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Best Spots for Engagement Photos in Washington State

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Seattle Wedding Photographers reveal top picks for great locations to take engagement pictures in Washington State

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!


PNW Engagement Photographer:
Best Locations for Photos

1. Hurricane Ridge // Olympic National Park
2. Mount Rainier National Park
3. Franklin Falls
4. Snoqualmie Falls
5. Rattlesnake Lake
6. Leavenworth
7. Pacific Ocean Beaches
8. Gold Creek Pond

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Hurricane Ridge // Olympic National Park

It's no secret that engagement and wedding photographers love Olympic National Park. Let's rephrase that. Every kind of photographer loves Olympic National Park. You're spoiled with variety. Waterfalls, beaches, rock formations, high-elevation mountains, crystal blue lakes, rainforests, and we could go on.

Hurricane Ridge wins the award for best views combined with ease-of-access. It's just a 30 minute drive from Port Angeles, winding up a mountain road to stunning views at 5,000 feet.

The challenge will be picking the kind of engagement pictures you want within Olympic National Park. Your engagement photographer can help narrow down places. The goal is to find a location for engagement photos that tells your unique story. Where'd you meet? What do you enjoy doing together? What are your hobbies?

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK ELOPEMENTS: Be sure to check out our guide to engagement, elopement and wedding photography at Olympic National Park.

Never had professional photos before? No worries. We'll help you every step of the way. Discover why couples across the Pacific Northwest trust our team.

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Mount Rainier National Park

You can't create a list of great PNW engagement photo locations without including Mount Rainier National Park. Mount Rainier offers many different spots for beautiful pictures. Sissi and Billy celebrated their engagement at a small viewpoint with big views. It's a viewpoint along the road to Paradise.

MOUNT RAINIER ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS: Check out Sissi and Billy's photo gallery, including their love story engagement video!


Franklin Falls

Franklin Falls is a beautiful waterfall perfect for engagement photos in the Pacific Northwest. You can access Franklin Falls thanks to an easy 2-mile hike off Interstate 90. The trail is near North Bend, Washington.

There's a lot to love about engagement pictures at Franklin Falls. You'll enjoy beautiful Northwest forest scenery during the entire hike. You can walk along the river and pose on the rocks. It's overflowing with greenery. When you get to the waterfall, it towers below you. This allows for an interesting perspective. You can position yourself at a distance from the waterfall to frame yourself with the water behind you.

In the winter, Franklin Falls can be majestic. However, the access road routinely gets closed. You'll need to add an extra couple of miles to the trip and hike through the snow.

FRANKLIN FALLS ENGAGEMENT: Check out the full gallery to see the moment Eddie proposed to Beth at the base of Franklin Falls. Spoiler Alert: She said yes!


Snoqulamie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most popular tourist attracts in Washington State. It's a huge waterfall with robust power. It's also a great spot for engagement pictures!

There are actually two distinct places for engagement photos at Snoqualmie Falls.

First, and most popular, you can take pictures from the visitor center near Salish Lodge & Spa. This is the preferred method. It's easy to access. The only catch is you're looking down at the falls from a small paved pathway on a hill.

Second, you can also hike to the river at the base of the waterfall. This access point is on private property and requires permission. It's also a 30-minute hike and scramble down a sometimes muddy and steep trail. Your engagement photographer definitely won't suggest this option if you're in a rush or wearing very nice clothes. Prepare to get a little wet and dirty!

Salish Lodge & Spa is perched atop the ridge overlooking Snoqualmie Falls. Be sure to check out the photo and videos from Allie and JD's wedding and Trisha and Marc's wedding.


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Leavenworth

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.

10. Downtown 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!

11. Gold Creek Pond

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. 

12. Edmonds Waterfront

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!

13. Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square is our top choice for an urban engagement session in Seattle. We love the exposed brick, ivy and historic character. Pictures in Occidental Square always turn out wonderful. That's where you get the brick walls, ivy-covered buildings and cobble-stone streets. We can also walk around and search for ally's and other unique buildings. 

14. King Street Station

King Street Station is a great choice for couples looking for an elegant indoor theme for their engagement photos. Amtrak leases the bottom floor, so you're not allowed to take pictures there. However, the top floor is public. You can take beautiful pictures overlooking the train station with the shiny marble surrounding you. This is a great location for couples searching for a setting to perfectly match fancy clothes. It's also indoors, another plus for Seattle's rainy season!

15. Kerry Park

Kerry Park might be the best spot to see the Seattle skyline in the entire city. It's perched on Queen Anne Hill. As a result, your vantage point is high. You can gaze down to the city and admire the Space Needle and other downtown buildings. Kerry Park has some challenges for engagement pictures. First, the skyline can be very bright during the day. Second, the skyline can sometimes be hazy or obstructed by fog, clouds or rain. Lastly, there's only one great view from Kerry Park. For couples searching for variety, this might not be the best choice. However, it should be your top choice for a place to take engagement pictures in Seattle if you're looking for that one iconic view of the city that everyone instantly pictures in their minds.

Engagement Photographer Frequently Asked Questions

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.


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