From Engagement to Wedding: A Comprehensive Guide to Preparing for Your Charleston, SC Photoshoot

One of my absolute favorite places to take photos is Charleston. It’s so special to me for a number of reasons—I got engaged in Charleston, we took our 10-year Anniversary photos in Charleston. And I’ve done lots of engagement and family photo sessions in Charleston. I’ve had a few weddings in Charleston. I absolutely LOVE it there.

And as you and your partner start this incredible journey towards your dream wedding, there’s a whirlwind of excitement in the air. But…hear me out…pause for a moment for your engagement photos. Not only will these photos tell your unique love story, but the photoshoot itself is so special and so memorable.

And if you’re in or heading to Charleston, SC, you’re in for a treat! Charleston is more than just a backdrop; it can be the heartbeat of your love story, with its historic charm, sun-kissed beaches, and picturesque parks. Yet, with so many location options, planning your photoshoot might feel like you’re drowning in a sea of choices. 

That’s where this guide comes in – I’m here to ensure your Charleston, SC photoshoot is pure magic. From choosing the perfect location to curating outfits that reflect your personality and working closely with your photographer, I’ve covered every detail.

So, let’s dive in and plan a Charleston photoshoot as unforgettable as your love story!

Bride & Groom in Charleston

Choosing Your Picture-Perfect Charleston, SC Setting

Charleston, SC is not just a city; it’s a canvas painted with history, culture, and endless charm. And when it comes to your engagement or wedding photoshoot, this city offers a medley of stunning locations, each with its own special allure. To help you pick the ideal backdrop for your photos, here are some factors to consider:

1. Reflecting Your Unique Style

Your photoshoot should be an authentic reflection of your love story and your individual style. Consider what resonates with both of you. If you and your partner share a deep connection with the beach, Charleston’s got some of the best beaches in the Southeast. For those who appreciate an urban vibe, the historic downtown area boasts its own character. Whether you’re drawn to the coastal breeze or the awe-inspiring cobbled streets, Charleston has a location to match your personality.

2. Time of Day Magic

The right lighting can transform your photos into pure magic. For that soft, dreamy glow, plan your photoshoot during the early morning or late afternoon. Charleston’s golden hours, when the sun bathes the city in a warm embrace, add an extra layer of enchantment to your photos. The lighting is either really warm or really cool…usually really blue or really yellow. So yeah—it does make a difference when you take your pictures in Charleston. And while a lot of Charleston photographers prefer morning for taking photos (mainly because there aren’t as many people out and about), personally I prefer evening light for my favorite spots.

3. Dancing with the Seasons

Charleston, SC is known for its warm climate, making it a year-round gem for photoshoots. Yet, the season you choose can infuse your photos with a distinct atmosphere. Whether it’s the vibrant blooms of spring, the sun-kissed summer shores (ohhh and those crape myrtles everywhere! Looove), the warm hues of autumn as the leaves start changing, or the crisp elegance of winter, each season paints a unique canvas for your love story.

Here are some of the most popular photoshoot locations in Charleston:

  • The Battery: this historic waterfront park offers STUNNING views of Charleston Harbor
  • Rainbow Row: This colorful row of 18th century houses is a popular spot for photoshoots.
  • Magnolia Plantation: this historic plantation is home to beautiful gardens and azaleas
  • Folly Beach: this charming beach town is perfect for a laid-back photoshoot
  • Middleton Place: this National Historic Landmark is home to stunning gardens and a plantation house. 
  • Chalmers Street: cobblestone streets, be still my heart. ‘Nuff said.
  • Any location South of Broad is GREAT for photos….the side streets and houses are so fun to explore and use as backdrops in your photos.
  • College of Charleston: this is especially a great location if you have ties to the school.

Each of these locations offers a one-of-a-kind backdrop that encapsulates the breathtaking beauty of Charleston.

Read more: Some of the best photo spots in Charleston, SC

And if you’re local to Charleston? Don’t disregard the historical locations! I can’t tell you how many couples and families I’ve taken pictures of in Charleston who have lived there for X number of years and never wandered through the historic districts. They’re always blown away. 
Read more: When to schedule your engagement session

Getting Ready to Shine: Attire, Tresses, and Glam

Want to look your best in your Charleston, SC engagement photos? Here’s how to choose the right attire, hair, and makeup for a photoshoot that will capture your love story for years to come.

1. Dress to Impress

Your outfit is one of the most important aspects of your engagement photos. It can make you feel confident and beautiful, and it can also help to tell the story of your love story.

When choosing your outfit, let your personal style shine through. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different colors and patterns, and choose clothes that fit you well and make you feel comfortable.

If you’re not sure where to start, consider choosing classic, timeless pieces that will complement your body type and personality. For example, if you have a curvy figure, you might want to choose a fitted dress or skirt. If you’re petite, you might want to choose a longer, flowing dress.

No matter what you choose, make sure your outfit is something you feel confident and beautiful in. After all, you’ll be wearing it for years to come!

Read more: A photographer’s insight into what to wear to your engagement session

2. Hair and Makeup Magic

Your hair and makeup can also make a big difference in your engagement photos. Just like with your outfit, the goal is to look like yourself, but the best version of yourself.

When it comes to hair, avoid anything too complicated or fussy. A simple, elegant style will look best in photos. If you have long hair, you might want to wear it down or in a half-up, half-down style. If you have short hair, you might want to style it with some waves or curls.

When it comes to makeup, go for a natural look that enhances your features. Avoid anything too heavy or dramatic. You want your natural beauty to shine through.

3. Accessories for That Extra Sparkle

Accessories can add a touch of personality and flair to your engagement photos. Consider adding some jewelry, a hat, or a scarf to your outfit. These little touches can make a big difference in your photos.

If you’re not sure what accessories to choose, ask your photographer for their recommendations. They can help you choose pieces that will complement your outfit and your personal style.

4. A Wardrobe Change for Variety

If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to bring a change of clothes for your engagement photoshoot. This can give your photos a fresh perspective and variety.

If you’re shooting in multiple locations, you might want to bring different outfits that reflect the different settings. For example, if you’re shooting at the beach, you might want to bring a sundress or a swimsuit. If you’re shooting in the city, you might want to bring a more formal outfit.

No matter what you choose, make sure you have a variety of options so that you can create the perfect look for your engagement photos.

What to Expect During Your Charleston, SC Photoshoot

On the day of your photoshoot, excitement and a touch of nervousness may flutter through the air but don’t worry. If I’m your photographer, I promise I will be there to make you feel as comfortable as possible in front of the camera. (And if I’m not your photographer? Make sure you’re comfortable with yours! It’s so important to trust your photographer.)

Here’s a glimpse of what to anticipate during your Charleston, SC photo shoot:

  • A warm welcome: Your photographer will greet you at your chosen location with a warm smile and a friendly greeting. They’ll introduce themselves and take some time to get to know you. This is your chance to ask any questions or share any ideas you have for your photoshoot.
  • Capturing the light: Your photographer will take some time to scout the location and find the best spots for lighting. They’ll also take some test shots to make sure the exposure and composition are perfect. Again—trust your photographer. Light changes so frequently in downtown Charleston that you need to trust when your photographer needs to shift locations.
  • Embracing the art of posing: Your photographer will guide you through a variety of poses that will flatter you and your partner. Don’t worry if you feel silly posing at first. Your photographer has seen it all, and they’ll help you look your best. 
  • Capturing the unscripted magic: Your photographer will also be on the lookout for candid moments that capture the love between you and your partner. These are the moments that will make your photos truly special.
  • Seamless location changes: If you’re planning on shooting in multiple locations, your photographer will make sure the transitions are smooth and seamless. They’ll also help you coordinate your outfits and props so that your photos look cohesive.
  • Be prepared to walk: Because there are so many hidden gem photo locations in Charleston, you’ll want to be prepared to walk. Wear comfortable shoes. Or at least bring a pair with you.

Your photoshoot is a time to relax, have fun, and celebrate your love. Trust your photographer to guide you through the process and capture your love story in a beautiful way.

Read more: How to prepare for your engagement photoshoot

Lowndes Grove Wedding

Pro Tips for Effortless Posing and Genuine Moments

Posing for photos can be a tad intimidating, but here are some pro tips to make sure you look and feel natural in front of the camera:

1. Be Your Beautiful Self

Above all, relax and be yourself. Don’t overthink your poses; focus on how much you love your partner. Authenticity shines through.

2. Eyes on Each Other

Create an intimate atmosphere by looking at your partner rather than the camera. It’s a simple trick that adds more intimacy to your photos.

3. Embrace Movement

Don’t be afraid to move around and change positions. It adds variety to your photos and makes them more dynamic.

4. Add a Touch of Personality

Props can be your best friends. Bring items like a picnic basket, balloons, or a cozy blanket. Orrrr bring your pet! Animals are always fun! Just be sure to bring a friend who can take care of your pet while they’re not physically in the photos. No one wants Fido running off. 

5. Relish the Moment

Ultimately, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the experience. This joy will radiate through your photos, creating beautiful memories of your engagement or wedding.

Selecting Your Cherished Photos for Your Heirloom Album

After your photoshoot, your photographer will present you with a curated selection of edited photos. Here’s how to narrow down those photos to be displayed in an heirloom album:

1. Quality Trumps Quantity

Choose a few high-quality photos over an abundance of mediocre ones. Opt for images that capture the essence of your love story and reflect your unique personalities.

2. Seek Variety

Select photos that offer a range of poses, locations, and outfits. Variety ensures your collection is well-rounded and tells a comprehensive story.

3. Timeline Matters

Your photographer will provide a timeline for selecting your photos and receiving the final product. Be sure to follow it to ensure timely delivery of your treasured memories.

In the end, this process should be an enjoyable experience. Take your time, and choose photos that genuinely resonate with your love story.

A Timeline for Your Perfect Charleston, SC Photoshoot

Booking your photoshoot in advance is crucial to secure your preferred date and location. Here’s a timeline to help you plan your Charleston, SC photo shoot:

  • Engagement Photoshoot: Book your engagement photoshoot at least 3-6 months in advance.
  • Wedding Photoshoot: For wedding photos, aim to secure your spot 6-12 months ahead of time.
  • Location: Lock in your chosen location as soon as possible to guarantee availability.
  • Photographer: Book your photographer at least 3-6 months in advance.

By following this timeline, you’ll have ample time to prepare for your photoshoot and ensure everything goes off without a hitch.

Frequently Asked Questions About Charleston, SC Photoshoots

Ideal Time of Year? Charleston, SC’s climate makes it a great photoshoot location year-round. However, spring and fall are particularly popular due to their mild temperatures and scenic beauty.

Can I Bring Props? Absolutely! Props can enhance your photos and add a touch of your personality. Coordinate with your photographer to ensure they align with the shoot’s theme and location.

When to Expect the Final Product? The timeline for receiving edited photos varies by photographer and package. Typically, it takes around 3-4 weeks to receive your beautifully edited images.

Your Charleston, SC engagement or wedding photoshoot will be so sweet. By following this comprehensive guide, you’re well-equipped to make it an unforgettable success. From choosing the perfect location to curating your cherished photos, I’ve got you covered. And if you’re looking for a photographer for your Charleston photo shoot? Let’s chat!

+ Show / Hide Comments

Share to:






Photography is in my blood and seeking truth is in my soul. Which is a deep way of saying, I’ve loved to take photos for a really long time, y’all. I’d love to share my story with you then listen to yours.



Curated resources, recommendations and photo secrets, all exclusively yours when you sign up for my newsletter. It’s like 15 years of expertise at your fingertips.



greensville sc engagement photography


If you’re landing on this page, you are more than likely thinking about (or already in the planning stages for) proposing to someone. It’s such beautiful and unforgettable moment, so sure—you want to find the best proposal spot.  In this post, I’m sharing the best-kept engagement spots near Greenville, SC. Picture this: a cozy mountain […]