30 Nov


3 Essential Tips for City Engagement Photos

If you find yourself searching for “city engagement photos” on Pinterest and Instagram because you’re looking for something other than beaches and open fields– you’re in the right place! 

In 2021 I hopped a plane to Philly to meet Alexandra and Brett for their engagement photos. As a local Utah based photographer, I do a lot of sessions in the mountains and beautiful open fields. I travel often to California where the mountains and open fields become beach engagement sessions. And even with my destination weddings, they tend to be more tropical – hello Mexico and Jamaica. 

Philadelphia is a little different. So we did a city engagement session for Alexandra and Brett, and I LOVED it. I can’t wait to share some of my favorites but before you scroll through their gallery, here are three tips for your city engagement session.





Timing is Everything

The time of day you choose for your city engagement session can dramatically impact the quality and mood of your images. The golden hours, which occur shortly after sunrise and before sunset, offer soft, diffused light that can add a magical quality to your photos. This is especially true in an urban setting where the interplay of light and shadow amongst the buildings creates a dynamic and dramatic backdrop.

During these hours, the sun is at just the right angle to cast a warm glow that enhances textures and colors. It’s an ideal time for capturing both cityscapes and portraits, as the light is flattering and not too harsh. Be prepared to move quickly though, as this magical light doesn’t last long!


Embrace the City Vibe

Every city has its own heartbeat, its own rhythm that sets it apart. Your aim should be to capture this essence. Seek out elements that are quintessentially characteristic of the city you are photographing. This could be historic landmarks, iconic buildings, bustling street markets, or even quirky alleyways filled with graffiti.

Walking the streets with your camera is the best way to discover these gems. Be observant and look for unique patterns, textures, and colors that stand out. Sometimes, the most intriguing photo opportunities are found in the most unexpected places. Remember, your photos should tell a story – the story of the city as seen through your eyes.


Incorporate Movement

Cities are full of life and movement, and your engagement photos should capture that energy. I love to incorporate spontaneous and candid moments into my sessions. This could mean capturing the two of you walking hand in hand down a bustling street, sharing a laugh in a lively café, or even dancing in a secluded square.

Don’t worry about posing too much. Natural interactions and genuine emotions make for the best photographs. I’ll be there to guide you through the process, ensuring that you feel comfortable and relaxed throughout the session.


Bonus Tip: Coordinate Your Outfits with the Urban Environment

Your outfits can greatly enhance the aesthetic of your photos. Choose attire that complements the urban surroundings while also showcasing your personal style. Solid colors or subtle patterns work well against the complex backdrops of a city. Also, consider the practicality of your clothing and footwear, especially if we’ll be walking to different locations.

P.s. If you need some help preparing for your engagement session, I have a FREE guide created just for you. Snag it here


McCutcheon’s City Engagement Photos


Now, onto the McCutcheon’s gallery of city engagement photos for your inspiration. And if you’re looking for someone to help capture your city engagement, let’s chat some more!