Time travel with me, won’t you? It’s twenty years from now. Your’e looking back at your engagement photos. Maybe you’re looking at them with your spouse, maybe you’re looking at them with your children. What do you want to remember about those photos? What do you want to tell your kids about them? Do you want your photos to just look nice or do you want them to tell a story? If it’s the latter, if you want your photos to tell the story of your love and to leave a legacy, picking a location for your engagement photos is more than just finding the most picturesque spot near you.
My number one goal when planning out engagement sessions with my couples is to make their photos personal and unique to them. I want them to pull the pictures out in 60 years and be able to tell their grandchildren a story about them and the people they were through those photos. So how do you do that? How do you choose a photo location that’s meaningful? Here are a few questions to work through to get you there.
1. Where did you meet? Did you meet on a blind date at a restaurant? Did you meet at a baseball game? Did you meet in college? Think about how you can work your “meeting” story into your photos. For instance, if you met at a sporting event, wear the team’s paraphernalia for a portion of your photos or go inside of the actual stadium. If you met at a restaurant, see if you can sneak in during a time when they’re not so busy and capture a few moments at the bar sharing cocktails or at a table near the window.
2. What do you like to do together? This one is kind of huge and usually lends the best ideas. Maybe you love traveling. Grab a couple of vintage suitcases and your passports to use as props. Better yet, find a private jet and take pictures outside of it. Do you enjoy cooking together? Riding bikes? Exploring the outdoors? Sharing a bottle of wine? Cook a beautiful meal together in your home, find a vintage bike or two to use in your photos, take your photographer on a hike, or go to a winery. Think about how you spend your time together and let it be evident in your pictures.
3. How did he propose? Now I’m not asking you to reenact your proposal, because those pictures make me mildly uncomfortable. But chances are that the location at which your proposal took place will probably always be a pretty special place for you moving forward. So document it! My husband and I had some of our engagement photos taken in the location where we got engaged in Boston, and I’m so happy that we did. We no longer live there, but we now have these gorgeous photos to show Beckett, his future siblings and our grandchildren where exactly our journey started.
4. What’s your story? Yes, I know. We’ve already talked about how you met, what you enjoy doing together and how he proposed, but there’s way more to your story than that. What is it that made you fall in love with him? What was the moment that you knew she was the one? What is it about him that gives you complete confidence that he’s going to be the best husband for you? Is it the way he can always make you laugh? Is it the way she supports your dreams? Is it because he’s your biggest cheerleader? These things may not give you an actual location, but these are the things that make you who you are. These are the things that your photographer needs to know so that he or she can draw them out of you during your session. You want these things captured and documented.
You’ll likely visit more than one location for your photos. So I see no problem with including that beautiful city skyline or mountainous landscape for a portion of your photos. But make sure to include at least one place or one prop that has meaning to you as a couple. Tell that story through your photos. Tell the generations to come who you are right now. Let your legacy live on for years to come.