Stuck on where to have your engagement session?
Each of my wedding packages includes a complimentary engagement session as a gift and much of the planning that goes into each session is figuring out where it will take place. I encourage my couples to brainstorm on locations or themes that mean something to the both of them. I know, easier said than done, which is why I’ve compiled photos from some of my past engagement sessions that had some killer locations:
Hiking // Stellar Views // Adventuring:
Perfect for the couple who love to hike and be outdoors together. Picking a location with stunning views and landscapes gives drama and cinematic imagery to your photos while still emphasizing your intimacy. In some of the below images, you can get a grasp of the incredible location but the couple is still the primary focus even when they’re fairly small in the composition.
Greenhouse // Botanical Garden:
A personal favorite of mine for any time of the year. It’s a fantastic option for an indoor location in the winter months for those who don’t particularly want the snowy cold photos. Greenhouses are another location with a very cinematic look – rich saturated colors, misty rooms, dark shadows, and whimsical plants. A few amazing greenhouses and botanical gardens are Duke Farms, Phipps Conservatory, Longwood Gardens, New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Fairmount Park Horticulture Center.
Getting creative in a city produces some really cool, unique results. Below are some images from a session where my couple wanted to use locations near where they live and that have significance to them. We started at a their favorite taco restaurant followed by an empty concert venue, both in Philadelphia. If you’re looking for a city vibe, try and think of some trendy off-the-beaten-path shops, restaurants, cafes, museums, galleries, bars, etc.
Garden Centers // Arboretums:
Garden centers and arboretums are a favorite of mine each year because their design is constantly being updated. We get the benefit of lush plant-filled outdoor locations without having to scout different parks or locations and their displays are always updated so plants are fresh and seasonal. A few favorite locations are Terrain, Tyler Arboretum, Curtis Hall Arboretum, and Ott’s Exotic Plants.
Art Gallery // Mosaics // Murals:
A lot of my couples are artists themselves: painters, photographers, videographers, jewelry makers, chefs, musicians, graphic designers, stylists, etc. – I love photographing engagement sessions at art museums, galleries, and locations with art installations, mosaics, and murals. Even if you’re not an artist, the colors and textures at these locations make for some really stunning and unique photos. A few favorite locations are Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (pictured below), Grounds for Sculpture, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Even hopping from street to street in Philadelphia in search of their murals is a really fun session.
Airbnb // In-Home Session
The kind of couple who just likes to Netflix and chill? I gotchu, boo. An in-home session is a great way to bring some intimacy and normalcy into your photos. Cuddling on the couch under a blanket, sipping coffee in your PJ’s squashed in an armchair together, making pancakes in the kitchen – all really cute simple things we can do at home where you’re most comfortable. Don’t live together? In between homes? Not a fan of your apartment’s decor? Rent an Airbnb! My couple below went the Airbnb route and found an amazing space with a super cool yard.
County Fair // Amusement Park:
I’m loving doing county fair and amusement park sessions. They’re so youthful, colorful, and fun. Big kids at heart? Want photos of your sweetheart attempting to win you a huge pink stuffed bear? Let’s go to the fair.
I don’t think I have to elaborate much on ‘waterfalls’ – romanceeee. So much beauty and awe in photos with waterfalls, I’ll never get sick of them.
Wes Anderson Inspired // Quirky:
This takes a little more brainstorming, but Wes Anderson inspired locations with heapfulls of quirk instantly adds a cinematic surreal look to your session. Camp grounds, funky motels, circuses, boardwalks, odd buildings, etc.
Modern // Simple // Minimal:
Utilizing a minimal, modern, clean space helps place focus on the two of you and is another great alternative to the winter months or couples who don’t particularly love the outdoors. Warehouses, photo studios, and modern offices can all be minimal spaces that can be transformed into an amazing space with the right light. The images below were taken in the bride-to-be’s law office!
Old historical parks and buildings are another favorite. The age and history alone are amazing focal points, and the locations are typically well maintained. Valley Forge Park, as seen below, is a great location with tons of acreage and some old buildings like an old farmhouse and church.
This relates to my paragraph above about art museums, but I’m giving another special shout out to museums in general. The curation and design in museums are unique in each room/gallery and what better place to make art than a curated museum?
Industrial buildings are another great indoor option. Large machinery, old glass windows, concrete floors, dusty textured walls: these are a few of my favorite things. The photos below were taken at the Scranton Times building where the groom-to-be used to work. The building has printing machines from the 1920’s which was very cool to incorporate into their photos.
A favorite session of mine from 2017 was taken at a tiny little airport in Tunkhannock, PA. It was such an offbeat and unique location idea that was fun to explore. I’m sure an airport wouldn’t be the first thought for an engagement session, so seeing images taken here might be a jumping off point for something you originally would have never thought of.
Where You Both Met // Where the Proposal Was:
If you don’t have professional photos from the proposal, this is a great opportunity to go back and relive those moments. The couple in the images below met at a community fishing/boating campgrounds so they chose to have their session there. If there’s a location that is sentimental or significant to your relationship, it’s so great to be able to get professional photos done to capture it.
I’m a film & digital wedding photographer based in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey for couples who love out loud.
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