We’re pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a place for your engagement photography in Brighton and in the beautiful surrounding countryside. But where is right for you?
How to choose the best location for your engagement photography session
We live in a beautiful part of the world (check out this blog post for some of my favourite spots). I honestly feel like I can take incredible pictures anywhere. But sometimes too much choice can be overwhelming, so this blog post is designed to help you choose with confidence.
So here are the 7 things you should think about when narrowing down your options.
1. Home & wedding decor
The first thing you should do is look around your home. Where would you want to put prints? How would describe your home’s aesthetic and personal style to a friend? Once you know the answer to these two questions, you’ll naturally gravitate towards locations that fit the walls of your home.
But don’t just think about your home decor, engagement photography can be used for your wedding festivities. You can create beautiful save-the-dates, a really polished wedding website, thank you cards for the engagement party, and gorgeous formal wedding invitations to name a few!
If you have a particular use or spot you want to use your engagement photography, make sure you let me (your photographer!) know in advance so I make sure to get an amazing photograph that you can use.
2. Personal style
Think about what you’d want to wear for your session and your personal style. You don’t want your wardrobe choice to clash with the backdrop of your photographs. If you need some inspiration on what to wear for your engagement photography session, check out this blog post.
Your outfits and location should compliment each other. If your style is romantic boho, gardens or the beach would be an ideal choice over some graffiti walls or bright houses in Brighton.
Also think about your hair – if you want to have nice lovely curls, the beach or on the rolling South Downs might be too windy! Otherwise, embrace the wind and all the wonderful, crazy things it can do to your hair.
3. Time of day
A Sunday afternoon on the hottest day of the year isn’t the best for doing a beach engagement session. Not only will you be squinting like crazy, you’ll have poor lighting and crowds to contend with.
The simple fact is that, depending on the time of day, some locations work better than others. I always recommend doing your session that hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. This is because I have more flexibility with the directions I can shoot and provides the most flattering light. But depending on the time of year, this can be really early in the morning or really late at night. So that might not end up working for you for one reason or another. If that’s the case, try choosing a location that won’t be really crowded at the time you choose and has plenty of shade to get you two out of direct sunlight.
Ultimately, engagement sessions are best done in private areas, where it’s just the two of you. PDA can be uncomfortable in a crowded place, so if you really want to do your engagement photography in a popular place, I typically advise doing this before 10:30 AM as most people haven’t made it out of the house by then.
4. Time of year
Think about how the seasons might influence your sessions. Envision yourself in a flowing summer dress? An engagement session in December probably isn’t the best idea. Like sweaters, scarfs or have a favourite coat? Fall or winter would probably be best.
Parks and gardens also transform throughout the year, and often massively within a session. Some flowers blossom for only a short while, and those lovely autumn leaves can go from vivid oranges and reds to brown in the blink of an eye.
Truth be told, clouds serve as a giant light diffuser. So while I’m happy to shoot in the rain, you might not be so keen on the idea. If we can’t reschedule for some reason or we decide to take our chances with the rain, choosing a location that has some type of coverage from the rain is a good idea. Or at the least have a back up location nearby your chosen spot.
There are some beautiful parks and places in England. Some of them charge a premium to have your engagement photography taken on their premises. Before you settle on a location, have a search of their website to see if they mention anything about engagement session photography fees. Some just charge for commercial use by big production companies, but others have blanket fees or specific chargers for engagement sessions.
7. Sentimental reasons
Lastly, consider choosing a location that has sentimental meaning. For your engagement photography session, we could revisit the place you had your first date or got engaged. We could also do an at-home engagement session or where you always go for evening walks with your dog.
You could also be a bit abstract. If you and your partner love going on holidays to places with beaches, we can do your engagement session on the seafront.
I hope these tidbits of advice help you narrow down your location for your engagement session. If you need help deciding on a location, I’m happy to share my thoughts and provide guidance.
But my ultimate top tip is to not stress about it too much. If the light is good and you feel good, I promise you’ll love your photos.