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    5 Spots for Gorgeous Ann Arbor Engagement Photos

    The day has finally come... you've met and fallen head over heels for "the one," and now you've decided to take the leap into married life together. It's an incredible feeling, right? Absolutely, and it will only get better from here as you begin sharing the news with friends and family, celebrating your engagement with parties and happy festivities, and planning your magical wedding day ahead. But today, let's focus on one of the most special (and fun!) ways commemorate this special time in your life — with engagement photos.

    Snagging the perfect engagement photos can sometimes be a challenge, and there are quite a few details that you need to plan out in order to achieve photographic mementos that really speak to your relationship. A few of those big decisions are choosing a photographer, selecting props (if that's your thing), and picking out outfits, but selecting one or two locations for the backdrop tends to be the most challenging of all. After all, Ann Arbor is totally gorgeous and full of fabulous natural and urban backdrops. Then, there's the season, your personal style, and details from your story together to take into consideration. So, the question remains: How exactly do you make the decision of selecting a location or two for your upcoming Ann Arbor engagement shoot? To help answer that question, we brought in four Ann Arbor wedding photographers and asked them to share their personal favorite spots around town for engagement photos. As you see, a little inspiration can go a really long way in helping you discover what setting is just right for your engagement shoot!

    Manor Park

    First up, Kari Dawson Photography shares her absolute favorite place for capturing stunning engagement photos all year long: "I LOVE shooting at the Manor Park in Birmingham, MI! The park is centrally located in the Detroit Metro area, making travel convenient. The park is an open landscape and is completely surrounded by lush trees that set a gorgeous backdrop all year and light up spectacularly in the fall. I love shooting in open environments, but I also love other natural elements like the stone building that sits within the park and the stone pathways that wind around the property. It's a truly beautiful landscape perfect for both portraits and images that tell a story."

    For a little sneak peek at this oh-so-pretty backdrop, check out the adorable Ann Arbor engagement shoot shared by Kari Dawson Photography below!

    Downtown Alleys/Wine Bars

    Aruna B. Photography loves the thriving and eclectic feel of the shops and restaurants located in the heart of the downtown, so she highly recommends exploring this area. She shares, "This town is so much about the energy of the city and the vibrancy of the shops and restaurants that make it up. Many couples love to get photos that show them enjoying the city in a way that they would naturally within their relationship. My favorite way to capture this is to take them downtown and walk around the little alleyways and then pop into a wine bar or restaurant. The images are very candid, casual and completely about the relationship and the fun that the couple has together."

    Scroll down for a precious shoot in downtown Ann Arbor shared by Aruna B. Photography. We love the urban feel of each and every photo!

    Downtown Ann Arbor

    "Downtown Ann Arbor is the cultural, educational, & visual hub of the surrounding areas," shares fellow downtown area fan, Diamond Wedding Photography. "Melding perfectly with the campus of the University of Michigan, it provides you with a plethora of shooting locations to choose from. Whether you are trendy or traditional, you will be able to find plenty of great locations within walking distance. Start out with a coffee & urban feel on Liberty St., then head down to the modern lines of the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), & wrap it up under the traditional arches of The Law Quad. Downtown will spark your creative inspiration & you'll thrive off the buzz of the student & professional enjoying the city around them in any season."

    For a feel of the unique settings you can find in downtown Ann Arbor, check out this darling e-shoot shared by Diamond Wedding Photography just below.

    Local Record Shops

    Aruna B. loves the idea of using record shops for e-shoot backdrops because they offer such incredible lighting and help lighten the mood. She explains, "For couples who love music, I like to make the engagement session more interesting and take them to a local record shop. This type of location is really personal to the couple and allows them to have something to do so it is less awkward for them. Record shops also have great little nooks and crannies that allow for some really dramatic and moody images. Doing this really shows off the true interaction of a couple and the images feel more candid, as if I am just capturing a moment in their lives."

    Once again, you're in for a treat — Aruna is sharing an incredibly cute engagement shoot at a fabulous record shop in Ann Arbor.

    Places Significant to Your Relationship

    Finally, Dayna Mae Photography shared her advice for couples who are looking to create an Ann Arbor engagement shoot that really helps them share their love story with others: "From early on in the planning stages, I encourage my couples to pursue something that represents them for their engagement session. Many times, they will look at each other, giggle, and not know right away. But, I encourage them to think on it, and they always come up with something that’s more them than a random location I could recommend. Somewhere they met, or went growing up, a first kiss, a first memory, something unique to their journey. By encouraging them to choose, from the beginning, I enable them to feel when we are actually shooting. A location, or place that means something to them, will always evoke more emotion. Sometimes, that may mean taking a drive up north to a family cottage he grew up in.

    "While I am always eager to give recommendations to my clients if they ask, I first and foremost ask them to tell me some things about them. That way, if they go with one of my recommendations for locations, we can still somehow incorporate a taste of them into the shoot. I’m not meaning oodles and oodles of props. If your first date was at a coffee shop, perhaps we start the session there. If you met at a dog park, let’s bring the dogs into a portion of the session. Something that’s real, something that’s them, and something that’s timeless."

    To give you an idea of how you can really bring in personal significance to your Ann Arbor engagement photos, Dayna Mae Photography shared three wonderful engagement shoots. "Maria and Matt chose a cottage he grew up in in Grayling, MI," shares Dayna about this first session. "So we hiked up to the spot he proposed, with their four legged babies, of course!"

    In this next engagement shoot shared by Dayna, the couple chose to tie in a special detail from the bride-to-be's past. Dayna explains, "Jamie was a professional ice skater, and her fiancée, Frank, had never skated with her. So we took a trip to downtown Detroit so she could really show off her moves!"

    This last Ann Arbor engagement features a wonderful couple who incorporated their favorite date night restaurant: "Tracey and Mark love downtown Ann Arbor, and love hiking, running, and eating at one of their favorite places for date night, Vinology on Main Street downtown. So, we finished there after an awesome session at the Arboretum," Dayna tells us.

    See? It's difficult to not be inspired with ideas for backdrops for your very own Ann Arbor engagement shoot after seeing all the great spots around town! For more ideas, check out our favorite Ann Arbor venues here.

    So many thanks to Dayna Mae Photography, Kari Dawson Photography, Diamond Wedding Photography, and Aruna B. Photography for sharing these special Ann Arbor engagement shoot locations and their beautiful photography!

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    Looking for Ann Arbor wedding photographers to capture your own engagement session? You've come to the right place!

    Before your close up, be sure to check out our engagement photo tips!

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