How to Choose a Location for your Engagement Session

1) Think about your favourite places

When considering where to have your engagement session the amount of choice can be overwhelming and you might not be sure where to start. I always recommend considering any locations that are meaningful to you.

Consider the location you first met each other or the location you got engaged. Perhaps you could consider a family holiday home or a place you often go on the weekends; even your favourite bar or coffee shop!

2) Think about your personalities

It's also worth considering your personality as a couple to try and narrow down a location that is both beautiful but also makes sense to you both. For example if you often go away at the weekend and head out of the city then it might make sense to do a beach shoot or go on a bit of a hike to somewhere spectacular. You could even include an activity as part of your couples shoot, such as horse riding or taking a picnic somewhere beautiful.

If you're searching for outdoorsy inspo, check out the galleries below:

Claudette & Daniel's Great Ocean Road beach pre-wedding shoot.

Aidan & Demi's romantic clifftop session on the Mornington Peninsula.

Alli & Glen's adventure elopement in the mountains of Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.

If your weekends consist of heading out for coffee or a fancy date night with cocktails and dinner, then perhaps consider a photoshoot in the CBD. There are so many architecturally beautiful buildings in Melbourne's CBD as well as countless quirky bars and cafes. If you're looking for more inspo you can view Monique & Matt's stylish engagement session in Melbourne's city-centre here.

Perhaps your perfect weekend is at actually at home, cuddled on the couch watching your favourite movie or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. An in-home session is a perfect option for a couples photoshoot with the added bonus of comfy clothes and no on-lookers! Have a look at Chantelle & David's in home photoshoot taken just a few weeks after moving into their brand new home for some inspo.

3) Keep the timing in mind

Keep in mind what time of your and what time of day you would like to have your engagement shoot. For example if you'd like a beautiful garden shoot with lots of flowers and colour, winter probably isn't the best time of year to book this type of shoot but mid-late spring would be perfect! If you're picturing long grass that's yellowed by the sun, then mid-late summer would be ideal.

A city shoot is a good option all year round as the scenery doesn't change significantly, plus many indoor options easily accessible should the Melbourne weather decide to do the Melbourne weather thing!

The time of day will also change the mood of your photos. The two hours prior to sunset is perfect for capturing soft, golden light and long shadows. The benefit of shooting at sunset also allows for some variety as the light is always changing: once the sun goes down, blue hour can add a totally different vibe to your photos!

Winter also provides an earlier sunset and more flexibility for shooting during the middle of the day. Since the sun is lower in the sky the light tends to be softer all day long in comparison to the height of summer.

Monique & Matt's Melbourne CBD shoot ended with a cocktail in a secret bar!

Mel & Fraser's first look on the clifftops near Sorrento happened at around 1pm in November. The weather went from overcast (right image) to full sun (other two images) which added variety to the portraits we captured.

Blue hour perfection with Alli & Glen in Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile. See their elopement blog (& more images like this!) here.

Treat it like a date!

The perfect thing about a couples photoshoot is that it can literally be whatever you want it to be, there are no rules! My number 1 tip to couples though is treat it like a date: if it's forced or doesn't feel fun or feel like you then this will come through in the photos.

So brain storm away your own ideas but here are three of my suggestions to help you out:

1) Picnic on a Lake

Go punting on the lake at Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens. We can take some photos in the gardens first then off you hop on your gondola and I'll capture some images from the shore whilst you cruise around the lake.

  1. Prices start at $75/adult for a 30 min guided boat tour.
  2. Added bonus: well behaved pup's are allowed! BYO food and drink means you can take your own picnic onboard, they'll even set up a picnic table on the boat if you ask in advance.
  3. Con's: closed over winter.

Image courtesy of Punting on the Lake. Photographer is unknown.

2) Italy, anyone?

Dreaming of travelling to Italy but saving it for the honeymoon? Why not book a night at Sunrise Cottage at Mont du Soleil Estate in the Dandenong Ranges? Additional fees do apply for commercial photography on the grounds and within the main house, but for a location such as this, why not? If you would like to book your shoot at Mont du Soleil, please contact them directly for further information by clicking here,

Image courtesy of Mont Du Soleil, photographer unknown.

3) run like the wind!

Run a muck in the long grass on the clifftops at Flinders where golden sunsets are guaranteed in summer and windswept drama in on the cards for winter at this location. Head on over here to see Aidan & Demi's clifftop engagement session for some inspo.

Outfit Inspiration

First of all: be comfy! There is nothing that will kill the mood more than you feeling uncomfortable in what you are wearing, so wear something that is true to you and makes you feel the best version of yourself.

Here are my top tips when it comes to selecting the right outfit for your engagement shoot:

  1. Plan your outfits around what you know about your location and dress to suit it. For a shoot in the CBD a cocktail dress or something a little more formal would not go out of place, but might look a little out of place at a beach photoshoot for example.
  2. Choose colours which will either complement the environment around you or completely contrast with it. For example, wearing a red dress against a sandstone or marble building will be a start contrast and really stand our, whereas wearing a white dress will complement the building and give the subject a subtle connection to the environment surrounding them.
  3. Wear outfits that complement each other, but not match! Wearing the same colour can confuse the viewer and doesn't add any visual interest to the image. So go for outfits that complement each other, but are clearly different to each other.
  4. Props! Think hats, umbrellas, your dog, a polaroid/film camera, a picnic, a vintage car or even an instrument. Whatever you're into we can incorporate it into your shoot if this tells your story as a couple.
  5. If you haven't hired an outfit before you should definitely consider it. Dress Hire AU are a Melbourne-based hire store stocking on-trend designer dresses and outfits for very reasonable prices. I personally use their service regularly and highly recommend. Pro tip: look online and shortlist the dresses you love, head to the designer's store and try on the dresses for sizing before you hire.