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Lifestyle Engagement Photo Shoot in San Diego

lifestyle engagement photo shoot
All Photos Courtesy of John Matthew Harrison

Finally - I'm sharing our lifestyle engagement photo shoot! It was done in our local neighborhoods of San Diego, California. Below are the three lifestyle looks we did and the concept for the shoot.

I hope these inspire you if you're planning a wedding, baby shower, or a fun business event!

Event planning is one of my favorite things to do. I spent eight years in professional fundraising and planned the fanciest gala events. Since leaving my old job, Tyler and I's wedding has become an outlet to share this passion.

I love finding ways to incorporate color, create a relaxed atmosphere, and filter in fun surprises for guests. Ambiance is everything! The look and feel of your event can make or break it.

Our engagement shoot was meant to capture the look and feel for our wedding! Your invitations are something you can use to set the tone for the event, before guests ever arrive. And since we're using our photos on our wedding website (we're using Zola, which I highly recommend) and invitations, we wanted our outfits and the background to illustrate what guests can expect when they arrive.

And I guess by "we", I mean me - haha. Tyler didn't care so much about this photo shoot and said he'd be happy if I just told him what to wear and when to show up. Which, I loved! That's basically every bride-to-be's dream come true. It felt like I could let my creativity flow and I felt so grateful for him. This is part of what makes us such a compatible match - we let the other shine in their strengths.

We opted to do a lifestyle engagement shoot, and I was so excited to find our photographer, John Matthew Harrison, who is local here in San Diego. He came with a lot of ideas of his own and his eye made these photos what they are.


The concept of the shoot was to illustrate Tyler and I's life together so we'd also have photos to cherish forever. The concept was to show a day in our life. From getting up for a morning workout, having a picnic lunch and walk by the sea, and a romantic night out. With Johnathan's help, we carefully thought out the colors, landscapes, props, and the feeling each photo would convey.

We wanted our photos to tell our story and since 90% of our guest list will be traveling from out of town, we hoped to illustrate the fun, active, and relaxing environment that is San Diego. Johnathan nailed this perfectly!

Before sharing the photos, I want to give a HUGE thank you to the Balanced Bombshells community for helping pick out my outfit for our athletic shoot. I posted a few ideas on Instagram and you guys were such a great influence! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your help as my virtual stylists 😊



Tyler and I love staying active so it felt natural to do an athletic shoot. He loves playing sports, especially soccer, and I love just about every workout.

lifestyle engagement photo shoot in san diego

I scoured Instagram to find a few couples workout photos and used them as inspiration with Johnathan. We thought of what kind of exercises you could do at the gym, and how we could use the natural props in a park.

When we first started dating, Tyler would actually bench press me for fun. He was starting to go to the gym more and loved being able to show off his strength. That's where this idea came from.

If you ever have your guy bench press you at the park, make sure to bring a towel to place under his back. The surface was really hard!

Sometimes Tyler will pick me up in the kitchen and start doing some squats - haha. We also have the habit of kissing each others noses, and I love this was naturally caught on camera.

For months I had the caption "Get Pumped" in my head with an image of us either doing pushups or doing a bicep flex. This photo is actually up on our wedding website as the header with "Get Pumped" across it - haha. We wanted our guests to expect a great time at the wedding! Plus, this man always has me laughing. He kept telling me to get lower, and this was all I could do!

A few smooches.

I'm obsessed with little pops of yellow! As you flow through the photos, see if you can spot more.

This one is hanging in our house 💚



My boo loves me for keeping his insides happy and healthy 💚 He didn't drink too many smoothies until we met, and now I sneak as many veggies and fiber in there as possible!

Such a nice spread!

Tyler awkwardly trying to feed me some grapes.

What you also don't see in these photos are the people in the park who moved their chairs to watch our photo shoot. It was so nerve wracking, but you do what you gotta do for the photos right?

I love this shot so much. The grass in the background with neutral clothing, then just a soft touch of yellow. This is another one hanging in our home.

We decided it would be really special to have Emma announce our wedding date. She's been in my life since she was a puppy and now she's 8! Emma's been with me far before Tyler was and she is like my little spirit animal. She brings a grounding energy and is always so happy. No matter what your day is like, she's always there with a smile.

Before we met, Tyler had never actually walked a dog before. He grew up without pets and didn't know what to think about dating a girl with a dog. They took to each other immediately and now Emma's favorite thing to do is go for a daily walk with her little pack 💚 She'll stand outside our door and refuse to move until he joins us!

On the other side of this park is the most beautiful sea view! It's a place I like to take Emma for walks and it was the perfect backdrop. We used this as the back of our Save the Date with our wedding website, so our guests would know what they're in for when they visit. My family is from Massachusetts and not many have been to California yet, so we're really excited for them to come see it.

Just the sea breeze and palm trees.

Look at her! When we put this around her neck, she actually laid down and lifted her paw for us to rub her belly. She will do anything for belly rubs!



There's a beautiful outdoor mall near our home and it was the perfect setting for these romantic shots. I loved all the greenery and the pops of color in the back. Our venue has a lot of greenery and our goal was to subtly tie it into these photos.

And yes, it was another awkward setting where people were shopping and we were doing stuff like this - haha.

This is actually how we stand in the kitchen!

The heels make for a perfect nose kiss!

This is my mom's favorite.

I had to bring in the kombucha in fancy champagne glasses!! This is the photo we used for the front of our Save the Date. It felt like our relationship in a nutshell 💚 This man has made me laugh every day of our life together. I remember thinking how much I wanted a partner who could make me laugh and the Universe over delivered with Tyler!

How we dance in the kitchen!

The safest place I feel is right there in his arms 💚

There you have it! Our day in the life engagement photo shoot. Thank you so much for allowing me to share these with you and letting you in on some of our wedding details. I hope you enjoyed these! Which was your favorite??


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