Being an engagement photographer in Los Angeles, I find my session locations most dependent upon my engaged couples personal anesthetic or vision. Luckily in LA we have a multitude of great locations to create portraits. After I photograph an engaged couple they often come to me for headshots, family portraits and other social events.
Best to begin any project with a goal in mind. My plan for your engagement portraits is to create images that show you personality and connection to one another. I would prefer to do this in an environment that befits your taste, style, and comfort.
I find LA couples to be very savvy and already understand why it's important to create engagement photos before their wedding. If I had to give three reasons why you should have engagement portraits made before your wedding, They would be:
Nothing brings confidence to an engaged couple more than practice and the best way to practice wedding photography is engagement photography. As a photographer there is nothing better on a wedding day than have a bride and groom completely trust your vision. The converse is also true without practice couples tend to lack confidence and feel anxious. As you can imagine that does not help make better photography on your wedding day
Every couple has a unique connection or chemistry. Some couples are quirky. Some are serious, and some never stop laughing. Despite your connection with each other your photographer will gain powerful insight into your relationship, banter and style just by observing and photographing you together. The knowledge attained from your engagement session in LA will help me be better prepared on your wedding day.
Engagement photography is usually the third or fourth time I connect with my clients, but it is the most important for wedding success. When I get to spend time with you I will get to know you, and the more I know you, the more I can tailor your future photography to your exact needs. Additionally, I often tend to get personalized ideas from my couples when we're together. Shared personal information spawned from a relationship often leads to the most memorable images from a session.
Social Media is a great way to begin a relationship, in fact many of my clients are friends of mine on Facebook or we follow each other on Pinterest and Instagram. I find just seeing what my clients are spending time doing or the conversations they are participating in lens me great insight into their thinking and feeling. Obviously, I try to stay away from taboo topics like politics and religion with most clients on social media or in person since it is important to respect others views, even if they differ from my own.
Of course one of the major benefits of photographing couples engagement portraits in Los Angeles is the plethora of incredible spots for sessions.
LA West Side
I often photograph couples on the West side. Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach is one of my favorite spots for eclectic backgrounds and funky colors. Couples looking for a more upscale look can head over to the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica. Loaded with cafés, upscale shops, and restaurants with unique façades. Right around the corner for a more fun vibe is the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park known for it's iconic ferris wheel. Due west is Palos Verdes with some of the most beautiful coastline in LA. Abalone Cove just under Wayfarers Chapel is one of the best spots.
Heading up the coast you'll find yourself at the Getty Villa in Malibu which is an incredible spot if you like art. Speaking of J. Paul Getty, his museum off the 405 and Getty Center Drive is absolutely incredible for an engagement session. Between the white marble buildings, the beautiful garden, and the downtown skyline views it's a one-stop shop. Literally next door is UCLA. An often considered location for engagement pics by UCLA alums or Bruin college sweethearts. The most iconic spot on campus for photos is Royce Hall with its brick towers and Romanesque architecture. USC isn't so bad either.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art or LACMA is an incredible Museum for engagement photos, and right next door is the Petersen Automotive Museum with its funky red metal exterior. If you're feeling dirty you can pop across the street to the La Brea tar pits.
Couples looking for an old town feel are often photographed in Pasadena. The most popular location in Pasadena for engagement photos is City Hall. However Pasadena is loaded with many great parks and old tree lined streets that make for a perfect photo backdrops.
Often used as a more edgy location. The west side of downtown is more upscale and metropolitan with the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Broad Museum on Grand Avenue. The Eastside has a more urban feel with colorful graffiti and hip artists hangouts in Koreatown and The Brewery, near the LA river. Centrally located is Vibiana, The Bradbury Building and the Grand Central Market which are beautiful for photos if you're lucky enough to get access.
One must keep in mind another important reason to create beautiful photos is to show them off to friends and family. The most popular products for engaged couples are large prints which can be created on canvas, metal, acrylic or wood.
Engagement albums are a very popular trend with 50% of our couples leaving blank pages for wedding guests to write personal messages to the bride and groom as they enter the wedding reception.
Our engagement photo sessions are planned in three phases
Your cost depends greatly on what products you purchase. But I can say that most couples spend between $300-$1200 for sessions and products. Check out my pricing page for a deeper dive into my rates.