There are a number of well-known locations in St. Louis for engagement photography, the Arch of course is one of the most well-known, as well as various locations in Forest Park and Tower Grove Park. But for this post I’m going to focus on the lesser-known places you never thought would make for great engagement photography. Without further ado here they are in no particular order:
#1 Laumeier Sculpture Park
This is a great spot for engagement or portrait photography, especially if your photographer knows the park well. There are a number of interesting interactive art pieces that should make for witty and unique engagement photos.
#2 Meramec Highland Quarry
Maybe not the most romantic spot, but still an interesting location with massive quarried stones lying around as if an ancient Stonehenge collapsed here. There is also a valley with a stream at the bottom of it and some wooden bridges that could provide some interesting shots. There are even a couple of nice overlooks completely surrounded on all sides by trees. I could easily see getting 10-15 really good shots in different locations around this park.
#3 Klondike Park
Located in St. Charles County, Klondike Park is a fantastic place for engagement photography even if it is a little bit off the beaten path. Before becoming a park, the land was previously used as an old silica sand quarry, now all that remains of the quarry is the white sand that is one of the unique features of the park providing tons of photo opportunities around a pristine lake.
#4 Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area
If wide open spaces are your thing, Columbia Bottoms has you covered. In the summer they plant fields of sunflowers which are always a fun photo opportunity. There are a variety of trails and outlooks scattered around the park as well as access to the river if you’re ok with hiking a little bit. But the best feature of Columbia bottoms is the wide-open skies and blazing sunsets. The one downside is the bugs, be sure to bring bug repellant if you visit in the summer months as the mosquitoes can be a problem.
#5 Lincoln Shields Recreation Area
It may not look like much at first glance, but Lincoln Shields presents some interesting photo opportunities. It features a large suspension bridge that is lit at night as well as views of downtown Alton on the hillsides across the river. There is even an old damn leg you can climb to the top of to get a better view of your surroundings.
#6 Shaw Nature Reserve
Shaw Nature Reserve is the biggest spot on this list and one of the few that costs money to get in ($5 per person). If you do want your engagement photography done here it helps if the photographer is already familiar with the park because it’s over 2000 acres and it could take all day to explore even a portion of it all. The good thing is there is a road that runs through much of the park and free maps that you can take with you to guide yourself around.
#7 Lafayette Square
While this is one of the better-known spots on this list, it is probably still a tier below the top spots like Forest Park and The Arch. What’s cool about Lafayette square is that not only are there a bunch of great areas for photos in the park, the park is also surrounded by historic buildings on all sides. It’s basically a little time capsule in the middle of St. Louis. If that sounds interesting to you it could be a great spot for your engagement photos.
#8 Kuhs Estate and Farm
This is a really neat spot to shoot at that has some truly great scenery. It’s kind of hard to describe in words because it’s a bit unusual but suffice to say it’s a cool spot for photography. There are fields, farm buildings, interesting stonework, and some really amazing views all packed together in this one location. It does cost $100 to shoot an engagement here but is well worth it for the quality of shots you can get. If you do book here make sure you know what the top locations are to shoot at, you don’t want to accidentally miss the best spots.
#9 Bee Tree County Park
This one kind of reminds me of a free version of Kuhs Estate and Farm in some ways because it has a lot of the same features. There are some farm style buildings, some fields, some interesting stonework, and a nice lake that you can shoot at all close together and easy to get to in the span of a 2-hour shoot. Make sure you explore around the main building in the park if you do shoot here!
#10 Main Street St. Charles
The one thing you needs to watch out for when shooting on main street is that it can get very crowded during certain times of the year. I had the misfortune of accidentally scheduling a shoot here during the Christmas parade, that was a hectic time, but we made it work. Of course, historic main street offers lots of great shots, but the Missouri river is only a 5-minute walk away and is usually much less crowded. If you’re looking for a place in the St. Louis area that goes all out with Christmas decorations, this is the best I know of.
And there you have it. Ten lesser known locations for engagement photography in the St. Louis area. If you still haven’t found a photographer, be sure to check out my portfolio I am available to shoot anywhere in the St. Louis area including southern Illinois and St. Charles county.