Getting the right location for an Engagement or Family Photo Session is really important. I always ask my clients “if you were to go somewhere to relax and hang out where would that be?” They usually tell me where and I ask them why it’s important to them. Since moving here a couple of years ago I have had the opportunity to photograph some truly amazing couples in some great local parks, near creeks, lakes and more urban backdrops. I thought I would share seven of my favorite locations for engagement photography sessions.
1. Downtown Kennesaw by the Locomotive Museum. There’s an old railroad building, a large grassy area with huge old trees and an old shack in the back of the park which offers a rustic feel. The railroad buildings colors are muted green and yellow which looks awesome in photos. Additionally, there’s a steel type tunnel which is really cool to photograph in.
2. Marietta Square. There few places quite like Marietta Square with such a variety of old brick and painted walls for backdrops. I had some of the best and most fun photo sessions in the side streets and alleys just off the square. The park with the fountain in the middle has been awesome for couples, senior type photography and of course taking photos of our two rescue pugs Bodie and Spanky.
3. Sweetwater Creek State Park, Atlanta, has masses of trails, a lovely fast moving creek and a really interesting old mill building make Sweetwater Creek one of my favorite spots to photograph couples. The low canopy and swift currents on the edge of the creek add an interesting element to photos. There are a few footbridges and lots of low walls that are the foundation remains of buildings long gone that also offer a multitude of photographic opportunity.
4. Cauble Park - Lake Acworth. Fall at the lake is pretty special with the golds and reds from the falling leaves. The little jetties and lake backdrop are a favorite of mine. I also love the boardwalk near the beach and if you’re lucky a beautiful sunset across the lake will make the perfect end to a photography session here. The steel bridge and trail beyond also make great areas to capture a more intimate setting in your photos.
5. Red Top Mountain Park and Lake Allatoona. There are so many little-hidden areas at Red Top Mountain that you can make your own for an hour and feel totally at ease with a photographer. From the trailside opportunities and large rocks and boulders to climb on around the lake, your photographer can set you both up with a truly magnificent backdrop. I’m pretty sure the rumor is out there that I talked couples into jumping in the lake for some of their Engagement Photos - it’s true!
6. High Shoals Falls, Dallas - is an out of the way little park that I was introduced to this past spring by a couple I was shooting an Engagement Session for. It’slittle walk down to the falls and the little pool underneath, but it’s quiet, very shaded and really quite different. I’m sure there are similar spots around that locals would know, but High Shoals is a really cool and small spot for a shoot.
7. Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw. Not that it’s a leave the best to last, however, Smith-Gilbert Gardens is a fantastic botanical garden right in the middle of Kennesaw not too far from Cobb Parkway (41). There are always lots of flowers casting really lovely colorful backdrops and quiet little corners and sitting areas where you can be really relaxed and get some great photographs. The koi pond is one of my favorite spots, but that said any time of the year I can find a new “favorite” spot at Smith-Gilbert Gardens as it really is a lovely part of our community.
Living just outside of Atlanta offers a lot of photo opportunities with regard to locations and backgrounds from lakes, trees, old brick, painted old buildings and walls to graffiti-covered railroad bridges - we have such a lot of options! I hope you found this blog helpful, let me know if you have any questions - Chris
Chris Cottrell, CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) is a British Wedding and Portrait Photographer based just outside of Atlanta, Georgia USA. and available worldwide for near to home or destination weddings.