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the best St. Louis engagement photo locations for YOUR unique style!

St. Louis is FULL of such a diverse range of styles, neighborhoods and activities to explore – there is truly something for everyone. It’d be impossible to capture all of the area’s beloved and hidden gems in one list, but this curated collection of faves is a great place to start!

how to find your ideal location

Honestly, the most important part of your engagement session isn’t where you shoot, but the story you tell. Your location is just one of many elements (posing, wardrobe, season, activity/props, etc.) that shape how your photos will feel.

Capturing a special milestone in an environment that holds personal meaning (like in your first apartment together or where you went on your first date) or somewhere you both just LOVE is far more important than choosing somewhere just because it looks pretty. Your ideal photo location may not be on the list below, but it will be a great guide to help you identify your style and get ideas!

So how do you find your ideal location? 

  1. Take a look at the locations listed below and make note of a few spots that resonate. Why are you drawn to them? What don’t you like?
  2. Consider, “How do I want my engagement photos to feel?” Write down a list of 3-5 adjectives.
  3. Share your answers for the above questions with your photographer so they can help you brainstorm and refine! Once they have a sense of what speaks to your vision, they will be better equipped to provide personalized recommendations just for you.

best St. Louis engagement photos locations for

an outdoorsy + nature-loving vibe

If you have an adventurous spirit, or just simply love breathtaking natural scenery, there is plenty of outdoor beauty to discover in the midwest! While St. Louis may be light on mountains, it offers a surprisingly wide variety of other natural wonders both within, and just a short drive beyond, the city limits.

  • August A. Busch Conservation Area (Busch Wildlife)
    This 6,000+ acre conservation area located in St. Charles County is one of my all-time favorite STL photo destinations thanks to it’s proximity and variety. Inside you’ll find lakes, meadows, and even a secluded pine grove that almost feels like the Pacific Northwest once you step inside!

  • Elephant Rocks State Park
    This super unique natural wonder is well-worth the short 1.5-2hr road trip from St. Louis to be surrounded by larger-than-life boulders high above the trees. If you’ve ever been to Garden of the Gods in Illinois, this is it’s epic, more colorful sister!

  • Castlewood State Park
    1,800 acres of parks, creeks, and trails conveniently located in Ballwin, MO. A 30min hike will bring you to scenic overlook of the Meramec river!

  • Johnson Shut-Ins State Park
    Another gem that’s an easy 1.5-2hr drive to discover! This natural ‘waterpark’ is a popular spot for summer swimmers who also love to rock scramble. Johnson Shut-Ins is about 20 minutes beyond Elephant Rocks State Park (you’ll likely pass it on your way home) so it’s definitely worth considering a longer session to capture photos at both places in one day!

  • Klondike Park
    It may not have the ocean, but for water and beach lovers, Klondike Park is the next best thing – and a lot closer than any of the coasts! Just an hour drive from downtown St. Louis, this hidden spot offers bluffs and water surrounded by white sandy beaches.

  • Lost Hill Lake
    This sprawling property in St. Clair, MO also doubles as an outdoor wedding venue, so you know it’s pretty! Shooting here requires a rental fee but can give you access to their unique retro glamping space and lake for some fun canoe shots on the water!

best St. Louis engagement photos locations for

an offbeat + creative vibe

If you’re looking for engagement photos that feel FUN – and distinctly unique – consider one of the spots below! From sculptural textures, to overflowing color, and an artistic playground, these locations are sure to bring out your playful and creative side.

  • City Museum
  • The Mural Mile (aka the Graffiti Wall)
  • Grand Center Arts District
  • Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
  • The Grove
  • Downtown St. Louis
  • Six Flags

best St. Louis engagement photos locations for

a chic + sophisticated vibe

These tried-and-true St. Louis favorites provide photos that classic ‘timeless’ feel. Pair any one of these grand areas/stone buildings with a dressy neutral outfit and you’ll instantly achieve a luxury look.

  • St. Louis Art Museum Grounds
  • Forest Park
  • Washington University
  • St. Louis Public Library
  • Grand Center Arts District
  • World’s Fair Pavilion
  • Central West End
  • Missouri History Museum

best St. Louis engagement photos locations for

an urban + industrial vibe

Wander around any one of these places and you’re sure to find a plethora of different walls and textures to instantly give your photos fun variety. Half the fun of your session will just be the stroll as you explore! As a photographer I love the versatility of these locations – they pair well with casual and dressy looks equally.

  • Downtown St. Louis (streets + rooftops alike!)
  • Downtown Clayton
  • Laclede’s Landing
  • City Foundry
  • Central West End

best St. Louis engagement photo locations for

a classic greenery-filled park hang

Parks are the classic go-to for photos because they’re public, free, usually offer ample parking and, of course, pretty views. But not all parks are created equal! My faves (shared below) offer the widest variety of natural and man-made elements to make the most out of your session.

best St. Louis engagement photo locations for

diehard St. Louisans

Of course this list only scratches the surface of beloved St. Louis ‘landmarks’, but for those who love a theme – and most importantly, the Lou – these thought-starters are a great way to incorporate hometown love into your session.

  • Arch Grounds + Kiener Plaza
  • All Forest Park Landmarks
  • Busch Stadium/Ballpark Village
  • Imo’s Pizza
  • Ted Drewes
  • The Delmar Loop
  • St. Louis Zoo

Hope this list of St. Louis photo locations got your creative juices flowing!

I LOVE helping couples level-up their photo adventures and create images that are hyper-personalized. Eager to learn more about the unique engagement session experience I provide? Get in touch with me HERE!

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