Adventure Engagement Sessions Guide

Congratulations on your recent engagement!

With so much excitement and so many unknowns it can be overwhelming on where to start your wedding journey. Some couples choose to have a traditional engagement session, while others get a little creative with adventure engagements sessions. If you’re considering one this guide has some helpful information for your planning and research!

What is an adventure engagement session?

An adventure engagement session is a photoshoot that celebrates and highlights the recents news of your soon to be wedding. The adventure side of it is the chance to bring that celebration with you to the great outdoors!

Do I need adventure engagement photos?

The short answer is no. It depends on the couple’s circumstances and what their goals are. Adventure engagement sessions have their perks, but truthfully they’re not necessary throughout your wedding journey.

Do I use the same photographer for my wedding day?

Technically you don’t have to, but a lot of the value associated with getting engagement photos is to work with same photographer because trust has been established.

5 Reasons to consider an adventure engagement session

1. Your excited and want to capture this moment

In a digital world, I find it increasingly important to be present in moments of your life like this. More often than not, it’s reflecting on this time later that makes all the difference with an adventure engagement session. This is your chance to embrace your time and relive the moment later.

2. Get to know your photographer before your wedding

Photographer’s wear more than one hat when you look at the entire experience of an adventure engagement session from initial contact to final delivery. An adventure engagement session allows you to spend productive time with your photographer. Use this chance to get to know them!

3. Get comfortable in front of the camera

If the thought of a camera with a big lens in front of your face intimidates you or if you’re like me and suffer from the “I don’t know what to do with my hands” feeling, then this could be the best time to get practice in.

By having an adventure engagement session, you’re giving yourselves the chance to build trust with your photographer. This will translate down the line to your wedding day, creating a more natural flow. The best moments are the ones where you forget your photographer’s even there! This allows them to capture more genuine emotions rather than focusing on “looking right“.

4. Freedom to explore and venture off

If you plan to have guests at your intimate wedding or elopement this is a great chance to have a little privacy without having to worry about all the moving parts of your big day. If you plan to elope with just the two of you then this could give you the chance to explore multiple locations or capture the same location at different times of year to highlight time passing leading to your wedding day.

5. Uses for your adventure engagement photos

From wedding details to gifts for family, your engagement photos can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Invitations
  • Guest Book
  • Display at home
  • “Save The Date” cards
  • Gifts for parents & grandparents

How long is the average adventure engagement session?

One hour is normally a good amount of time to capture an engagement session. Depending on the location/activity, an adventure engagement session can last a couple of hours, but normally a big adventure is saved for an intimate wedding or an adventure elopement.

This is the time to nurture a relationship with your photographer, not summit a mountain.

How many photos do I get from an adventure engagement session?

This will vary depending on the photographer, normally I average a minimum of 40 images per hour for an adventure engagement session. Other factors to consider are the location(s) and activity, etc.

Ethan James Rivera | Colorado Elopement Photographer

As an Elopement Photographer my goal is to have you look back on your day and feel what it was like to be there; to create a lasting emotion that resurfaces every-time you want to relive this chapter of your lives.

I would love to learn about your story and help co-create your wedding experience in the rockies. Check out my packages page & elopement guide to help you get started!


  1. Love these tips!! I wish more couples opted for adventurous engagement sessions. It’s such a good way to connect with your photographer and have photos with a completely different vibe from wedding photos. Your work is beautiful!!

  2. This post is so helpful Ethan! Especially the tip about how to use these photos in the wedding details! I love to see couples that take advantage of having all the perks of an engagement session by turning it into an adventure they will always remember.

  3. Great tips!! I love how Adventure Engagement sessions are so much more relaxed than a traditional wedding day. Thanks for sharing, Ethan!

  4. Adventure engagement sessions are the best! Also, super helpful looking forward the wedding day to know what you can expect, and you did such a great job explaining it all! :))

  5. What a great guide for couples interested in adventure engagement sessions! They are so fun and such a great way to get to know your photographer, like you said!

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