Every couple goes through this stage of stressing over finding a pretty location for their engagement photos. I mean, I totally get it. You want somewhere beautiful, romantic, epic, dreamy, etc. so you’ll have something pretty to look back to years from now. The options are plenty, where do you start?

Sure, you can go for the most epic landscape – like on top of the mountains or in front of a huge waterfall. But personally, I think the more epic a scene is, the more it takes away from what’s important: you and your fiance, and the love you share. I’ve seen so many engagement and wedding photos where the couple is a tiny element of the frame while the rest of it is of some majestic cloud-covered mountains. I mean, yeah that’s pretty, from a fine art perspective; but to me, that’s not a “couple” photo. Someone looking at that photo would likely say, “Oh wow, what a beautiful place! Where was it!?” That’s not the reaction you would want. You’d want someone to say, “Aww you two look so cute!” You want your photos to capture you as a couple, your personalities, your essence, which is essentially what I hope to achieve for your engagement photos.

So, before you stress, before you go for the obvious, take a moment and consider a few things below to help you decide.

Choose a place that has special meaning to both of you.

Perhaps it’s where you two first met, where you two had your first date, shared the first kiss, where he asked you to be your girlfriend, or where he proposed. Did you first meet at the library? We can go back there and re-create a few shots of the exact moment when you met. Photos of you two sitting and reading together, at the table, on the floor, or leaning against the shelf. These photos will be different, unique and significant to you. They add a little something extra to your story, and give you an opportunity to tell that story to someone looking at them.

Choose a place that shares a similar theme as your wedding.

Let’s say you are having a nature-y, foresty wedding with lots of greenery. Great! How about tie your engagement in with the similar theme? Go for some place with lots of trees. For sure you’ll want to print out your engagement photos and display them at your wedding reception. So photos that have a similar vibe will tie in nicely with the rest of your reception decor. I have one couple doing a tropical-themed wedding so they wanted their engagement photos to have palm trees and beach in them.

Choose a place where you can wear your wedding colors.

If the above doesn’t vibe with you, the alternative is to choose a place where you can wear a similar color palette as your wedding. If your wedding colors are rustic – think earthy tones like browns, greens, creams – you might like to wear a cream colored dress for your engagement photos. So a perfect place for this is an open field with tall brown grass. Personally, I LOVE shooting in open spaces because it allows for lots of beautiful natural light especially at golden hour. Imagine you two dancing under the soft sunlight, in a dreamy field. What can be more romantic!?

That’s it! Just these three things to consider. Always remember this – what story do you want to tell with your engagement photos?