*The Inside Scoop*
You deserve an insider’s perspective when you’re planning your wedding. That’s why I’m sharing my top five favourite places in Niagara for engagement photos – so you can choose a location that suits you perfectly!
Planning Engagement Photos:
Planning a wedding isn’t always a picnic, but your engagement photos should be!
(… and it can literally be a picnic if you want…)
I know how busy you are planning your wedding. I want to help you make decisions and curate your photos with ease! I’ve written several blog posts like this one to help you get exactly what you want from your engagement photo sessions.
Why Get Engagement Photos:
Engagement photos are a great way to treasure this time. When I capture you both in these early moments of your life together you will have these photo memories to build on, document your story and look back to as you share other milestones together.
Being engaged is a stage full of excitement, romance, and visioning as you plan your wedding day together. You want gorgeous photos to remember this time when the memories of your proposal and engagement are still fresh, and the dreams of your wedding day are top of mind.
Your engagement photos will be there along the journey to your wedding day and will document the beginning of the wonderful story you create together in the years to come. (I’ve actually written a blog about the creative ways you can use engagement photos in your home and throughout your wedding planning!)
Here’s a Quick Roundup of My Main Engagement Photo Tips:
- Bring water and a snack to stay hydrated and energized
- Bring a wardrobe change if you’d like
- Bring lipstick, a hairbrush and a makeup brush in case you need to freshen up on a hot or windy day
- Make the most of the natural light by planning your photos during “golden hour”
- Choose a wardrobe in a lighter palette – whites, greys, light blues or mauves … I’ve seen so many beautiful combinations but keeping to neutral tones will help your photos have that light and airy look
You can find my full list of tips here.
Choosing a Location: Engagement Photos and the Great Outdoors
If you’ve started doing any research or brainstorming for your engagement photos, you’ve probably noticed something by now – they’re almost always outside!
(Seriously, type “engagement photos” into Pinterest and try to find one engagement photo that takes place inside!)
To be clear, indoor spaces are by no means off-limits for your engagement session. In fact, if there’s a space that’s special to you, like a cafe where you had your first date or your living room where you both like to snuggle with your puppy, I’m glad to work that space into your session!
Outdoor Engagement Photos:
But there’s just something about nature and romance that go hand in hand so often.
I have a few theories on why outdoor engagement photography sessions have been a popular trend for decades now:
- A lot of engagement photo sessions happen in the spring and autumn – two incredible seasons to take photos outside because of the colours. You can either have the fresh, elegant look of magnolias and peach blossoms in the spring, or the cozy, rustic vibes of autumn colours and plaid blanket-scarves in the fall. Each breathtaking in their own way!
- Engagement photos are an excellent opportunity to weave in elements of your personality and relationship. Usually an outdoor setting allows for more creativity to express these preferences; being outside gives you more space to move, dance, ride bikes, splash through the water, pick flowers, twirl, run around in bare feet … whatever feels authentic to you!
- An outdoor setting can also compliment your personalities without needing to stress out by cleaning or planning tons of props like furniture, decorations or signage. You can express your personality as a couple simply by choosing a vineyard, a beach or a downtown street view.
- There is truly nothing like “golden hour” to add romance to your photos. Golden hour is that incredible time of day, either morning or evening, shortly after the sun rises or before the sun sets. During these times of day, the sun is at just the right spot to give your photos the perfect glow. Fairy tales don’t end with the line, “and they rode off into the sunset” for nothing! Golden hour is the stuff of poetry, love songs and romantic movies.
The Main Reason I Love Outdoor Engagement Photos:
There’s one other BIG reason why I love shooting outdoor engagement sessions at Morning Light Photography…
The Niagara Region.
Niagara offers you an incredible array of natural landscapes. I’m so lucky to have Lake Ontario on one side of us, and the Niagara escarpment on the other. This provides us with light and airy beaches and vibrant hiking trails. There are also countless parks, vintage houses and let’s not forget vineyards and orchards! That’s an incredible palette of colours and textures to choose from. This region is one of a kind and it provides so much scope for the imagination when capturing your engagement and relationship.
My Curated List of Engagement Shoot Locations:
(Here’s a sneak peek! I’ve got other hidden gems too, but these are the most popular with my clients.)
Botanical Gardens – Niagara Falls
The Botanical Gardens in Niagara Falls sets the stage for a truly enchanting engagement photoshoot. Amidst lush greenery, blooming flowers, and tranquil pathways, love blossoms in every frame. This picturesque sanctuary offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and romantic charm, making it an ideal backdrop for capturing your love story.
Stroll hand-in-hand through the vibrant gardens, framed by elegant archways and quaint bridges. Every corner reveals a new spot to steal a tender moment or share a joyful laugh. As the sun casts its golden glow over the foliage, your love shines even brighter, creating timeless images that will warm your hearts for years to come.
Whether you’re wandering through the Rose Garden, dancing under the arbours, or stealing a kiss by the water features, the Botanical Gardens provide an intimate and captivating setting for your engagement photos. Let nature’s embrace weave its magic as I document the love and joy between you, creating a cherished visual narrative of this special chapter in your love story.
Balls Falls – Jordan
For the rustic adventurers, I recommend Ball’s Falls in Jordan. It has everything you need in one place, from spectacular waterfalls to thick forests, hiking trails and a quaint 1800’s village. Through the spring and summer, I recommend this spot if you’re looking for deep green backgrounds and antique white buildings. In the fall, Ball’s Falls is truly a can’t-miss site of autumn colours. If you’re looking to incorporate an activity into your photos here, I’d recommend hiking. It’s a great location to incorporate cute hiking boots, plaid scarves, a cozy oversized jacket.
You do need a permit to take your engagement photos at Balls Falls Conservation area in Jordan Station.
The Commons/Butlers Barrack’s in Niagara-on-the-Lake
There is something so sweet and simple about a quiet summer date in the park. I think strolling down a tree-lined path with your fiancé is one of the most romantic things in the world, right up there with “golden hour” (so just imagine when you shoot them both together!). There’s something about the tree-lined pathway at the Commons that gives the appearance of a natural wedding aisle, like the trees are forming an archway above you. It looks incredible in photos and feels so relaxing and romantic to pose for. I love capturing you two walking down the path holding hands, and stopping to do a twirl. This is a great spot for flowy summer dresses, ballet flats and a floppy sun hat.
You don’t need a permit to take your engagement photos at The Commons/Buttlers Barracks in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Old Town in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Are you an “out on the town” kind of couple? Do you love to spend your weekends going to wine tastings, trying new restaurants and checking out the latest show at The Shaw Festival? I’d recommend making a day of it, and I’ll join you for photos in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Heritage District! Old Town brings so much character to your engagement photos with the old stone buildings, the clock tower, a beautiful stone staircase in front of the old courthouse, and stunning storefront windows (plus – so many ice cream options when you need a snack break). Old Town is beautiful at any time of year, but some of my favourite times to shoot are early summer (before the streets are packed with tourists) and winter (especially around Christmas time so you can get that “Hallmark Movie” feel with the lights, snowflakes and a festive winter outfit). If you love getting dressed up, wearing heels or wearing vintage fashions, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Heritage District could be the perfect place to conjure up that classy, main street charm.
Firelane One in Niagara-on-the-Lake
I think Firelane 1 could be the definition of “fancy free.” It’s the kind of setting where you can get dressed up, and also run around in bare feet! Because of its location near the water, it provides a really calming, care-free vibe of open fields, green park space and of course, a beach along Lake Ontario. And there’s something about beach air that makes everyone feel wild and free! I adore watching my couples have fun as they dance through the water, enjoy a picnic or walk hand in hand through the park. At a location like this, a casual wardrobe like jeans or khaki looks just as great as a flouncy sun dress and heels – shoes are optional! I also love when my couples incorporate wildflowers or rustic-beach props at this location.
You don’t need a permit to take your engagement photos on Firelane 1 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Your Favourite Place
This could mean your house, but what I really mean by your “place” is that spot that means a lot to you as a couple. Maybe it’s the place where you met, went on your first date or got engaged? It could be a brewery, a cafe, an ice rink or a hiking trail. Or maybe there’s a spot that you both love to walk to, like a rustic bridge or an orchard? I am always down for an adventure, especially when it means helping you capture a meaningful part of your story together. I love to see your personality come through in these shots, whether it’s getting into a vintage car you love, bringing your dog along to the photoshoot or bringing your own stunning florals to compliment the vineyard landscape.
There is no shortage of incredible locations for engagement shoots in Niagara. I’ve spent my career scouting out the best places for lighting, background and space, so I wanted to share some of my favourites with you here. If you recently got engaged and are starting to think about your engagement photos, I recommend beginning with your location. Once you’ve found the spot that speaks to you, all the other decisions fall in line more easily, like what to wear, how to style your hair and what props to bring. And if you need any help along the way, I am always glad to share my thoughts with you!
If you’re wanting to know more about what it’s like to have us photograph your wedding day you can book a meet and greet right here. I can’t wait to hear from you!