Portland Engagement Photo Locations

August 8, 2023

I have compiled a list of my favorite Portland engagement photo locations, including spots in the Columbia River Gorge, Mt Hood and the Oregon Coast. If you are newly engaged and looking for engagement photo location inspiration then this is the resource for you!

How to Choose an Engagement Photo Location

Do you love hiking and exploring or are you more of a city person who loves coffee dates, wine bars and urban strolls? Is there a special location in or around Portland that is meaningful to you? Maybe it is where you had your first date, a place you love to go on dates together or where you got engaged? These are the questions to ask yourselves when choosing an engagement photo location.

Engagement photos should feel playful, fun and an expression of your love together. I always tell my couples to choose a location that is meaningful to you and your relationship so that you feel comfortable and excited about taking photos there.

Also, don’t feel like you have to be boxed into one location. We can always explore two locations together if you want some urban-feeling photos as well as a few in nature.

What to Wear to Your Portland Engagement Photo Session

I tell my couples to plan two outfits during an engagement session. Both should be clothes that you feel comfortable in and love. Typically, one outfit would be casual (think jeans and a nice top, etc) and the other would be more dressed up (a flowy dress or nicer pants/shirt). Of course, you don’t have to do an outfit change at your engagement session but variety is always nice when selecting your favorite photos!

Take your location into mind when choosing what to wear. You probably wouldn’t wear a ballgown to hike in the forest or sweatpants to go on a coffee date. Choose clothes that feel appropriate for the location and tone of the photos.

Don’t be afraid of colors or patterns either! The only thing I tell couples to avoid is being too matchy but otherwise any color or print combo is fine with me!

When is the Best Time of Year to Take Engagement Photos in Portland?

You can take engagement photos any time of the year. If you don’t mind a little rain, grey skies and cold temps then November-March is a great time in Portland for photos. If golden hour and warm weather is what you prefer then I suggest we take them in the late spring or summer. Fall is a perfect time to capture the leaf change and still enjoy a warm sunset. Your engagement photos are typically taken about 9 months to a year before your wedding so give yourself enough time to pick a season that you enjoy!

A Portland Pearl District engagement session

Portland Engagement Photo Locations in Nature

These locations are great if you want greenery and nature to be a big component of your engagement photos. They are all located in close-in Portland but feel like you’re far away from the city center.

Hoyt Arboretum

Hoyt is my favorite Portland engagement photo location. There are endless trails to wander and it is green and lush year round! The Redwood Deck is one of the most gorgeous places to take photos in this whole town.

A couple taking engagement photos at Hoyt Arboretum.

Forest Park

This is another great forest location. A PNW wonderland of mossy trails and greenery.

Cathedral Park

The St John’s Bridge at Cathedral is a gorgeous spot that offers fabulous views as well as some green/forest vibes. Cathedral Park is beautiful in the fall and spring.

Powell Butte

Powell Butte is a great urban park with tall grass and Mt Hood views on a clear day!

Laurelhurst Park

Laurelhurst Park is great in the spring when flowers are blooming and in the fall when the leaves change.

Mt Tabor

Mt Tabor is a perfect spot to roam around and find foresty trails and views. The summit offers a great view of the city.

International Rose Test Garden

The International Rose Test Garden blooms in May/June and offers a great spot for greenery and colorful flowers.

Peninsula Park

Peninsula Park is a cute North Portland location that also blooms in early summer.

Pier Park

Pier Park is a wooded wonderland located in North Portland. It has similar vibes as Hoyt Arboretum but on a smaller scale.

Sauvie Island

Sauvie Island has many trails and beaches to explore. Permits are required to shoot here and it is best in the summer at sunset.

Urban Portland Engagement Photo Locations

Eastbank Esplanade

The Eastbank Esplanade near OMSI is the perfect place to get city and river views.

A Portland Waterfront engagement session.

Tillikum Crossing

the Tillikum Crossing is the new footbridge in SE Portland that offers amazing views of Portland. It is great at sunset and a perfect compliment to the Eastbank Esplanade.

The Pearl District

The Pearl District has so much to offer for engagement photos. We can explore coffee shops, ice cream stores, wine bars and just wander it’s urban streets.

Portland Waterfront

The Portland Waterfront is a great spot if you like city views and people watching. In the spring the Cherry Blossoms bloom here and this is also a great starting spot to take photos at the Burnside and Hawthorne Bridges.

Powell’s Books

Powell’s Books is one of the only indoor locations that allow photographers to shoot inside. If you love to read this is a perfect spot to add onto your shoot.

Industrial NW/ Northwest 23rd

The Industrial NW and Northwest 23rd area offers a lot of great urban nooks for fun photos. There are a lot of unique old buildings and great restaurants and bars that could be incorporated into the shoot.

Alberta Arts District

The Alberta Arts District is one of my favorite places to photograph. There are so many colorful and amazing murals here. If color and unique backgrounds are your thing then definitely consider Alberta!

An engagement session at Alberta Arts District in Portland.

Engagement Photo Locations Outside of Portland

Are you looking for a location that involves hiking, scenic views snow or the ocean? If so, the Columbia River Gorge, Mt Hood or the Oregon Coast are where you want to check out! These are my favorite engagement photo locations in those regions.

Columbia River Gorge Engagement Photo Locations

The Columbia River Gorge offers so many great engagement photo spots! From waterfalls to gorgeous views, you can’t go wrong choosing a spot to take photos here.

Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls is a breathtaking waterfall in the Gorge. You can hike in and get to a more secluded waterfall or do your shoot near the main falls that is located by the parking area.

A Latourell Falls engagement session.

Crown Point/Vista House

Crown Point is a great place to combine with Latourell Falls. It has sweeping views of the gorge and great sunsets. It can get very busy here in the summer!

Portland Women’s Forum

The Portland Women’s Forum can also be combined with Crown Point and Latourell. It is less trafficked and has great Gorge views.

Government Cove

Government Cove is my favorite Gorge engagement photo location. It has gorgeous sunsets and many different locations for photos. It is owned by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and donations are appreciated for using their land.

An engagement session at Government Cove in Cascade Locks, OR.

Thunder Island

Thunder Island offers great views of the Port of Cascade Locks and as well as the Columbia River Gorge.

Viento State Park

Viento State Park is a secluded area that has a great gorge view.

Cape Horn

Cape Horn is on the Washington side of the Gorge and has a lot of great trails and gorge views.

Rowena Crest

Rowena Crest has gorgeous wildflowers in spring. It is best April-June and can be very windy. There is no place like it though!

Mt Hood Engagement Photo Locations

The Mt Hood area is gorgeous and offers so many unique locations for an engagement shoot. These are great spots for winter themed shoots but they are all just as gorgeous in the summer as well.


Timberline is a perfect spot for amazing views of Mt Hood.

White River Sno Park

If you are dreaming of a snowy session this is a great spot. White River Sno Park is a popular sledding location but offers great views for photos!

Trillium Lake

Trillium Lake has great reflective views of Mt Hood in the summer. In the winter you have to snowshoe in to visit it.

Lost Lake

Lost Lake is a gorgeous area for a shoot. It offers foresty and lake views.

Hope Ranch Lavender Field

Hope Ranch offers gorgeous lavender fields in the summer close to sunset. They do charge to shoot here but it is worth it!

Oregon Coast Engagement Photo Locations

There is nothing more gorgeous than the Oregon Coast. From it’s rocky cliffsides to breathtaking sunsets, the Oregon Coast is a perfect spot for a romantic engagement photo shoot. The weather here can be wild so I typically suggest aiming for a summer coast shoot but if you like adventure they can be done year round.

Engagement photos at Hug Point near Cannon Beach

Hug Point

Hug Point is my favorite Oregon Coast spot. It has a great sunset and rocky cliffs with a waterfall.

Cannon Beach/Haystack Rock

Cannon Beach is home to Haystack Rock. If you time it right with the tide schedule you can walk right out next to the rock and shoot. This location is best at sunset.

Cape Kiwanda

Cape Kiwanda is beautiful. It does have erosion issues but if you stay on the trail shooting here is possible.

Manzanita/Rockaway Beach

Manzanita and Rockaway Beach are two of the cutest coast towns. They have really pretty sea grass and great sunsets.

If you are looking for other wedding planning resources then check out my guides discussing the best Portland Wedding Dress Shops, Top Portland Wedding Cakes and the Best Portland Wedding Bands.