37 Great Engagement Shoot Locations

It doesn’t surprise me that there were lots of wedding proposals on eclipse day.  After all, watching a total solar eclipse and getting engaged on the same day is something you just won’t forget!  And, it’s a very appropriate time to propose because as the moon almost completely blocks out the sun, you will see a bright light radiating out of the sliver of distance between the sun and the moon – and that is known as the “diamond ring.”












Photo Courtesy of Kelly Pratt Photography


And now that your wedding is official, here are some perfect locations for your engagement photos.  The St. Louis area has a plethora of iconic settings and eye-catching public parks that are prime for unforgettable photos.  So, all you new brides-to-be, now is a perfect time to schedule your session with the beautiful FALL colors coming soon.


Ballpark Village St. Louis MO
Bee Tree Park St. Louis MO
Butterfly House Chesterfield MO
Carondelet Park/Boat house St. Louis MO
Castlewood State Park Ballwin MO
Chesterfield Central Park Chesterfield MO
City Garden St. Louis MO
City Museum St. Louis MO
Creve Coeur Lake Park Creve Coeur MO
Drace Park Des Peres MO
Faust Park St. Louis MO
Forest Park – Muny Box Office, Bridges, Waterfall, etc. St. Louis MO
Fort Zumwalt Park St. Charles MO
Graffiti Wall Downtown St. Louis MO
Great Rivers Greenway – Bike Trail St. Louis MO
Jaycee Stage – Historic St. Charles St. Charles MO
Jewel Box in Forest Park St. Louis MO
Kuhs Farm Spanish Lake MO
Lafayette Park St. Louis MO
Landing in St. Louis St. Louis MO
Laumeier Sculpture Park St. Louis MO
Longview Farm Town & Country MO
Moonrise Hotel St. Louis MO
Muny in Forest Park St. Louis MO
Noboleis Vineyard Augusta MO
Oak Knoll Park St. Louis MO
Quail Ridge Park Wentzville MO
Sandy Covered Bride, The Hillsboro MO
Shaw Nature Reserve Gray Summit MO
St. Charles Gazebo on Main Street St. Charles MO
St. Ferdinand Park Florissant MO
Tower Grove Park St. Louis MO
Villa Antonio Winery Hillsboro MO
Washington Boulevard St. Louis MO
Water Tower St. Louis MO
World’s Fair Pavilion St. Louis MO

Your Best Portraits Ever! Part Two

On our last post we talk about ways for you to Capture the Best Portraits Ever!  This post continues with more ideas for you to look your very best on the big day.

Couple 1


Don’t point your body directly at the camera. You always want to have one shoulder closer to the camera. Not too far, don’t give the photographer the cold shoulder. Putting your shoulders at about a 45 degree angle makes you look slimmer where you want to look slimmer and rounder where you want to look rounder.

Don’t point your nose directly at the camera either. You always want your head turned just slightly, then look at the camera with your eyes.

Keep your head just slightly tipped down. You don’t want to look down your nose at the camera unless you want to look stuck up and full of yourself. But don’t tuck in your chin either. Even the skinniest twig of a person can have a double chin with their chin tucked in enough.

Your smile – Teeth? Closed lips? No smile at all? It’s different for every person. The most important thing to know is that the “big wide stripe of teeth” smile that is pushed on us since childhood rarely looks good on ANYONE. It’s not a natural look at all.  Smiles are a partnership between the mouth and the eyes. Even with a nicely formed smile on the lips, if it doesn’t reach the eyes it looks insincere. Smiles vary based on the specific mood and situation. Sometimes the happiest smiles are the most subtle. An amused smile is small, lips together. A hearty belly laugh drops the jaw, opens the lips, and exposes the upper teeth with space beneath. A light chuckle may show the upper teeth, but only the tiniest sliver of them pressed lightly against the lower lips. UNDER NO CERCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOUR BOTTOM TEETH BE IN VIEW – EVER.

A subtle smile, or none at all, is far classier looking than a big fake looking smile. Frankly, smiles are vastly overused in portraiture. We don’t walk around with a smile pasted to our faces, even on our best day. It is very possible to NOT smile at the camera without looking grumpy. Again, it’s all about the relationship between your eyes and lips.

The best way to achieve a genuine smile is to be genuinely happy or amused. I know that standing for photos can be tedious, but try to think of a funny story or event during the day. Joke around a little bit. Make faces at one another.

The wedding day can be stressful, but while you’re doing photos don’t let anyone stress you out. No questions from family. No worries about who came and who didn’t. If you make photo time a stress free time, you’ll be more likely to have a genuinely happy expression.

Couple Together

Don’t copy Pinterest! This is the most controversial, even off-putting, piece of advice I give, but I stand by it. Your photos should express something about who YOU are and the story of YOUR day. You are unique and special, and your photos should reflect that. Remember, if you’ve seen it once, a hundred other brides have already copied it.

• Finally, remember that every photo should tell a story. You don’t want your wedding photos to look like a high school yearbook where everyone has stopped whatever they were doing to stare awkwardly at the camera. It’s also not a model shoot where you’ve been reduced to the role of a dress maker’s mannequin just to show off what you’re wearing.

Even staged photos should feel like a story. What is this photo saying about who you are or the events of the wedding day? Don’t settle for a photo that says “I was here. I wore this dress. This person showed up…” Instead, go deeper. Try to capture a mood or feeling.


Special Thanks to Patrick Pope of Patrick Pope Photography for these fabulous tips.  Patrick is available for your wedding and he can be reached at www.PatrickPopePhotography.com.  Be sure to tell him you found him on BrideStLouis.com.

What to Wear for Your Engagement Session

With the new year it’s time to welcome a new group of newly engaged couples who will begin their wedding journey.   Besides setting a date and a budget, many couples, especially if the wedding has a short planning period, want to get their engagement photos early in the process.  Generally, I suggest scheduling your engagement session at least six weeks prior to the date you want to mail your announcements.  And earlier than that if you are sending out Save the Date cards and want to personalize them.

A question that many couples have concerning their engagement photos is “What to wear?”  Engagement photos should reflect who you are and what you love.  So if you love casual jeans and a more relaxed look, go for it.  If you’re a fashionista, just be sure that both of you have outfits that match your level of dress.  Wear clothes that are complimentary.  Your personality and style will greatly influence your choice of clothing, but keep it simple.

Having talked to several photographers, here are a few other guidelines for you to keep in mind.












What’s Good:

Wear solid colors with little or no pattern. Avoid prints and stripes as well.   If you both want to wear the same color, try different shades or varying hues.

Dark colors are always slimming.  Many couples like blue jeans and black shirts.  And gals, a cute dress is always a good way to go.

Keep in mind your body type.  Anything baggy will make you look bigger than you are.  And jersey material will cling to your body, and may reveal unflattering curves.  Also avoid tight fitting clothes that accentuate every curve of your body – unless that’s the look you are going for.

The layered look is great for almost anyone.  Casual jackets, sweaters, etc. would be perfect.

Gals can jazz up their outfits with cute heels, a terrific hat, or other accessories.

And speaking of accessories, bring along fun signs, maybe other personal items like a guitar, or even your dog…if these items are part of who you are.  And you guys with a motorcycle, don’t be shy about getting a few photos with your bike.

The engagement period can be one of the happiest and most romantic time of your life, and your photos should reflect that casual, crazy, fun-loving attitude.