What a way to kick off my first blog post! 99% of the time, couples of mine always ask for engagement locations after they book with me. Usually I would send them a list of my favorite locations around Atlanta, Georgia that I have come to know and love during my time as a photographer.
Now that I am expanding my site and business, I thought well shit, I should share these locations with everyone! And what better way than to put this as my first blog post. So let’s do this!
These locations are all unique in their own way and I rarely see other couples shoot engagement sessions here. I’ve included the pros and cons of each location, as well as the address to visit these places for yourself!
Keep in mind, many of these places will look different depending on the season! Engagement photos are always better during the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons. Time your sessions according to the style you are going for.
Do you want cherry blossoms and blooming flowers in your photos? Or are you leaning more towards those orange and brown fall colors? Some locations are more on the moody side and may not be captured well in a bright and airy style.
#1: ARABIA MOUNTAIN
3787 Klondike Rd Lithonia, GA 30038 United States
The first location on this list is Arabia Mountain. It has gained more popularity in the last couple of years and for good reason. The park has a fucking breathtaking view. This hidden gem is located in Lithonia, which is literally only a 25 minutes drive from Atlanta. This engagement location is great for couples who might describe themselves as adventurous, moody, and even have a boho vibe. This location offers a lot of nature, is full of exotic plants that can’t grow anywhere else, and is often covered in puddles closer to the top. This is great for creative reflection shots.
PROS: If you stay late enough at the mountain, you can get some incredible sunset couple shots at the very top.
This location is also down the street from another great spot known as Vaughters Farm. It’s about a 2-minute drive from the mountain. The Farm offers lots of tall grass and you guessed it…a barn in the background!
CONS: Ladies and gents, bring an extra pair of shoes! Once you park, it’s about a 15-20 minute walk to get to the top of the mountain. Who wants to do that in heels!?
You also have to make sure you visit on a day that’s not too busy as parking here can be a damn nightmare! Avoid weekends as most people will visit this location on their days off. The best days are weekdays an hour or two before sunset.
#2 ATLANTA BOTANICAL GARDEN
1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
If you’re a greenery lover and are nature lovers this place is MEANT for you. From the shots of the city in the background to the beautiful greenhouses and florals, you really can’t go wrong with this location. You won’t have any issues finding places to take photos as every corner of the botanical garden is filled with greenery and beauty.
PROS: The garden offers a variety of different sceneries and locations. You’ll be overwhelmed by all of the amazing places you can snap shots. The “Earth Goddess” is a MUST when visiting this location. The indoor biomes that the gardens offer are also a must as you’ll feel like you’re surrounded by a tropical forest. You can’t go wrong with the desert biome either for all you cacti lovers!
CONS: The biggest drawback about this location is the price. In order to have your photos taken here, there is a $300 requirement….but I mean, who’s actually checking 😉
I’ve shot at this location enough to say you may be able to get away with sneaking in photos if you go first thing in the morning, however, I do not recommend this if you don’t want your ass to get kicked out. If you start planning your session first thing when the garden opens, there won’t be many employees roaming around the garden. But, you didn’t hear that from me.
#3: CATOR WOOLFORD GARDENS
815 S Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
If you close your eyes and picture your engagement or wedding sessions and think “luxe” boy do I have a place for you! This location is iconic for its breathtaking staircase. It’s great for couples who are going for an elegant and classy vibe as the architecture reflects that vision. This location is hidden from the Main Street, however, it is located in Ponce de Leon, so it’s the closest location to the city.
Pros: This location offers a variety of options on location. You have the iconic staircase, stone pillars, and plant life around the location. You’ll have plenty of details to work with!
Cons: This location also requires a permit to shoot here. However, it’s not as steep as the Botanical Garden. For $50, you’ll have access to this location for a whole ass hour! But like the other locations, please try and plan on a weekday as the weekends can get insanely packed!
If you go over your hour, this place is super chill and laid back but you gotta be mindful of other photographers waiting. You wouldn’t want them getting in your shots so be mindful not to get in theirs. You can also schedule your shoot directly on the garden’s website.
#4: PROVIDENCE CANYON STATE PARK
8930 Canyon Rd, Lumpkin, GA 31815
Okay my hiking couples, this one this one this one! It’s 2 hours away from Atlanta, but you cannot get this look anywhere else. You’ll literally be taken aback by the intimate gorgeous scenery. This is for a couple that loves the outdoors, is adventurous, and doesn’t mind getting a little dirty for the trek up this canyon for their engagement session!
PROS: You literally cannot find a location with this look anywhere else near Georgia. Its so fucking dope!. The red and white clay makes for an eye-catching location. Plus you can always tell your friends you went out of the state to get your dream photos taken!
CONS: A canyon in Georgia? It’s too good to be true. This location is 2 hours away from Atlanta and you’ll be hiking for an hour to reach the best spots at this location. Also, there is hardly any shade in this location. Depending on the time of day, you may be exposed to the direct sun…and nobody likes harsh lighting in photos.
I recommend visiting this location during the cooler months of the year. You wouldn’t want to pass out during your engagement session. Plus, nobody wants to look sweaty in their photos. If you’re planning on taking photos here, absolutely make sure to bring a pair of comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and sandy.
Also, BRING A WATER BOTTLE FOR THE HIKE!!!
#5: SOPE CREEK TRAIL
Trail: 3760 paper Mill Rd SE Marietta, GA 30067 United States
So you’re engaged, looking for a location, and are feeling for a darker and moodier vibe! This location is best during the Fall time as it adds to the brown and moody look. I love shooting here because it really matches my brand as a photographer. This intimate engagement location screams my color pallet, and it could be a perfect location for you for your engagement session!
PROS: This location offers a lot of creative freedom. Although the Mill Ruins is the main attraction, this location also offers a river next to the ruins and a gorgeous lake right down the trail from the parking lot. During the fall time, the open woods and leaves add to make for some intimate and breathtaking photos.
CONS: This location can be really confusing to navigate so I recommend visiting the trail prior to your photoshoot in order to know where the Main Ruins and Lake can be found. Trust me… you don’t want to be looking for the main attraction for hours while the sun is going down!! Make sure to bring an extra pair of shoes as well to hike the trail and watch your step! The trail will take about 20 minutes to reach the Main Ruin but will be absolutely worth the photos!
- Downtown Atlanta Parking Decks
- Roswell Mill
- Oakland Cemetery (yes, a cemetery!)
- Millennium gate
So that wraps up my 5 top engagement locations in Atlanta! It also marks the first of many blog posts! I want these blogs to be informative to the just engaged couples out there as well as clients of mine past and present who want to follow me more on my journey! I have learned SO many things being a photographer that couldn’t be taught in books. Purely were learned through experiences. Making shitty mistakes and learning from them as well as sharpening my skills and expanding my horizon on the boundaries of my business. I can’t wait to share more with you all!
If you want more from Andres Lopez Films, visit my Pinterest site!