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Your engagement photographer captures a moment in time, a beautiful milestone of your life. After hundreds of weddings, elopements and engagements, we put together the ultimate guide to the best spots for engagement photos in Seattle, Ballard, Edmonds and Snoqualmie. Seattle elopement photographers love the romance and natural beauty of these parks, beaches, fields, mountains and one very spectacular iron gate and winding driveway. Sound Originals Photo & Video would love to be your engagement photographer in Seattle! When you're ready to tie the knot, be sure to check out some of our favorite wedding venues in Washington! Looking to elope? Check out our guide to stunning places to elope near Seattle!
1. Lincoln Park
2. Alki Beach
3. Discovery Park
4. Kubota Garden
5. Lake Union
6. Rockwood Farm
7. UW Arboretum
8. UW Cherry Blossoms
9. Ballard Locks and Botanical Gardens
10. Downtown Ballard
11. Gold Creek Pond
12. Edmonds Waterfront
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Couples love Lincoln Park's old growth forests, views of the Olympic Mountains, sunkissed meadows and pebble beaches. Lincoln Park is the gem of West Seattle. It's a big park with more than 4 miles of walking trails winding through old-growth forests, fields, meadows, parks, picnic shelters and tables, a large winding path along Puget Sound's pebble and rocky beaches, mossy canopies, and more. There's more than 300' of shoreline to explore, and some very big pieces of driftwood, too! It's romantic, scenic, beautiful and special. Couples love exploring the hidden areas of Lincoln Park for some truly unique and creative engagement photos.
When couples pick Lincoln Park for their engagement photos in Seattle, we usually spend time at three different places for a variety of scenery and landscapes. Couples love the fields and meadows, which are perfect for engagement photos at sunset. We also head down to the beach for even more sunset engagement photos. If we're lucky, we'll catch glimpses of seals and eagles! And there's usually a ferry or two in the Fauntleroy terminal on the way to Southworth. Even Washington Trails Association recommends Lincoln Park for great hiking and bird-watching! WTA may not realize yet it's a perfect place for engagement photos, but our couples do! Our last stop for engagement pictures is the old-growth forest. There's a special spot with an amphitheater of trees. It's stunning! Lincoln Park in West Seattle is hands down one of the best spots for engagement photos in Seattle. When KING 5 News interviewed Dan Cassuto on "New Day Northwest," Dan told the television host that Lincoln Park was one of his personal favorites for the show's list of the "Best Places for Engagement Photos in the Area."
Want to see engagement pictures from recent couples? Check out some of our recent engagement photos from Lincoln Park, including Tyler + Jay, Kayce + Chad, and Nicole + Noah.
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Couples love Alki Beach's soaring skyline views, twinkling city lights and fishing pier. If you're searching for the best location for engagement photos in Seattle that screams "Seattle!" - you should definitely consider Alki Beach. When we suggest places to take engagement photos at Alki Beach, we're also including the walking path, beaches and parks along Beach Drive. One of our favorite spots for sunset engagement photos is Luna Park. You get to see soaring buildings from the Seattle skyline along with the twinkling evening lights from skyscrapers across Elliott Bay and Puget Sound.
Our photography session at Alki Beach usually begins at Salty's or Marination Ma Kai, which happen to be delicious restaurants (pro tip: celebrate taking your engagement photos afterwards at one of those restaurants!) We usually meet at Seacrest Park and head down to the sandy beach or walk out along the fishing pier near the King County Water Taxi terminal. If we're lucky, we can see the dramatic lights of the Seattle ferris wheel in the distance. Couples love holding hands, skipping and strolling along the wooden pier and dock for some dramatic pictures. If you want pictures with the Seattle skyline, Alki Beach is the best spot for engagement photos.
Want to see full galleries from Alki Beach? Check out some recent engagement photos from Alki Beach, including Kayce + Chad.
Discovery Park features giant meadows, tall grass, sunset vistas and a cute chapel. Discovery Park has to be on the list of best spots for engagement photos in Seattle, even if only because it's so popular, well known and huge! (It's the largest park in the city of Seattle.) Seattle wedding photographers love the diverse scenery and variety of landscapes at Discovery Park, located in the Magnolia neighborhood, near Ballard, Fremont and Queen Anne.
The city of Seattle touts its popularity, too: "The site is one of breathtaking majesty. Situated on Magnolia Bluff overlooking Puget Sound, Discovery Park offers spectacular view of both the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges. The secluded site includes two miles of protected tidal beaches as well as open meadow lands, dramatic sea cliffs, forest groves, active sand dunes, thickets and streams." Washington Trails Association recommends the Discovery Park Loop Trail.
There's always another path to explore where we'll find more romantic places for engagement pictures. Most couples start their engagement pictures in the big meadow. You'll love the tall grass, rolling hills and views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. You'll probably see lots of other Seattle engagement photographers ducking between the tall grasses! We also wind our way back up to the small church, super cute for engagement photos, and sit along the rock wall or pose near the maple trees with fall leaves in autumn, if you're looking for fall color in your engagement photos. Discovery Park is also listed as one of the "10 Best" places to visit in Seattle according to USA Today's 10Best and listed as one of the most unique parks in Seattle Magazine. Now you see why we crown it as one of the best places for engagement photos in Seattle!
Katie + Stefan suggested another reason why Discovery Park is one of the best places for engagement photos in Seattle: the birch trees. It may be one of the only places for birch tree photos in Seattle! We also happened to see a bard owl, which was very special and unique. The best place for birch trees in Discovery Park is near the South parking lot. It gets crowded, though.
Kubota Garden engagement photos showcase a classic red bridge, Asian-style gardens and unique ponds. Many couples have never heard of Kubota Garden. Surprisingly, it's managed by Seattle Parks and Recreation and is located in South Seattle. Kubota Garden has been called the hidden jewel of Rainier Beach. Once you visit, and stroll through the flowers and Asian themed gardens, you'll see why we think it's among the best places for engagement photos in the Seattle area.
Kubota Garden is a mixture of Japanese and Asian gardens with Pacific Northwest plants. Plus, it's home to the famous red bridge that couples love to cross holding hands. Kubota Garden Foundation describes it as a garden, temple, park, cultural display and fine arts museum. We couldn't agree more. You can take romantic, intimate and creative engagement photos under Douglas Fir trees, Spring Ruby trees, Golden Larch trees, Japanese Maple trees, and more, along with blooming spring flowers.
Yijin + John celebrated their upcoming wedding by holding hands while crossing the ponds, kissing on the famous red bridge, and skipping through the flower fields. Kubota Garden is a great place for all kinds of pictures, and certainly one of the best places for engagement photos in the Seattle area. Kubota Garden also happens to be one of the best places for engagement photos in Washington State. The garden requires permits for some photography and most Seattle wedding photographers can help.
Rockwood Farm isn't technically one of the best places for engagement photos in Seattle. That's because it's in Snoqualmie. Couples take such romantic engagement photos here that Rockwood Farm deserves a spot on the list of the best places for engagement photos in Washington State! It is the single best location in the Seattle area for fall engagement photos.
Professional Seattle photographers and landscape photography lovers have known about this place for years. They line up outside the iron gates for the famous photo looking down the long driveway framed perfectly by autumn leaves and fall colors. It's about an hour from Seattle along Interstate 90, near North Bend and Snoqualmie. It's very easy access for engaged couples on the east side, like Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland.
Couples love taking those same creative engagement photos. For Malia + Jason's engagement pictures, they meandered down the driveway, played in the fall leaves, and held hands in front of Mount Si. We also love the wood fence and canopy of maple trees. Rockwood Farm would most definitely make the list of best places for engagement photos anywhere in the world. Rockwood Farm is more than great for engagement photography: it's also been recognized as one of the best places to see fall color in the Seattle area for its famous tunnel of trees and majestic entrance outside the stone and iron gate. You'll need to pay for admission here, but it's worth it, as one of the best places for outdoor photo shoots in Washington State. Seattle engagement photographers like Sound Originals are happy to help you contact the property owners!
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Before we officially name the UW Arboretum to our list of the best places for engagement photos, we need to give you a fair warning. The parking lot is small. And it fills up fast! No wonder. It's spectacular here, and easily earns a position among the best spots for engagement pictures. Couples could spend an entire day at the Arboretum, exploring the nooks and crannies, secluded gardens and isolated patches of greenery. You'll find bridges, meadows, forests, trees, ponds, steps and a host of pathways and trails with unique and varied plants and gardens.
The University of Washington Washington Park Arboretum is part of the UW's Botanic Gardens. It's near the rental space for weddings, Wisteria Hall and the Center for Urban Horticulture. That's where Jonica + Kel celebrated their wedding! For engagements, a short drive away, couples also love the Botanic Gardens, where Matt + Yui took their engagement photos in the spring.
Couples can really get creative engagement photos at the Arboretum. We always suggest a visit ahead of time to explore the gardens, because there are so many choices and varieties. Some top picks for the best places for engagement photos in the Arboretum are the Woodland Garden, Azalea Way and Rhododendron Glen.
SEATTLE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHERS ADVICE: start your session 2 hours before sunset, since much of the arboretum can be shaded by nearby hills and valleys.
The tough part about naming the Cherry Blossoms on the University of Washington Quad to our list of best places for engagement photos in Seattle is that the season for taking the pictures is so short. You only have a week or two when the blossoms are in full bloom. And it's not a secret. Trust us! This is one of the reasons you'll want an experienced wedding photographer to guide you. We know the best times, angles and secrets to make sure your Cherry Blossom engagement photos aren't full of crowds and distractions.
The UW has a handy live web cam to monitor the bloom on the quad, so you'll be able to schedule your Cherry Blossom engagement photos at the right time. The peak bloom is typically in March and April. The university says the Cherry Blossom along the quad bloom a few weeks later than Cherry Blossom trees throughout the rest of Seattle. Seattle engagement photographers can help you pick the right time for your pictures based on the bloom forecast and lighting conditions.
Considering how close the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden is to the Ballard Locks, we're surprised more couples don't ask for this place by name. (Pro tip: it's also a great place for cherry blossom engagement photos in Seattle!) The English Botanical Garden is part of the same complex as the Ballard Locks. Some couples may know it as the "Ballard Botanical Gardens," which is what Stephanie + Johnny called it when they asked to take their engagement photos in Ballard.
Are you tired of seeing big meadows, trees and fields of flowers on our list of the best places to take engagement pictures in the Seattle area? This one's for you. Ballard has a wonderful downtown, full of local shops, eateries, coffee shops and boutique stores. You won't see many other Seattle engagement photographers roaming the streets, either, unlike some of the more popular places during engagement season. It's perfect for couples searching for an urban or city vibe for their engagement photos. (Pro tip: Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle has a similar feeling with mossy buildings and brick walls, another great place for engagement photos in Seattle.) Erin + Ryan took their chocolate Lab, Hank, along for the ride as we strolled down Ballard Avenue and Market Street. We found some brick walls with ivy, neon signs and plenty of storefront windows. We love the local feel that Ballard maintains! It's certainly one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle, along with one of the best places to take pictures. Looking for city, urban or downtown photos? Ballard should be on your list of best spots for engagement photos in the Seattle area!
We're going to cheat a little bit here. Gold Creek Pond should be on anyone's list of the best places to take engagement photos in the Seattle area. Here are the caveats: it's not in Seattle at all. Gold Creek Pond is about an hour from Seattle, just east of Snoqualmie Pass. And, we're going to show you some wedding and elopement photos, too, because Gold Creek Pond is also one of the best places to elope in Washington State!
Our gallery also shows two distinct types of lights. Jennifer + Mark's Gold Creek Pond elopement took place on a crystal clear sunny day with bright blue skies. When Danielle + Tyler celebrated their engagement at Gold Creek Pond, it was dark, moody and had a very Pacific Northwest vibe.
You'll need a Northwest Forest Pass here, since the trail is managed by the Forest Service. From the parking lot, it's a 5 minute walk to the pond on a wheelchair-accessible path.
Who doesn't love the city of Edmonds? It's quaint, cute and charming. Just a few blocks from the downtown shops and restaurants, you'll find a perfect little beach practically designed for romantic engagement photos. The Edmonds waterfront park doesn't offer a whole lot of diversity. But that's not why couples pick Edmonds for their engagement pictures. Instead, the beach has an abundance of mountain and sunset views looking west across Puget Sound towards the Olympic Peninsula. You'll also catch ferries coming and going to Kingston - now that's a great backdrop for a creative engagement photo!
How much do you charge for engagement pictures?
Sound Originals Photo & Video has simple pricing for engagement photography. Our engagement photographers in Seattle charge $500 per hour. This includes digital images, full printing rights, a shareable online gallery and help picking the perfect location for your engagement or couples shoot. You can add additional hours for only $250. Here's a link to our wedding photography packages.
Do you tip your photographer for engagement photos?
It's certainly not necessary to tip your photographer. We absolutely appreciate a tip, of course, and are so incredibly thankful when a couple gives their photographer a gratuity if they loved their experience and their photos after their engagement session. Some articles give the same advice: it's a personal choice.
How much does a wedding photographer cost in Seattle?
Most couples who hire us to take engagement photos are planning to get married! It only makes sense engaged couples want to learn about wedding photography pricing and packages. We wrote a detailed guide to help couples understand the value in hiring the best wedding photographer in Seattle. Pricing varies a lot, but most couples pay anywhere from $2500 to $6000 for Seattle wedding photographers. Some engagement photographers also offer wedding coverage (like us!), and you can sometimes apply the cost of your couples photo session or engagement shoot to the wedding package price.
Where can I take engagement photos in Seattle?
Anywhere you want! We always talk to couples about their personal story, how they met and what activities they like to do together. If you enjoy shopping in downtown Ballard and walking through the coffee shops and hip, urban streets, we'll suggest taking your engagement photos in Ballard, Fremont, Queen Anne or Pike Place Market. If you prefer the nature and outdoors, your engagement photographer in Washington State will help you find the best outdoor photoshoot locations, such as Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, or the very popular Gold Creek Pond.
How many outfits do I need for engagement photos?
This is up to you! Most couples who hire us as their engagement photographer wear one or two outfits at most. Perhaps the first outfit is more formal, like a suit or blazer and a dress, while the second outfit is casual, like jeans, a t-shirt or blouse. The important question to ask yourself (or your engagement photographer) is how you can convey your personal style, your personal story, your unique love story as a couple. It's also important to consider how much time you booked for your photo session package and if there are places nearby to change clothes.
When should engagement photos be taken?
Most couples take their engagement photos soon after they became engaged. They usually want their engagement pictures for Save the Date cards or wedding invitations. Your engagement photographer can usually edit and deliver your pictures within a week or two, so you can easily order your cards or invitations or include them on your wedding website. Many couples also want to display their engagement photos from their session at their wedding venue or reception site, on a large 16x20 or 20x30 poster or canvas, or metal print. Your wedding guests will love seeing these romantic and special photos! Another great idea is to print a guestbook with pictures from your engagement photographer in Seattle. Your wedding guests, when they walk into your ceremony or reception, can sign your guest book and see more about your story as a couple when they flip through looking at your pictures.
How late is too late for engagement photos?
It's never too late! Believe it or not, some couples schedule couples sessions after the wedding! Reddit users agree that it's never too late. You can always have fun with your engagement photographer in Washington and find a gorgeous location for wonderful photos.
"Absolutely beautiful. I can't stop admiring the images!"
rebekah & john
SARA + GABE
"Beautiful works of art. The entire process was excellent."
"Beautiful, Purposeful, Amazing!"
Cassie & jowell
jonica + kel
University of Washington
"We will treasure these photos forever. So thrilled!"
JEN + BRANDON
"Beautiful Works of Art!"