Guide To Planning A Dayton Or Cincinnati Engagement Session

Thank you again for considering Kevin Lush Photography to photograph your wedding day.  When it is time to start thinking about your complimentary one-hour engagement session, this page will help you get the most out of your Dayton engagement photographer.  Your Dayton or Cincinnati* engagement session can be scheduled between your contract date and one month before your wedding.  Click here to see all of my engagement photography blog posts!

Purpose Of An Engagement Session

You may wonder why I provide a complimentary engagement photo session to every bride and groom.  As a professional Dayton and Cincinnati engagement photographer, I want to get to know you and to learn how to make you more comfortable in front of the camera.  I really want you to feel relaxed and comfortable with me and to get excited about your upcoming wedding photography.  Knowing how your photographer operates behind the camera will ease the stress on your wedding day, as you will have already worked together for an hour or more.  A standalone engagement session (without booking a wedding) is $300 + tax.  Book your wedding now to get your free engagement session!

Engagement Session Schedule

Engagement sessions can be scheduled for the times listed below.  If you cannot fit into any of these time slots, I will do my best to work around your schedule.  I have set aside these times to give you different choices that provide the best light to make you look your best.

  • May-September – Monday & Wednesday Evening
  • October-April – Monday & Wednesday Evening
  • All Year – Sunday Morning

Engagement Session Planning Tips

I am invested in you, your engagement session, and your wedding.  Providing engagement session planning tips ensures I can make your images exceed expectations. These are my suggestions as a professional Dayton and Cincinnati engagement photographer to make your session enjoyable and as beautiful as possible.

  • Outfits: Coordinate outfits without matching one another.  Wear colorful outfits that make you feel comfortable while avoiding too much white or black.  Multiple outfits are ok but most locations don't have anywhere to change.  Changing also eats into your one-hour time slot.

  • Shoes: If you wear uncomfortable shoes, bring other shoes for walking between locations. Try to avoid wearing tennis shoes or flip-flops.

  • Hair And Makeup: Having your hair and makeup professionally done prior to the session will ensure best results, although this is not always possible.  Bring hairspray on windy days to minimize blowing hair.

  • Be On Time: This is the most important tip to me.  You have a one-hour time slot, so showing up late will eat into this.  Leaving extra early to get to your session will help make up for traffic or other things that can't be helped.  Please text or call if you are running late.  I am always early, so call or text if you also arrive early.

  • Props: I am always in favor of using props during your session.  Pets are also great but are not allowed at Cox Arboretum MetroPark.

  • Don't Worry: Most couples have little to no experience being in front of a camera.  I will work with you to create the most pleasing and natural engagement photos that capture your personalities.  I try to keep the engagement session fun and casual so as to keep you relaxed and smiling.

  • Ideas: Many brides have ideas about the types of engagement photos they want.  Send me a Pinterest board if you have collected ideas for your engagement session, or email me your ideas.  I absolutely love when people come to me with ideas.

Guide To Planning A Dayton Or Cincinnati Engagement Session
Best Engagement Photographer In Dayton And Cincinnati
Guide To Planning A Dayton Or Cincinnati Engagement Session
Best Engagement Photographer In Dayton And Cincinnati
Best Engagement Photographer In Dayton And Cincinnati
Guide To Planning A Dayton Or Cincinnati Engagement Session

Dayton Engagement Session Location Ideas

Downtown Dayton

  • Victoria Theatre
  • Schuster Center
  • Wright Brothers Sculptures
  • Crosswalks
  • Buildings
  • Courthouse Square
  • Interesting Architecture
  • Why To Choose Downtown Dayton: The beautiful architecture, wide streets and endless backdrops make this one of my favorite engagement locations in all of Dayton, Ohio.
  • Why Not To Choose downtown Dayton: Don’t choose this engagement location if you are looking for engagement images in a natural setting.

Oregon District

  • Brick Buildings
  • Graffiti
  • Colorful
  • Alleys
  • Historic Homes
  • Eclectic Buildings
  • Bridge / Trains
  • Why To Choose Oregon District: Historic buildings, brick streets and a huge number of backgrounds makes this one of my top engagement locations.
  • Why Not To Choose Oregon District: There is a lot of vehicle and foot traffic that can interfere with engagement photo shoots.
  • Urban
  • Bricks
  • Graffiti
  • Buildings
  • Trains
  • Downtown Views
  • Plenty Of Parking
  • Why To Choose 2nd Street Market MetroPark: Brick streets, revitalized industrial building, trains and more make this a fantastic urban engagement session location.
  • Why Not To Choose 2nd Street Market MetroPark: This is a man-made environment and not good for people looking for nature.

  • Trees
  • Pond
  • Waterfall
  • Flowers
  • Trails
  • Wildflowers
  • Wood Structures
  • Why To Choose Hills & Dales MetroPark: This park features a small pond, wooden pergola and beautiful fall foliage.
  • Why Not To Choose Hills & Dales MetroPark: It is quite dark in the wooded areas, and there isn’t a lot of room to move when others are in the park.
  • Trees
  • Barns
  • Fences
  • Fields
  • Farm Animals
  • Wildflowers
  • Large Lake With Boardwalk
  • Why To Choose Carriage Hill MetroPark: The lake with the nature-surrounded boardwalk makes this a very unique location.
  • Why Not To Choose Carriage Hill MetroPark: Limited evening hours may make this park challenging for an engagement session.
  • Rivers
  • Benches
  • Trees
  • Foot Bridge
  • Buildings
  • Colorful
  • Downtown Views
  • Why To Choose RiverScape MetroPark: Having the Dayton skyline, Fifth/Third Field and Great Miami River as backdrops make this a must-do engagement photography location in Dayton.
  • Why Not To Choose RiverScape MetroPark: There is very little shade at this park.

  • Waterfalls
  • Trail
  • Pond
  • Field
  • Fall Foliage
  • Wildflowers
  • Open Fields
  • Why To Choose Charleston Falls Preserve: The large waterfall and scenic pond make this a unique engagement photo location in the Dayton area.
  • Why Not To Choose Charleston Falls Preserve: It is a 1/2-mile hike to the falls and even further to the pond.
  • Ponds
  • Trees
  • Flowers
  • Rocks
  • Creek
  • Observation Tower
  • Open Field
  • Why To Choose Cox Arboretum MetroPark: Every season brings new colors and varied plant growth to make this park beautiful.
  • Why Not To Choose Cox Arboretum MetroPark: This is the most over-used, busy and common outdoor photography location in the Dayton area.
  • Historic Buildings
  • Trees
  • Walkways
  • Train and Trolley Cars
  • Vintage Busses
  • Unique Backdrops
  • Carillon Bell Tower
  • Why To Choose Carillon Historical Park: This venue is great if  you want to include iconic pieces of Dayton's history in your engagement photos.
  • Why Not To Choose Carillon Historical Park: The hours are limited and there is a $30 fee paid to Dayton History for use of the park.

Cincinnati Engagement Session Location Ideas*

  • Great American Ball Park
  • Paul Brown Stadium
  • Fountains
  • Roebling Suspension Bridge
  • Stage And Lawn
  • Ohio River
  • Downtown Backdrop
  • Why To Choose The Banks / Smale Riverfront Park: The number of possibilities for backdrops is endless.
  • Why Not To Choose The Banks / Smale Riverfront Park: There is often a lot of foot and vehicle traffic in this area.
  • Pond
  • Fountain
  • Field
  • Gazebo
  • Historic Park
  • Beautiful Views
  • Trees
  • Why To Choose Eden Park: This Cincinnati Park is easy to access and is close to downtown Cincinnati.
  • Why Not To Choose Eden Park: There is limited parking and a good amount of walking to these areas.
  • Pergola
  • Ohio River Views
  • Stone Pavilion
  • Tent Rental
  • Easy Parking
  • Less Busy Park
  • Historic Venue
  • Why To Choose Alms Park: The wedding ceremony pergola overlooks the Ohio River and is beautiful.
  • Why Not To Choose Alms Park: The Alms Park Pavilion is small and can't hold a large group of people.

  • Large Pavilion
  • Pergola Overlooking Airport
  • Steps With Fountain
  • Well Manicured Lawns
  • Wildflowers
  • Great Lawn
  • Perfect For Large Groups
  • Why To Choose Ault Park: This is the most classic looking wedding reception venue in Cincinnati, and it is stunning.
  • Why Not To Choose Ault Park: This is the most popular Cincinnati wedding venue and books very early.

Downtown Cincinnati

  • Architecture
  • Historic Buildings
  • Streetcar
  • Fountain Square
  • Over The Rhine
  • Beautiful Building Lobbies
  • Downtown Parks
  • Why To Choose Downtown Cincinnati: The choices of backdrops, textures, lighting, and architecture make this an ideal location.
  • Why Not To Choose Downtown Cincinnati: Parking.
  • Ohio River
  • Cincinnati Views
  • Pedestrian Bridge
  • Colorful
  • Distinct Buildings
  • Historic Structure
  • Quiet Areas
  • Why To Choose Newport On The Levee: Having Cincinnati and the Ohio River as backdrops makes this a beautiful location.
  • Why Not To Choose Newport On The Levee: Parking is not free and there are always a lof of people.

* There is a $50 one time fee for Cincinnati engagement sessions