Engagement photos are the absolute way to announce your new engagement as a couple, get familiar with your wedding photographer, and they can be perfectly used for save-the-date cards. Engagement sessions are your introduction as a couple, to really show your personalities, so finding a location that portrays that is essential. I’ve always said that Philadelphia is one of the best cities to take your pre-wedding photos, because Philadelphia offers so many varied types of locations. There are so many hidden gems in this historic city, and so many extraordinary spots are overlooked or unknown. When it comes to choosing a location, photographers know best, so I asked a few illustrious Philadelphia photographers to share their favorite spots for e-sessions in the lovely City of Brotherly Love.
1. Morris Arboretum
I love this place for engagement photos because there is so much ground to explore and an endless opportunity to get creative photos. It is especially beautiful during the spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom which is when this engagement shoot was last year. I LOVE the pathway lined with these trees. It is so magical! – Jennifer Baumann (JenniferBaumannPhotography)
Kristen and Luke Baird Engagement Photos by Jennifer Baumann Photography
2. Wissahickon Park
I love shooting in the Wissahickon Valley section of Fairmount Park. It’s got so many nooks and crannies each with it’s own vibe and personality, there’s something for everyone! Of course there is the beautiful natural setting with deciduous trees and vegetation, the babbling Wissahickon Creek and all types of wildlife, but there are some special spots that are purely, uniquely Philadelphia. There’s the Walnut Lane Bridge with it’s breathtaking architecture, the Valley Green Inn is quaint country nostalgia along Forbidden Drive with a lovely covered bridge a short stroll down the path. We can’t forget about the artfully crafted footbridges, statues and stone structures scattered throughout the park offering a little bit of Philadelphia’s history along the way. This is also a terrific spot if you’d like to include your dog in a few photos! – Alix Passage (AlixPassagePhotography)
Nicole and Sean’s Engagement Photos by Alix Passage
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3. Reading Viaduct
I was delighted when Rachel and Josh told me they wanted to do a pre-wedding portrait shoot at the Reading Viaduct in Philadelphia. The Viaduct is an elevated train track that used to carry trains to Center City. It has been abandoned for a long time (since 1984 when the service was discontinued) and is overgrown by grass and trees. It will eventually become a public park but for now it makes a great backdrop for pre-wedding shoots! A huge thanks to Rachel and Josh for this amazing idea and their sense of adventure! As you can see in one of the photos, Rachel’s shoes got destroyed in the process, but she had a great attitude about it. I loved working with this adventurous couple!- Inna Spivakova (PeachPlumPearPhotography)
Rachel and Josh Pre-Wedding Shoot by PeachPlumPear Photography
4. Old City
I love taking photos in Old City because there are so many beautiful backdrops: tiny historic alleys, adorable shops and bold murals. It’s wonderful to wander around with a happy couple and see what appeals to them. I enjoy seeing which colors and textures they’re drawn to. Every shoot is different for each personality and this part of the city lends to that idea. – Carly Valentine (CarlyVPhotography)
5. Globe Dye Works Building
We love a location that really tells us a bit about your relationship. Consider the place where you met, where on your first date, where you got engaged, places you like to visit as a couple, things you like to do together, etc. It’s also nice to have a little bit of variety in backgrounds.
One of my favorite places I’ve photographed an engagement session in is the Globe Dye Works building. The building was established in the 1800s to dye and bleach textiles. Today it houses several floors of artist studios.
Colleen and Joe requested to have their engagement shoot there because of the unique look of the space. They’re having a non-traditional wedding, so it made sense for us to do their engagement shoot in a non-traditional space. I’ve photographed in the space a few times so far, for both engagement sessions and editorial shoots. I personally love the variety in backgrounds, and the quality of light the space offers. It definitely has a distinct style, that is not for everyone. But it has a certain allure to the right person. – Carina Romano (LoveMeDoPhotography)
Colleen and Joe’s Engagement Session by LoveMeDoPhotography