Below is a list of frequent location options I use for my portrait sessions. This is great resource to start your location brainstorming and my way of giving you some ideas of where you would like to hold your session. Please know we do not have to use any of these locations, reading through them can just help you decide what type of background or feel you would like to have for your images.
You’ll find a mix of all these types of location options below! Please know we always have the option of your own home, neighborhood and even your wedding venue! Most venues allow for engagement sessions to happen on their property, we would just need to reach out for permission and availability!
This location is a gorgeous historic mansion with porches and greenery! The back of the house features a stunning wisteria-covered terrace and the grounds are full of trees, greenery and a water fountain. This is also a wedding venue so if you decide to go with this location we would need check to see if they have a wedding happening on your selected date. Parking is a breeze and the grounds are open to the public but it is easy to find a quiet space at this charming mansion. Read more here.
Brookside Garden’s is a favorite location of mine! This is a large park in Wheaton and has lots of options: gardens, walking paths and a lake! Their visitor center and gift shop is open, which means there is a bathroom available if you would like to do an outfit change. Brookside Gardens looks fantastic any time of year. This location does require a photography permit and reservation, so if you would like for us to shoot here, we would need to decide in advance so I can put in a reservation request, they require at least a 7 days notice. Check out all the gorgeous location options here!
Another Haley favorite! Can you blame me? Look at this white bridge, walking paths and colors! This location has lots of background options – gardens and trees, walking paths and patios, water and a bridge. It is located in a State Park so we have a TON of backgrounds to choose from.
Oh Annapolis! This is a great location if you love historic charm, striking architecture and water! We can spend the session walking around Annapolis, hitting the State House, some of the cobblestone streets and of course finish down by the water and docks! Many couples love this location, especially if Maryland plays a large role in their story and relationship! Check out these other shoots:
Do you know about this hidden gem in the middle of Baltimore? You would think it’s a best kept secret, the Cylburn Arboretum! Between the exterior of the house and the 200 acres, there are so many backgrounds for us to choose from! The grounds include gardens, walking paths and a gothic mansion! I’ve shot here before for both a wedding day first look and for portraits, it’s always gorgeous!
This location has both an industrial and woodsy feel to it and is located in Howard County. There are stone buildings, walking paths, covered bridges and a trail that leads down to water and a creek. If you would like to shoot here, I recommend you bring a second pair of shoes!
Rawlings Conservatory is located in Baltimore and perfect if you would like a greenhouse and greenery vibe! They have a Mediterranean greenhouse, Tropical greenhouse and Dessert greenhouse! We can grab some epic wide shots outside and then head indoors for all your greenhouse photoshoot dreams! This location does require a photography permit and reservation, session times are limited to:
Thursdays-Fridays 10-11AM or 2-3PM
Saturdays-Sundays 10-11AM or 3-4PM
Requires three weeks notice, reservation & a $200 permit fee
If you want a waterfall, this is the location for you! Patapsco State park is huge and stretches all throughout the Baltimore area, however, we would head to the McKeldin Area if you would like some adventure and waterfalls! The falls area has a beach area that we can also take pictures on and a nearby field if you would like some classic nature shots!
Or, we can head to the Avalon Area and enjoy their beautiful meadow, walking paths, a swinging bride and a shallow creek to walk in!
Wilde Lake Park, located in Columbia has it all! I love shooting at this location because our background options are endless, and they all are within a reasonable walking difference. If you decide to have your session here we will have open fields, walking paths, a bridge, waterfall and waterfront to choose from. Oh! And there is even a barn!
A classic D.C. location option, the National Arboretum! This is a massive location with lots of background options, we could honestly spend all day here. Here you have the option of architecture, stones, and pathways for your background or open fields and quiet gardens. The options are endless! For a D.C. location parking is ample and a breeze here, and there are restrooms open if you would like an outfit change. This location does require a photography permit and reservation. Session’s can only be held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays between 8:00am and 4:30pm.
Requires 2 weeks notice, reservation & a $155 permit fee
River Farm is located in Alexandria and is such a beautiful location. The historical house sits right on the Potomac river and there are many options to choose from: the porch, open fields, gardens and of course the river in the background. This location has it all! A photography permit and reservation is required to shoot here, their schedule permitting.
Requires a reservation & permission.
If you had your heart set on a location like Dumbarton Oaks and were disappointed to hear they don’t allow for photography sessions, then Carlyle House is just for you! This is a beautiful historic house in Alexandria with gorgeous gardens, and you’re actually permitted to have sessions here! A photography permit is required but the process is easy and only $25! The website does not do it justice so I would recommend googling some Carlyle House engagement session images.
Requires a reservation & permission.
This is such a beautiful botanical garden located in Hockessin, DE. There are so many gorgeous gardens and walking paths. A reservation is not required but we would need to purchase general admission to enter, the cost of tickets are covered in the price of your session. Mt. Cuba Center is open April through November, 10 am to 6 pm.
I absolutely love this location, I even looked into having my own wedding here! Gibraltar has major secret garden vibes! It has a main garden, a reflecting pool, a stunning staircase and the most gorgeous iron gates and water fountain!
Requires a reservation.
This is a great location if you think you would like more of a cityscape/old town feel. Imagine lots of historic homes, brick and cobblestone. We would park and start in Historic Old New Castle and make our way over to Battery Park.
This is Delaware’s best kept secret! Goodstay Gardens is located at Wilmington Campus of the University of Delaware and I love to have engagement sessions here! If we plan we your session just right we can make the most of their Cherry Blossom trees! These gardens have flowering trees, a manor house on property and the gardens full of tulips and peonies!
This park is a popular spot for photographers, as you can see why! This park has a lot of different background options, all so beautiful! You can choose from open fields, a babbling brook and their winding walking paths.
Like to see this location during different season’s?
Carousel Park has beautiful rolling green hills, a pond and walking trails. This location is for you if you love a country feel of a white picket fence and the possibility of spying some horses. Carousel Park is also an Equestrian Center! This location is also great if you have a dog and would like to incorporate them into your session! Dogs are allowed at Carousel Park, they even have a “Bark Park!” Like to see what this location looks like covered in snow?
A dream of a location option! There are so many gardens, walking paths, fountains and patios for us to use. Longwood is a great option if you know would love gardens, fountains and want a European feel to your photos. Professional photography is not allowed in the conservatory or the Peirce-du Pont House, so that would be our only limitation. A reservation is not required but we would need to purchase general admission tickets to enter, the cost of tickets are covered in the price of your session. Longwood Gardens does tend to sell out fast, so if you know you would like this location, let me know and I’ll grab our tickets right away!