There are SO many options for when and where your engagement session should be that it can feel almost overwhelming, right? Luckily, this handy little blog post will cover all of HBP’s best suggestions for when and where to have your engagement session!
First thing’s first: the best and most flattering light is at golden hour – the time right after sunrise and right before sunset. As mentioned in an earlier article, we’ll schedule your session around this time so that you receive the most beautiful images possible.
There is no advantage light-wise to one over the other. However, sunrise sessions are a great option for locations that are tourist-y or have lots of people because they are usually empty in the early morning. They are also the best option in the hottest months of the year, when the temperatures in the evening can be uncomfortably hot. Sunset sessions are great for couples who are absolutely, 100% not morning people. They are also the best option in the coldest months of the year, when morning temperatures are too frigid for outdoor photos!
Many couples wonder about what season is best to schedule their session. Every season has it’s own beauty to offer. If you have a long stretch of time before your wedding and are not under a deadline or time constraints, I suggest choosing the time of year with elements that you would like to incorporate in your photos. Think about the dress, atmosphere, and props that make sense with your vision (more on outfits in a few pages!). If you find yourself with a limited amount of time and only one season as an option, no worries. Again, every season is beautiful in it’s own way and has so much to offer!
For me (and most photographers on the East Coast or mid-Atlantic region), fall is the most popular time of year. May and June can also be quite busy. If you’re hoping for a session at a busier time of year, it is a good idea to get a date on the calendar earlier, and also be open to a weekday session! Most of my fall engagement sessions happen on Mondays-Thursdays because my weekends are entirely filled with weddings! Keep this in mind as you are planning your session.
Depending on the weather on the day of our session, I may move the session a half-hour earlier or later than originally scheduled. For that reason, I will have you schedule 2 full hours for our session. We will use the extra half hour, before or after, for your pre-wedding consultation.
Not all couples plan on using their engagement images as a part of their wedding details, but if you are, you will want to plan your session timing accordingly. For me, the turn-around time for engagement photos (from session to delivery) is 2-3 weeks, so it’s a good idea to book your session at least one month before you need your photos!
Next, let’s talk about WHERE!
As you think about which locations may be best for an engagement session, refer back to your Pinterest mood board. Did you pin a lot of images with beautiful architecture & white marble (my personal favorite!)? Or maybe you pinned images with a lot of colorful flowers and greenery? Your mood board is your best friend! Refer to it as you narrow down your options.
Another detail to consider is when you’ve decided to schedule your session. A beautiful, colorful garden will probably be rather brown & dead in the winter, so it may be best to choose a different option for your winter session. Likewise, if what you love the most about a location is the warm fall colors of the trees but your session is in May, keep in mind that that location is going to look way different than the image you pinned! It sounds so obvious, but it’s actually a very over-looked detail that could leave you feeling a little disappointed if not considered in advance!
Use me as a resource as you start picking locations. Share with me your vision and dreams for your session, and I will provide you my best recommendations for locations. I can also give you the heads-up on locations that require a permit or locations that we can get into because of my personal network! Together, we will find the perfect place to carry out your vision.
On last element that can add depth and sentimental value to your session: including an activity. It doesn’t have to be complex. Maybe you love drinking wine together – bring a bottle & two glasses, and we’ll (subtly) pop a bottle of champagne for a photo. Or he got you roses for your first day – bring a little bouquet and we’ll incorporate it in your photos. Some couples even go to significant locations – like the coffee shop where they went on their first date, or the dreamy overlook where he proposed. I’m not one for over-doing it with dramatic symbols, but don’t be afraid to add this sentimental element to your session!
Finally, don’t let yourself be limited to the ideas you have seen friends or family members try for their own engagement session. The very best, most beautiful (and fun!) sessions are unique and creative. And if you’re feeling stuck, talk to your photographer so we can brainstorm together!
Romantic with moody fall vibes and jewel tones, this wedding was cozy and so beautifully designed.
La Vie En Rose photographs their 100th wedding at an all-time favorite wedding venue, Rockhouse Hotel.
Mixing sophisticated style with family traditions and meaningful moments - our kind of DC wedding!
Washington, DC | Naples, FL | Destination
La Vie En Rose is a wedding photography and videography studio for couples who want photos that live in the moment with them. They are based in Washington, DC and Naples, FL and are available for travel worldwide.