Shelly Pate

Why Your Engagement Photos Should Be an Adventure: Spring Adventure Session

Couple embraces while taking spring engagement photos at Assateague Island

Adventure sessions can be more than just an engagement session. Photo sessions like these can be used for anniversaries, making memories, or simply getting great photos that capture your love! Basically, the possibilities are endless! See how this couples’ spring engagement photos turned into a memory-making adventure!

Adventure sessions allow us to go to multiple locations both outdoors and in an urban setting. You can really take your time with a half-day or even a full-day session. Consider this a date with just the two of you and pretend that I’m not there! We can make it work no matter the time of day or the season. You can even bring your pups along (see inspiration below)! Check out how one couple decided to include their pup and their cat too!

Couple holds hands while walking through forest at Assateague Island spring engagement session
Couple walks through forest holding hands at Assateague Island spring engagement session

One Location–Many Engagement Photo Ideas

Couple embraces while looking at wild horse at Maryland engagement session

If you have time like these two did for their adventure session, you can explore your options when it comes to locations. Vanessa and Wei Wei joined me for a half-day adventure session on Assateague Island which falls along the Maryland coast (its neighboring island, Chincoteague Island, is on the Virginia side). It has a variety of locations to offer that work great for elopements, small weddings, family portraits, anniversary shoots, or adventurous engagements like this one.

For this couple’s spring engagement photos they wanted to experience the famous wild horses of Assateague Island. Even though you can’t get too close or pet them, we were still able to capture some gorgeous moments with the horses nearby!

Couple embraces while taking spring engagement photos in woods
Couple holds hands while taking spring engagement photos in woods

Other options that this island has to offer includes the beaches, a marsh with a deck overlook, and a forest with magical foliage. This couple walked hand in hand along trails leading up to the marsh with textured plants surrounded by tall lean trees. There’s much to explore on foot and it is just a short drive between all of these lovely spots!

Activities to Fill an Entire Engagement Photoshoot Adventure

Couple sits on blanket with picnic basket for beach engagement photos

Lastly, we drove up to the beach because the couple wanted to include a picnic as part of their spring engagement photos! When a location offers as much variety as Assateague Island does, it’s easy to enjoy the day to the max! Vanessa and Wei Wei brought a cute wicker basket and blanket so they could enjoy a picnic with charcuterie and wine. Following the picnic there was time to play in the water even though it was so cold!

Couple walks holding hands at beach engagement session

Activities like walks, taking in the scenery, and meeting up with your pets allows for the most natural posing in your session. We use poses and movement that you naturally fall into that often don’t even require my guidance! Pretend I’m not there and enjoy an entire day of our taking photos together without interruptions. Adventure sessions completely remove that constant feeling of being rushed.

Couple seated embraces at beach engagement session
Couple seated embraces at beach engagement session

Hitting Your Engagement Photo Goals

Couple walks towards ocean at beach engagement session

My goal for this couple’s session was to really capture their experience of Assateague Island together for the first time. The island had been on Vanessa and Wei Wei’s bucket list for a while so they took this opportunity to knock it off the list!

I would highly recommend trying out the idea of visiting a place you have never been to before. I loved being able to document your first experiences together. There’s so much to explore as a couple that makes for the most authentic photos!

Couple holds hands watching wild horses at Assateague Island spring engagement session
Couple holds their dogs at Assateague Island engagement session

Golden Hour With Pets to Close Out the Day

Couple sits with their dogs at Assateague Island engagement session

The day came to an end during golden hour when Vanessa and Wei Wei were joined by their pups! As the sun set into blue hour they got some engagement photos with their two dogs who were wearing the cutest bandanas that said, “I loved her first” and “My humans are getting married!”

Couple laughs holding dog at Assateague Island engagement session

Following some kisses and snuggles with their furry friends, the couple concluded their adventure by dropping off their pups at the hotel and heading to dinner. They decided to turn their spring engagement photos into a weekend away with the entire family!

Couple holds dogs at Assateague Island sunset engagement session

Tips for an Assateague Island Adventure:

  • The best time of year to visit for swimming is late spring into summer, although, that time can be the worst for mosquitos which are high from May to November. If you do come during this time of year, keep in mind that they are most present during dawn and dusk.
  • Another place of interest close by is Virginia’s Chincoteague Island which is smaller but also has beaches and wild horses.
  • Plan for an all-day trip because it takes time to drive around and see everything.
  • Activity Ideas Include: camping (which you can do right on the beach), picnicking, horseback riding, driving on the sand (with a permit), etc.  
  • The wild horses are usually in the marsh, beach, or OSV (Over Sand Vehicle) areas. You cannot stop or park along the road or get closer than 40 feet to the wild horses. 
  • More details on how to plan your visit and the island’s fees can be found HERE. 
  • Here is how to plan a wedding on Assateague Island.

Trying to figure out where to have your own adventure? I would love to help you plan an adventure session of any kind!

Couple walks through woods holding hands at Assateague Island engagement session
Couple kisses at Assateague Island sunset engagement session
Couple reaches for each other's hands at sunset engagement session
how to have an adventure at your engagement session graphic

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