Summer Engagement Photos

July 6, 2023
Destination & New York Wedding Photographer | Summer Wedding Photographer | Summer Engagement Photos

Here are Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for the Best Summer Engagement Photos Ever

by destination wedding photographer Kathryn Cooper Weddings

Hawaii sunset wedding photos on Big Island Kathryn Cooper Weddings
Hawaii at sunset cannot be beat

Summer Engagement Photo Tips

When you’re in a location where it’s summer–weather that’s New Zealand in January or New York in July–it’s probably warm or hot. The cons: sweat. The pros: Tons of fun activities to choose from!

If you’re wondering what to wear for your summer engagement photos, or what to bring or do, here are a few tips:

  1. Check the weather the day before and day-of. Summer may be the dry season in many places, but in others, it often means sudden rain showers!
  2. Your outfits don’t need to be super loud. They can be, but solids can work well here since the landscape is often doing a lot of the work
  3. Bring water! Snacks help, too (especially if you’re hiking)
  4. Check with your photographer about timing. Since many people are off from work, things can be very crowded. Go for weekdays and early mornings/late evenings when possible!
  5. Jewelry, an outfit change, sunscreen, and a hanky can be a good idea. One engagement session i recently photographed took place on a 94-degree day, so the couple was happy to have clothes to change into. Don’t forget that deodorant, son!
  6. Pick fabrics that let your skin breathe, because no one wants to have sweat stains (and editing them out as a photographer is much more difficult than you’d imagine!)
  7. Go have fun and do something wacky/unique/delightful
  8. If you’re planning a hike with awesome views, don’t change until you’re near the top or at the top. That way, you and your outfit can stay fresh. You can take photos on the way down, when everyone is less out of breath.
  9. For examples of summer engagement photo outfits, check out some of the photos below.

It’s summer, which means being hot, sticky, and/or sweaty is nearly unavoidable. Trust me: Bring a change of clothes. If you’re someone who sweats a lot, go for sleeveless, or capped/flutter sleeves to help with air flow. And if you’re having professional hair and makeup done, make sure it’s set for high humidity/heat!

Rules for Summer Engagement Photos

There are none.

Seriously, have fun and do as your please! You don’t have to have the same romantic, standard, looking-into-the-camera engagement photos as everyone else does.

Hop on your motorcycles and get photos in the desert. Eat pizza and gelato in Lake Como. Hire a local photographer while on vacation. Throw paint on each other. Get on a kayak at sunset and just have fun. There are no rules when it comes to your summer engagement photo fiesta!

But do use sunscreen, or you’ll like me…a bit on the red side.

Want to be Different? Here are Some Unique Photo Ideas.

What about unique summer engagement photo ideas? Here are a few:

  • Get in the water and snorkeling/SCUBA diving
  • Slurp ice cream on the boardwalk
  • Enjoy the quiet, cool environment of a library (check first, but most allow engagement photos)
  • Walk around Coney Island, Reno, or another small & quirky environment
  • Head to a water park
  • Go cliff jumping and rope swinging into water!
  • Run around a hot-air balloon festival for vibrant colors and a unique experience
  • Take a rowboat or kayak out on the water
  • Go celebrate at Disneyland!
  • Escape the heat at a fun museum: Candyworld, The Color Factory, The Museum of Illusions, etc.
  • Enjoy a mountain hike with a dip in a cool lake
  • Blow up an air mattress and float in a pond or lake for some cool shots

There are plenty of fun activities that can only be done during winter, so if the chilly weather is your thing, there are tons of places to go with very few crowds. Most of the National Parks and state parks are still open, but will have a fraction of the visitors. (Of course, always check first to see if you need a photography permit/day-use permit/special occasion permit!)

Typically, folks:

  • Head to a garden
  • Get beach engagement photos done
  • Enjoy scenic spots in the city
  • Go to their favorite lookout spot
  • Have some ice cream
  • Walk along a boardwalk
  • Go to a park
  • Have a picnic

These are fine too, and can be as informal or formal as you like.

As a creative wedding photographer, I definitely love when couples want to do something unique, or a mix of quirky & fun engagement photos.

Finding an Engagement Photographer

Finding the best engagement photographer for you is no easy task. Ideally you will find someone who can do both your engagement photos and elopement or wedding photos, but oftentimes it doesn’t work out that way.

So, how to go about finding the perfect engagement photographer?

There are lots of ways, including Google, wedding fairs, referrals from past couples, vendor sites, wedding websites, area vendor listings, Facebook groups, Instagram, and more.

Many people head to popular websites such as The Knot or Wedding Wire, but that’s basically a rabbit hole of anyone and everyone. If you’ve made it here, you probably want experienced, knowledgeable, fun, and professional wedding and engagement photographers. Therefore, going to a vetted site is a good idea. Here are some others:

Fearless Photographers for documentary, creative, and moment-driven photographers (worldwide)
– LGBTQ+ – inclusive engagement and wedding photographers, vetted, such as Love Inc., Offbeat Wed, Equally Wed, etc. (mostly USA, but worldwide)
– Googling “Yosemite engagement photos” and looking at Images
– Googling “Hudson Valley wedding photographer” and scrolling to see your options (after Sponsored)
– Opening an online map and searching “engagement photographer” or “wedding photographer”
– Looking at Instagram and typing #destinationweddingphotographer in the search bar
– Searching Pinterest for beautiful engagement photos
– Looking up amazing engagement photos and looking at wedding websites such as Green Wedding Shoes, 100 Layer Cake, Carats and Cake, etc.
– Attending a local wedding fair and meeting people face to face
– Asking your favorite flower shop for a photographer who will capture all your best moments

There are so many ways to find great engagement photographers, all depending on your budget, location, style, and more.

Waterfall engagement photos in the Poconos Pennsylvania

How Much do Engagement Photos Cost?

Whether you’re taking winter shots or summertime engagement photos, you can expect to pay about $400 – $800, on average. Beginners tend to charge under that, professionals will charge around $600, and luxury/destination/high-end photographers might charge $1000+, depending on travel, hours, and more.

Most engagement photo sessions are 2 hours long (you’d likely receive 50-100 high-resolution digitals), though you can do mini-sessions or adventure engagement sessions. 2 hours is my minimum, as I know it takes time for couples to feel at ease–and heck, you want to do an outfit change and visit different locations, right?!

Because summer is busy for photographers, it’s recommended that you book your engagement session early rather than late. You’ll likely be looking at Monday – Thursday for photos, though every once in a while a weekend is available.

Couple in front of colorful wall Brooklyn Manhattan LES
queens ny photos
sunset kayaking photos in Westchester New York catherine cooper photo wedding

What Time of Day is Best for Photos?

Summer, by definition, has the most daylight. This means that you can work your 9-5 and then take engagement photos from 6-8pm!

That brings me to this: Book your summer engagement photos for either very early morning, or late evening. You generally want to avoid the times from 11am – 5pm due to harsh lighting/shadows. Plus, summer sunrises and sunsets are glorious, and you’ll definitely want to get that beautiful blue/golden hour lighting in your shots if you can.

Overall, aim for 6am – 10am, or 5pm – 9pm, for your summer engagement photos.

You may get an overcast day (great!), which means no harsh shadows. Or perhaps you’re flying out with your photographer to Iceland or Norway, and the sun never really sets. So go have a blast!

No matter where you end up taking your engagement photos, have fun, get comfortable in front of the lens, do something wacky, and be yourselves. They’ll be photos you’ll treasure forever~

summer engagement photos in Trinidad, California on the ocean - Kathryn Cooper Weddings

Kathryn Cooper Weddings: Summer Weddings | Summer Engagement Photos | Destination Engagement Photos

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SO many fun ideas for summer engagement photos! I love the idea of a water park or scuba shoot.

These are all such wonderful ideas! I love how you can essentially turn your engagement shoot into the perfect date day!

Such fun pictures, and great tips to keep in mind!

So many great summer engagement session tips, water is often forgotten and so important when going on an adventure outdoors!


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