idea can be expanded to include where you first met, where you went on your first date, or even where they proposed!
  • As mentioned in my post on choosing the perfect outfit, it’s wise to bring a second outfit to your shoot to give a different vibe completely. In relation to this, it’s also ideal to choose a location that has a variety of settings and backdrops within walking distance to make full use of your engagement shoot.
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