Okay, so you know you want to do an engagement session, and you even know when you want to do it, but now you’re stuck on the where? There are so many options available to you when it comes to a location for your engagement session and yet somehow you can’t think of even one!
When it comes right down to it, the most important thing to consider is that the location makes sense to who you are as a couple and what you like to do together. So with that in mind, here are a few tips on how to choose the perfect location for your engagement session!
- Urban or Rural
The first thing I ask couples when they aren’t sure where to have their engagement session is whether they are drawn more to the urban or rural scene. When they picture their session in their head, are they sitting among the hustle and bustle of downtown Ottawa, or within the wonderful architecture of the area? Or are they surrounded by trees and grass listening to the birds chirp?
Urban sessions are great if you are a downtown kind of couple who loves being surrounded by not only the great restaurants and businesses, but also all the history that a city like Ottawa has to offer. The nice thing about our city is that even if you have a downtown session, you can normally still sneak in a nature-filled photo here or there. That being said, an urban session may not be for you if the idea of getting some tourists in the background of your images upsets you, or if rearranging the session based on construction and access limitation (thanks to our many festivals and special events) makes you uneasy.
Side Tip: When you are planning an urban engagement session, remember to look into whether or not there are any access fees with the area or building and coordinate those in advance.
Rural sessions are my personal favourite, but that is likely because I am a small-town country-girl at heart. There are endless options for where you can have an engagement session like this, but a great place to start is the NCC Greenbelt Trails that are throughout this awesome city. Local parks, waterfront areas or even your own backyard are options too! I’ve even done sessions in a forested area on the side of a busy road. A rural session is great for people who are looking for a bit more privacy during their session and of course, for nature-lovers like myself. But if you’d rather not go for a hike at the start of your session, or if the idea of swatting bugs away sets your skin on fire, then perhaps a rural session isn’t for you.
Side Tip: Speaking of bugs, definitely remember the bug spray for these sessions! And also keep an eye out for private property as trespassing during an engagement session isn’t recommended.
- What’s Your Favourite Hobby?
If decided on urban versus rural didn’t narrow things down enough for you, think about your hobbies and what you do as a couple in your downtime. Do you love hiking, biking or a particular sport? Love going for long walk with your four-legged companion? Or maybe you like baking or doing something artistic together? Basing your engagement session around an activity or hobby is not only great for the photos themselves, but it can also help with any nerves you may have about the shoot as it can give you something else to focus on. Just keep in mind any fees associated with the activity and to include your photographer(s) in those as well.
- Think Sentimental
The best sessions happen in a place that means something to you as a couple. The place you met or had your first date or kiss are great ideas. Or how about where the two of you got engaged? If you love chatting while you hike along a specific trail or the park you take your dog to every evening that location could work beautifully. It’s also possible the location has a special meaning to one of you more than the other, that also works. So if it is your grandparent’s farmhouse or the place you spent your summer holidays growing up, it will likely be perfect for your engagement session!
- You Don’t Have to Go Far
And when it comes right down to it, you don’t have to go far or find some grand location for your engagement session. If you really love your neighbourhood or your home, we can definitely do something great with that! And as an added bonus, you won’t have to travel very far (if at all) on the day of the session!!
If you are still having trouble choosing the best location for your engagement session, definitely ask your photographer. They likely have a pretty long list of spots that they think will work well for an engagement session and help you narrow things down a bit.
Want more useful tips and tricks for your big day? Keep an eye out all month long for special weekly editions all about getting the most out of your engagement session!!
And check out other editions of Tuesday’s Top Tips below: