Engagement Session Series:

• Choosing Your Location •

4 Tips for choosing your location

Before we start, if you already have your heart set on a location, awesome! You can just skip this entire thing!

But for those still on the fence, the following are just a few exercises to get you thinking outside the engagement-session-location box.

It might actually be a good idea for both you and your fiancé(e) to take a look over these tips and do some brainstorming separately. You'll either both decide on the same thing, or come up with ideas the other one didn't.

You might be thinking, "But Christi, you're the professional here, aren't you going to help me?" Absolutely, if that's what you'd prefer. I'm always here to help with anything you need! But I've also found, again and again, that my clients are seriously awesome at choosing a creative place that really reflects their personalities.

So grab a pen, piece of paper, and coffee (because coffee = life). Here we go...

1. Think about your go-to activities as a couple. What are your things?

A few examples:

     • Going to a football/soccer/baseball game

     • Hanging out in a used bookstore and then grabbing a craft beer

     • Going for a hike with the dogs

     • Dressing to the nines and going salsa dancing

     • Cooking dinner/baking something together at home

     • Simply walking around your own neighborhood

     • Camping and roasting marshmallows under the stars

Write down whatever comes to mind — nothing is wrong or too weird; we’ll edit this list together later, and any quirky ideas you have might get us on a cool path! You can put an asterisk beside anything that jumps out at you as a particularly good fit.

2. Consider a sentimental location or one with a super fun memory attached

Did you meet while you were both mechanical engineering students at UIUC? Maybe we'll start in front of the building where you were first making eyes at each other over mountains of homework.

Was your first date to go bowling or to the Museum of Natural History? Both fantastic options, even if one does include wearing someone else's shoes.

Was your first trip together to your family's lakehouse? Let's rent an old canoe and get a shot of your two jumping off the dock.

Heck, if he proposed on your five year anniversary trip to Dublin, I'm all for a hop across the pond to recreate the magic. (HINT HINT)

3. Keep in mind the mood you'd like the session to have.

Take a moment to picture your engagement session. What does it "feel" like? Some ideas: peaceful, classic, fun, moody, quirky, romantic, cozy, sleek, edgy, lively, etc.

Jot down any and everything that comes to mind.

Next, put an asterisk by your top two to three and try to think of places that fit each descriptor. The more specific you can be, the better, but general ideas get us going in the right direction too! A few different examples of how this might go:


• rural, wide open spaces, no people


• hot chocolate at coffeehouse, or wrapped in a flannel blanket outside by your fireplace, or roasting marshmallows by a campfire

"Fun, Lively, Edgy"

• The city! Think downtown Champaign or a quick day trip to Chicago or St. Louis. Maybe even plan for a music/beer/food/art festival you both love.


• UIUC campus, Allerton, etc.

Destination Engagement Session

4. Match your location to the type of clothes that make you feel great.

Want to wear a sleek pencil skirt and suit? The beach might not be your ideal location... think big, shiny buildings instead. Great option for city lights and financial districts.

Feel best in a flowy dress and bare feet? Let's talk nature: forest, mountains, ocean, field.

Down for black tie? A museum with gorgeous classic architecture would be perfect.

Jeans, beanies, and those t-shirts from your first concert together? Let's find some great big graffiti, and you can even break out your ukulele.

Whatever you choose, we'll find a great location that compliments your style and personalities.

Creative Wedding Photography

Bonus tip: Don't rule out traveling for your engagement session

It's actually not that expensive to do a "destination" engagement session. Maybe you wanted to do a mountain or beach wedding and just didn't want to deal with planning something so far away. This might be the perfect option to scratch your travel/adventure itch. We could do Yosemite, or that beach you grew up on in Florida, or your aunt and uncle's neighborhood in San Francisco, or a star-gazing session in Zion National Park.

Also think about any trips you'll be taking anyway between now and your wedding and whether or not they have locations you'd love to shoot at. Then let me know what you're thinking, and I can give you a quote for how much it'd be for me to pop out there so we can shoot the engagement session of your dreams!


Alright, that's it! I hope those tips helped the ideas start flowing! Give me a call if you have questions or want to brainstorm together about creative ways to implement the locations you came up with.

I can't wait to hear your ideas!!



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