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    Maryland Engagement and Portrait Session Ideas


    I like to think of an engagement session as a date where you as a couple can celebrate your love but with just a little bit of fun and extra fluff! If you are on the fence regarding whether to schedule an engagement session or looking for a few tips to help you prepare for your session, check out this blog post HERE. With the date idea in mind, it’s important to choose a location that is attractive to you both as a couple. Capturing your portraits doing an activity that you both enjoy or at a location where you’ve connected are great options. Or maybe it’s a city or area that is close to your heart or that you find beautiful and charming. It can be as elaborate or simple as you’d like to make it! Here are a few ideas that come to get the creative juices flowing:

    • Returning to the spot where it all started such as where you first met, had your First Date, or where the proposal happened

    • Going on a hike at a local state park and watching the sunset (or sunrise for the early birds!)

    • Biking through your neighborhood, a historic area, or somewhere like the C&O Canal

    • Grabbing ice cream or coffee at one of your favorite spots

    • Going on rides or playing games together at a carnival, state fair or renaissance festival

    • Cozying up together for a relaxed in home style session in your home (or rent an airbnb for the occasion)

    • Do you really love the water? Visit the beach or take it to the next level and capture portraits in a boat or canoe!

    • There are many historic monuments, museums and art galleries that make great options, although be sure to check whether a permit is needed to photograph at these locations and plan accordingly!

    • Visit a vineyard and go on a wine tour together or see if you can have a picnic on the grounds!

    Before I dive in deep with some more specific location ideas, I want to talk a little bit about light. As any good photographer will tell you, great light is vital for great portraits. What is great light? Well, there are many factors that go into answering that question but when it comes to portraiture, great light is light that is the most flattering to capturing you! Meaning while landscape and scenery is important, my primary focus as a portrait photographer is that YOU look stunning, not just the surroundings. This often means scheduling sessions earlier in the morning or evening (close to sunrise and sunset) or if it's absolutely necessary to schedule during the day when the sun is higher in the sky, being more strategic with shaded locations. I wanted to mention this as it is something to keep in mind when scheduling your session, not only in regards to the time of day your session is, but also that as the sun moves across the sky, the light is constantly changing and the same location looks vastly different at sunrise, noon, and sunset.

    Here are a few specific Maryland area engagement session location:

    Historic Areas:

    Downtown Annapolis

    Historic Ellicott City

    Federal Hill (GREAT for a sunrise session!)

    Georgetown Waterfront or Canal

    Historic Downtown Frederick

    Cylburn Arboretum (permit needed)

    Rawlings Conservatory (paid permit needed)

    Old Town Alexandria

    Liriodendron Mansion (approval needed)

    Hiking and Outdoor Adventures:

    Patapsco State Park

    Howard County Conservancy (permit needed)

    Cunningham Falls State Park

    Sugarloaf Mountain

    Rocks State Park - King and Queen Seat/Kilgore Falls

    Jerusalem Mills

    Loch Raven Reservoir

    Oregon Ridge Nature Center (permit needed)

    B&A Trail or BWI Loop

    High Rock Overlook and Pen Mar Park

    (The Appalachian Trail Cuts through Pen Mar!)

    Central Maryland Parks:

    Druid Hill Park

    Sherwood Gardens

    Kinder Farm Park

    Quiet Waters Park

    Jonas Green State Park

    Downs Memorial Park (Permit needed)

    Wilde Lake Park

    Sandy Point State Park

    Centennial Park

    Do you have an idea or spot in the Maryland area that is not included in this list? I would love to hear about it!

    Please note that the permit process is different for each location and can change at any time. Some permits require a fee to process while others are free.

    By Maryland Wedding Photographer Katherine Elizabeth Photography who will climb over rocks, lay in the dirt, and offer corny jokes for the sake of capturing beautiful moments.