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Orange County Engagement Locations

Orange County Engagement Locations

Christopher Todd Studios is your Orange County engagement locations specialist. We will not only take amazing photos of you and your fiance, but we will help you plan and choose a great location for your engagement session.

How to choose the perfect orange county engagement location

  1. Style What’s your style? Are you more laid back and looking for a beachy vibe? Or do you prefer a sophisticated downtown urban feel? We recommend whichever style you prefer to dress in similar attire. Even if your style is more casual you can still dress it up a bit for the photos.
  2. First Date Couples often choose a location based on a meaningful location like where they had their first date or where they first met.
  3. Hobbies Do you or your fiance have a special hobby? Surfing? Rock Climbing? Hiking? Love going to a museum? Think about something in your lives that is special to the two of you.
  4. Studio Having professional photos taken in our studio is a perfect way to focus on the two of you without any distractions or busy backgrounds. We love this option for couples.

Top 5 Orange County engagement locations

  1. Laguna Beach Best time of year August -November. The sunsets are stunning, less chance to encounter a marine layer during these months. A permit is required. $100 for two hours. We will help you arrange this. The scenery is some of the most beautiful you will find in Orange County. Laguna Beach has spectacular beaches with beautiful bluffs. Take a stroll through downtown for a more urban look.
  2. The Camp Located in Costa Mesa just off the 55 freeway and the 405. This is one of our favorite Orange County engagement locations for portraits. The urban rustic vibe is perfect for that couple looking for something different. We can even walk over to The Lab across the way for some more eclectic photos. You will find bright colors, unique backgrounds, and so much more here.  Parking is free. We recommend a Sunday morning. The light is beautiful and it’s not too busy. This location is perfect all year round.
  3. Huntington Beach Central Park Might just be the best scenic park in Orange County. This natural setting is abundant with tall trees, lake views, beautiful pathways that lead to gardens, hiking trails, and so much more. A true oasis in the middle of town. Parking is free. No permit required. Best time for engagement photos is before sunset when the light is golden. This park is large enough that you don’t have to worry about it being too busy.
  4. Huntington Beach Pier This iconic pier screams Southern California laid back surfer vibe. Add in a beautiful sunset and you get some of the most romantic photos around Orange County. We recommend getting a fire pit and adding a couple of props, like champagne and hip Mexican blanket for some fun intimate portraits.
  5. Fullerton Arboretum  Located on the campus of Cal State University Fullerton. This botanical garden is a 26-acre oasis with an extensive botanical garden including plants from around the world. There is a heritage house on the property from the 1890s.  A permit is required. The cost is $100 and it is good for 1.5 hours. We will help you arrange this. This natural setting is romantic and beautiful for engagement photos. This engagement location can also be added to nearby downtown Fullerton for some fun and sophisticated urban photos.  The Fullerton Arboretum is a great location any time of year.

Best time of year for Orange County engagement session

The best time of year for your engagement session depends on what location you choose. We recommend having your professional photo session done closer to your time of engagement than the wedding date.  So keep these few facts in mind when deciding on the time of year for your photos.

  • May- July is a good time for your session at a park, arboretum, or downtown location. But beware of May grey and June gloom. The marine layer is thick during this time close to the coast and nearby coastal cities.
  • August – December is the perfect time of year to catch great sunsets at the beach.
  • January -April can be a bit more chilly but you can also get amazing sunsets and good weather during this time.

victoria beach engagement session Laguna Beach Engagement Photography Laguna Beach Engagement Location for Photos Engagement Photos at Laguna Beach Victoria Beach Engagement Photos

Huntington Beach Central Park Engagement Photos
Starting the engagement session off in Central Park in Huntington Beach.
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Huntington Beach Pier is one of our favorite Orange County spots for an e-session.
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Cheers to you two. On your upcoming wedding. It’s going to be beautiful.
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Caroline and Ryan had the perfect engagement session at Huntington Beach by the Pier.
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Laguna Beach is one of the best locations for your engagement photos in Orange County.
Downtown Laguna Beach Engagement Photos
Walking around Downtown Laguna Beach is a great way to get beautiful photos of the couple.

Costa Mesa Engagement Photographers

Costa Mesa Engagement Photos
Engaged couple embracing each other during the photo shoot in Costa Mesa.

ORANGE COUNTY ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER

Orange County Engagement Photographer

Congratulations! You’re engaged. It is a very exciting time. Planning a wedding can be very stressful. No need to go into that I am sure you already know this. So why not relax a bit and have fun with your engagement session. As an engagement photographer in Orange County, we photograph couples all year round.  We know all the best locations for your e-session.

Christopher Todd Studios Approach to engagement sessions

Christopher Todd Studios will help you have a great photo session.

  • We customize each photo shoot to match our unique couples.
  • From our professional style guide, we provide you with to the look and feel that works best for you.
  • I always tell my couples to choose a location that reflects your relationship, who you are, and your interests.
  • Maybe your first date was at the museum or there is a special park that is significant to you both.
  • We help you figure out the best time of day to make beautiful photographs and the style that reflects your personality.

Benefits of an Engagement Session

  • It’s a perfect opportunity to get to know your photographer. This helps us know your comfort level in front of the camera.
  • Your engagement portraits will make beautiful wall art for your home.
  • Engagement sessions help tell your unique story. We do this by spending a couple of hours together and creating beautiful images.

How to Choose  a location

Orange County and Los Angeles have many great locations for an engagement session.

  • Think about a special place that has significance to you and your fiance.
  • Maybe he proposed at the beach, Starbucks, or where you had your first date.
  • Lots of inspirational ideas can be found on our Pinterest board.
  • Seal Beach pier has a rustic original look that couples love.
  •  Maybe you met in San Francisco, we love strolling around this great city with camera in tow. The Golden Gate Bridge, Sutro Baths, Lands End and Chinatown are all spectacular and diverse scenic locations.

How to look your best in front of the camera

  • We will provide you with tips so you are comfortable and look amazing during your e-session.
  •  Have your hair and makeup professionally done.
  • Follow a style guide.
  • Relax and have fun with each other.

Planning Your Engagement Session

  • We have an in-depth phone conversation to plan out the day.
  • A typical photo shoot will last one to two hours depending on how many locations we go to. Multiple locations can be great given we have the time and this is pre-arranged.
  • It is important to note that your favorite spot might require a permit or additional fees to shoot there. No problem, we can help arrange the details.
  • Usually, we like to have this e-session taken a couple of months before the wedding. I
  • t is also very common to have them taken months in advance this allows the couple to use a shot for their save the date cards.
  • We design and help with choosing the right image for these as well as ordering the cards from reputable companies that always look stunning and professional.

Studio Engagement Photos

Another great option is coming into Christopher Todd’s Studio.

  • We have an inviting space great for shooting in a controlled environment.
  • No outside interruptions, come in and unwind with a glass of wine or craft beer.
  • One of our top ten reasons to come into the studio is it doesn’t matter what the weather is like. Rain or shine you are covered (literally).
  • In our studio, you and your Fiance will be the sole focus of your engagement shoot.
  • We are conveniently located in Santa Ana, near Irvine, Newport Beach, and surrounding cities. Los Angeles is one hour north of us.

We recommend checking out our Instagram page, Facebook, Pinterest, and our website.

We would love to hear from you by email or phone call.

Think of us as your personal wedding concierge. get in touch today

Disney Engagement Photographer
Couple embracing each other during engagement session on Main St. in Disneyland California. It is the happiest place on earth, and it can also be romantic. This couple was embracing each other and their love.
Engagement Photography
Engagement photo session with the couple kissing on a bridge in Houston with their pups in the pic. Cutest pups! One was so shy he hid behind his human family.
Engagement Photographer Orange County
Central Park in Huntington Beach is a great alternative to an engagement session at the beach.
Best Engagement Photographer Newport Beach
A styled shoot of the engaged couple with red vintage Mercedes and beautiful sunset in Newport Back Bay photo. Can’t beat a beautiful couple paired with a beautiful California sunset.
Best Orange County Photography Studio
Soon to be a married couple during ballerina bride photo shoot in our studio. He was a true sport going along being a part of his bride to be’s dream.
Orange County Engagement Photos
Engaged couple embracing each other during the photo shoot in Costa Mesa.
Engagement Photos San Francisco
Engaged couple looking at each other during the professional photo shoot with Golden Gate Bridge in the background. San Francisco has so many romantic spots for your engagement session.

 

Lido Marina Village Engagement Photography

Lido Marina Village Engagement Photography

Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach is a perfect Orange County Location for your engagement session. With luxe shops, village charm, and a nautical theme you will love the newly updated marina. Parking is easy and convenient. You have the choice of valet or self-parking with up to 3 hours free.

Shop and Dine before Engagement session

Grab a drink or a bite to eat before or after your engagement session at one of the three restaurants Zinque, Lido Bottle Works, or Nobu. Lido Village was established in 1971 now home to stylish shops and charming boutiques. We love the option to dine al fresco by the water. This is truly one of Newport Beach’s hidden gems. Don’t forget to catch a movie at the newly remodeled Lido Theater or just a cute engagement photo outside.

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We started off This couple’s engagement session at Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach.
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Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach recently underwent a beautiful makeover. A new favorite spot for engagement sessions.
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There were so many cute places to stop and take photos during this an engagement session.
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I love this little nook we found in Lido Marina Village with the black patio furniture and the white brick wall.
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These two were so much fun to photograph. Can’t wait to create a custom engagement album.
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How perfect is this black-and-white striped umbrella that frames their photo?
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The weather in Newport Beach is perfect during springtime for your engagement session.
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Love the natural look of these two strolling down the street in Newport Beach.
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The newly remodeled lido theater Is the perfect backdrop for an engagement photo.
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How cute is this? Newport Beach Is a great location for engagement sessions.
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Don’t leave your engagement photos on a thumb drive. We can print them professionally In our orange county studio.
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Lido Marina Village is a great Orange County engagement location.
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Such a fun cute couple.

About engagement photography

As a professional photographer, I always recommend an engagement session to couples who are getting married. This is a great opportunity to get to know your photographer and work with them before the wedding. It allows your wedding photographer to get to know you as well.  But more importantly, you will get amazing photos of your love during this time in your life. Choosing a location for your session can feel challenging and overwhelming. We are here to help you decide on the best location that matches your personality. orange County has many beautiful spots to take photographs at. After your session, we will go over your photos together and I will help you pick the best ones for prints, a custom album, or wall art. Christopher Todd studios are one of the few photographers in Orange County that provides professional quality printing right in our own studio. The benefits of this are you get amazing photos and quality that will last for generations.

Book Christopher Todd Studios For an engagement session

Give us a call or shoot us an email and we can talk about your photos and the best location to take than that. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Huntington Beach Engagement Session

Huntington Beach Engagement Session

Huntington Beach is the perfect location for your engagement session. Downtown HB has great architecture and if you know where to go the old brick alleys make for a beautiful backdrop. Parking on Main St. is convenient for your e-session. Choose from one of the parking structures for easy access. A quick stroll down Main St. is a great way to begin your engagement session. As we head toward the HB Pier be prepared to stop for a bit so I can take photos of you strolling down the street. Once we get to the Pier I know  the perfect spots for your pictures to be taken. With the proper planning, we will be down at the water right before sunset to get the money shots.

Planning the perfect engagement session

Let us help you plan for your engagement session. This will ensure your photos are stunning and you have fun during your photo session.

  • Get your hair and makeup done professionally
  • Use our style guide when choosing your outfits
  • Bring props to your session
  • Discuss with your photographer when high tide and sunset are

about the couple

When Caroline and Ryan contacted me about their engagement session I knew that Huntington Beach would be perfect for this couple. Caroline and Ryan, both pro beach volleyball players loved the idea of incorporating their love for the sport and the beach with their e-session. The Huntington Beach Pier turned out to be a beautiful backdrop for their photos. We even used a volleyball net and ball as props for the session. As the sun began to set we built a bonfire at one of the pits and took some more amazing photos.

How to hire Christopher todd studios

Want Christopher to take your engagement photos? Get in touch today. Or if you just have questions we would love to hear from you. Email us.

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These two volleyball players soon to be married had a great time during their engagement session
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This couple incorporated their love for beach volleyball perfectly into their e-session.
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Huntington Beach Pier is one of our favorite Orange County spots for an e-session.
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Before we took photos by the pier I snuck some of these in of the couple.
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Cheers to you your upcoming wedding. It’s going to be beautiful.
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Caroline and Ryan had the perfect engagement session at Huntington Beach by the Pier.
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Huntington Beach was a thrill to photograph this couple at. A warm bonfire and chilled glass of champagne made for a perfect session.
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One of the last photos from this incredible engagement session was of the couple and the bonfire.

Laguna Beach Engagement Session

Laguna Beach Engagement Session

Laguna Beach offers some of Orange County’s best backdrops for an engagement session.  I love the natural cliffs that run parallel to the sandy beaches and the ocean. The sunsets here are breathtaking all year round.

Laguna Beach stands apart from other So Cal beaches

  • Cliffs
  • Bluffs
  • Spectacular ocean views
  • Coves
  • Secluded Coves

How to choose Engagement Location

It can be very overwhelming for couples to choose a location for their engagement session.  Below you will find some helpful questions to ask when deciding where to have your photos taken.

  1. Is there a special spot where you got engaged?
  2. Do you prefer the beach, wilderness, or urban landscape?
  3. Is there a significant hobby or theme you want to incorporate into the photos?
  4. Are you looking for multiple locations for the session?

Ask Your Photographer for advice

Although we are experts in taking photos, photographers can be a great source for ideas pertaining to your wedding. Helping couples plan their engagement session results in beautiful images.  We can help you decide the following:

  1. When is the best time of day for photos
  2. What you should or should not wear to your session
  3. Best locations in Orange County
  4. Unique ideas or themed photos
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I love this photo of the couple looking straight into the camera.
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Engagement photos are a great way to get to know your wedding photographer.
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Take a moment during the wedding planning and just embrace each other like this couple did during their e-session.
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Laguna Beach is one of the best locations for your engagement photos in Orange County.

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Photographing the couple from a distance to get a view of Laguna Beach
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A perfect Winter engagement session in Laguna Beach.
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Her smile was definitely contagious.
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We found these great steps with a copper toned wall for a unique photo.
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One of my favorite photos from this beautiful engagement session.
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Best sunsets are found at Victoria Beach in Laguna. Perfect end to this engagement session.

Venice Canals Engagement Photography

Venice Canals Engagement Photography

Venice Canals engagement photography is a great location in Los Angeles.  Perfect for couples looking for a unique engagement session. You can find the canal walkways just off 25th street in Venice Beach.  Because the canals are in a historic district, it is important to be very considerate of the landscape and parkways.

Your Engagement Photography Session in Venice Canals

We begin your engagement photography session with a stroll through the Venice Canals walkways. The bridge is a great place to stop for a portrait. We guide you with posing and what to wear. Making your session amazing. One way we do this is by sending couples a complimentary style guide. We recommend getting your hair and makeup professionally done. As a result, you will love how you look. Also, portraits will be beautiful of you and your fiancé.

Getting Multiple Looks During Engagement Session

It is easy to get different looks for your  Venice Canals engagement portraits. First, we walk through the historic district. While here we take portraits with different poses. Those include looking at one another, holding hands, and embracing each other. After we take all the photos at the canals we head over to Venice Beach. This is a good time for an outfit change. As a result, you get a different look. Once we are at the next location I choose backgrounds different from the previous location. Since the goal is to have a variety of shots, we take lots of photos.  As a professional photographer, I always keep in mind the whole picture.

Engagement photography is a great way to get to know the couple before the wedding day. Therefore, I  see firsthand your chemistry as a couple and comfort level in front of the camera.

Hiring Christopher Todd Studios For Your Engagement Photos

Since I  have been photographing couples getting married for over 17 years, I always recommend engagement photography.  Most of all, I would be honored to be a part of your big day. So let’s  talk about your upcoming celebration. Get in touch today. 

We can’t wait to hear from you.

 

venice canals los angeles photographer
Romantic portraits for this engaged couple.
venice canals engagement photography
So many great photo opportunities for your engagement portraits at Venice Canals.
venice canals engagement photos
The natural golden light was perfect for this engagement photo.
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Always finding new backgrounds when we take couples through the Venice Canals.
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After some time at Venice Canals, we headed over to Venice Beach for a different look.
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Love this colorful wall as a backdrop for a different look.

Los Angeles Engagement Sessions

Los Angeles Engagement Sessions

Los Angeles engagement sessions are fun and relaxing with Christopher Todd Studios. There are so many reasons not to pass up on your engagement session. We know being engaged is an exciting time. So get your professional photography session on the schedule and check it off the to-do list.

When is the last time you had your photos taken by a professional photographer?

Maybe it was the wedding you were in last year, or at your parents 50th wedding anniversary party.

Quite possible you haven’t had professional pictures taken since your high school senior picture.

Now you are engaged. And in a few short months, you will be in front of the camera. All eyes on you. No pressure. LOL

We are celebrating your love story and it begins with your engagement.

Los Angeles engagement sessions will be the first time you and your fiance will be in front of the camera together. It is a great way to practice and get to know your photographer. Kinda like how you have a wedding rehearsal.

It is a great way to practice and get to know your photographer. Kinda like how you have a wedding rehearsal.

Let’s connect and not just on Facebook or Instagram

The connection that you will gain with your wedding vendor will be organic and the results will be beautiful wedding photos.

Engagement sessions allow the photographer to get to know all your quirks in an organic setting and this allows us to take photos that you will love and shows who you really are.

Los Angeles engagement sessions build confidence in  couples

Get professional guidance during Los Angeles engagement sessions. Most likely you are not a model nor is your fiance. It may take 15-20 minutes just to feel comfortable in front of the camera. It is totally normal and we expect this.  I will be directing the two of you and be helping you pose. But imagine if you don’t do your engagement session with your wedding photographer the day of the wedding you might only have 25 minutes together and 20 of those precious minutes are you two just getting comfortable.

I will be directing the two of you and be helping you pose throughout the session.

But imagine if you don’t do your engagement session with your wedding photographer beforehand. On the day of the wedding, you might only have 25 minutes together and 20 of those precious minutes are you two just getting comfortable.

After you see your engagement pictures you will see how amazing you look at your photos and know that your wedding day pics will be even better and you will look awesome.

Our job as a professional photographer is to put couples at ease

We all know weddings can be stressful. From choosing the right color flowers to renting tuxedos. Not to mention certain family members.

When you have worked with your wedding photographer before the wedding day you will eliminate the stress of being in front of the camera which will directly lead to you looking amazing in your wedding photos.

As your photographer, I really get to know what works for the two of you as individuals and as a couple.

It is most beneficial to photograph the couple before the wedding this allows us to get a feeling how you interact and connect.

Maybe it takes my special techniques to make you laugh, smile and look natural and at ease. But I would much rather figure that all out at the engagement session where we have time than on your wedding day when moments are quick and I have to be ready for anything.

I would much rather figure that all out at the engagement session where we have time than on your wedding day when moments are quick and I have to be ready for anything.

Benefits of working with your photographer before your wedding

Seeing professional pictures of the two of you before your wedding can be a huge advantage for the success of your wedding images.

You can communicate to your photographer certain angles you like or dislike and they can adjust the photography accordingly. Why wait until the wedding day when it will be too late.

You get to know your photographer really well. You will learn their style of shooting and see them in action. This will create a beautiful bond between the three of you. On your wedding day, you will feel so comfortable knowing you are in good hands.

As your photographer, I will be taking mental notes throughout the session. I will apply this knowledge to your wedding day when taking amazing photos of the two of you.

We can answer any questions you have contact us today

best-los-angeles-engagement-sessions
This was such a fun engagement session we started at Venice’s Abbot & Kinney and then headed to the Santa Monica Pier.
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When we get to work with you before your wedding day, great things come from it. We get to really know you as a couple and you get to see how we work.
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The Ferris wheel lit up just in time for some awesome engagement photos.
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This one is my fave from the engagement session. Perfect for a save the date card.

Engagement Tips

  • Book your hair and makeup trial run for your engagement session. This will allow you to see how it will look in professional photos before the wedding.
  • Fun, they are simply fun. It’s your style. Your look. Your love story. We capture you in a relaxed environment. Whether photographing couples in our studio or at a favorite park.
  • Choosing a location that is meaningful to you is important, maybe it is where you go engaged or where your first date was.

What can I do with the pictures:

  • gifts to your parents
  • save the date cards
  • announcements
  • a coffee table album
  • prints to put up in your home
  • signature books for wedding guests to sign (most popular)
  • photo to display at your wedding reception
  • images for the newspaper announcement (parents love this)

Elopement Photographer Orange County

Elopement Photographer Orange County

As an elopement photographer based in Orange County, we know why couples are in love with the idea of eloping.  Getting married is an exciting time. Yet it can be very stressful. Deciding on having a wedding or eloping is a big decision for you and your fiancé. In this blog we go over some reasons why hiring an elopement photographer is important.

WHY HIRE AN ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER?

  1. Capture every moment from your ceremony to have those memories forever.
  2. Professional photos of your elopement will allow you to share this special moment with friends and family who were not there.
  3. It’s still your big day even if you don’t have a big wedding.
  4. You and your fiancé will look and feel your best so get those portraits taken.
  5. Don’t rely on family or friends to take the photos. Let them be in the moment with you.

You Have Decided To Elope, Now What?

Congratulations on getting married. If you and your fiance have decided to elope we would like you to read on for great ideas and inspirational advice. Exchanging vows is one of the most important things a couple will do whether you are having 350 witnesses or just you and your fiance and one witness. It is the beginning of your legacy and an important day to document and capture every moment. Hiring a professional wedding photographer will be the best thing you do next to saying “I do” with your true love.

Planning your elopement

  1. Hire an elopement photographer. We recommend you Don’t ask your family and friends to take photos of the day, let them be in the moment and enjoy your celebration.
  2. Interview your Officiant Hiring professionals is always a good idea. Do your research on officiants and choose one that represents you and your soon to be bride or groom.
  3. Don’t leave out the flowers A professional florist will add color and beauty to the celebration and your photos will reflect this.
  4. Wedding Coordinator is a must. A day of wedding coordinator will see that your vision comes to life. They can help you connect with the right vendors and pros. Troubleshoot throughout the day. Most importantly let you and your fiance be mindful and at the moment on your wedding day.
  5. Choose the right location. Make your elopement a weekend getaway. You don’t have to do the Las Vegas elopement thing. Palm Springs has a great City Hall to have your ceremony in. A weekend in one of their many boutique hotels is a great way to celebrate your marriage.
  6. Having an intimate ceremony on the sand in Laguna Beach is always beautiful, and staying at one of the hotels along PCH is a fantastic option.
  7. Consider a destination elopement. Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean are beautiful options if you are looking for something exotic or romantic.

Reasons Engaged Couples Elope

  1. Elopements are about two people entering into marriage and you want to keep it as stress-free as possible
  2. Want to keep the budget within reason and not start your marriage off with debt
  3. You have always dreamed of having an intimate wedding
  4. Too much family drama
  5. Second marriage
  6. A big wedding is not important to you

We would love to help you today contact us anytime!

Thank you

Christopher Todd

Bride and groom after elopement ceremony watching lanterns in the sky at Turks and Caicos Beaches Resort. Taking the newly eloped couple out in the evening for a photo shoot created these romantic pics that they will have to reminisce over.
Romantic photo of the couple in the ocean at night holding the torch at Sandals Resort. How often does this happen? When couples elope all our attention is on them.
Palm Springs Elopement Photographer in Orange County
Elopement session of the couple in Palm Springs photo with the windmills. Just a short drive from Los Angeles and Orange County and couples who elope can be in this open space for epic photos.
Couples first look elopement ceremony Cancun
This couple’s elopement photos from their first look at Cancun resort beach on the sand was perfect. Always a favorite. Cancun has so many options and the beautiful beaches are plentiful. This is a first look of the groom and his bride before they exchange vows on the sand.
Cancun Elopement Photographer
Bride and groom elopement portrait at Cancun Excellence Resort. Couples who elope have many options and Cancun is a great choice.

Palm Springs City Hall

Saguaro

The Parker

Korakia

Old Orange County Courthouse

Great Officiant | Great Officiants

Coordinator | Chic Productions

Flowers | French Buckets

Hotels

Surf and Sand Resort

Montage Laguna Beach

Pasea Hotel and Spa

Palos Verdes Engagement Photographer Steve and Kathy

Engagement Photography Wayfarers Chapel

One thing I love about being an engagment photographer is all the beautiful couples I get to photograph.  They come from all walks of life.  This makes being an Orange County Photographer exciting.  Each couple getting married has a unique story and this is Steve and Kathy’s love story.

About to let her E-Harmony contract expire and be done with the online dating scene Kathy sent out one last smile to Scientist Steve.

They corresponded through the site and email for a few weeks, both really enjoying the exchange, then met for a drink at Checkers after work. Kathy was held up at work and kept Steve waiting 30 min, although in contact throughout, before arriving with apologies for both being late and needing to leave again almost immediately to return to work. Still, both were encouraged and excited by the immediate chemistry, confirming the online relationship that was forming. Our first real date was two days later, which began with Steve’s announcement that he was taking on an exciting new position and moving to La Jolla. Long story short, we chose to give the long distance relationship a try, and are so very thrilled that we did. Now we continue to build our life together here in L.A…

Most is hard to say. There is so much that I love! He is the one person I know whose wonder of the world and excitement for experiencing both simple joys and extraordinary things surpasses my own. He is infinitely kind and patient, generous with himself, and incredibly fun and interesting. I love his intelligence and infectious sense of humor. And his calm and noble strength is always quietly and consistently present without arrogance or dominance. He is ever supportive of me being true to my own self, and leading the life that makes me happy. He is a wonderful, loving partner and father, who has embraced my son, as one of his own. Also, I just love being with him. From our first date, when our hands touched for the first time, I felt an indescribable recognition, and am drawn to him as I have never been to anyone else.

Kathy has a fiery brightness that always finds the positive, as well as the humor, in whatever life brings her way. Her constant warmth and loving kindness are coupled with a depth of character that inspires me to raise my own game on a daily basis. Her sense of what is right and equitable in the world guides her actions towards all whom she meets, and most of them are left touched, often smiling and all the better for their encounter with her. As a supermom, she has shown the love, determination and stamina that it takes to be the kind of parent who engages, sets free and uplifts their child, all at the same time. And as a partner, lover and wife ? Well, as Neruda once said “I love you without knowing how, or when or from where”, such is the freshness and fire she has brought to my own heart. Of mystical proportions. She has often told me that if she was going to put the effort into entering a relationship again, it must be something extraordinary. And extraordinary is what I now encounter, every day. Her intelligence, her wit, her laughter; those eyes, her crazy creative problem solving skills (read: Macguyver), make me wonder aloud at how lucky I really am.

Our theme or inspiration is one of gratitude– for the exceptional love we have found, and a celebration of our courage to embrace it.

Our colors are still evolving. We began with a midnight, or navy blue and gold scheme, but then I found my dress… which is a berry red and silver. 🙂

How closely we have partnered on all of the details, whether it be audio technology or floral arrangements, we have thoroughly enjoyed and celebrated this occasion from the start. Not to mention my dress…

Such an inspirational story about true love. These two will be exchanging wedding vows this winter. Having planned a wedding in just a short few months we made time to get together and photograph their engagement session at the enchanting Wayfarers Chapel. Whether you are getting married in the glass chapel or just there for epic engagement photos this place wont disappoint.

Sitting atop the bluff of Palos Verdes overlooking the Pacific Ocean Wayfarers is one of LA’s most romantic spots for taking pics. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Kathy and Steve better and can’t wait for their winter wedding at USC Campus.

This engaged couple met on eharmony. About to give up on finding love they met just before her subscription was about to end.
Enjoying each other and the beautiful light as the sun sets in Palos Verdes.
Palos Verdes is so gorgeous with its natural landscape and bluffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean.
Can’t wait for this Los Angeles couple’s wedding this winter at USC Campus.

Laguna Beach Engagement Photography Best in Orange County

Laguna Beach Engagement Photos

I am a Laguna Beach photographer specializing in engagement photos

We love taking couples down to the beach.  Laguna Beach has so much to offer for an engagement session.

We love Laguna Beach. Best described as a small coastal city in Orange County, California. Known for its many art galleries, coves and beaches. You can find tide pools at Main Beach along with a boardwalk that leads to the gardens of nearby Heisler Park. Looking for the local surf spot, check out Aliso Beach Park. The waters off Crystal Cove State Park are designated as an underwater park. Take a stroll down the trails here and enjoy the canyons in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. All these locations are beautiful backdrops for your engagement session.

Laguna Beach has it all for your engagement portraits

A stroll with your fiance down the main street will surprise you with gorgeous photos. We will take you on a photo walk throughout Laguna, often times starting at the parking structure getting that urban vibe and ending up at the beach for a stunning sunset. We want your experience to be fun, relaxing, and intimate. Let us lead the way and your engagement photos will take your breath away.

Allison and Sean’s Engagement session

A few months ago I had the pleasure of photographing Alison’s birthday celebration at Big Canyon Country Club. Last week we met up with Alison and her fiance in Laguna Beach for a beautiful engagement session. It was finally nice to meet Sean. We had a great time strolling around town capturing spontaneous moments that will make lovely wall art. Making our way down to the beach we continued to snap pictures of the two at Shaws Cove, one of my favorite spots to take couples who are getting married. The weather was perfect and it was a beautiful afternoon to document the love that Allison and Sean share with each other. Can’t wait for their wedding at Big Canyon Country Club this Summer 2017!

We started the engagement session in front of this mural by Wyland.
Walking around Downtown Laguna Beach is a great way to get beautiful photos of the couple.
I posed the couple in front of this blank wall for a photo.
Using the green background really makes the couple pop.
One of our last photos of the session catching the sun setting from atop.

Venice Beach Engagement Photos

South Bay couple’s eclectic engagement session

What a great couple Tiffany and Christopher are. They will be getting married in August at the Jonathan Club in Downtown Los Angeles a beautiful wedding venue in the LA area.

When Tiffany asked me where they should have their engagement photos taken I knew just the place. This laid back professional couple both well into their careers wanted something fun and playful yet funky and eclectic. What better place to go then Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach.

Only on Abbot Kinney

You have rich history and modernity all in a one-mile stretch. It is an up and coming attraction for tourist, but well loved and served as a local gathering place for west side residents. Fine restaurants, unique art galleries, all on this historical destination. Here we walked around the bustling streets and found some amazing funky wall art that was so colorful and bright.

Santa Monica Pier

For a picturesque sunset session we ended the day at the Santa Monica Pier. The Santa Monica Pier is a large double-jointed pier located at the foot of Colorado Avenue. This landmark that is over 100 years old is popular with residents and visitors. With the iconic Ferris wheel and antique carrousel there are so many places to take photos. Being that it was a busy summer day we dodged the crowd and I strategically placed the couple so it looked like they were the only two in all of Los Angeles. We headed to the sand where we captured the couple with the Ferris wheel in the background all lit up and colorful.

Unique Los Angeles Engagement Photographer

We strive to produce photos that reflect our couple’s unique personalities. One way we do this at Christopher Todd Studios is with a styled guide that we provide before the shoot. This helps the bride and groom to be decide what they will look good in for the pictures. These two nailed it with their classy style they chose. We recommend getting your hair and makeup done for your engagement shoot. This is always a great idea. You will look your best and it doubles as a trial run with the hair and MUA vendor you will be using on your wedding day.

We are still drooling over this custom engagement album with a leather cover that Tiffany and Christopher will have to share with future generations. What a great way to start your legacy as you unit in marriage. Our photos are timeless and always priceless.

The Santa Monica Pier is a great place for engagement photos.
This South Bay Couple chose to have their engagement photos taken in Santa Monica by the Pier.

This is an album spread from the custom engagement album.

 

Five ways to spice up your engagement photo session

Five Ways to Spice up Your Engagement Session

We have been photographing engaged couples for over 15 years.  As an experienced photographer I like to offer my brides and grooms advice on how to get the best engagement photos.

5 Tips for Engagement Photos

1. Hair and Makeup

Get your hair and makeup done by the MUA you are using for your wedding. This is a simple tip for any bride-to-be. You probably want to do a trial of the hair and makeup artist before your wedding day so why not do this for the engagement session. This allows you to see how the bridal style you chose will look in professional pictures.

You also get to experience the way they work. You will feel confident with your vendor choice when it comes time for saying your “I do’s”

When you look your best you feel your best. Getting hair and makeup done professionally will give your photos a finished and polished look.

2. Use a style guide for both you and your Fiance

Unless you are a fashionista I recommend using one of our complimentary style guides. When choosing your outfits consider what season and location you will be taking these photos in. You don’t want to wear neutral colors if it is fall and you are taking pics in the park. It is also very important that the Groom-to-be follows a similar guide so you compliment each other. You will probably have to help him or her pick out their outfits. Better yet go shopping together for something new. Don’t let him thumb through the closet and grab that old button down shirt he wore in college.

We also do not recommend matching outfits. Although popular in some cultures matching outfits don’t make for good pictures. These make couples look like they are wearing one huge blanket or they simply blend into each other.

Be colorful and bold. You will be amazed how stunning your engagement images will look.

We prefer two outfit changes during an e-session but three is not uncommon. Having two separate looks adds variety to your photos.

3. Choose a location that is dramatic

The beach can be dramatic but it is so overdone. We know just the right locations for you to get that sexy ocean look. Try one of California’s amazing coastal bluffs instead of being right on the sand. From Malibu to San Diego there are so many dazzling sites to choose from. Palos Verdes Abalone Cove is a favorite of ours.

An Urban look is real dramatic. Taking the street art and putting a beautiful couple in front is stunning.

An amazing staircase is a perfect spot to pose the couple. These can be found in a downtown area or a parking garage. You will be surprised how dramatic the photos turn out. Drop dead gorgeous.

City hall is a good location to photograph engaged couples. Some City Hall’s have beautiful old buildings with architecture that is unique to the era it was built in.

4. Use props

Bring a bottle of Champagne and two flute glasses. We can do some romantic photos with the two of you toasting.

Many couples have access to one or more of the following; sports car, vintage car, boat, or motorcycle. If you don’t and you have the budget for a rental this is a great options. Some of our sexiest photos were taken on a boat and motorcycle.

Umbrellas are a great prop rain or shine. Scarves or blankets can add flare and intimacy when wrapped around the couple. Blanket or picnic basket can work beautifully in the right setting. One of our favorite props to use is a vintage tandem bicycle. Although, it doesn’t have to be vintage to be amazing.

5. Have a Cocktail (my favorite tip)

Relax, have fun and enjoy the moment. Sometimes couples are not used to being in front of the camera and one way to take the edge off is to simply have a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail. Trust me it really works. Don’t worry I won’t drink on the job.

Using a background like these downtown Los Angeles Skyscrapers makes for a great sophisticated vibe.
Choosing the right location is important for great engagement photos.
This couple also incorporated an outfit change for their engagement session.
Yes it was raining. Yes we all got soaked. But it was so worth it. What a romantic shot.
Using the umbrella was a great prop for this session.
Styled shoot of engaged couple with red vintage Mercedes and beautiful sunset in Newport Back Bay photo. Can’t beat a beautiful couple paired with a beautiful California sunset.

Disneyland engagement session best of photos Joyce and Jon

Disneyland Engagement Photographer

Engagement Session at Disneyland

When it came time for Joyce and Jonathan’s engagement session the location for them was an easy decision. It would decidedly be The Happiest Place on Earth… Disneyland. Being a survivor of cancer Joyce has always found comfort in Disneyland. It is truly her happy place especially when her beloved Jonathan is standing by her side. These two were overflowing with joy and giddiness during their engagement session.

Fun Engagement Photos

We love photographing couples that can have fun, relax, and show the special connection that they share with each other. Disneyland Resort was a perfect spot for this.

Walking all around Disneyland we got amazing photos in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle where all the couple had to do was just stand there and look into each other’s eyes.

Then on to the Mad Tea Party teacup ride where they got so dizzy they couldn’t even stand straight.

A quick kiss in front of the famous whale at Storybook land was a must stop. No time to even look for the hidden Mickey that is supposedly there.

It was like we were the only ones at the park even though it was a normal bustling day at the Magic Kingdom. We continued on to the Matterhorn Bobsleds for more beautiful pics, Buzz Lightyear, and some snapshots with the Star Tours sign.

This was such a magical place to take an engaged couple on their special photo shoot before their wedding, I would recommend this location to any of my brides who are looking for a great engagement location.

My Favorite Part of The Session

My favorite part of the day was when they were sharing an ice cream sundae in California Adventure and couldn’t stop laughing completely forgetting that I was there photographing them in this special moment.

There is just something so magical about Disneyland, Walt Disney had was such a visionary artist to come up with and make his dream come true.

California Adventure Time

We continued the session on at California Adventure where we were able to take more fun and romantic engagement pics. The chemistry between Joyce and Jonathan is so apparent in these photos.

I know these photos will be cherished and loved for future generations and many years to come.

How to get amazing photos from your destination engagement session

Chicago Photographer

Although I am not a Chicago based photographer I had a great time photographing this California couple who lives in Chicago.

This Chicago destination engagement session is one of  favorites.  The couple getting married are from California but they met in Chicago where they both currently live. Although they are having their wedding ceremony and reception in Los Angeles they could not decide where they should take their engagement pictures. I asked them a simple question “do you want something different”? With a simple reply they said “Yes”.

The next thing I know we are taking amazing photos in the Loop of downtown Chicago.

How to get amazing photos for your  destination engagement session

With a quick phone conversation the bride to be and myself (the photographer) put together a plan of action for our one day photo session in the city.

I wanted to know if there were any landmarks or points of interest in Chicago that were special to the couple. From there we drew up a map and a plan.

In the plan we allowed time for outfit changes and strategic bathroom and water breaks. Well not all sessions stay on schedule and to the original timeline. This proved to be true for our Chicago engagement session.

Number one reason the weather.

It was forecasted to rain from 2 pm to midnight and we were scheduled to begin our photo shoot at 1 pm.

So we threw out the original plan and started the session at 5 am. There was not a cloud in the sky and best of all we had the city almost completely to ourselves. We walked all around town for around five hours. At this point we took a much needed break to recharge and refuel ourselves.

We planned on continuing the e-session in the evening for some romantic night shots.

Sure enough the clouds rolled in and just like the weather forecast predicted the later part of the afternoon was full of showers.

We all agreed that some night pictures in the rain would be epic. With umbrellas in tow we made the most unforgettable engagement pictures to end the day.

Have a plan

  • Know where you will start the engagement session
  • where you will have to park (without getting a parking ticket)
  • Know how far points of interests are between each other (can the bride to be walk long distance in high heels)
  • Where will the couple change outfits
  • Arrange for hair and make up to be on time
  • Know when the sun sets or in this situation rises
  • Will you need to take a taxi from point a to point b
  • Do you have a realistic timeline

But the number one piece of advice

Be flexible

You cannot control the weather

Adapt to the obstacles as they arise

This goes for your photographer and you as the couple

If a photo opp goes off course go with it

But most importantly

Have fun

This is such a great time in your relationship

It’s exciting to be engaged and plan a wedding

Have fun, relax, and go with the flow

You will have amazing engagement pictures!

Really got to to see the city of Chicago while on this epic engagement session.

The L train station was a great place for creative engagement photos.
Couldn’t resist this one.
It rained on us but we had a great time shooting in the middle of the street.

5 things to consider for a multiple location engagement session

Orange County Engagement Photographer

When I first met with Heather and Nick in our photography studio I was inspired by their love story. She is a nurse and he a Fireman. Not only do their careers demand long hours and at times can be very stressful but they also lived 500 miles from each other. He recently accepted a job with a local Fire station which brought them closer. They are such a delightful couple their love for each other is magnetic.

Engagement Session Planning

We decided to plan their engagement session well in advance before their big day. This allowed for us to choose a day where the weather would be perfect. Knowing that they wanted to use one of the pictures for their save the date card was also factor in having an early e-session.

They wanted two different looks. First being a natural organic look. Second, the Golden Californian sunset look. We knew just the places to take them for a successful e-session.

Things to consider before your multiple location engagement session

1. Phone or in person consultation with your wedding photographer

We like to discuss your engagement session. We ask you some questions to further get know you. From there we gather the information and decide on a location that fits your lifestyle. For example: He proposed to me on a beach one summer evening.

  • Where did you meet?
  • Where was your first date?
  • How did he propose to you?

2. What will you be using these pictures for?

We ask this question to find out what you might be using the pics for. Maybe you want to have a canvas made and hang it above your mantel. We keep that in mind when we are shooting so we can guide you to make the perfect shot that will be framed. We find out what your home looks like, your style modern, contemporary, classic, chic, rustic. All this info will help us create beautiful art work for you to display.

  • We need a photo for a save the date card
  • Coffee table album
  • canvas print to hang in our home
  • gift to our parents
  • parent album
  • Signature albums

3. What should we wear to our photo shoot

This is a common question that the couples ask us. With the proper attire you will look and feel beautiful and your pictures will be amazing. Some local Hair and makeup artists like Design Visage or Flawless Faces will add a level of glamour and sophistication to your session.

  • We provide you and your Fiance with a style guide that is custom and seasonal
  • Getting your hair and makeup done before the shoot is highly recommended
  • knowing which outfit will be worn at each location

4. Who should come to the engagement session

This is important because this is a time to have fun, relax, and get to know what its like to work with your wedding photographer and be in front of the camera. Some parents like to tag a long. Think about this before you agree. Do you want your photos to be intimate and romantic, fun and light hearted. What is your style that you are comfortable with. Will mom and dad be imposing? Or will they be helpful?

  • The bride and groom to be
  • fur baby
  • Hair and makeup artist

5. Timing is everything

When couples want multiple locations for their engagement session including sunset photos it is important that we start at the right time. We base this on when the sun is setting and work backwards. In this session we started at Huntington Beach Central Park. I knew we would need an hour there to get all the right shots and the lighting would be best at 4 pm. The next location was a twenty minute drive and parking could be challenging. Knowing that we would be walking down main street capturing shots along the way would take some time before we got to the beach. Keeping in mind the whole time when the sun would be setting allowed us to be at the beach with plenty of time to get all the images we wanted and perfect sunset pics.

  • Arriving on time
  • knowing where parking is at each location
  • providing enough time to have outfit changes
  • choosing locations that are near each other
Starting the engagement session off in Central Park in Huntington Beach.
Central Park is a great place for engagement photos in Huntington Beach
We incorporated confetti and champagne for this photo session.
We headed over to Seal Beach where we got some great photos with natural light.
The sunsets on our California Coast are beautiful.