Where and When to do Engagement Sessions

One of the main questions I get asked when it comes to engagement sessions is “Where and when should we take our engagement photos?” It is hard to give a single response for this because it really just mostly depends on the couple and their preferences. With that being said, there is still some advice and direction I can offer when it comes to where and when to do engagement sessions beyond simply telling you to explore your interests because as simple of a decision as it may seem, I know how tough it can really be!

The “When”

Really, anytime you want! I shoot engagement sessions year round and this is one thing that really does depend on the couple. I’ve met with some who enjoy the look and feel of winter as opposes to spring and summer and vice versa. Pick a time of the year that you will be comfortable with, though. If you are really uncomfortable in the winter or really don’t like taking pictures in the heat of summer, it could show in the photos!

Favorite Season (I love late Spring and Fall) To transition from the last point, try and think about what your favorite season of the year is and use that to guide you. I, personally, love late spring and fall because the temperature is perfect; it’s not freezing but it is not overwhelmingly hot and humid, either. Plus, when things start budding or leaves start falling during these seasons, it makes for a beautiful scene!
When and Where JFP
Keep your “Save the Date” in mind. 
If you’re using save the dates you will want to do it at least 6 months before wedding. For this reason, timing can be important!

A different season than your wedding is good for variety. This doesn’t mean that if you’re having a wedding in the middle of summer that you need to do your engagement shoot in the middle of winter (unless, of course, you really want to do that!). It is a nice change of pace though to have fall themed engagement shots for a summer wedding or spring shots for a winter wedding. I think you get the point… Mix it up a bit!

Time of day makes a huge impact on lighting.
For the best lighting, I almost always do sessions in the evening. I never recommend doing shots around noon because the sun is too directly above you and casts unflattering shadows, and not to mention just produces really harsh lighting! In the evening, though, the lighting is much softer and is more inviting, which gives a much better feel and will produce a much better photo.
Morton Arboretum Engagement SessionThe “Where”

Start with the look and feel that you are aiming for. If you and the fiancé can decide the feel you are looking for with your session, that is a great place to start! I have shot in various places in the city and beyond and can certainly give guidance! But really, your options are limitless, ranging from a session in the city to represent your lives here or if you are serious nature lovers we can get some great shots in a forest preserve or in one of the many parks throughout Chicago. Let the city or area of choice be your playground and have fun!

Lake Michigan Engagement Session
A place that has special meaning to you two.
Whether it is where you first met, hang out all the time now, or just love for no reason at all, you can never go wrong when choosing a place that has a special meaning to you. It gives the photos so much life and it is always fun to reminisce on an important landmark within your relationship. Doing this gives your photos a bit of a story behind them, too, which I just love.

Engagement Session at Art Institute South Gardens
Are you a Chicago transplant?
We can do your engagement session anywhere! Do not limit yourselves when capturing this moment. I have shot engagement photos in New York, Aspen, Santa Barbara. Let’s chat about your destination engagement session!


San Francisco Engagement Session





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