I get a lot of very interesting questions as part of my job. Everything ranging from “can you Photoshop my _______ (thinner, thicker, shorter…)?” to “Is Brian really Irish?” and “Can you remove ___________ from my photos?” However, one of the most common questions I get is: “do you have any suggestions where we should do our engagement session?”
Yes, yes I do. Tons- in fact. But, before I offer my clients a list of locations I think are cool/interesting/funny/unique/all of the above, there are a few things that I like them to think about:
1. When you envision your engagement session, what’s the first thing that immediately pops into your mind? Don’t look at other blogs, your friends photos, or wedding sites…I want to know what YOU want. As cliché as that sounds, it’s not. This is the time where it’s just the two of you. No family photo requests to fulfill, no timeline…just you two. Your photos should reflect this.
2. How would you describe yourself? What I mean is, when you look around your house, what do you see? For example, Brian and I are very relaxed people; we don’t like a lot of “fuss” with anything. If you look around our house, you’ll see neutral colors and one bright red wall with photos of us and family (and my sweet-no matter what Brian tells you-cat) and the rest of the walls are neutral with sporadic art work we’ve either made or acquired. But other than that, our tastes are very clean; as were our engagement photos. Our engagement photos were very much “us.”
Another way of looking at it: do you like to collect certain things? Vintage clothing, art, dishes? Do you like dressing up for certain occasions? Where do you live and why? For example, Nikki and Shelly are Downtown Los Angeles to the core-there were no other options for where we were doing their session! Jackie and Steve were Quintessential Long Beach, CA people. They were wine lovers and proper foodies (Brian and I were suitably impressed with their wine collection) who were perfectly suited for Long Beach.
3. What do you like to do? For Christmas, Kurtis gave Billie a new beach cruiser…we HAD to incorporate that into the session! Cathy and Aaron loved riding their bikes along the bike trails of Santa Fe Springs.
4. What do you think would be fun? Do you want to use your engagement session as an opportunity to be completely different from who you are? Do you want to try something new? By all means-this is the time you should do it! Sandra and Robert drove for hours because they wanted something urban and edgy.
We’re lucky to live in Southern California; we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to any sort of background. And if all else fails or, you’re overwhelmed with options-just ask me. Here are some sessions that we’ve recently (or not so recently, but that I just like) done:
Alexis and Jorge (and Buddy, can’t forget Buddy) in Pacific Palisades, CA:
My Memorial Day weekend couples:
Christina and Phil at the Balboa Fun Zone:
And Ritchie and Raquel at Leo Carrillo State Beach:
And Angela and Len (who have permanently endeared themselves to me by saying they wanted an engagement session to get used to being in front of the camera. YES!) in Downtown Los Angeles: