You’ve changed your relationship status on Facebook to “engaged” and you’re suddenly inundated with sponsored ads from thirsty wedding vendors (“BOOK YOUR SOUTH FLORIDA ENGAGEMENT SESSION NOW!”) and “OMG YOU’RE ENGAGED” posts. Now that all your favorite people know, and after a fresh mani (because ring selfies!) I bet you’re sitting there like “Ok now what?”
I mean obviously I’m hoping you’re considering me to photograph such an important day in your lives, (you’re here, aren’t ya?) but before we go all the way – have you considered an engagement session?
OF COURSE YOU HAVE.
This blog isn’t here to guide you through the entire wedding process, but after you’ve selected your date and venue, it’s time to start thinking about where you’d like to have your photos taken!
MY FAVORITE SOUTH FLORIDA ENGAGEMENT SESSION LOCATIONS
The truth is, the location isn’t as important as how you two interact in front of my camera (and I’ll help you with those awkward “but what do we DO?! moments) But, we might as well have fun doing it, right? Here are some of my suggestions for your South Florida engagement session:
Mizner Park in Boca Raton is a great option if you want a little hustle/bustle but also some minimalism. I like starting near all the shops and playing with textures in the fountains and palm trees, and then finishing up on the top of the garage when the light is just right. I’d definitely try to avoid this spot on the weekends though…
DOWNTOWN DELRAY BEACH / ATLANTIC AVE
Another “downtown” option is Atlantic Ave in Delray. Again, not so great on the weekend, unless you really want chaos and unpredictability (which hey, can be kind fun!) But the Ave gives us great variety with the beach and cute little pockets of charm. Oh, and more parking garage goodness 😉
DOWNTOWN FORT LAUDERDALE
If you’re not into lush, landscaped backgrounds and would rather grab a drink to ease the nerves, downtown Fort Lauderdale is a great idea! I love walking up and down Las Olas with my couples and stopping where ever inspiration hits us.
DANIA BEACH (FORMERLY JOHN U LLOYD)
I love this beach for a few reasons:
- It’s a good location between Palm Beach and Miami, and you can grab dinner (or breakfast!) at the restaurant nearby.
- It’s generally less crowded than other public beaches
- It gives us lots of variety with the beach, boardwalk, bridge, and marina nearby
- GORGEOUS light in the afternoon
- Recommended wardrobe: Whites, navy, coral, red. Flowy fabrics for the ocean breeze, beach waves in your hair, sandals and maybe some heels for the non-sand spots. For him: Pants that can be rolled up, casual blazer, loafers.
DOWNTOWN BRICKELL, MIAMI
It may not be your favorite during rush hour, but the city gives us LOTS to work with for your Miami engagement session!
- I like to meet in the financial district, near Brickell City Centre. There are skyline opportunities, concrete, and polished marble (reflections!)
- There’s also a small park near the water, and a good place to walk your pup if you bring him along!
- Need a little liquid courage before we start? Plenty of awesome bars in the area!
- It tends to get darker earlier in this location (thanks, big tall buildings) But if you don’t have a curfew, we can head over to the bridge for some sexy blue hour portraits.
FAIRCHILD TROPICAL GARDEN
Located in the heart of Coral Gables, this location is one of my tippy top favorites! Lush gardens, tropical plants, and plenty of shaded spots. As of late 2021, they do close a little earlier, but there’s still beautiful light even if we start around 2pm. They do require a reasonable permit fee, so keep that in mind when choosing your engagement session location.
HUGH TAYLOR BIRCH STATE PARK
Another Fort Lauderdale favorite sits on the corner of Sunrise Blvd and A1A. Hugh Taylor Birch State park has an amazing banyan tree, waterway views, and plenty of greenery if you’re craving natural elements in your engagement photos. I love starting here and then perusing the neighborhood along A1A as the sun sets.
HOLLYWOOD BEACH BROADWALK
I’m a big fan of this beach location, but definitely recommend sunrise for this one. Once the sun is up, the broadwalk (or “boardwalk”) turns into a sea of people and getting a non-peopley shot is almost impossible. If you want the beach vibe without the sand in your unmentionables, this is the way to go. The neighboring buildings and surroundings have an art deco feel, too, so there’s lots of variety!
But that sunrise light is *chefskiss*
There’s easy parking at the garages on the beach, and some cute cafes/restaurants for breakfast after your session.
DOWNTOWN WEST PALM BEACH
If you’re in Palm Beach like I am, driving all the way down to Miami for a downtown/urban session can be quite the hike! Good news is, West Palm Beach has a casual, cool feel too – and you’ll save money on tolls.
I like working around this area because there’s amazing restaurants, great green spaces, some fun murals, and if there’s time we can head to the water. I definitely recommend checking out the rooftop bar at The Ben before or after your session, or even Sloane’s Ice Cream!
This iconic Miami engagement session location is a no-brainer. Just the word “Vizcaya” floods your brain with romantic images of a fairy-tale garden estate (ok, and quinceanera dresses.)
Vizcaya is on my favorites list for a few reasons: they’re trying hard to limit the number of photographers on site, their permit fees are fairly reasonable, and it’s damn-near impossible to take a bad photo there.
WORTH AVE, PALM BEACH
Looking for a classier, Europe-y feel but kinda want a good good South Florida beach too? Worth Ave in Palm Beach is the answer! Street parking is easy in the spring & summer, there are tons of cute alleyways and pockets of light, and the clock tower and beach is a great way to end our session together.
- For wardrobe, something a little more “date night” – cute cocktail dress, heels, and a suit for him. Keep a casual change clothes in the car for those clock tower/beach shots!
- Bring the pup! Worth Ave is pet-friendly!
- There’s tons of walking, so bring some chancletas for comfort
YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT
Not a beach person? LOVE FOOD? Then your favorite restaurant might be kind enough to give you an all-access pass for your engagement session! You and your love have probably spent many a date night at your favorite restaurant, so why not make it part of your love story?
WYNWOOD / MIAMI ARTS DISTRICT
Sure, this location is a hot-spot for breweries and Bar Mitzvah portraits, but Wynwood is a blast for engagement sessions, too! If you’re more of an artsy “let’s wander around downtown” kind of couple, this might be the perfect Miami engagement session location for you!
- Bring on the color! Wynwood is already super colorful, so showing up in khakis or jeans is not gonna work.
- There are a few breweries and coffee shops in the area, so if you need a little liquid courage, Wynwood is great!
- After your engagement session, dine at one of Wynwood’s artsy restaurants
I won’t give away all of my “secrets” to South Florida engagement session locations, but sometimes it’s fun to JUST STAY HOME AMIRITE? If you’ve never considered one at home, lemme try to change your mind.
Home is where the heart is, so doesn’t it make sense to grab some photos there? Past couples of mine have made dinner (and dessert!), cocktails, or just cuddled on the couch. How sweet will it be in 20 years to look back and cringe at your furniture and marvel at how cute (and youthful) you two were at this stage in your lives?
Plus, I get to pet your dog.
- Casual is KEY. Take off those tight pants, let your hair down, and get in your pajama-jamas!
- Have the ingredients prepared and ready to grab in your fridge when we get there
- Think of your favorite cocktail, and make one together!
- Not really into date nights? In-home sessions are for you! Grab a snack, throw on Netflix, and let’s get weird as I stand on your bed and photograph all those sweet cuddles.
Was this article helpful in showing you some of South Florida’s best engagement session locations? Think we might be a good fit? Click the button below and get in touch!We’re engaged! Let’s shoot!
Looking for more wedding tips for your South Florida engagement or wedding? Check out some of my other articles here: Help me, Sonj.