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I'm the gal behind the lens, and the founder of paige elizabeth photography. 

If I'm not working you can usually find me exploring new towns, eating sushi, or cuddling with my pup and cat. Explore my blog to learn more about me, my couples, and even learn a thing or two!

Hey, there! I'm Paige.

How I Choose Photoshoot Locations

Hey y’all! So after the wild response I’ve gotten since posting the photo from Jen + Shane’s engagement session at the Bromo-Seltzer Tower in Baltimore, I figured I’d write a post talking with y’all about the #1 question I got in response to that:”How did you find this spot?!” and “This is so cool! How do you choose your shoot locations?”

And I laughed every single time I got that question because the short answer is: I don’t.

I’m not kidding y’all. I RARELY choose my shoot locations. You’re probably staring at your screen right now with your mouth open or rolling your eyes thinking “Yeah, right. She’s full of it.” And I’m really not. Let me explain.

I have my couples choose their photoshoot locations. Seriously! Jen and Shane were the ones who found and booked the Bromo-Seltzer Tower for their session all on their own. I knew about that location, but had never shot there before. They asked if we could do it there, and of course I was all about it!

I typically start prepping my couple to choose their own shoot location before they even book me for their wedding. I talk to every client on the phone before booking so we can get to know one another and make sure we’re the perfect fit, and I provide a lot of education on a variety of topics on that call- one of those being the engagement session location. I explain how I encourage all my couples to think about what kinds of things are meaningful to them as a couple. What are some of the things they love to do together, or places they love to go? What’s something that really represents them?

So many photographers insist on choosing locations themselves, or don’t want to shoot at certain locations because of lighting or because it’s not “cool” enough. To be perfectly honest, a lot of photogs think about Instagram likes when they choose locations. Some of you photogs reading this right now might be appalled at the fact that I give this job to my couples, because maybe you feel like that should be on me, but I love giving my couples the power to make this decision, and I’ll tell you the same things I tell them as to why.

Allowing them to choose their own location, especially if it’s a location or activity that is meaningful to them, automatically is going to make them more comfortable during the session. Having a semi-stranger shove a camera in your face for an hour or two is uncomfortable for most of us, so anything I can do to help my couple feel more comfortable (within reason, of course)- I’m going to do.

If they choose to do something or visit a location that represents them as a couple, those pictures are not only going to be more enjoyable to take, but are going to be even more meaningful to them when they look back on them 10, 30, 50+ years from now. It makes me so happy to think about them pulling out a dusty album when they’re older, maybe surrounded by grandkids, or cats, or puppies, or just each other, looking back on those photos and seeing the bar they used to go to every Thursday night. Or the spot where they had their first kiss. Or heck, even them in sweatpants playing their favorite board game with their kitty cat.

“I am here to give them the opportunity to tell their story however they want to tell it. It’s not about me. It never was.”

This isn’t to say there is anything wrong with choosing a “creative” spot. My engagement sessions include two locations, so if a couple really wants something a bit different or creative, I generally encourage them to choose one creative and one meaningful location! Which is exactly what happened with Jen and Shane. After we shot at the Tower, we headed to a spot near their apartment where they walk their dogs, and we could see in the background where they had their first kiss.

I don’t know everything about my couples. I don’t know their stories from start to finish and all the intricacies of the in-between. When it comes to something as special as an engagement shoot, what could be better than letting them make it exactly what they want it to be? I love allowing my couples to tell whatever story they want to through their photos.

This isn’t to say that if they ask for my advice that I refuse, but I do say “it’s completely up to you guys” QUITE a lot. If they have questions about lighting or timing or how I think a certain spot will turn out, I answer them fully and honestly and give them all of the options, and then let them choose… because this is about them. I am here to give them the opportunity to tell their story however they want to tell it. It’s not about me. It never was.

Scroll below to see some samples from some of my engagement sessions this Fall. I’ve added a caption to each one explaining if it was a creative or meaningful location (sometimes it’s both) and why!

Thanks for coming, friends. Anything else you want me to chat about? Now that busy season has come to an end, I’ll actually have time to blog again! Leave any questions/suggestions in the comments!

XO,

Paige

Jen + Shane.
Left: Creative Location- Bromo-Seltzer Tower (Baltimore)
Right: Creative + Meaningful Location- Park near their apartment where they walk the dogs, in the background you can see a spot where they shared their first kiss.
Katie + Spencer.
Meaningful Location: Beach in DE where they love to spend their time when they are together. These two grew up spending lots of time at the beach, so it was only natural for them to do their shoot there!
Lindsay + Bryce.
Creative + Meaningful Location: Federal Hill Park (Baltimore) This park has a creative element because of the skyline of the city in the background, it’s also meaningful to these two because it’s where they got engaged!
Lindsay + Bryce.
Meaningful Location: Lindsay and Bryce play a game of yahtzee in their apartment and cuddle on their couch that they share with their super cute kitty, Bo. See if you can spot him in the picture on the right!
Michelle + Sean.
Creative + Meaningful Location: On the boat and at the little beach they spend so much time at in the summer with their families.
Michelle + Sean.
Meaningful Locations: On the left, at their favorite bar in St. Michaels. On the right, in front of the little post office near Michelle’s Aunt’s house, where their relationship became ~official~.
Carrie + Drew.
Meaningful + Creative Location: The King + Queens Seat in Rock Creek State Park. Where they shared one of their first dates.
Carrie + Drew.
Meaningful + Creative Location: The Waterfall in Rock Creek State Park. Where they shared one of their first dates.
Haley + Brandon.
Meaningful Location: Cutty Sark Restaurant. Right across from their apartment, where they shared their first date, and now spend many nights laughing with each other and friends.
Haley + Brandon.
Meaningful + Creative Location: The beaches in their neighborhood where they share their first home together.
Haley + Brandon.
Creative Location: Norfolk Botanical Gardens
Ashley + Cody.
Creative + Meaningful: Downtown Berlin, MD. A super cute small town on the Eastern Shore that Ashley has always loved and wanted to wander around. Why not wander while getting photos?
Ashley + Cody.
Creative Location: Assateague Island. (One of my all time favorite spots to shoot on the Shore) Assateague is gorgeous and during November there was not a soul around!
Caitlyn + Matt.
Creative Location: This was a creek off the side of the road near our second location! Caitlyn really wanted some photos with a creek (as someone thoroughly obsessed with creeks, I felt this on a v deep level, lo)
Caitlyn + Matt.
Creative + Meaningful Location: Downtown Sykesville, MD. This charming little town is near their home and they love to visit it! We wandered around and found lots of unique spots to shoot at.
Kelsey + Adam.
Creative Location: Docks in Downtown Annapolis
McLean + Philip.
Meaningful + Creative Location: Old Town Alexandria, where they live together and love to spend their time exploring!
McLean + Philip.
Meaningful + Creative Location: Old Town Alexandria, where they live together and love to spend their time exploring!
Kristen + Zachary.
Meaningful Location: on the front porch and inside of the first home they purchased together, and share with their sweet pup, Ava.
Kristen + Zachary.
Creative + Meaningful Location: Downtown Ellicott City, not far from where they purchased their new home.
Laura + Matt.
Meaningful Locations: Middle + Left – the dock at Laura’s parents house in Chestertown, where they spend a lot of their weekends with their family. Right – A little beach on the Chesapeake Bay, where they love to take the boat during the summer.
Kristen + Jake.
Creative + Meaningful Location: St. Michaels, a town near Kristen’s family home where they love to spend their time.
Kristen + Jake.
Meaningful Location: Kristen’s family home on the water in St. Michaels.
Kristen + Jake.
Meaningful Location: Kristen’s family home on the water in St. Michaels.

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  1. Lindsay says:

    Love this!! 100% true – even when we were panicking that the apartment was too dark, you encouraged us to stick with a spot that had meaning. We love the pictures so far, and Bo is very excited that he got a shout-out!! Hope all is well!

- samantha + ryan

"These are the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen in my life. You are a wizard (yes the HP kind) with a camera - it was meant to be in your sweet perfect hands. Thank you so much for yesterday and for everything. We are so so lucky to get to have you and your talents capture the best day of Ryan’s and I’s lives"

"You Are a Wizard"

- HALEY + BRANDON

"OH MY GOD PAIGE YOU F*@%KING KILLED IT...Thank you so much for capturing everything. We are so grateful for you!"

"OH MY GOD"

- EMMA + BRETT

OMFG PAIGE the sneak peek is INCREDIBLE and I’m having so much trouble choosing just a few to post 😂 so so amazed by your talent and artistry girl!!!!

"OMFG"

- Krista, 2020 PEP Senior rep

"Paige is one of the kindest people I've ever met! When it comes to senior pictures, I'm so glad I chose her. She was quick with our photos, always gave us sneak peeks, and hyped us up during our whole shoot! Wish I could be a PEP Senior Rep forever!" 

"I'm so glad I chose her"

- Kelsey + gavin

"Paige made our engagement and wedding photo experience unforgettable. She was professional, fun, and did an amazing job capturing our personalities in our photographs. Great turn around time. I cannot say enough great things about this woman!!!"

"Unforgettable"

- jen and shane

"PAIGE! I just got a chance to completely look through all of the photos. They are absolutely stunning!!! Thank you so much, you captured everything perfectly!"

"Captured Perfectly"

- courtney, 2020 PEP Senior rep

"I genuinely could not be happier with the experience Paige provided me with this year. I was super nervous to be in front of the camera, but my shoots with Paige literally felt like hanging out with your best friend while simultaneously taking photos. Paige sincerely cares about each and every one of her clients, and that is made so evident by the hard work she puts into her craft. I’ve learned so much from watching Paige run her business and I am in awe of how much she loves what she does- and how incredibly talented she is at what she does. Not only did I gain breathtaking photos of my Senior year that I will keep close to my heart forever, I also gained a friend, and to me that is priceless. If you’re thinking about booking a shoot with Paige, do it now- you’ll wonder where she’s been all your life. 💕"

"Could not be happier"

- Gabby + Kyle

"Literally sitting here crying because your pictures are so amazing. I’m absolutely in love they are perfect. I love your style of candid and how you get the perfect shot...The hardest thing for me to choose was our wedding photographer, it took me the longest time. And we 1000% made the right choice. You did amazing. Thank you so much!"

"Absolutely in love"

- Kelly + jared

"Extremely talented, professional, and genuine photographer who loves what she does and loves who she does it for. If she didn’t, would her photos be THIS DAMN GOOD?? Would hire her over and over again."

"Would hire her over and over"

- Baby, 2020 PEP Senior rep

"You're literally the best at what you do...I love them all!"

"The best"

- Tori + aaron

"BEST. PHOTOGRAPHER. EVER...Don't know what we would have done without you!"

"BEST. PHOTOGRAPHER. EVER"

- becca, 2020 PEP Senior rep

"I'M CRYING DRIVING HOME FROM ASSATEAGUE. I'VE ONLY SEEN THE COVER AND I'M DYING....OH MY GOD. You freaking killed the game and outdid yourself. THESE ARE GORGEOUS!"

"THESE ARE GORGEOUS"

- hannah + ross

"Paige is phenomenal. From the very first meet up, I knew that she was going to do everything in her ability to make our day something special. She is so easy to work with, and really plays to the strengths of the couple. My husband and I are awkward and we laugh at everything, and she let us be ourselves and really captured our personalities in the pictures. She truly went the extra mile and brought so much energy to our day."

"Phenomenal."

- Chelsea + seth

"We had a blast with Paige, and have the most amazing photos to show from it. We are blessed beyond belief that we met this wonderful human and that she provided us with photos that will adorn our home for years to come. Through grateful tears, THANK YOU for your work. We are so happy to have a friend in you."

"The very best day."

- Morgan + Matt

"I can't stop staring at my wedding photos!"

"Can't stop staring"

- Keeley, 2020 PEP Senior rep

"Paige is one of the most kindest, hardworking, selfless, people I know. I’m am not a confident person at all, but when I did my shoots with Paige she would make me laugh and feel confident. One of my favorite parts of my senior year was being able to get to know her, and do my senior casuals with her. She is not only a great photographer but a great person💕"

"She would make me laugh and feel CONFIDENT"

- Alicia + Justin

"From personal experience, I can say that Paige is incredible to work with. She was the best photographer we could have asked for! We highly recommend her!" 

"Highly Recommend"

- Tori + otto

“Paige is an outstanding professional with AMAZING photography skills. My husband and I LOVE her, and we were so delighted with our experience using her services on our special wedding day. Paige has a way of making you feel so comfortable in front of the camera and the photography she creates is absolutely top notch. Thank you Paige!”

"So Comfortable"

- morgan + skye

“Paige is just the best. She (sometimes literally) bent over backwards to make our day and everything before our day go absolutely perfect. There aren't enough words to explain how thankful we are for her AND her beautiful work. I can't imagine our wedding day without her and will most definitely be recommending her to everyone in the future.”

"Aren't Enough Words"

love notes.