When choosing your Portland engagement photo locations, you have a wealth of options at your fingertips. The most popular request we get for engagement photos is that it be somewhere that feels like Oregon. Photos that provide the quintessential Pacific Northwest vibe, with a touch of city.
Almost every couple asks us, “Where should we have our engagement photos done in Portland?” And we typically send back a list, with various blog links for reference.
Well we finally put together a blog post that encapsulates some of the best locations in Portland to get your engagement photos done.
We’ve focused this post on our top 5 photo locations in the city of Portland. Happy reading and congratulations on your engagement!
Portland Engagement Photo Location No. 1:
Cathedral Park Engagement Photos
Cathedral Park is a quintessential Portland photo spot.
It has beautiful park vibes, but with the gorgeous green of the St. John’s bridge (nod to our nickname Bridgetown) and a backdrop of the lush Forest Park which you can see from across the river.
We love shooting here because there are at least a dozen different photo ops. We have photographed this park up one way and down the other. From under the bridge (framing you in the notorious archways of the St. Johns) to actually getting on the big pillars of the bridge (also a good rainy day option!). From dancing in the grass with the bridge at your back to using the surrounding trees for a perfect PNW feeling.
Cathedral Park is a “got it all” type of venue for engagement photos. It’s within 10 minutes of downtown Portland and in the historic St. John’s neighborhood where you can catch a movie or a beer after your engagement session. It’s no wonder why Cathedral Park is one of the most popular spots in all of the city for engagement photos.
Portland Engagement Photo Location No. 2:
Hoyt Arboretum Engagement Photos
Hoyt Arboretum is probably on the top end of our recommendation list for engagement pics. We almost always recommend this park.
Why? It’s just so, so great! For starters, Hoyt Arboretum is a part of Forest Park, with the Wildwood Trail running right through it, along with a host of other great trails for us to meander through while snapping photos.
There are old oak trees for you to snuggle under as well as wildflowers and hills of grass to run through. WA picnic pavilion serves as a rainy day option as well as a place to mix up the outdoor photos with some structural elements. We recommend this park for people who enjoy being nestled in the trees Forest Park but also want some open spaces and “field” like photos.
One of the main reasons why we love Hoyt Arboretum is that while it is a popular spot for weekend hikers, it somehow NEVER feels crowded. You can park in a full lot and be alone on the trails in minutes. Easily making Hoyt Arboretum a top spot for an intimate yet truly Pacific Northwest location for engagement photos.
Portland Engagement Photo Location No. 3:
Downtown Portland/Urban City Engagement Photos
Downtown Portland/Urban City Engagement Photos
If you love trees but you love PDX itself more…well then you must hit the city.
We recommend any and all parts of our great urban city. Some faves include engagement photos with the Portland sign at the Keller Auditorium, as well as anywhere in the hip, brick laden Pearl district. These locations are particularly great photo spots for downtown/westsiders.
If you’re an east sider yourself, then look no further than the East Bank esplanade, which can be buzzing with cyclists but what is more Portland than that? Not to mention you will get a view of the actual cityscape from Portland’s east side.
We also love to hop on an available rooftop (hey, we have a few tricks up our sleeves…) or trek to Southwest Portland for engagement photos under the new Tilikum Bridge. If you’re up for a city adventure, than we are up for the engagement photos that go with it. We recommend city/urban engagement photos for people who love architecture, Portland bridges and cityscapes.
Portland Engagement Photo Location No. 4:
Pittock Mansion Engagement Photos
This is a real gem right here. Pittock Mansion is one of the only spots where you can snap photos with the entire city view…on a clear day of course.
What is great about having your engagement photos at Pittock Mansion is that this historic house is also nestled up against Forest Park. Giving us the opportunity to capture you with city views AND forest vibes. It’s a perfect little combo. We recommend this location for couples who want Pacific Northwest trees with Portland views, and also for lovers of historic buildings and history.
We’ve had couples go ankle deep in mud while also wearing gorgeous dresses. We love that juxtaposition of beauty and nature, and there is no better place to show it off than the grounds of Pittock Mansion.
Portland Engagement Photo Location No. 5:
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden Engagement Photos
Visiting these beautiful gardens in the heart of the city is one of our favorite ways to spend an afternoon. It’s only made better when we are giving opportunity to capture engagement photos here too.
Many people have never even heard of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. It is such an unassuming, bright and beautiful spot in the middle of the city. With sprawling trails that wind through quaint pathways and gorgeous rhododendron trees around every corner, there is always something new to discover and a new way to photograph engaged couples. The trees bloom in spring and summer but we have photographed here year round and always find the lush green plants to be an amazing backdrop. Crystal Springs also has the water element with bridges that cross it’s huge pond, filled with hungry ducks. There is also a waterfall and creek!
We often get a request for engagement photos that have both greenery and water, and Crystal Springs immediately comes to mind. You can even feed the ducks if you want a few action shots. :) Therefore, we recommend Crystal Springs Rhododendron photos for lovers of lush gardens, cute ponds and of course…rhododendron flowers.
It’s the perfect answer to an outdoor Portland engagement photo location that is reachable within 15 minutes but offers no sign of the busy city.