WHERE TO SHOOT FOR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

The number one question couples ask when planning their engagement photos is “What’s a good spot?”  We ask them two things, what’s your story and what’s your wedding style?  

If you and your financé have a unique story; met at a café, during a baseball game or on a beach, we would love to photograph this milestone in your relationship at that very same place.  

If you don’t have a special go to, then opt for something unlike what your wedding style will be.  For example, if you’re planning a summer country wedding with soft pastels and wild flowers, let’s turn things up for the engagement shoot by adding some bold tones in a sunset urban location.  

If you’re still undecided we’ve put together a Love Story Style and Location Guide with a detailed summary of where to shoot and what to wear. But here is a quick summary of a few of our favourite spots.

 

In the Comfort of your Own Home
What better way to personalize your photo session than having it in your very own home.  If this is your first professional photo shoot or you’re not sure what to expect, the familiarity and comfort of your own living space can create some spectacular photos.  Whether shooting in your environment for a lifestyle session or setting up a portable portrait studio for a more produced look, shooting in your home can sometimes be the best option.  This will also save on travel time and perhaps allow a few outfit changes should you choose.

The Forks Market / Johnston Terminal
Where the Assiniboine River meets the Red; The Forks offers many indoor and outdoor location options for different session styles.  Some of the highlights include the following attractions

  • The Market

  • Johnston Terminal

  • The Candy Train

  • Inn at the Forks Hotel

  • The Red River Walking path

  • The Canadian Museum for Human Rights

  • The Children's Museum

  • Skate Park Plaza

  • The Esplanade (Provencher Bridge)

www.theforks.com
www.humanrights.ca 

Manitoba Legislative Building
By far one of the most popular indoor photo locations for Weddings.   A government building featuring marble floors, elegant backdrops and a grand staircase.  Booking far in advance is a must.  In the summer months the surrounding grounds are also a magnificent option.

https://www.gov.mb.ca/finance/events/index.html

The Hamilton Building
Located in the Winnipeg Exchange district, this beautiful nine story building features a white winding staircase and large window. This architectural style is a perfect romantic location for your photo session.

www.mhs.mb.ca
Additional fees apply to use this location

Red River Collegiate (Downtown Campus)
Located in the Exchange District this location offers the beauty of the architectural stone building with the comfort of an indoor setting. 

www.rrc.ca
Additional fees may apply

University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba campus is a great location for both indoor and outdoor photography.  The campus features classic architecture and well maintained grounds in the summer.

www.umanitoba.ca

Assiniboine Park / Zoo
Located North of the Assiniboine Forest and along the Assiniboine River this location offers many attractions that provide endless photo possibilities.

  • The Zoo

  • The Park Pavilion

  • Formal and informal gardens

  • A sculpture garden

  • Miniature railway

  • Performing Arts Outdoor Theatre

  • Duck pond

  • Children’s nature playground

www.assiniboinepark.ca

St. Vital Park
Located on the east bank of the Red River this location features several hiking trails, a pond, children’s playground and a picnic area. 

www.tourismwinnipeg.com
www.winnipeg.ca

Kildonan Park
Located in the Northeast of Winnipeg, this location features beautiful flower shrubbery and scenic walking bridges.  It is home to the well-known ‘Witch’s Hut’, Rainbow Stage, a duck pond and wide open spaces. 

www.tourismwinnipeg.com
www.winnipeg.ca

King's Park
Located in southern Winnipeg this location is known for its beautiful Chinese Pagoda Gardens, bright red bridges and Memorial Labyrinth.  There are also many forested areas and gardens throughout.

www.tourismwinnipeg.com
www.winnipeg.ca

Birds Hill Park
Located 10 minutes Northeast of Winnipeg, Birdshill is known for its various trails and deep forest scenery.  This location will capture that countryside atmosphere that your session needs. 

www.gov.mb.ca
Additional fees may apply for park entry

Stephen Juba Park / Waterfront Drive
Located alongside the western bank of the Red River, this location features perfectly landscaped backdrops and is a short walk to the urban exchange district locations.  This is a great option for someone who wants a mix between Urban and Scenic environments.  The Mere Hotel is also alongside this location which can add a great splash of color to any photo session.   

www.mhs.mb.ca

Exchange District
Located in the heart of Winnipeg, this location will provide an ‘urban feel’ to your session with its Historic site of terracotta cut-stone architecture.  Adorable shops and cafes lend themselves to the perfect 'Old New York' look for engagement sessions and many graffiti walls and gritty areas for the perfect juxtaposition to your pristine Wedding attire.

www.exchangedistrict.org

St. Boniface Cathedral
The St. Boniface Cathedral-Basilica Parish, built in 1818,  is a major historical site of Manitoba.  Located within the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface and a short walk from the Provencher bridge, another Winnipeg staple.  This is a great location for the proud Winnipegger.

www.cathedralestboniface.ca

 Gimli Harbour, Manitoba
Located just an hour north of Winnipeg, this rural municipality is found in the Interlake region of south central Manitoba.  Here you will find parks, beaches, and a beautiful harbour all located within this quaint rural town on the lake.

www.gimli.ca

Source: where-to-shoot-for-engagement-photos

Managing Time for Photos on your Wedding Day

How much time should you allot to photos on your wedding day?  Here are some helpful tips to help manage your photo schedule.

Morning Prep

These are some of the most memorable photos of your day! There is tons of emotion, laughter and even tears to be shared during this time.  You may want to read a love letter from your fiancé, have mom help you into your dress or dad help you with your tie.  Even just welcoming those who arrive that morning are some of the little things you’ll want to remember.

Typically, couples will get ready at separate locations with their bridal parties.  For this reason it’s nice to have two photographers; one at each location, to get those candid shots.  Your wedding day goes by so fast, you'll want these moments to look back on.

First Look

'First look' moments are becoming very popular as weddings begin to take on less traditional schedules.  This is a fantastic way to create a romantic moment between just the two of you if you decide to see each other before the ceremony.  Yes, there will be tears, bring a tissue.

If you and your fiancé choose to do a 'first look' moment before the ceremony you should set aside at least 15 minutes for this.  You'll want to soak in that moment and perhaps a makeup touch up before continuing on with the day’s events.  Again, it’s nice to have two photographers documenting both of your reactions when you see each other for the first time.

Bridal Session

You will want to plan at least one hour per location for your Bridal party photos.  This allows for multiple combinations of people, poses and different set ups within the area.  If you choose to do more than one location for bridal party photos, travel time should not be included in that hour.

You should also set aside at least an hour for photos of just the two of you, after all, it’s your big day!  If your schedule allows for it, try to plan this time close to sunset or at least later in the day to take advantage of ideal lighting conditions.  Your photographer has been looking forward to this part of the day for months, give them time to work their magic.

Ceremony

Chances are your entire schedule will be based around your ceremony.  Make sure you pick a time that allows you to get everything else you want too.

Ceremony Quick Tips:
1. Consider an 'unplugged ceremony' asking your guests to refrain from using their phones and tablets.  Nobody can get a shot of you walking down the aisle better than your photographer and you don't want a guest to accidentally get in the way of that or any other important ceremony shots. 
2. Ask your photographer:  Are they using flash?  Will they be standing up front with you?  You may want to know these things before hand.
3. Hold That First Kiss! Even the best photographers can miss this moment if you're too quick.  Try to hold that first kiss for three seconds.  This will allow your photographer to capture a few different photos of this very special moment.

Family Photos

Weddings are a great way to squeeze in some updated family photos while everyone is together.  If you decide to do it, schedule about half an hour right after your ceremony to gather everyone for some quick shots.  Your photographer will often suggest a location nearby to do this.  

Family Photos Quick Tip:
1. Pick someone to be a family wrangler, you won't want to be chasing after your cousins for family photos right after you just tied the knot.
2.  If you plan for family photos right after the ceremony remember to add on extra time so that guests can hug and congratulate you two before the photos begin.

Reception

The wedding reception can be full of photographic gems, make sure your photographers are there to capture them.  In order to make sure you get photos of speeches, dances, and all of the other excitement that happens at the reception, you will want to make sure your photographers stay until at least 10pm, sometimes later.

Photos of your guests dancing and having fun are some the best memories to look back on.  10 years from now you’ll be thankful to have a photo of cousin Jonny doing the Macarena or grandma and grandpa two stepping across the dance floor.

Of course wedding schedules are unique to every couple so we suggest discussing it with your photographers beforehand.  
 

Non-Traditional Wedding Schedule

We find wedding schedules are taking on a more non-traditional time line and often look something like this

12:00pm: Photographers arrive for morning prep photos

1:00pm: Bridal party gets dressed

1:30pm: First Look Photos

1:45pm: Bridal Party Photos

3:30pm: Arrive at Ceremony Location

4:00pm: Ceremony Photos

4:30pm: Family Photos

5:00pm: Photos of Newlyweds

6:00pm: Arrive at Reception Location

6:30pm: Grand Entrance Photos and Dinner

7:30pm: Speeches and Candid Photos

8:00pm: Cake Cutting and Candid Photos

8:30pm: First Dance and Party Photos

10:00pm: Photography coverage will typically end

 

Traditional Wedding Schedule

Typically if your wedding ceremony is earlier in the day and you do not plan to see each other before the ceremony, your schedule will look more like this.

10:00am: Photographers arrive for morning prep photos

12:00pm: Bridal Party gets dressed

12:30pm: Arrive at Ceremony

1:00pm: Ceremony photos

2:00pm: Family Photos

2:30pm: Bridal Party Photos

4:00pm: Photos of Newlyweds

5:30pm: Arrive at Reception Location

6:00pm: Cocktail Hour Photos

6:30pm: Grand Entrance Photos and Dinner

7:30pm: Speeches and Candid Photos

8:00pm: Cake Cutting and Candid Photos

8:30pm: First Dance and Party Photos

10:00pm: Photography Coverage will typically end

Source: managing-time-on-your-wedding-day