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Ideas for engagement session locations

Engagement Photography locations

Let’s talk Engagement Photos. I have been asked many times to suggest a location for engagement photo sessions. I have finally decided to gather all my little bits of wisdom into this blog post. Hope you find it useful!

Location sessions are best photographed at sunrise ( nope..too early!) or about 2 hrs prior to sunset ( yep- that's the one). Ideally, the softer, directional light is what we are looking for. A few sunset photos never disappoint 🙂 You can view my gallery on the site here.

engagement photo

Sweetbriar Nature Center in the fall

engagement photo

Lighthouse at Robert Moses State Park


Private locations frequently require fees and permits. Please don’t skip this step. They will ask you to leave the property and then it’s really awkward 🙁 The fees for engagement photos can range from $ 50 to $ 250 so consider that in your decision. THE CLIENT is responsible for obtaining any permits required.

  1. Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, which includes the Coe Hall Historic House Museum, is an arboretum and state park covering over 400 acres located in the village of Upper Brookville in the town of Oyster Bay, New York. ( $ site fee) www.plantingfields.org
  2. The Bayard Cutting Arboretum is a New York State Park intended to provide an “oasis of beauty and quiet for the pleasure, rest and refreshment of those who delight in outdoor beauty; and to bring about a greater appreciation and understanding of the value and importance of informal planting. Your engagement photos will feature groomed grounds, trees, paths and historical buildings. ( $ site fee) www.bayardcuttingarboretum.com
  3. Avalon Nature Preserve- Free but NEED permission.
  4. Vanderbilt Museum and Mansion is located in Centerport on the North Shore of Long Island in Suffolk County, New York, USA. Named for William K. Vanderbilt II, it is located on his former 43-acre estate, Eagle’s Nest ( $ site fee)
  5. The Heckscher Museum of Art is located in scenic Heckscher Park, in Huntington, New York, within walking distance of downtown shops and award-winning restaurants.Your engagement photos will be set in a unique spot. Beware of ducks- they do tend to rule the pond area. PHOTO HERE
  6. Lighthouse at Robert Moses Park- Free but be ready to walk about a mile. Love this one! PHOTO HERE
  7. Sweetbriar Nature Center ( Smithtown)- this is a beautiful, rustic location. Lots of trees, paths, rustic buildings. Free but closes at 5 pm. PHOTO HERE
  8. Long Beach ( Smithtown). If you want to give your engagement photos a nautical flavor, this is a beautiful spot. Free PHOTO HERE
  9. Blydenburgh Park ( Smithtown)- Forested park offering hiking trails, a playground, picnic areas & a pond for rowboats & fishing.
  10. Port Jefferson Village- fun town and great waterfront photos with docks, boats and Danfords. PHOTO HERE
  11. Your wedding venue!- this is a great option for weekday Mon- Friday. They usually have beautiful grounds. You will need to get permission from your venue. PHOTO HERE
  12. Old Westbury Gardens is the former estate of John Shaffer Phipps, heir to a U.S. Steel fortune, in Nassau County, New York. This is a more expensive location than others. Your engagement photos will be spectacular! ( $ site fee)
  13. Nesconset Library gazebo- need to be a Smithtown Resident or with me:) Pretty and private. Free
  14. The Grange- Sayville Rustic buildings with a historical touch
  15. Hoyt Farm- Rustic and natural planting make this a good choice for a casual session.
engagement photos

Beach at sunset

There has also been a trend to do these sessions at home or a cute restaurant, town or cafe. I have gone to many unique locations because it was special to the couple. This is the key- pick a spot that means something to you. Choose your favorite town, the school where you met, park you take your dog to, or just a serene beach because you love water. It’s all about you. There is no magic formula. You are the special sauce.