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A Lasting Experience: Find Your Perfect Place to Take Engagement Photos in Rochester, NY



Congratulations! The moment you’ve been dreaming of has happened, and you’re engaged! Take the time to revel in the whirlwind of excitement, but it’s never too early to start thinking about all that is to come, including planning your engagement photos.

Since many photographers book sessions months in advance, booking your engagement photos should be a top priority to check off your list. Typically, 1-2 months after getting engaged is a good time to book your photographer. Once that's settled, you can focus on the rest of the wedding planning process.

Planning Your Engagement Photos

The perfect engagement shoot location, theme and outfits are all components that, when put together, create lasting memories to share with family and friends. Your engagement photos can be used to announce your wedding in your local paper, create a personalized wedding site online or as part of your save-the-date announcement — all of which are important complements to your big day.

When settling on the perfect picture theme, pick one that sets the tone for your wedding — like "country chic," "old-fashioned classy" or "ethereal winter." Choose something that is uniquely you — your engagement photos should reflect your personality. No need to copy what everyone else does. Capture your image of your present and your future.

From your engagement photos to your wedding planning to your wedding bands, you have a lot to do when you say, “I do!" Including researching the best engagement photo ideas in Rochester, NY.

Picture Perfect Places to Take Engagement Photos in Rochester, NY

When it comes to choosing a venue, let your style be your guide. Rochester, NY boasts a little something for every couple. What’s most important is that you go with your gut and do what you love to do. Your engagement photos are a fun-filled way to start your journey together before you walk down the aisle, so you want to capture the essence of what brought you together in the first place and preserve it for eternity.

If you’re not exactly sure where to stage your everlasting images, Rochester, NY has a variety of places to take engagement photos. Ranging from classic to creepy and from daring to stunning, your options are all picture perfect. Nestled on Lake Ontario and complemented by the Genesee River, an abundance of indoor and outdoor locations will delight you. Rochester's vibrant displays of nature during the four seasons provide ample opportunity to explore the seasons of your relationship. Fall’s warm hues, spring’s lush renewal, summer’s temperate weather and winter’s shimmering snowfalls attest to Rochester’s desirable destinations.

1. Childhood Nostalgia

No need for traditional and static engagement photos. Adventure seeking couples can maximize their zest for life and explore Rochester, NY’s intrepid destinations. Your love for exciting experiences matches your love for a new and exciting future together.

  • Seabreeze Amusement Park: If you’d like a truly exhilarating stomping ground for your action pics, don’t settle for anything less than thrills and chills. Ride the rollercoasters, laugh on the bumper cars, smile on the carousel and capture the authentic joy and happiness that makes your hearts beat faster.

  • Museum of Play: Indoor and outdoor opportunities abound for a unique shoot that will delight your inner child. Inside you’ll find Sesame Street, butterfly and Spiderman settings, just to name a few.
  • Seneca Park Zoo: Home to over 90 species, you’re sure to enjoy a safari-themed exploration in this neck of the woods. Appreciate the animals as you wander through the exhibits, and maybe some can photo-bomb your shoot.

2. Wedding on the Water

There's something about water that brings out the natural and the romantic, and the waters of Rochester can perfectly symbolize your life together.

  • Seneca Lake: Rochester presents you with opportunities to capture the perfect sunset at the water’s edge. Rent a boat, stroll the shores, splash in the waterfalls or take a river cruise for the perfect shot that won’t leave you covered in sand.
  • Genesee River: Named “Pleasant Banks” by the Seneca Indians of the Iroquois nation, the area immerses visitors in an array of alluring locations perfect for your outdoor photos. The panoramic view from the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse epitomizes charming and historic Rochester and is the last surviving lighthouse on Lake Ontario.
  • Lower Gorge: Winding paths guide you through the lush surroundings and transport you to a spectacular natural backdrop.
  • Maplewood Park and Rose Garden: Breathtaking views of the waterfalls and the garden’s peak bloom time in June make this multifaceted destination a must-see in Rochester.
  • Avon Five Arch Bridge: An artistic background for a skilled photographer to utilize, visually displaying the symbolic bridge that connects you to each other. Its lines, depth and angles could be the artistic combination you’re looking for.
  • Finger Lakes Wine Country: Rocky bluffs extend right to the water, and cement benches, docks, decks, sweet chairs under vines and rocky staircases adorn the grounds. Perhaps the most remarkable attributes of wine country are the canyons with fallen trees across streams. The symbolic crossing of the natural elements reveals your relationship’s crossing from two hearts to one.

3. Historic Charm

Rochester is rich with history and amazing architecture, and its historic structures prove that true quality is just as timeless and valuable as your love. The city is experiencing a boom in rejuvenation as developers reclaim old structures and make them beautiful once more. Their vision, like yours, is one of the future and of building strong foundations.

  • Geneva on the Lake: Luxurious, romantic and intimate, Geneva on the Lake is a venue of all seasons. Winter snows in evening candlelight can be just as bewitching as an enchanting summer shoot.
  • Belhurst Castle: A cornucopia of pleasure, the castle's spa, unique architecture, elegant interior and winery create a one-stop-shop for your engagement photographs.
  • Inn on Broadway: Provides traditional grace and beautifully designed details that fashion a memorable experience. Rich with history and grandeur, the Inn brings the past to life.
  • George Eastman Museum: An absolutely brilliant exhibition of family, tradition, artistry and manicured gardens, the 35,000 square foot mansion is unmatched in its splendor. Built by George Eastman, the founder of Eastman Kodak Company, the wedding facilities and garden and mansion grounds provide ample opportunity to preserve your relationship for all time.

4. Unequivocably Unique

If traditional venues just aren't your thing and you're hoping for something that turns heads, consider some of Rochester's more avant-garde settings. They might be a little nontraditional, but they're also crazy cool and inexpensive — and there's something to be said for new bonding experiences.

  • Underground abandoned subway tours: Graffiti and cement? Absolutely. Abandoned in 1956, the underground world of modern artistry and expression might look like a scene straight out of a futuristic civilization, while exuding originality and creativity. This location speaks to your relationship's determination and fortitude. It will endure, and it will not break down no matter how many decades pass.
  • Durand-Eastman Park: Making the top ten list of most haunted places in Rochester, the legend of the white lady haunts visitors. The haunted castle stairs create a somewhat macabre, but definitely mesmerizing, backdrop.
  • Mount Hope Cemetery: Enough said. It's a cemetery. Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass are buried here, so you're in good company. And the cemetery's antique charm and beauty can't be laid to rest.

5. Let's Chill

Even though planning and preparation are filled with frenzy, there's no reason you can't kick back and relax during your engagement photo shoot.

  • Rochester Museum and Science Center: The four-story planetarium delivers a unique chance to travel through the universe, but the outdoor wild walks provide a lively hike where you can explore the earth’s terrain.
  • Genesee Brew House: Looking to chill out with a flight of beer? The Brew House is a completely renovated, 100-year-old former bottling company building that retains the essence of Rochester's history. With interactive exhibits and pub-style restaurant, you can sit back, relax and get to know the brewers. They will lift a glass and celebrate with you!

No matter the location you choose, remember...it should showcase your relationship's personality. Don't get caught up in trying to impress others. Get swept up in what makes you both so special, and enjoy all of Rochester's exciting engagement photo possibilities.

Creative Engagement Photo Ideas in Rochester: The Perfect Poses

Once you choose your engagement photo shoot location, you still have a lot of choices to make. The good news is that you can strike a variety of poses and capture the essence of your relationship no matter where you are. At the Finger Lakes Winery? How about a black and white long shot that frames you in the rows of the vineyard. Later, sit at the winery's garden, share a glass of wine and genuinely laugh with each other. You and your partner have many qualities, and your engagement photographs should reflect your various personality traits.

What's rule #1? Stop trying so hard. Remember to have fun during the entire process. Take some chances, let go and don't try to be perfect.

Your photographer will likely suggest some interactions and poses, and to complement their ideas, here are a few fun options to consider:

1. Go for the Smiles

  • Recreate your first date. Take a trip down memory lane. Don't just hit up your old haunt — recreate exactly what happened. You'll giggle knowing that you've come so far since that serendipitous day.
  • Be goofy. Wear ugly Christmas sweaters by the waterfalls? Sure. Dress like your favorite Star Wars character in the rose garden? Yep. Incorporate your interests and hobbies, and don't be afraid to get silly. You'll have some great memories of the day.
  • Get candid. Have your photographer take pics even when you're not posing. The pictures will reveal your most natural and comfortable selves.
  • Fight it out. Get in the action and get competitive. Food fights and snowball fights elicit authentic joy and laughter.

2. Just Because You Sit Still Doesn't Mean You Have to Freeze

  • Side-by-side, arm-in-arm. There's absolutely nothing wrong with poses that show your love and intimacy. They are sweet and engaging.
  • Back-to-back. For those who are inclined toward the traditional but want to add a little something fun, try standing back to back. Consider folding your arms and looking over your shoulder at each other, perhaps with a playful smirk.
  • Walk on. Hold hands as you walk away from the photographer, symbolizing your journey down life’s roads together. With different zooms, these can be symbolic additions to your photo collection.

3. Angles and Lines

  • Be artistic. For a sense of artistry, consider constructing different angles and lines using your venue’s architecture or natural structures.
  • Frame it. Frame the shot with trees, vineyard rows, haunted staircases, grand entryways or pints of beer.
  • Light and dark. Play with shadows and light and silhouettes.

4. Up Close and Personal

  • Keep it simple and fun. If it feels forced, it will most likely come across in the photo.
  • Laughter is the best medicine. Go forehead to forehead and tell each other a joke. The camera will capture your honest laughter. And no one other than you two needs to know how corny the joke was.
  • About face. Get face to face and squish your noses. No doubt this will create laughter as well, ensuring a fun close-up.
  • Stand on one leg. Kick one leg back at the knee while pointing your toe, and have him lift you for additional whimsy.
  • On your tippy toes, please. This works well if you're shorter than your husband-to-be, but it’s a crowd-pleaser nonetheless.

What to Wear to Your Engagement Photo Shoot in Rochester, NY

As with your picture-perfect poses, you are not limited to one image. Consider different looks that coordinate with poses and venues to create the perfect match. Here are some options to play with:

  • Seasonal colors: From winter wonderlands complete with periwinkles, plums, silvers and snowflakes to ravishing autumn's reds, golds, yellows and browns, nature provides rich color pallets that can guide your choices.
  • Coordinating patterns: Just because you're wearing a red wine chenille sweater doesn't mean your fiancé has to match exactly. Instead, dress him in a coordinating plaid flannel for contrast.
  • Fabric: Take your venue and theme into consideration and carefully choose your fabrics. A whimsical shoot next to a waterfall would call for something lightweight and flowy, not heavy and thick.
  • Accessories: If you choose to accessorize, it shouldn't overwhelm you. Consider coordinating your outfits with scarfs, cute shoes, hats, and simple jewelry. Love should be the center of attention. Keep it classy.

Your outfit should reveal the theme you're going for. And, depending on your contract with your photographer, you might be able to change outfits during the photo shoot to create different looks. Are you casual, sexy, sassy, country, city, sports-related or decade-inspired? Let what's inside show on the outside with fabulous outfits.

Some tips to follow to ensure the day of your shoot goes smoothly when it comes to outfit choices include:

  • So you aren't scrambling the day of, prepare ahead of time by checking the weather forecast and having backup outfit ideas ready to go.
  • Dress accordingly to your location — i.e. don't wear stilettos in muddy grass — and be sure your prepared for the predicted temperatures and conditions.
  • Plan for outfits that are easily changeable depending on the location's access to facilities to do so.

There's no doubt that Rochester, NY has a variety of places to take engagement photos. You cannot make the wrong venue, poses or outfit choices if you stay true to yourselves and follow your hearts. After all, that's what got you here.

After the Engagement Photos, let Cornell Jewelers Help You With Your Wedding Band Selection

Cornell Jewelers of Rochester, NY believes in creating lasting experiences for our customers. We believe in your passion for each other, just as we are passionate about what we do.

Recently included in Town & Country’s 2014 list of America’s Leading Independent Jewelers, we provide diverse engagement and wedding band options that are as unique as you are in a range of prices, all with exceptional value.

Now that you've gotten engaged and planned the ultimate photo shoot in Rochester, enhance the picture with the perfect complement to your engagement ring. In addition to our wedding bands, we offer custom designs and engraving. We are proud to offer these quality collections and more:

  • ArtCarved: This collection celebrates the traditions of the past combined with the exuberance of the present. Be inspired by timeless craftsmanship.
  • Triton: rings design just for him are as bold and daring as the strength he exudes, making an impressive statement as his chosen band.
  • Tacori: This collection mirrors the natural beauty you’ll discover in Rochester. The crescent silhouette of interlocking half-moon arcs reflects the artistry of nature and the roots of your relationship.
  • Hearts on Fire: Always a dazzling choice. This collection's exclusive, high-quality cuts can only be forged by less than 400 craftsmen in the world. Together, Rochester’s historic structures and the Hearts on Fire collection prove that true quality is just as rare and valuable as your relationship.

  • Jack Kelege: As a craftsman, Jack Kelege believe quality doesn't have to come with an expensive price tag. Magic happens in simple artistry.

Our insurance replacement service provides you with reassurance if you should ever lose or damage your rings. Committed to helping you choose your perfect wedding bands, we are here to support you before, during and after your purchase. We believe that you are as precious as the gems we lock in our vault every night. We believe in keeping the romance alive in our showroom and for our online customers — let us provide you with a wedding jewelry buying experience you'll remember for years to come.

Let Cornell Jewelers be a part of your big day. Experience the magic for yourself by shopping online or in store today.

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