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Sam and Grace are partners in life and business. Capturing beautiful memories is our thing.

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engaged couple kissing on broad street bridge in columbus ohio winter

Columbus, Ohio wedding photographers and their couples have been struggling with options for where to go in the middle of Winter (during COVID-19) for their engagement portraits. There are SO MANY wonderful options in our beautiful city and we wanted to share a little about them.

If you need help with where to start when planning an engagement session, check out our blog post, Preparing for your Engagement Session. But before you do any of these things, chat with your wedding planner and make sure everything is in line with your wedding vision because it can really be important to the vibe of your wedding day.

Couple toasting champagne kissing on a picnic blanket in front of a city skyline

Look into local creative studios

Since COVID-19 hit hard back in May, 2020 we’ve seen a huge influx of studios popping up locally. Columbus and the surrounding suburbs are overflowing with creative studio options and many are incredibly reasonably priced for the value they offer. Most are fully furnished and comfortable with multiple arrangements, props, furniture, and even multiple rooms.

Often you can book these at any time of day to allow for some indoor and outdoor options or even just indoor options in case of rain. When you hire a wonderful photographer you can capture beautiful moments anywhere, but a studio specific space can really add to the beauty of your portraits.

The best aspect of this is that you do not have to wear a mask during this session, although your photographer should be making sure to follow current business guidelines where masks are concerned.

Tell us about your favorite studio in the comments below!

Man dips woman between lush garden landscapes on brick pathway in a Columbus Metro Park

Check out the beautiful Parks

You’ll see us push for our metro park system all over our blog posts, but let us reiterate this again. You may not realize this but you pay taxes for them and they’re available for you at any time! In many states you have to pay admission to visit local parks but here in Columbus you can visit them any time with a photographer.

Columbus City, Metro, and Ohio State parks (click the links to view location listings) are all incredible options and in many cases your photographer will be more than happy to travel to a location in order to capture the best images that represent your love story, history, personality, and chemistry.

If you’re planning this in the middle of winter (because this is quite the winter!) and are worried about the cold or the snow or even the lack of snow, just know that a skilled photographer can make any season look good on you as long as you’re confident in them.

Easton Town Center ‘Egloos’

I’m not sure if there’s anything more romantic during the Winter season than snuggling up close in a warm, string light lit igloo. Easton introduced these in January 2021 and they are super cute! Enjoy eating and drinking outdoors in the warm ambiance inside of the igloos.

The investment is worth it for the memories you will cherish, no need for a mask in your images, and you can even enjoy a private date together after your session. You will need to reserve these prior to your session date, so make sure to plan for that! We’ve seen a handful of other restaurants around central Ohio and Delaware popping up these igloos as well and we are FOR it.

Couple tapping pint glasses of beer together in the back of a pickup truck for an engagement photo

Wine and Dine at a Local Restaurant

A popular option in recent years has been to have casual engagement portraits taken while you share a mug of coffee and a pastry at a local coffee shop, or a pizza at a local pizza joint. Many of these allow you to still take these portraits without masks as long as you are actively eating or drinking, and that you remain seated.

You must contact them ahead of time and ask permission, give them a heads up on the date and time, and make sure you’re in line with their COVID-19 rules and regulations. Every restaurant is handling this differently and it is a very controversial issue. Please do not show up at a shop without giving them a heads-up first.

Couple holding hands against a brick wall on an old village street for engagement photos

Embrace the Mask

Okay, okay, hear me out. I know this sounds crazy at first. Some locations are your dream location and you may hate that it means you cannot have the portraits you’ve been dreaming of due to mask regulations.

A great photographer can work around your mask and capture gorgeous images. You can still have photographs taken in and around the numerous and near-countless beautiful indoor locations in Columbus while you wear a mask. These can be stylized so they focus on your bodies together rather than faces, the silly mask kiss image made popular in 2020, and portraits that feature your engagement ring. There are also adorable masks out there like these to consider before totally giving up on your dream location. You can then venture outdoors around these locations and (sometimes, depending on their rules and regulations) take off your masks for images, too.

All in all, there are so many options in and around Columbus for your engagement portraits and Sam and I are here to guide you as you search for them. This is a time to celebrate your love and not a time to postpone it. Life comes at you so fast and you should never let such an important time in your life be delayed if you can help it because you never know what the future will bring.

In times of uncertainty hold fast to joy and celebrate to your fullest because these moments of love truly bring the necessary lift to carry everyone through.

Contact us to book an engagement session with Sam & Grace Photography! We also offer a discount on engagement photos when paired with a wedding package.

Any other awesome covid-friendly ideas that we didn’t think of? Let us know below. Happy planning!

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