How to Find the Perfect Engagement Shoot Location From a Connecticut Wedding Photographer

Did you just recently get engaged and want to commemorate this amazing time in your life? Congratulations! The engagement period before a wedding is one of the most exciting, fun, whirlwind-y times.

One of the very first questions my engaged couples ask me is “where should we take our engagement photos?” You might be wondering the same thing. You might even be a little stressed about that! I get it. Narrowing down a choice like this is intimidating! You want to make sure you’ve gotten it right!

Don’t worry – I have 4 tips to help you find the right location for your engagement photos.

1. Think of a place that is sentimental to you and your partner.

The right place for your engagement shoot may have been right in front of you all along. Okay, that sounds totally cheesy – hello, Hallmark movie script – but aren’t all cliches built on just a smidgeon of truth?

If you’re looking for an engagement shoot that you can look back on years in the future and think, wow, that was so authentic to us, it might be worthwhile to jog your memory.

Think about:

  • Where you had your first date
  • Where you first said “I love you” to each other
  • Where you proposed or were proposed to
  • Somewhere you and your partner have gone to bond

One of my very favorite engagement shoots ever was at a dock on Candlewood Lake in New Milford, CT. Mia and Anthony chose Mia’s parent’s dock because it was a place where they’ve spent summer days together over the course of their relationship.

A couple stand on a bridge on Candlewood Lake in New Milford, CT

My very first engagement photoshoot (that I still love!) was Aaron and Fletcher’s Hudson Valley engagement session. They met while going to school at the Culinary Institute of America and continued their life together in the Hudson area. Both being in the food industry, it was a no-brainer to do some of their shoot in front of The Amsterdam in Rhinebeck, NY, the restaurant that Fletcher manages.

We also had a great time wandering through Art Omi in Ghent, NY, a gigantic and beautiful sculpture garden that Aaron and Fletcher loved visiting together in the past.

A professional photoshoot, especially if it’s your first, can sometimes be a little intimidating at first. While I will always do my best to ensure that you feel comfortable, choosing a place that feels familiar to you might help you start off in a relaxed mindset!

2. Consider how you want your engagement session to feel.

Some couples want their engagement session to simply be a romantic experience in a beautiful place. Others want theirs to be filled with activities.

Think about how you want to feel when you look back on your engagement album in the future. Do you want to remember your soulful connection or specific parts of your life in your pre-wedding era? Do you want to smile as you look at a time capsule of a really fun date? Do you want a mix of both?

If you want to incorporate a date feel to your engagement shoot, here are just a small handful of ideas:

  • Bring a picnic basket to your location
  • Stop by a local restaurant or cafe
  • Do a shared activity, like playing a game or going ice skating
  • Go horseback riding
  • Visit the library or a bookshop
  • Play games at a festival or carnival

3. Look at your wedding plans for inspiration.

You may be super early into the planning stages of your wedding, but it’s never too early to talk about your wedding vision! Take time to sit down with your partner and talk about your dream wedding vibes. These might help you discover your engagement shoot location!

What words describe your wedding vision? Dreamy, moody, eclectic, rustic, modern, classic? And do you want your engagement photos to match that vibe? What o incorporate in your engagement photos?

Some locations to match your vibes:

  • Classic: A city hall (the atrium at Hartford City Hall is peak classic vibes)
  • Romantic: a historical mansion or gardens, like Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, CT
  • Eclectic: An art museum or gallery, a record store, your favorite brewery or bar
  • Rustic or woodsy: A wide open field with farmy elements, a state park, a covered bridge, an apple orchard
  • Cozy and nostalgic: A coffee shop, on campus at your alma mater, or even at home

Images associate shot for Alexis Ann Photo.

4. Consider how you want to use your photos.

Fun fact: you don’t have to use your engagement photos for an announcement, save the dates, or invitations! You can keep your entire gallery to yourself. You can use your photos for your own personal prints or an album on your coffee table.

So, chat with your partner and think: will you be using your photos for an announcement, save the dates or invitations, or will you be keeping your gallery all to yourself?

If you’re keeping the photos to yourself, you have some freedom to go outside of the box or take photos that don’t necessarily “match” your wedding vibe. You and your partner may even want to do a couples’ boudoir shoot – which I will always be in favor of. 😉

If you want to use them in coordination with your wedding, this is a great opportunity to think about the styling of your shoot as well. If your dream wedding venue is super glam and glittery, you might want your outfits and engagement shoot venue to be on the fancier side. If you’re getting married by the beach, why not go for seaside engagement photos, too?

Carolyn and Tanner, two traveling nurses originally from the South, wanted to commemorate their time up in Connecticut with an apple picking themed engagement session at March Farm in Bethlehem, CT. They wanted to use their photos for unique save-the-dates. Apple picking sessions are super popular up here, but they’re a novelty down South, and they wanted to announce their engagement in a unique way!

Now that you have a clear idea of what you want, there’s one final thing that you can do to make sure you’re happy with your engagement shoot location: talk to your photographer! I’m always happy to answer any questions my couples have about locations, recommend places that I’ve shot at or know of in the area, and even look through locations with you to really narrow it down. I want to make sure that this experience is special for you and your partner.

At the end of the day, your engagement photos are for you and your partner to enjoy for years to come! Do what feels right to you and enjoy this special time together before your big day.

Are you getting married this year or next? I offer engagement sessions for free with most of my wedding packages! Let’s make your dream vision come true.

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Hi! I'm Kristen. I love making moments into art! I love helping my clients realize that their moments, relationships, and bodies are beautiful — no matter where they are in life.

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