You’ve said yes and now the fun begins. While you’re dreaming up your wedding photography vision, remember that walking down the aisle isn’t the only time you’ll be in front of the camera. Your engagement photos are an important part of announcing your betrothal and getting to know your photographer. Just like your wedding day, your engagement pictures should be a unique representation of your love story. And if you’re lucky enough to be in the Golden State, you’ve got plenty of beautiful location options to pick from. Read ahead for stunning California engagement photo shoot ideas. 

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5 tips for choosing your engagement photo shoot spot

Your choices for engagement photography scenery vary greatly. But there are a few best practices to keep in mind when planning your engagement photo shoot. Here are some suggestions for deciding your location. 

     1. Choose your setting

First, it’s important to consider the type of environment you want in your photos. There’s no right or wrong here. Engagement photos in an urban setting can be just as gorgeous as pictures taken in a natural atmosphere. A beautiful city skyscape has the potential to be as breathtaking as a majestic mountain backdrop. 

But each of these environments will come with its own set of logistics. You want to be aware of all of them so you can plan accordingly. For example, since lighting can make or break a photo, timing will be everything in an outdoor photoshoot. And keep the season in mind, since certain times of year may be more windy or rainy than others. 

And lastly, consider how your clothing will look against your chosen surroundings. If your heart is set on an especially colorful location, remember that black and white goes with everything. Don’t hesitate to bring a change of clothing or two so you can make the most out of the scenery.

     2. Show off your personality

You’re making your mark as a future married couple. Your engagement photos should have your unique personal stamp on them. It can be the setting you choose or the outfits you wear. If you fell in love with your partner for their sense of humor, get a little silly with the poses you strike. Find a creative way to tell your love story through your engagement photos. 

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     3. Think about meaningful locations to you 

You’re welcome to choose a location simply because it’s visually striking. But using a setting with personal significance can also add something extra special to your photos. Is there a scenic spot you both love to go hiking? Do you want to return to where they popped the question? Or maybe you want to go back to the restaurant where you had your first date and recreate the moment you fell for each other. The possibilities are endless for creating a magic moment on film. 

     4. Tell your story with props and characters

If you need a little help creating your engagement photo narrative, use props and decor to assist. Small embellishments such as flowers, balloons, or streamers can add a festive tone. Or get really creative and set a full scene. Show off your artistic side with paint brushes and canvases. Arrange a picnic in a serene park. You can also add a furry friend to your photo shoot and include your pets for adorable engagement pictures. 

     5. Play on a seasonal theme

If your engagement photo shoot is scheduled during a particular season, embrace it. If it’s December, you can’t ask for a more dreamy environment than one covered in twinkling Christmas lights. If you feel like driving up to the mountains, you can even find a snowy spot to create a winter wonderland. 

Of course, there are opportunities to use seasonal magic to your advantage all year round. If it’s fall, take advantage of the vibrant colors and hold your engagement session in a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. Or if it fits your style, get a little spooky with a Halloween themed photo shoot. 

Ethereal Gardens - Trademark Venues

Ethereal Gardens

4 picture-perfect engagement photo shoot ideas in California

California has an abundance of awe-inspiring scenery, no matter what your engagement photo vision is. Here are just a few California engagement photo ideas to spark your imagination. 

     1. Beaches and coastlines

The beach is one of the first locations we associate with our stunning state. California’s extensive coastline has almost infinite options for a beautiful beach photo shoot. From San Diego to San Luis Obispo, you can take simple and classic photos on the sand at golden hour. Or you can set a playful mood and pick a famous boardwalk like Venice or Santa Monica Pier. 

The beach also makes for a great location if you were dreaming of a sunny summer photo shoot. If you and your partner especially love the water, add themed props such as surfboards. You can also cozy up together in a relaxed beach scene with a towel and umbrella. 

     2. Iconic urban landmarks 

California is full of monumental places to take your pre wedding photos. Head to the Griffith Park observatory in Los Angeles for out of this world pictures. Or celebrate movie star glamor and find a spot nearby where you can feature the Hollywood sign in your background. Send save the dates with photos of you embracing in front of a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Choose any of California’s 21 missions for an elegant historic backdrop. Your choices are limitless. 

     3. Vineyards and wineries

Vineyards are often a popular choice for engagement photos because they perfectly balance an elegant and rustic feel in a beautiful outdoor setting. If that sounds like a good fit for you, California has wineries galore from Temecula to Napa. You can even use glasses of wine as props to toast the countdown to your big day. 

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     4. Natural wonders and landscapes

California’s natural beauty extends well beyond the coastline. If you want to go further inland, desert scapes such as Joshua Tree can make the perfect spot for a unique photo shoot. If you’re scheduling for spring, see if your engagement photographer has availability during bloom season in one of California’s iconic poppy fields. Head to the Redwood National Forest and declare that your love is as big as a California sequoia. Or take advantage of the breathtaking mountainscapes found throughout the Golden State for a stunning backdrop.

Set a location for unique engagement photos 

Just about any California site is a good idea for your engagement photo shoot. As long as you plan ahead and pick a place that fits your style and personality, your engagement photos are sure to dazzle and amaze. Choose a location that inspires you and capture this exciting moment in your lives as you set out on your journey together. And when you’re ready to set the date to say “I do,” Trademark can help with an equally unique, gorgeous California wedding venue.