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There’s something about Philadelphia engagement photos in the summer. Even as people rush down the shore, the trees and flowers come alive. Combined with the season’s sunshine and historic architecture, it makes summer a great time for an engagement session. I met up with Abby and Lane in Rittenhouse Square to document their engagement on digital and 35mm film. Between the shady park and neighborhood’s European flair, their Philadelphia engagement photos have a nostalgic quality that suits their relationship.
If you’re deciding when to do Philadelphia engagement photos, summertime is definitely worth considering. It gets pretty warm here with average temperatures in the 80s in June and July. Ideally, you’d want to plan a photo session for the morning or evening about an hour before sunset. The light is beautiful at those times. The heat also tends to be less intense than midday.
Despite the heat, summertime Philadelphia engagement photos have a lot of charm. The city’s plants thrive in the summer. Sturdy old trees shade the parks, and well-tended flower boxes bloom in vibrant colors. During Abby and Lane’s engagement session, giant pink roses bloomed in Rittenhouse Square. They bowed over benches, adding a romantic touch to the scenery.
There are so many great locations for Philadelphia engagement photos. In the summer, it’s nice to take advantage of the city’s beautiful parks. Abby and Lane chose Rittenhouse Square for their session, and it worked out so nicely. It had a bit more of a summery city atmosphere than some of the bigger parks like Bartram’s Garden.
Rittenhouse Square is a great neighborhood for Philadelphia engagement photos. There’s an elegance to the historic buildings and upscale restaurants that line the streets. With so many beautiful sights, you’re not confined to a small space for a photo session. Instead, you can explore.
The square itself feels like an old European town square. That’s because it was one of the original features that William Penn originally designed for the city. Old, leafy trees shade cobblestone paths and well-groomed hedges. Low stone walls section off parts of the park and offer a place to sit and chat with your partner(s). In the winter, the city decorates the park with cozy strings of lights.
Getting engagement photos taken in Rittenhouse Square gives you a chance to enjoy the whole neighborhood. Some of the nearby residential streets include trees shading cobblestone walks. Elegant shutters frame windows on colonial style townhomes. There are so many great restaurants in the area, too. The area off the square between 17th and 18th Streets are known as Philadelphia’s French Quarter. You could easily turn your engagement session into a date night by heading from photos to a decadent French restaurant.
As happy as we were to have clear skies for Lane and Abby’s session, the late June heat can wear on anyone. It was the perfect excuse to pop into a cafe for a cup of coffee. Images like this add great variety to Philadelphia engagement photos. They give you a chance to have different interactions. The Rittenhouse Square neighborhood has so many romantic spots for moments like these.
When Lane and Abby reached out about taking their Philadelphia engagement photos, they told me that they were really drawn to film. I learned to photograph with a 35mm camera, and film is a big part of what I do as a wedding photographer. (You can check out my film gallery here.) I was excited to photograph on film for Abby and Lane’s engagement session!
The Rittenhouse neighborhood translates so beautifully to film. The mix of colonial and modern architecture feels so quintessentially Philadelphian. Film gives it a sense of history that the sharpness of digital photography sometimes misses. Textures feel more tangible too – the brick homes, ironwork gates, cobblestone paths. The summery colors look soft but vibrant.
Film photography has a nostalgic quality that aligns with Lane and Abby’s relationship too. They met in high school through a mutual friend. They’ve been together ever since. Even though they didn’t rush into an engagement, they knew they wanted to get married long before Lane proposed. He surprised Abby with a mountaintop proposal complete with sparkling wine from their home state of New Mexico.
Film is classic and intentional in a way that just makes sense for Abby and Lane. Aside from the aesthetic appeal, film photography allows limited frames. A roll of film only has 36 exposures. As a photographer, I have to be thoughtful about each image. It makes each photo all the more special. Light leaks and other imperfections feel magical for the same reason. I’m glad Lane and Abby wanted film for their Philadelphia engagement photos.
Are you looking for a Philadelphia wedding photographer? Let’s document your love with photos with forever in mind. Reach out to me!