May 30, 2024

Engagement Photos in Saint Louis: The Best Places for a Romantic Photoshoot

couples

Introduction

Planning your engagement photos in Saint Louis and not sure where to go? You’re in luck! I’m an STL native and have grown up learning the best spots both on and off the beaten path. St. Louis is brimming with beautiful locations that are perfect for capturing this moment in your relationship journey. Whether you want a romantic garden, a vibrant urban backdrop, or a serene park, this city has it all. Saint Louis is one of the most underrated cities in the Midwest, nay, the country! In this guide, we’ll explore the best places for an couple photoshoot, including Forest Park, Downtown St. Louis, and even some hidden gems in St. Charles and beyond. Let’s dive in and find the perfect spot for your engagement shoot!

1. Forest Park

First, Forest Park is quite literally the best park in America (okay, I’m biased). But seriously, where else can you find structures left over from the 1904 World’s Fair, a beautiful outdoor theatre, a world-class zoo ( that’s FREE, btw), stunning museums (oh, also free), and beautiful lakes and greenery?? Oh, did I mention it’s bigger than Central Park in NYC?

TLDR; Forest Park is an absolutely perfect location for engagement photos in Saint Louis, by the sheer variety alone. Some of my favorite spots include: The Jewel Box (more on that later!), the Muny, The World’s Fair Pavilion, the St. Louis Art Museum and Grand Basin, and the grove of magnolia trees right behind Steinberg Ice Rink (my personal zen spot every spring!). You’re sure to get amazing engagement photos almost anywhere in Forest Park.

My top tips: Go during golden hour, right around sunset. You’ll get amazing lighting for your photos and there will be fewer people in the park! Note that the Art Museum doesn’t allow professional photography inside. You’ll have to save your cute shots there for the outside of the building. 🙂

2. The Jewel Box

Okay, so this is technically the same location, but hear me out: The Jewel Box is so gorgeous it deserves it’s own spot on this list. An art deco green house built in 1936, it’s open pretty consistently (except for private events sometimes, like weddings!) and only costs $1 entry. Inside you’ll find lush tropical plants and a super aesthetically pleasing symmetrical vibe. It’s a unique spot for engagement photos in Saint Louis that are sure to stand out!

My top tips: Try to go on a weekday when things are less busy, and you might even get lucky and have the whole place to yourselves. You’ll need cash to get in because they don’t take cards.

3. Tower Grove Park

Another park for the list! Tower Grove Park is a great spot for engagement photos in Saint Louis because it’s super lush. It’s also got gorgeous historic gazebo structures and a variety of trees and flowers to really make your photos pop. I love the big lush tree groves that make you feel like you’re in the PNW (or as close as we can get in Missouri!).

My top tips: The great thing about doing a photoshoot in a park with a lot of open space is you can get creative. I like to have couples bring props of hobbies they love or even their dog to make their photo session super personal. Also, try not to go on Saturday morning to avoid the farmer’s market crowds, unless of course the farmer’s market is the theme of your shoot! 😉

4. Downtown St. Louis

Downtown STL is packed with great locations for engagement photos in Saint Louis, especially if you like the urban vibe. Get creative with using visually stunning buildings and busy streets as a backdrop for your photos! Some locations I love: Kiener Plaza and the Old Courthouse, the Saint Louis Public Library Central Branch, the Arch, and any random parking structure rooftops!

My top tips: Walk down Washington Avenue towards the arch. There are a lot of great buildings and doorways to take urban shots in! Definitely try to get some “running across the road” shots, too! You can do this on many different streets and get those city vibes, you’ll (almost) feel like you’re in NYC. 🙂 Just be careful where you park and lock your car/move any valuables out of sight. It is still a city, after all!

5. Coffee Shops Galore

I’m a huge coffee person. If you are, too, then why not do engagement photos in Saint Louis coffee shops? There are tons to choose from, all with their own unique vibe and aesthetic. A coffee shop engagement shoot could be just the thing. Plus, nothing could be cozier in the fall and winter.

My top tips: Go during the week or evening if you can, when they’re likely to be less busy. Some of my favorite STL coffee shops that work great for photos are: Upshot in St. Charles, Quarrelsome Coffee or the Kaldi’s in the Central West End, Maypop in Webster Groves (hello, greenhouse!), High Low in Midtown, or Fiddlehead Fern in Tower Grove.

6. Your favorite place!

Nothing makes a photoshoot more special than when you’re intimately connected to what you’re doing and where you are. You can get the best engagement photos in Saint Louis just by being yourself and showing off your personality in your favorite spots. Those are my favorite kinds of pictures to take, because the love is palpable and the emotions are raw and authentic.

My top tips: Some example locations are: your first date location, where you got engaged, or a hobby you love to do together. Pictures in a bowling alley, playing mini golf, on the pickleball court, or just dancing in your living room will allow you both to be yourselves and have fun.

A couple laughing in a relaxed pose on their living room floor, in a documentary style in-home photoshoot by Stacey Vandas Photography.

Conclusion: The Best Spots for Engagement Photos in St. Louis

Engagement photos are an important milestone for many couples to celebrate their love and look forward to their big day. You can make them uniquely yours by choosing a spot that represents you and your personality. St. Louis has so much variety, you’re sure to find a spot that fits you perfectly! If you’re ready to get started on your engagement session, drop me a line and I would be over the moon to capture your love story!

xo, Stacey

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