10 Colorado Engagement Session Ideas

couple in love in the mountains of colorado

It’s time to pick a spot for your Colorado Engagement Session!

The only problem now is… Where should you go? Honestly, anywhere in Colorado is incredible and you really can’t go wrong. That being said, there are considerations to be made. Do you want to pay for a permit because often this is a pass through cost. How far do you want to drive? Are you comfortable with the snow? How about altitude? Celebrate your Colorado engagement with the vibrant beauty the state has to offer!

I’ve compiled a list of  my top ten Colorado Engagement Session spots. These are chosen for ease of access, beauty, and variety. They are speckled from Colorado Springs north to Denver and West to Estes Park and Breckenridge. Therefore, there is a little something for everyone!

Palmer Park

Engagement in the Mountains in Colorado Springs

Locals to Colorado Springs, like me, are likely familiar with Palmer Park. Dog parks, playgrounds, ball fields and more! I love this location because engagement sessions work somewhere within the park all day long. It is great for hectic schedules! From sunrise to sunset we can find a quiet spot and capture the magic of your love story. I often suggest this location for couples who want both fields and mountains but have a time crunch.

Garden of the Gods

Colorado engagement spot at Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is a destination for people around the world. From families to couples coming to get engaged and those wanting engagement or elopement pictures, this park has something for everyone. There is no lack of raw beauty and has one client told me “You don’t get views like these in Pennsylvania.” Because the park can get busy, it is best to book your session on a weekday or at sunrise.

Red Rock Open Space

Cheyenne Canon

couple kissing during session in Cheyenne Canon

Cheyenne Canon is beautiful year round and provides so many different options! In the summer, it is lush and green. During the fall you can access all the beauty of autumn and in winter and spring you can find a winter wonderland. Adding to that, driving from the base of the park to the top provides beautiful views and an “in the mountains” feel. There are few places in Colorado Springs as beautiful as the Canon.

Winter in Cheyenne Canon

Monument Valley Park

engagement portraits at monument valley park

Spring and Summer at Monument Valley Park near downtown Colorado Springs is an experience you don’t want to miss! If you aren’t interested in hikes and would rather some arranged beauty not to far from home… This is your spot! With not one, but two flower gardens that you can walk through and a pond, you have the beauty of nature in a refined way. There is almost a “southern” feeling to the space.

Pikes Peak Urban Arts District

Maybe parks aren’t your thing at all. I’ve got an option that might make you smile! Perhaps, you prefer a more urban feel to your session. Look no further than the Pikes Peak Urban Arts District. With street art that constantly changes, brick buildings and a city feel – this is the antithesis of the “mountain engagement” session that Colorado is known for!

Colorado Engagement Portraits at the Pikes Peak Urban arts district

Castlewood Canyon State Park

If you really love the great outdoors but don’t want to drive two plus hours into the mountains this is a great option! Castlewood Canyon State Park lies between Colorado Springs and Denver and is rich with history and beauty. With an abandoned and destroyed homestead, a canyon and a waterfall, there isn’t much you can’t love about this spot. In the summer, I have not found more beautiful sunsets than the ones I see here. Then, in the fall, the colors of the leaves are like a sunset themselves. Because a permit of $40 is required for this location, I like to make sure that couples who select it are going to enjoy a full session with me.

Couple standing in front of homestead at Castlewood Canyon State Park

Matthew Winters Park

If you are close to Denver Metro area and want a bit of an “outdoorsy” feel without trekking deep into the mountains, Matthew Winters Park is a Jefferson County location that packs a beautiful punch. While there is a $25 permit fee associated with portraits at this spot, it is definitely worth it. I love the stream and easy walk from the car. That’s why it’s one of my preferred Denver Metro locations!

Jefferson County engagement location

Rocky Mountain National Park

portraits along a stream in rocky mountain national park

This is actually my favorite place in the world. Rocky Mountain National Park in the summer is a green playground for wildlife and tourists alike. With mountains, fields, streams and meadows there is a view for everyone. But, I do charge an additional fee to do sessions at the park. However, if what you want is a beautiful spot with epic views, this is should be a contender!

Sapphire Point & Lake Dillon

couple playing in snow at Breckenridge engagement portrait spot

This is another location where the views can’t be beat. Because of winter weather and the likelihood of getting stranded I suggest you plan an overnight trip to Breckenridge or the surrounding area. I love how the mountains surround the reservoir and there are multiple spots with different views. Winter weather can cause problems but summer and fall trips to the area are equally beautiful. Your Colorado engagement session will not leave you cold with this spot! I do charge additional fees for this location, which can be discussed at booking.

The reality is, in Colorado you can find a ditch on the side of the road that is gorgeous. I still pinch myself that I am lucky enough to live with all of this beauty surrounding me. If you have questions about other locations – of which there are many – feel free to contact me using the form above!

Non Mountain Destination Engagement sessions are included in my wedding packages. To learn more, click here!
Mary Elizabeth is a Colorado based, adventure loving storyteller and photographer. With a goal to capture the emotion that moves between individuals in her work, she and her camera can be found hiking, playing with her kids and drinking lots of coffee when she isn’t working with incredible clients!

10 Ways to Prepare for Engagement Portraits

couple standing on a bridge in the forest

YAY! You are engaged and you’ve booked your photographer (or at least you are planning an engagement portrait session). Congratulations!!! Now, it is time to prepare for your engagement portrait session. For a lot of couples the engagement session is the first couples portrait session they have done. What do we wear? Where do we do pictures? What should we expect?

Engagement Sessions are some of my favorite sessions! So, I thought I would share some tips on how to prep for yours in the hopes that you have a blast!

1. Pick a Photographer

Some photographers offer engagement shoots as part of their wedding packages (casually raises hand). Other couples would rather not commit to the whole enchilada and treat the engagement session as a way to feel out a photographer. Maybe you want to do a destination session and you need to find someone local to that area. No matter what, you need someone with a camera and who can share your vision or has their own vision you love!

2. Pick a location.

First, think about what type of background you would like in these portraits. Do you want to be itty bitty with the landscape as the big wow or do you want this session to be all about your connection? What backdrop do you want? Urban? Mountains? Rural? Fun? Eclectic? From there, I can offer suggestions for a few awesome spots. I really like spots where we can get a couple of different looks in one space. Sure, you can have a full session in a 10×10 space, but do you want to spend an hour like that?

Then, chat with your photographer about those desires. I offer suggestions to my clients for locations as part of my engagement photography services. As your photographer I have resources and a lot of spots I visit. Within my network I am able to I ask my clients what type of “feeling” they want.

man and woman dressed formally sharing a romantic winter kiss portrait session

3. Wardrobe time!

What do people wear for engagement sessions? Seriously, I’ve had couples in suits and cocktail attire and others in jeans and tshirts. Think of it as a way to introduce the world to you as a couple, as a unit. What are you hoping to portray with that image? As you prepare for engagement portraits keep these tips in mind…

  • I suggest that women wear gowns with a bit of flow to them if they are looking for a more formal or bohemian vibe. As your photographer, I have a client closet that I open up and can also help you rent some gorgeous pieces for your session.
  • Men almost universally look good in dark blue jeans or slacks (I kind of hate how easy it is for them) and a coordinating shirt.
  • If you are going for a more casual look, jeans and tshirts are cute and timeless!
  • Wear shoes that you will be comfortable in.

My biggest advise it to just be aware of how your clothes look and make you feel ahead of your session. If you feel like the pants are too tight or bulging a bit, the camera doesn’t hide that. Same with skirts that are on the short side. These sessions often include different positions and activities. Being worried about your clothing might make it a bit harder for you to enjoy and I want you to be having fun because your pictures will show that!.

4. Don’t forget the ring!

This seems like a no brainer, but plenty of couples forget their engagement ring on the day of their session. So, set a reminder on your phone so that you don’t forget it.

5. Have clean nails.

You will be showing off your ring, and I work hard to capture detail shots (such as the way you hold hands). Clean nails, even if they aren’t painted, will make you feel a bit happier with the end result!

ring on leaves

6. Props.

Oftentimes when a couple gets ready to prepare for their engagement portraits they ask about props. Props are a ton of fun for sessions and we can definitely incorporate them into yours! I’ve had couples bring signs, balloons, blankets and champagne and more. We can incorporate whatever is meaningful to you into your engagement session as long as they abide by the rules of our location. For instance, many state parks do not allow alcohol, but having a little champagne is often a nice ice breaker for your engagement portrait session.

man and woman sharing champagne at engagement portrait session
That ring though!

7. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive on time.

Besides the obvious fact that the sun waits for no person… When my clients are on time to their sessions, they are typically way more relaxed throughout the engagement portraits. The more relaxed you are, the more likely you will be able to enjoy the session which leads me to the next tip…

This starts when you prepare for engagement portraits – so don’t rush to get ready if you can avoid it!

8. Treat your Engagement Session like a date.

What do I mean? Get excited about it, take the extra five minutes to primp and be ready to really fall in love with your fiance’ all over again. This session is about you, your love, your relationship. Plan dinner afterwards, or at least coffee. You won’t regret it!

9. Get to know your photographer.

For my clients and I, the engagement session is where we get to know each other. I share bits about my love story and I want to hear about theirs. This is our opportunity to get comfortable with each other before I follow them around all day with a camera. Lean in and really have fun fun! Feel free to crack jokes and share stories. This will help you have connection when your big day arrives!

prepare for your engagement portrait session by having fun and being ready for it!
Your engagement session should be fun!

10. Have fun!

Going back to treating this like a date. Your engagement session should be fun so as you prepare for engagement portraits, be ready to fall a bit more in love! I want my clients to have fun. I want them to play, joke around and really be themselves for their engagement session. You guys fell in love with each other and I want to see the expressions that make your heart melt. I know how to get us there, but I want you to have fun. Even if you don’t like portraits or you feel self conscious… Tell me going in but be prepared for me to let you know I have never had a client say that and not get amazing images. Your engagement session is an important part of your love story and I can’t wait to photograph it.

Let’s #createMAJECK!

Mary Elizabeth Fabian is a photographer and owner of MAJECK. Her focus is on telling stories and capturing emotions that highlight moments in time. To book her for your engagement session or wedding click here.