Don't get us wrong, we love a good outdoor photo shoot as much as the next bride does; however, there's simply something to be said about snapping intimate pics of the two of you at home, out in the city you love, or on the college campus where you met at five years ago. Get ready to say, "I do!" to these uber-cool indoor engagement photo locations!
1. Your house
One location that couples often don't even think about, according to D.C. wedding photographer Hannah Bjorndal, is their own home. Sessions at home are relaxed, intimate and unique to each couple, she says. "It can be fun to choose an activity to do like cooking in your kitchen, drinking coffee together, decorating a Christmas tree or even snuggling up in bed or on the couch with a blanket." If you choose to shoot your engagement photos at home, she recommends making sure you pick spaces that have large windows and a lot of natural light because your photographer will likely turn off other interior lights to avoid mixed, unflattering coloring in the images.
2. Bustling city spaces
Philadelphia wedding photographer Benjamin Deibert loves big, busy metropolitan spaces, like a train station, for indoor engagement photo shoots. "Long exposure shots while the couple stands very still create life and movement and the feeling that they're the only two people in the world at that exact moment," he tells us. What a great idea for big city brides and grooms who spend a lot of time on the train!
3. Your university
How perfect if you met in college, right? Many universities have absolutely lovely campuses and can have some really fun places to shoot indoors as well as out, notes Chicago photographer Ann Oleinik of Ann & Kam Photography. For example, "One of our clients studied architecture at IIT and so wanted to do a session at the school's student center designed by famed architect Rem Koolhaas. We had a great time exploring the spaces and lighting of this unique building! Since we went when classes weren't in session, there were hardly any students in this normally busy space." For the record, she definitely recommends shooting when it's not a school day (think over break, on the weekend, etc.).
4. Indoor botanical gardens
Inspired by nature? Switch things up and dare to be different (not to mention stay warm and dry!) by snapping your engagement photos at an indoor botanical garden instead, suggests Deibert. "You'll bring the outside in and, at the same time, capture some really gorgeous photos without being exposed to the elements." Basically, it's a win-win.
5. Your favorite bar/lounge/cafe
Obvy, this is an outside-of-the-box idea, and establishments can be restrictive about shooting, have terrible lighting and may want you to come during off-hours, points out Oleinik. "However, when you find a great space you can create some really cool shots. ... Plus, it doesn't hurt to buy a couple drinks, either!" If you and your fiancé met at a local spot or have a local favorite you frequent, you've got to try this idea.
6. Hotel lobbies
"Hotels are tricky because in Chicago, at least, many hotels won't let you shoot in their lobbies even on wedding days," says Oleinik. "But if you and/or your photographer can find a friendly lobby, you can often find some interesting décor and lighting to incorporate into your engagement photos."