How to Find the Perfect Spot for Your Engagement Session: The Secret to Securing an Amazing Shoot Location

Engagement Shoot + Adventure Session Planning and Advice


So you and your boo have decided to make it official and tie the knot! Now you're scouring Pinterest, utterly overwhelmed by the amount of wedding inspiration you have to sift through. And don't even get me started on finding the perfect spot for your engagement photos. It honestly seems like the research will never end. Trust me, I get it. Been there, done that.

As a team of destination wedding photographers, helping our couples find the right location for their engagement photos is one of our favorite parts of the job. And over the years, we've collected our fair share of useful tips that we're excited to be sharing with you. Let's get right into it!

Narrow Down Your Couples Personality

There's nothing worse that seeing an engagement session where the couple is clearly in a location that doesn't match them at all. We've all seen those photos, and frankly they can be a little uncomfortable to look at. Not every location is meant for every couple. Honestly, the best and FIRST thing you two should do is sit down and really think about the characteristics that define your relationship. One thing we love to ask our couples to do is come up with the top 3 words that describe their vibe. From there, finding the right photo shoot location becomes so much easier. Do you both love adventure and live for the next adrenaline rush? Take your session to a windy mountain road in a national park or frolic beneath a waterfall. Are you the kind of people that live each day as it comes? Go for a laid back beach session where you can take the time to smell the salty air and feel the sand beneath your feet.

Go During Off Hours

Real talk: most of us don't want a crowd at our engagement session. Here's the thing, though: some of the best spots for engagement sessions also tend to get pretty crowded. Whether it's a gorgeous overlook in the mountains or a blossoming meadow, people tend to flock to beautiful places. But there's no reason this should stop you from having your engagement session in one of these spots. The key is going during hours when most people wouldn't usually consider visiting these locations. Still want golden hour light without the golden hour crowd? Get up for a sunrise session. These are honestly some of our favorite sessions, since we get to see some seriously gorgeous locations right as the dawn breaks above the horizon and there isn't another person in sight. It's peaceful, beautiful, and intimate all at the same time. You could also go during weekday evenings. If you're having your session in a national park, a weekday evening could be the perfect time for you. Since most people tend to visit these places on weekends, weekdays are a nice sweet spot.

Ask Your Photographer If They Know of Any Hidden Gems

I'll let you in on a little secret. We have certain locations that we don't share with anyone else. If there's one thing we've noticed as photographers, it's that once a photographer shares a certain location (like Horseshoe Bend for example), all of a sudden everyone wants to shoot there. And now that spot is no longer unique to the small group of couples who've been photographed there. Hell, some of them wind up becoming tourist traps in and of themselves! Our goal as photographers is to capture each couple's unique love, and a lot of the time secret spots are how we make that happen. 

One thing we pride ourselves on at Sheena Shahangian Photography? Taking killer photos in some of the coolest, most adventurous places. Think we'd be the right adventure elopement or intimate wedding photographers for you? Hit us up! We'd love to meet you. And who knows? Maybe we'll take you to one of our secret engagement shoot locations.

P.S. Once you have that perfect photo shoot spot nailed down, check out our top 3 tips for picking the right outfit for your engagement session.

Sheena Shahangian is an adventure elopement and intimate, small wedding photographer based in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. We primarily serve couples looking to elope or marry in the western United States (Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon, California, Wyoming, Montana, and beyond), as well as a select few eastern states (North Carolina and Georgia). We love serving couples who’ve chosen to do their own thing on their wedding day, whether that’s eloping in a National Park or having an intimate backyard ceremony in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We’re here to make your adventure wedding photography dreams come true.