We headed to Coop De Ville Pittsburgh and The Strip downtown for Sierra and Ethan’s engagement session. The locations are close together, so they cut down on commute time, and they each have tons of built-in charm and photogenic backdrops.
Sierra and Ethan couldn’t have picked two more fitting photo locations. They love to laugh and play together and always wear their hearts on their sleeves. They’re an adorable match and so fun to photograph. Ethan couldn’t keep a straight face and has the best facial expressions, which I’m sure are Sierra’s favorite endearing features. They kept me smiling and laughing throughout their entire session—there was never a dull moment!
We split their session into two parts: a casual arcade-type vibe at The Coop and formal sunset portraits at The Strip. With slightly different ambiances, the two locations still showcased similar colors and aesthetics for cohesive variety.
If you’re looking for the best Pittsburgh photo locations, here are a few of my favorite things about these two spots. We can certainly branch out, but keep these in mind when researching locations. (As a long-time Pittsburgh resident, I’m more than happy to recommend spots, too. Another planning tip is to share a inspiration board with me, and I can suggest venues or locations that complement that aesthetic so you get the style you want.)
Most likely, you don’t find yourself in front of someone’s camera on a daily basis. If you’re recently engaged, this may be your first professional photoshoot together! Even if you’re energy-seeking extroverts, posing in front of the lens can feel a little unnatural. Break the ice and find your groove by doing something you both enjoy. Coop De Ville is such a fun hangout to relax, grab drinks, and play games. You’ll feel warmed up in no time! Plus, activities always seem to be photogenic, and they’re a great way to add variety to your engagement or couple’s portraits. How cute will these be on Save the Dates, their wedding website, and displayed on their wedding day?! There are so many uses for these fun couples’ photos.
I love neutrals, but there’s always a time for color! Locations with pops of color like this bar-cade and the theater lights at The Strip offer a little spice. If the urban, modern vibe isn’t your thing, we could also head to a place with seasonal blooms, like the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, for natural color.
Sure, you can add props and play with your wardrobe if you want non-traditional engagement portraits, but finding locations with interesting décor and ambiance means you don’t have to lift a finger in planning.
Let’s face it, Pittsburgh gets busy on nights and weekends. Both locations gave us plenty of options and space to move away from crowds to continue the session uninterrupted, even during the golden hour. I’ll do my best to keep bystanders to a minimum, but we can’t eliminate them altogether. Consider the surrounding areas when picking a location.
Wardrobe changes aren’t the most fun in the backseat of a car. Instead, Sierra was able to switch to her lovely red dress and touch up her hair and makeup before we made our way to The Strip for their oh, so romantic sunset formals.
What style do you envision for your engagement session? Trendy and modern? Classic and elegant? Artistic urban vibes? A cozy in-home session? Or even high-fashion editorial studio portraits. I’ve got you covered! Let me help you plan and style an engagement session that authentically represents you. Your session is more than a few photos to use for Save the Dates. Photography is a form of self-expression, and it’s a fun way to connect and discover new things about yourselves as a couple.
Don’t forget to check out my Instagram account @rachelwehanphotography for more photo inspiration.
Pssst—I recently opened Studio Manor in Dormont that’s perfect for boudoir sessions, so let me know if that’s something you’re interested in, too!