Best Locations for Engagement Photos in Seattle
If you are an engaged couple researching locations for your upcoming engagement session, I'm glad you're here! Let me start off this post with the reminder that your photographer probably has some really great locations already in mind. As a photographer myself (well, obviously, haha), I love to team up with my couples to find a location that really feels like "them."
I hope this post helps spark some inspiration! In Washington State we have endless photo locations and little nooks that are stunning. As well as vast spaces that I feel we never have enough time to explore fully. We're so lucky, you know?
For my clients, I usually start with asking about the desired scenery they want for their session. Sometimes they have a very clear idea and other times they tell me "I don't know, just somewhere pretty!" And both answers are totally fine. If they need some help with their research, I'll then throw out some ideas!
Best Locations for Engagement Photos in Seattle
Pro tip: Engagement photos shouldn't be solely focused on the location. This is a time to celebrate this milestone you two have reached, and you should have photos that make you say, "WOW, this is so us!!" If it's a pretty location that gives you the opportunity for some epic landscape "little-people-big-world" shots too, that's an added bonus. But that's not always what I look for when location scouting. Sometimes the best spots are in a tiny nook with killer light. It's what you make of it. You feel me?
Best Locations for Engagement Photos in Seattle
First of all, what's the vibe?
You can frolic out in an open field, get lost together in the woods/forest, change the vibe and head to the beach or a lake. Or, if you are ones who love to hike and want to snag a great view or make our way towards a powerful waterfall, we'll plan out the most epic adventure.
Maybe you'd prefer something a little more urban like in a downtown area, the top of a parking garage, or inside a place where you first met, like a coffee shop or restaurant. Maybe you just want to get a little snuggled and do an in-home session.
Be sure to keep in mind that some locations require a permit before you can shoot there. You should also check on any road closures and think about the weather condition before setting your plan in stone! As always, having a Plan B set up is great too. The options are honestly endless and your photographer can help you pick a perfect spot and organize any additional details needed for you to explore together and capture the best engagement photos ever for you!
Don't have a photographer yet? That's cool, I love to document your love story! Contact me!
Since moving to the PNW, I've been doing a LOT of location scouting and a LOT of real shoots with couples. Fun fact: Most of these shoots I actually scheduled sight-unseen. I prepare as much as I can, but it's when the client arrives that the true magic happens.
LEARN ALL MY SECRETS: Curious to hear the 3 things I keep in mind when location scouting for a session? Click here!
Now on to the fun stuff: Best Locations for Engagement Photos in Seattle
Let me be real here, some of these spots aren't actually right in Seattle, but they're close enough and definitely worth the drive! I also know that there are SO MANY OTHER locations in the PNW that are so dang gorgeous. Your options are honestly endless and you can easily find a spot that will feel unique to you. However, if this list helps you figure it all out, I'm stoked about that, and I'm glad you stumped upon it!
Side note: All of these locations are also in no particular order.
Psst! Be sure to take a peek at my bucket list at the bottom of this post. Let me know if you're up for the adventure because these are the places I've been DYING to shoot at!
Mount Rainier National Forest:
Okay okay so this is a bit of a trek from Seattle - but goodness gracious is it beautiful. Keep an eye on the weather - the snow can sometimes stick around until July!
Franklin Falls is just an hour outside of the city and isn’t an extensive hike to get to the falls themselves. Due to that, it can be insanely busy. Weekdays and sunrise are recommended for this location. Dog friendly, too!
If you’re thinking that standing this close to a waterfall must be so exhilarating, you’re not wrong.
Gold Creek Pond:
I’ll let the Washington Trails Association explain it best: A paved loop hike around a picturesque mountain pond atop Snoqualmie Pass. Easy, breezy, beautiful,
Covergirl PNW. It's beautiful through every season.
Meadowdale Beach Park:
This is a really pretty hike in the forest all the way down to the beach. When I went, there was a man-made teeter totter! You never know what you’re going to find out here in the PNW and I’m SO HERE FOR IT.
Point Defiance Park:
A dog friendly space with endless options to make you feel super secluded without breaking a sweat. There are gardens throughout the park but I find myself in the fern-filled woods, in the middle of trails, and down by the water quite often.
A location I will probably never get tired of. I love this park through every season.
PRO TIP: Owen Beach is currently closed for renovations so there is no longer beach access at Point Defiance. For a view of the water I've been going to....
The Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park
Lots of parking and great views. Great location, rain or shine! There are forest-y options as well as the beach.
Lake Wenatchee in Leavenworth:
Definitely a drive out from Seattle but also SO gorgeous. We can hang out in the cute little town of Downtown Leavenworth. Optional trek into the woods, and then find ourselves at Lake Wenatchee at sunset. Oh, and have you seen it in the snow? SO BEAUTIFUL.
Priest Point Park:
Multiple hiking trail options, available rain or shine. The colors found are absolutely stunning in the fall, I can’t get enough.
If you like a ton of variety, I think this is the place for you. I like to start in Ballard for some urban vibes. Then, head to Golden Gardens Park for some fairy forest vibes. Ending your session at sunset on the beach.
Talk about GOLDEN!
Be prepared to walk through the many photo-opts at this location. As the seasons change, so do the backgrounds. You can even make your way down to the lighthouse on the beach. I’ll never get tired of exploring here.
Speaking of lighthouses, this one is super cute too, and has all the Nicholas Sparks vibes.
Lincoln Park in West Seattle
I believe the side by the water is the obvious spot when people think of Lincoln Park, however I do prefer the woods on the opposite end. Redwoods vibes with a lush forest? MY FAVE.
Also over in West Seattle! I might be bias here but the view from Alki is a great one. We can go play on the beach but there is also another spot with a pier and a killer view of the Seattle skyline. We can even jump on the water taxi for instant variety - so fun!
Well OBVIOUSLY, right? I can't have a list for the Best Locations for Engagement Photos in Seattle and not include Downtown Seattle itself, haha.
Pike Place, ferris wheel, parking garages - oh my! Hard to find a secluded spot in downtown. But MAN are there so many great urban choices to explore! I like to have a couple of key spots in mind, then follow where the great light and funky backgrounds take us.
Hop on a ferry:
Speaking of the water taxi, we can go jump on a ferry! Shoot locations can be found on both sides of our ferry ride.
The Olympic National Forest:
A trek from Seattle itself but 100% worth the trip! You literally get all the options - the mountains, forest, and beach. Endless magic is found here.
Millersylvania State Park in Olympia:
Stunning camping park filled with multiple trails surrounded by lush trees and access to the lake.
Follow the wildflowers:
Lavender, dahlias, sunflowers, you name it! The PNW has endless opportunities for seasonal photos when flowers are at their peak!
A few bonus options for Best Locations for Engagement Photos in Seattle:
Spaces that have importance TO YOU as a couple. Think - your first date night. Or the place you go to together often. The places where you have picnics. As a photographer I love shooting in new places, sight-unseen. I also love meeting my clients exactly where they're at and help tell their love story through photographs.
A location that holds meaning:
It doesn't always have to be the prettiest space. The meaning behind it will feel more personal and special anyway. Let your photographer work their magic.
Your own home:
The absolute best way to personalize your engagement session. No one else’s home can look like yours, you know? Think about it - it can even be snowing outside and you can just snuggle up in your cozy home together. BLISS.
TIME FOR THE BUCKET LIST
Okay so now that I've shared my thoughts on the Best Locations for Engagement Photos in Seattle, it's time to immediately start adding to this list.
I know I'm here for it, but are you? YEAH YOU ARE. Below are the locations I've been dying to shoot at but haven't had the opportunity just yet. It feels like they've been sitting on my list forever, so if you're up for the adventure, just know that I am too! Let's do it!
SNOQUALMIE FALLS + TRAILS: Permit is required in advanced, so with enough notice we can snag one for us to make your waterfall dreams come true. Surrounding the falls are incredible forest trails near the river.
RATTLESNAKE LAKE: Out in North Bend, this beauty has been on my list for ages. The lake itself will change our location due to it filling and empty as the seasons change. There are incredible views from every angle.
Jumping off the last one... RATTLESNAKE RIDGE: A 2 mile hike to the top with an INCREDIBLE view of the lake and the mountains. This hike can be insanely popular so weekdays are recommended.
DIABLO LAKE: Another spot where no hiking is involved in order to get some INSANE views. Access to the lake is closed for the winter due to road conditions, so we’ll be sure to make this a summer adventure.
EBEY'S LANDING: Over on Whidbey Island. Imagine yourself along the water surrounded by fields and nature. Living your best Nicholas Sparks life.
Ready to book your engagement session? LET'S DO IT!
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