Where to shoot an engagement session El Nido?
Pinagbuyutan Island for that quintessential tropical island feel. ('em coconut trees! Hey, look! I'm in the Philippines!) Helicopter Island for a breathtaking view of iconic Cadlao Island, and Big Lagoon for it's Big... errr... Lagoon. Seriously speaking, go there before 9:00AM, before the whirring from motor boats drowns out that calm, ethereal silence with welcome overtones of birds chirping. Big Lagoon's pristine waters are best enjoyed in a kayak. Heck yeah. And since I'm already at it, yipee ki-yay.
I know it's pricier, but go for a custom tour, and schedule it accordingly, against the flow of tourists. It's ideal to start earlier than 9:00AM, way way before boathoards of selfie stick people turn an otherwise empty tropical beach into a photobo--... or photo minefield rather. No offense to those fond of selfie sticks, but having plenty of people around will make your engagement session significantly more challenging.
Shooting during the sunset hour? Nacpan Beach, hands down. It has a west-facing isthmus of sorts that offers a killer view at any time of the day. What more during the golden hour. But if you're not willing to take the 40-minute trip north of El Nido town, just take a sunset cruise in El Nido bay, just a few clicks west of Miniloc and Entalula Island. Or choose El Nido Resort's Lagen or Pangulasian Islands. If you're staying in El Nido town, master the art of the chill (i.e., doing nothing without getting bored) over some tapas at Republica Sunset Bar, or practically anywhere along Corong-corong Beach. You can also take the dirt road past El Nido Garden, the one going to Cadlao Resort, if you want to see Cadlao Island basking in golden sunlight.
Dinner? Trattoria Altrove. Go for the Prosciutto Pizza. 4th best pizza outside Italy IMHO. The place is usually packed, but there's Trattoria Altrove Express one block away. Hipper vibe, same great pizza.
Oh will you look at that. I was just thinking out loud, hammering away on my keyboard, and there you have it. A travel blog entry of sorts!
Kevin & Anna's engagement session. Shot on location: Pinagbuyutan Island, El Nido Resorts Lagen Island Resort, Helicopter Island and the Big Lagoon. Private tour c/o El Nido Resorts.