Engagement Shoot Guide – San Diego Area

To talk with us about booking your San Diego engagement shoot, please call (619) 795-9545 option 1 or contact our studio.


Preparing for Your Engagement Shoot


engagement-book-spread

Engagement Book Walkthrough


Engagement Shoot Ideas

A walkthrough of many of our favorite locations around town, as well as ideas and inspiration.


Engagement FAQs

How will I get to know my photographer before the wedding?

It is very important to have a great connection with your photographer! We feel that the most powerful way to build that connection is during the engagement shoot. This is your chance to get acquainted with your photographer, so that by the time your wedding arrives, you are already comfortable :) The engagement shoot allows you to see how we work, how the photographer directs you, and what creative ideas they have. The photographer at your engagement shoot will be the same photographer you will have at your wedding day.

If the connection with your photographer is ever less than perfect, you are not stuck. The great part about having a group of talented photographers within our company is that we can always switch over to another of our shooters if need be. And in case any unforeseen emergency should take place with our photographers, we always have a backup photographer of equal caliber on standby. So we are prepared for all possibilities!

Do you have any tips for an engaged couple before taking engagement photos?

An engagement shoot is the best way to really build a comfort with your wedding photographer before the wedding day. You get to see how they direct you and how comfortable it feels. As well, it is a great way for us to discover how the two of you interact as a couple, and what type of images you connect with. To make the most of your session time, we suggest choosing a location that has lots of great environments to work with.

Sometimes it can be fun to think of something you like to do together as a couple and create more of a scene for your engagement shoot. Having fun within your environment can really reflect your personality as a couple, and show off the love you have together :) We have a lot of great locations if you are wanting some inspiration.

We suggest keeping the engagement shoot short and sweet. More time on an engagement doesn't make it a better shoot. It's actually better to shoot for less time and be more efficient. We find that after an hour and a half, couples tend to look tired, and you see that in the photographs. We use the time well, and can produce amazing results from a shoot that lasts an hour or so.

As for attire, we suggest that you bring two changes of clothes. The first outfit can be a little more dressy, and the second can be a bit more casual. The key is to NOT match. Matching is not cool. Dress like you are going out on a date together. One suggested outfit is a dress and heels for the bride to be, and denim jeans and a nice collared shirt for the guy. The second outfit could be the bride wearing blue jeans, and the groom just changing his shirt to a favorite tee or something more comfortable.  If you plan on incorporating outfit changes, you'll want to ensure you have booked sufficient photo shoot time. For example, typically 1 hour=1 outfit, 1.5 hours=up to 2 outfits, etc.

All of your engagement  pictures are guaranteed to be ready within 14 business days. If you are using the photos for save the dates, or need them sooner, we should be able to turn them around quicker for you. All of the engagement images are provided full-resolution, to be displayed or printed as you wish.

Do you offer a mini engagement session?

We have found that a mini engagement session really doesn't exist. Meaning that a shorter session takes the same amount of preparation as a full engagement shoot in order to be successful. Both scenarios involve scouting the location, getting to and from, preparing the gear, etc. And often, the first half is really about getting warmed up. As we get to know you throughout the session, you'll likely start building more of a comfort with the camera and being in front of it.

One of the main assurances we give our clients is that we will never cut a corner on producing the best quality. This would be one of those instances. To produce the top result, even when just 2 or 3 shots are requested (for a Save the Date, for example), a full engagement shoot is essential.

Can you suggest a nice engagement shoot location?

San Diego offers many amazing locations for a perfect engagement shoot. In order to be most efficient with your engagement shoot time, we suggest choosing an location with a lot of cool backgrounds within a close proximity. That way, we spend your allotted time photographing, rather than driving. Here are a few spots that we are drawn to:

  • Downtown San Diego / Gaslamp District: This is one of our top suggestions. Our headquarters in the Marina district is a great place to kick off your shoot. In every direction, you'll find diverse and picturesque backdrops, including century-old buildings, a waterfront view, trolley stops, and eclectic storefronts. It is near the hustle and bustle of downtown, but has its own cool vibe. There are beautiful city parks nearby, as well as attractions such as Seaport Village and the Headquarters at Seaport District. And the Gaslamp District is a few short blocks away, which makes for great nightlife photos!
  • Solana Beach: We were located on Cedros Ave in Solana Beach for several years, and it is for a good reason. Location, location, location :) Cedros is perfect because it's an artistic street with many different backgrounds. Cool spots that are steps from our studio include a bridge, bright red and blue brick walls, lush vegetation, an iconic music venue... the list goes on. You can walk 100 yards and it looks like you went all over the city. The other nice part is that it is a 2-minute drive to the beach (Fletcher Cove). Because Fletcher Cove sits on a bluff, it has cliffs overlooking the ocean, as well as nice sandy beach areas.
  • Balboa Park: Balboa Park has many great backdrops. You can have photographs in the trees, under archways, in rose gardens, by a pond, and in a funky cactus field. There is also a Merry Go Round just down the street, which makes for more fun shots!
  • Salk Institute and Torrey Pines Glider Port: These locations are right next to each other and make for a diverse photo shoot. The Salk Institute offers minimalism at its finest. It is all concrete, and is understated and modern. If you are looking for that clean, sleek look, this is the place to be. Just down the street is the Torrey Pines Glider Port, which features cliffs overlooking the ocean, for a nice backdrop. If the timing is right, there may even be hang-gliders and para-sailers in the background of your photos.
  • San Dieguito Park: This park is very natural looking, with big lush trees and colorful fall leaves. Although it is groomed, it doesn't feel overly manicured. Other features include a nice pond, big rocks, and open space. If you are wanting all-natural, colorful scenery, this is the place to be.
  • Belmont Park: If you want more of a seaside carnival theme, and would like to be kids the day, then Belmont Park is the perfect spot. There are rides, skill games, and an overall nostalgic vibe. Also, it is right by the beach, which means scenic natural backdrops within walking distance. One consideration is that it can be crowded at times, especially the nearby beach areas.

These are a few of our favorite and most requested spots. For more insight and tips, please visit our engagement shoot guide. If you have any questions regarding our engagement shoots, please feel free to contact us!