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How to Pack for the Perfect Destination Engagement Session from the Perspective of a Photographer

Recently my fiance and I traveled to Arches National Park to take our engagement photos! Planning the engagement session and making sure we packed everything that was needed was more of a daunting task than I originally thought so I figured I would share what we learned with others!

Things to bring to any engagement photo session:

  1. Outfit Changes:

  • Bring a couple of outfit options to add variety to your photos. Consider different styles, colors, and levels of formality. I suggest one formal and one casual.

  • Coordinate outfits with your partner, but avoid wearing identical clothing. Complementary colors or matching styles work well.

  1. Accessories:

  • Bring accessories like hats, scarves, or jewelry that complement your outfits.

  • Don't forget to clean your engagement ring prior as well!

  1. Props:

  • Depending on the theme and location, consider bringing props that reflect your personalities or interests. Examples include balloons, a picnic basket, books, or a sign with your wedding date.

  • Don't overdo it with props; a few well-chosen items can add a personal touch.

  1. Touch-Up Essentials:

  • Pack a small bag with touch-up essentials like makeup, hairbrush, and any other grooming items you might need during the shoot.

  1. Shoes:

  • Consider bringing a comfortable pair of shoes if your shoot involves walking or exploring different locations.

  1. Positive Energy:

  • Remember to bring your positive energy, smiles, and a relaxed attitude. The most important thing is to enjoy the experience and capture the love between you and your partner.

For a travel specific engagement session, I would consider the following:

  1. Photography Permits:

  • Check if the location where you're having your photoshoot requires permits. Some parks or landmarks may have specific rules or fees for professional photography. We needed to buy a timed entry for Arches National Park.

  1. Backup Essentials:

  • Consider packing a backup outfit, especially if you're traveling a long distance. Accidents happen, and having a spare set of clothes can be a lifesaver.

  1. Travel Documents:

  • If you're traveling internationally or to a different state, ensure you have all necessary travel documents, including IDs, passports, and any required permits for the photoshoot location.

  1. Map and Directions:

  • Print or have digital copies of maps and directions to the photoshoot location. Make sure your phone is charged and has a navigation app with offline maps in case of poor signal.

  1. Weather Preparedness:

  • Check the weather forecast for the location and pack accordingly. Bring extra layers or rain gear if needed. Or if it's going to be hot; towels, dry shampoo, makeup wipes, and blotting papers.

  1. Snacks and Water:

  • Pack some snacks and water for the journey. Having sustenance on hand can help keep your energy up during the photoshoot.

  1. Emergency Kit:

  • Consider bringing a small emergency kit with items like band-aids, pain relievers, and any essential medications especially if you are hiking!

  1. Chargers:

  • Bring chargers for your phone and any other electronic devices you might be using. A portable charger can also be handy.

  1. Communication with Photographer:

  • Keep in touch with your photographer throughout your travel. Confirm the meeting point, time, and any last-minute details.

  1. Hiking supplies:

  • If you're unfamiliar with the area, ask your photographer for local recommendations for food, accommodations, and other necessities.


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