I have lived in the PNW since I was 11 years old and have explored a lot of what this amazing state has to offer! First, when picking an engagement session location, I want you to feel calm and at peace in this space. Additionally, picking a location that has meaning to you as a couple will add an extra layer of personalization to your images. I normally tell my couples to find a place that is special to them and their relationship, OR pick a spot you’ve always wanted to explore together! We can make new memories during your session! 🙂
Here’s a list of my 11 all-time favorite Portland engagement photo locations, with photo examples for you to see and why they are an awesome location!
First, Latourell Falls is my GO TO Oregon waterfall! Because the walk down to the waterfall is only a short easy 5 min walk, you can easily wear elegant dresses without worrying about hiking in a dress. However, this location is NOT the location for you if you want perfect hair in your photos. Latourell gets very misty and can get windy! It’s all about embracing the elements at Latourell.
Second, If you want epic golden light and you aren’t afraid of the cold, Timberline Lodge might be right for you! It takes some extra packing of extra clothes and socks for afterwards but it’s worth it! I love getting couples all snuggly on top of the mountain.
My third location is close to Latourell falls and Vista House in the Columbia River Gorge. Rooster Rock is awesome with walk up waterfront views, tall grass, cute docks, and big logs to play on!
Fourth, when the Roses are in bloom in late May-July, The Portland Rose Gardens is hard to beat! It’s best to do this location in the morning before all the crowds of people show up later in the day.
My fifth location brings us moody mansion vibes! I love this location for it’s gardens, lovely balconies, and peep views of Mt. Hood. If you want to feel like royalty, this fancy spot is for you.
6. Pacific City
If the beach is where your heart is happy, Pacific city is a majestic spot to capture your love story! Plus there is a restaurant right in the parking lot that serves great chowder to warm up after!)
If you want that Portland/City Vibe then look no further than the OMSI docks and Tillikum Crossing. It’s an easy 10 minute walk from the docks to the bridge and it’s a fantastic way to show off the city of Portland in your images.
If you prefer some drama to your images, shooting outside the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall is a perfect. There are so many fun city lights to play with in this location and you’re right in the heart of the city. Perfect for date night afterwards!
Jenkins Estate is great year round but in the fall time, it really shines. If you’re obsessed with fall and fall colors, look no further Jenkins Estate. Additionally, Jenkins is great if it’s a little drizzly outside with plenty of tree cover and a cute covered patio.
10. Painted Hills
Number 10 is for the couple that doesn’t mind a little road trip! This location is worth the drive and a total dream! The Painted Hills make you feel like you are on another planet as you walk through the red sands and take in dramatic landscapes. I highly recommend turning this location into a romantic little weekend getaway so you can fully explore!
11. Government Cove
Finally, the Columbia River Gorge at it’s finest. Some would say this is the “Iceland” of Oregon. I absolutely love this location for it’s epic rock formations, golden light, and stunning water views. If you want romance, this spot is it.