established 2019


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Downtown Engagement Photo Ideas | Howell, MI A funky modern downtown engagement photos with a vintage charm and artistic flair.

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Looking for downtown engagement photo ideas? My ultimate goal as a photographer is to creating a joyful and authentic engagement session that tells a one-of-a-kind story for my couples. To achieve this, there are several things I consider before we jump into a session.

The Story

Brianna and Patrick’s downtown engagement photos tell the love story of two talented artists- a brilliant rock vocalist and a fearless photographer. Prior to this engagement session, I learned that this urban couple met in a downtown café where Brianna was a barista. That was when I imagined that the engagement photoshoot would take place in a downtown art district.  And yes, I plan an engagement photoshoot as if I was directing a micro movie. This means that I need to think through the scenes, the main characters’ appearance, the specific location and its logistics, and, of course, the characters’ actions. So, here are some downtown engagement photo ideas that might guide you through the planning process.  

A Funky and Modern Downtown Engagement Session

For starters, just like every wedding planning, an engagement session needs a theme. Ideally, the theme should be consistent with your wedding theme. I take this seriously because most of my couples use their engagement photos for save the date cards. This is why I always work closely with my couples to decide on a theme. After hearing about how Brianna and Patrick envisioned their wedding day, I proposed that their theme be a “Funky Modern Engagement Session with a Vintage Charm and Artistic Flair”.

Cinematic Drone Shots of Downtown Howell

Let’s talk about scenes! Establishing shots are crucial as it sets the scene. What’s happening in a historical metropolitan scene? What’s happening around your main characters? Look for famous landmarks, skylines, parks, historical buildings like churches, museums or libraries for the cinematic aerial shots. An epic and cinematic drone shot and footage of the historical building and main street can quickly and easily establishes the mood of the scenes! Watch more beautiful wintery drone footage of downtown Howell.

Photo credit: MI Drone Pilot (Check out our new DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY service HERE.)  

In Front of a Groovy Backdrop Peanut Row Alley

Now, think about the specific locations that match your characters and the theme of their story. The description I have for the main characters in this movie is: A funky couple who lives downtown and appreciates art and music. This step is important as it helps clarify everything that will be included in the micro movie.  

The next step is brainstorming! What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a ‘downtown engagement session’? Yes! Artistic alleys, modern boutique shops, cozy cafes, funky vintage shops and, of course, vibrant public art like mural walls! Downtown Howell’s Peanut Row Alley is hands down the most photogenic tourist spot when you visit Howell! It features a pedestrian plaza and outdoor gallery that has its unique groovy vibes.

After doing some research, I’ve also found other popular locations if you ever come to visit!

M Street Baking Co.

Uptown Coffeehouse

Celebrate with Your Favorite Food and Drinks: Howell Coney Island

Everything relates. Pick the props that makes sense to your scenes. From the Get-to-Know-You Questionnaire, Brianna mentioned that Patrick’s go-to order was a Coney dog with root beer when he visited her at the coffeeshop. That is the reason why I decided to surprise them with a Coney dog and Brianna’s favorite iced coffee! To create this shot, I gave them a little script of how two modern romantics fall in love at first sight when eating Coney dogs in a funky alley. There’s nothing more reminiscent of a first date than sharing your favorite food and drink!

Have Fun In the Snow and Ice!

Downtown engagement photo ideas for a winter session in Michigan? Snow and ice please! If I’ve learned anything about Brianna and Patrick, it is that-these two are so in love that even trekking through the snow and ice in the freezing temps can’t stop them from having fun! Their positive attitude and fun-loving personality made the whole experience so enjoyable!

At an Iconic Downtown Landmark: Livingston County Courthouse

If possible, choose an iconic architecture nearby that represents the city as your backdrop! Also, wardrobe matter! Brianna’s elegant vintage emerald velvet slit long sleeve evening gown was the perfect choice to compliment the historical look of the courthouse. Located in the very center of town, the classic architecture really set the stage for the final scene of the micro movie.

Knowing their love story truly makes me feel excited for the next chapter of their life together! I hope my thought process and the photo ideas inspire you to tell your own love story at your upcoming engagement session!

If you ever need more tips on how to prepare for your engagement session, make sure to grab my free Engagement Session Style Guide!


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Hi! I’m Chinling!

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