What’s a Couples Adventure Session?

For Clients

Adventure sessions are an increasingly popular way for couple’s to have their love for each other documented in environments that speak to their sense of adventure.

Many couples will choose to go the adventure session route for engagement photos, while others might do it for wedding anniversary photos, and some will do it “just because.” Whatever the reason – at it’s core – adventure couple’s photo sessions are a super fun and exciting experience that results in epic photos that speak to your adventurous souls!

The adventure session craze has come out of recent wedding industry trends that have shifted towards more authentic and unique experiences than just doing “the same old, same old”.

At it’s most extreme, couple’s travel the world to meet up with an incredible photographers to document their adventure session at some gorgeous location. Quickly browsing through Instagram feeds, you’ll immediately see recognizable places like Iceland’s black sand beaches, the Scottish Highlands, the desert canyons in Utah, and more.

But! Couples can have amazing adventure sessions near where they live as well. This has been something we’ve been experiencing as we regularly photograph couples coming to us wanting “backyard” adventure sessions in the Northeast USA. There is so much hidden beauty that gets overlooked, and the opportunity to have a real adventure that’s maybe even more meaningful than these big destinations is really great, too!

7 Things to Know About Adventure Sessions

Adventure Session photo by Hand & Arrow Photography – see full blog post here!

Adventure is what you make it

Everyone’s definition of adventure is a little subjective, so in our view adventure sessions should really be curated to reflect the things you are most interested in exploring.

Commonly, adventure sessions take place out in nature – with scenic views, mountain tops, and waterfalls all being popular backdrops. While we love these 100% (because we are nature lovers ourselves!), urban adventure sessions taking place in cities are also very cool and, for some couples, better suited for the type of adventure they are looking to have.

Photographers can help guide you

Adventure session photographers are quickly becoming mini-tour guides as they often are helping couple’s choose locations and putting together small itineraries to make sure the day goes smoothly. As photographers ourselves, we definitely feel this way with some PA state parks nearby that we’ve explored countless times and now really know some cool nooks-and-crannies of.

Photographers with experience in this space offer more than just pictures, but an experience that makes everything from location choice and logistics to actually taking pictures a great one!

They offer a unique bonding experience

Humans have a tendency to better remember novelty experiences than things we experience every day. It’s why we can remember so vividly our campervan trip around Iceland a few years ago, and can hardly remember what we ate for breakfast 2 days ago.

Adventure sessions can enable couples to really connect and create memories together as they explore beautiful locations with each other. To have this experience all documented by professional photographers can further help tell the story of that day, and bring the memories to life.

They can be close to home or far away

Adventure photo from our travels in Iceland – this one is Chris + our dirty campervan at a little stopoff in the Westfjords of Iceland.

Like we mentioned at the start of this post, adventure sessions can just as easily be held locally as they can in far off destinations. State and National Parks are hugely popular options in the United States – and every region has something different to offer.

Popular Adventure Session Locations Around the World:

  • The Black Sand Beach – Reynisfjara (Iceland)
  • The Isle of Skye (Scotland)
  • Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona, USA)
  • Moab National Park (Utah, USA)
  • Big Sur (California, USA)
  • Death Valley National Park (California, USA)
  • Banff National Park (Canada)
  • Latourell Falls (Oregon, USA)

Your adventure can be as easy or challenging as you want it to be

Epic sunrise Adventure Session in Shenandoah National Park by Hand & Arrow Photography – full blog post here

One thing we love about adventure sessions is that they really can be different depending on the couple and what they are wanting to do.

Our average couple’s adventure sessions can last 3-4 hours – this includes time spent shooting, as well as hiking to-and-from a location.

A few months ago, we did an amazing adventurous engagement session at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It involved a 1 mile hike in the dark to an incredible overlook for sunrise. The hardest part was, probably, waking up at 3AM and making the drive! Then we took a breakfast break, they changed into some more casual clothes and we went to explore some waterfalls in the park for part 2!

In other cases, sessions can be a lot more intense. Hiking for hours and hours to the picture perfect spot you have in mind. Sometimes, even camping and staying the night for the optimal sunrise.

Really – these shoots can be what you want them to be! Plain and simple.

Adventuring is true-to-life for many couples

Moody Adventure Session in Oregon at Latourell Falls by Hand & Arrow Photography – full blog post here

One of the things many couples around the world like doing together is exploring the world around them.

Some couple’s are heavily into hiking, backpacking, and camping – these things naturally lend themselves to adventure sessions that involve hiking to an incredible overlook or hanging out beneath a roaring waterfall.

Even if you’re idea of adventure involves a little less dirt and nature, you might still enjoy roaming the streets of a city to find new artistic murals or geocaching.

When this sense of adventure is a natural extension of who you are together, it makes photography that much more of a compliment because the photos that come from this session will feel very real to you!

The photos become timeless memories of that special day

We often talk about how wedding photos are extra special because they allow couple’s to look back on their big day with tangible memories. It’s easy to understand “making memories” in the context of one of the most significant days in a persons life.

To us – photos in general have the ability to be special, so too does each and every day we live.

Speakingly candidly for a second, we’re not the types to take pictures of ourselves all that much. It’s always a little funny when we get to the end of a year, after photographing many couples and after combing through tens of thousands of pictures, and seeing only a handful of ourselves in the mix. The photos we do have, we cherish.

We value being able to create memories together – both big and small. And we’re sure that when you look back on photos from your session, you’ll love the way you looked, as well as the flood of emotions that come back reminding you how that day felt.

Who is an Adventure Session for?

Beachy adventure engagement photos anyone?!? – full blog post here

Adventure sessions are for any couple who wants to explore the world and it’s beauty, as well as their romantic connection with one another – and have it be documented in photographs.

How that takes shape exactly, is up to you…

For some couples, an adventure photo session might be about going somewhere new or trying something you’ve never done before – with our photographer eyes in tow.

For other couples, it might be about revisiting a place you’ve already been, that holds significant memories for you.

And for some others still, it might just be “something different” to try out entirely. A photo session can be a fun evening out just like how going to the movies, a restaurant, or a sporting event can be.

What do Adventure Sessions look like with you?

We offer Adventure Sessions regularly in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and surrounding states – and are open to traveling around the world for them as well.

Sessions with us are curated to reflect you as a couple through getting to know you, organic posing, and selecting a location that will excite you to explore. We keep a (ever growing) list of locations, and are 100% open to hearing about the places that you might already have in mind as well.

At it’s core, we are a very laid back wife & husband photo team that are easy to work with and open for just about anything. We love getting to meet new people, explore new places, strap hiking boots on and just walk for miles on end, and have our cameras in tow to document the awesome couples we get to photograph.

Thinking about having your very own Adventure Session? Reach out to us today!

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Whether your already in the middle of planning for your big day or just getting started - we're open books and open ears, happy to help you and show you how photography can compliment your day - beautifully!