Amber Spence

Preparing For Your Engagement Session | Location Suggestions

Wheewwww! You’re engaged and now its time to start planning your engagement session.

Here are some small tips to help you get prepared and worry less.


Engagement Session Checklist

  • Set your hair and makeup appointments (this is the perfect time to do your bridal trials with HMUA)

  • Choose outfits (be you, pick something that you’re comfortable in)

  • Get nails done (we will be getting close up shots of your beautiful ring)

  • Clean your ring (if necessary)

  • Pick a post-session date night spot (your hair and makeup will be done already so why not make it a date night)

What to Bring

  • Flats to switch in to between photos spots

  • An additional outfit

  • Your lip gloss/lip sticks for touch ups

  • A light jacket to cover up

Ladies, Prep your man for the session! Most men are not excited for a 1 hour session of taking photos. Usually they are unsure what to expect and why its so important to get them done. Take a moment and let them know why it’s important for the both of you and show him the photography style that I offer. Also, to calm nerves, take a shot right before your session 😉 lol 

Things to consider:

  • Lighting (reference photos)

    • My editing is True to Life which means I do not manipulate colors or atmosphere. Your photos will be a reflection of how the day was.

    • Therefore, location and time of day matter. The image will look different if shot on a really bright sunny day versus a overcast day. Contrary to belief overcast is the best for photography because the clouds create an even light source for your photos. We won’t have to worry about harsh light sun spots in the background of the photos.

  • Men and Women Clothing

    • If it’s whimsical location, women can wear a beautiful white flow-y dress and sandals if it matches the vibe of this location.

    • You can also dress it up and wear tight fitted clothing with heels and it will still be appropriate (bring sandals for in between photo spots).

    • Men usually will opt for dressy sweaters, casual buttons ups, or plain tee shirts.

    • Shorts or jeans can work for the location as well as dress shoes.

    • Other couples decide to go more casual and wear what they feel most comfortable in.

  • Getting Dirty

    • Most of the parks in San Diego have trails….there is dirt and rocky terrain so if you decide to wear white or any light colors it is a possibility it may get dirty

      • I will do my best to make sure your clothes stay as clean as possible, but keep this in mind.

  • Protected Habitat

    • Close to sunset the animals will start to make their appearance at local trails

      • coyotes , deer, bunnies etc

    • I have seen snakes, so I make sure to not have clients stepping in the tall grass during warmer seasons.

  • Location, location, location..

    • Elfin Forest in Escondido is very popular for tourist as well as photo session. In the recent years, they have required a permit to shoot on the premises. IF you would like to shoot here please keep in mind an additional fee will be required for their specific permit.

    • Old Poway Park is great for the couples who want multiple photo ops to work with. Theres grass, a small trail, dirt, a non operative train. This location will typically be very busy in the afternoon, so keep this in mind if you are not okay with crowds.

    • Sunset Cliffs is an all time favorite of San Diego locals and tourist. This may not be suitable for couple who have a hard time climbing up and down rocks. To get to the cliff its a short walk but it does require you to become a little explorer. lol Its definitely worth it.

    • Balboa Park, an ol’ faithful! Clients love Balboa Park, for obvious reasons. There are tons of different options here from architecture to grass, to small ponds.. However many of my clients will steer away because of the crowds. If you are up for the crowds and ready for an epic shoot at one of San Diegos favorite parks, I am too!

    • Mission Trails is top 2 when it comes to my clients favorite locations. The path way creates depth and the scenery changes so quickly with the seasons. If you are looking for more of a whimsical or forrest like vibe this will be your spot!

    • Glamis Sand Dunes, who wouldn’t want to shoot here?! I mean, its gorgeous. Downside, it includes a 2 hour drive there and back. Im always down for the adventure but 4 hours away from my daughter will require additional payment. 😉

See galleries below for reference.