Engagement Photos in the Park: The Pros and Cons (But Ultimately Why You Should Do It)

If you’ve ever been to St. Louis then you’ve definitely heard of Forest Park. The Zoo, The Muny, The Boathouse, The Jewel Box...on and on. Forest Park is home to some of the most charming corners and hidden spots in St. Louis. So why wouldn’t you get your photos taken in front of the pond on Art Hill or casually strolling through? 

Why I’m Pro-Engagement Pictures in a Park

Beauty. Sunlight. Soft Greens. There are three pros right there for park engagement photos. As a wedding photographer, these are the first reasons that pop up for me. Picture it with me: a couple standing with their backs to a graceful weeping willow, the hazy orange sun (this is approaching sunset, of course) filtering through the leaves and branches as it sways in a gentle breeze. One has their temple rested on the other’s shoulder, eyes closed and soaking in the moment, soft smiles creep onto their faces and their hands squeeze one another, just to remind them: I’m here and I love you. This is the epitome of engagement photos at the park. 

Alex + Lacey at their Park Engagement Sessioon

Maybe that didn’t do it for you, maybe you can’t picture it. Well, how about this simple reason: you have a fond memory of your first (or maybe second or third) date at the Art Museum. Or something you and your partner do frequently is visit the St. Louis Zoo to see the monkeys. Or you love the summer nights at The Muny as you enjoy whatever show they may be putting on. Perhaps you just love a simple picnic on Art Hill, laying out a quilt and enjoying some pre-made sandwiches with a bottle of wine. Whatever it may be, let’s incorporate those moments into your park engagement photos. 

If anything, I’m a pro at scouting out the best spot in any location. And luckily for you, I know Forest Park pretty well at this point. 

Why Park Engagement Photos Might Not Be For You

Ok, so the cons. Heat: I’m naturally a warm person and I just absolutely melt in the summer (not gonna lie, I’m a little hot right now AND I’M IN THE A/C). 

So for one, if you want your engagement photos in the summer, good luck to us all, I’ll carry some wipes for us and a little fan. Sweating means planning an outfit more carefully (like avoiding light colors if you are prone to heavy sweating), packing your makeup, and staying hydrated (don’t worry, I can bring water too). 

If you can’t tell already, I lean more towards the YES of park engagement photos than the no. So this next con might be far-fetched, I had to really reach. 

Time. Engagement photos in the park do tend to take more time. I chalk this up to it being so scenic, every 10 feet there’s a new picture that we want to take (plus I like to torture myself by taking 2,000 pictures and then culling them later). If there are multiple spots in the park that are just too good to pass up on, like Forest Park, then there’s going to be a lot of walking and maybe driving. If park pictures are for you then this isn’t a big deal and we’ll get the best pictures there ever were.

What Engagement Session Location Fits You?

Maybe the park isn’t your vibe, that’s ok!! Not everyone wants nature as their primary backdrop. There are plenty of other options to explore. Maybe you two would rather go to a super cool hotel and shoot in their ornate lobby, or you like the industrial look and want moody photos that feature concrete and steel (maybe a parking lot?). Perhaps you and your partner have a habit and love for a certain coffee shop, or a roller rink (now that’d be a fun one!), or bowling. Park engagement photos may air on the side of “more traditional” and you're more of an adventurous couple, so let’s talk about it and get creative! That’s why part of my process is getting to know you both well to determine where we should go. 

Joel + Alaina at their Courthouse Engagement Session

Alex + Lacey at their Broadway Engagement Session

Engagement Photos Reflect Who You Are as a Couple

Your engagement pictures should be a reflection of your relationship, who are together, and ultimately your love. If engagement pictures in the park are something you want to do, let’s do it. There are so many options for each season. In the winter, you can imagine the rolling hills of snow (if we get any, ha!). Spring, pink blooms and swaying trees. Summer, you’ve got your greens and blues, which I’m a sucker for. And fall is for the rich oranges, reds, and yellows that start to show in the leaves. Forest Park, Tower Grove Park, the little park on the corner near your street-there are endless opportunities for park engagement photos. 

Let's book that engagement session!