This block is part of the Main Street Market Square District. It is located in the stretch of Main Street downtown between Prairie and Congress. Most attractive is the brick paved street and sidewalks that are lined with beautiful iron light posts. The architecture features nineteenth-century structures with intricately designed storefronts.
Recently, this block has developed into Downtown’s Restaurant Row. There is a hub of restaurant cafes and bars that are all located on the same block or within close proximity. This area is now anchored by Boom Town Coffee shop. Formerly known as the Honeymoon Café, the name was more fitting for engagement photos. However, you can still find some cool architecture and fantastic range of colors on the 300 block of Main Street.
The blue mosaic tile walls at Jones Plaza are astonishing to see! It’s like bringing the splendor of the underwater that will add texture and dimension to your photos. Situated on a 1.5-acre public space, Jones Place is at the center of Houston’s Theater District. For 51 years this square-block plaza has long been the site for huge concerts, civic events, block parties and pep rallies. Newly renovated, Jones Plaza includes enormous beautiful lawns and shade trees.
This site is anchored by a green, white and bluish mix of mosaic stones that photograph so well. We suggest wearing bold and rich colors, like colors in the red family, as there is a sharp contrast against the background. My best advice
When the museums are not open in Houston, you can drive around the block to view the collection of street art. Starting at The Heights do East Downtown, each neighborhood is filled with the interesting walls, including graffiti. Houston has one of the most vibrant street art scenes in the world, and each one has cultural significance. There are a total of fifteen art murals with gorgeous details. The section is popular for selfies, Instagram pics, and photo shoots.
Our favorite set of graffiti walls can be found at the corner of St. Emmanuel and Bell Street. This is near the George R. Brown building. The greatest thing about the location is that it has four sides of art. Fortunately, there will always be a shaded side that is ready to shoot no matter where the sun is positioned.
Houston is very proud of its world-renown architecture that includes a diverse mix of post-modern, art deco and Italian renaissance. On the rooftop, you can see everything from these amazing views with the city skyline providing the backdrop. It is truly an incredible sight for engagement photos.
There are a lot of rooftops downtown. The easiest thing to do is find a parking garage and go all the way to the top floor. The further you are away from downtown within reason, the better the view is in terms of seeing the complete skyline.
Discovery Green is a beautiful urban park in the center of Downtown Houston. This location is perfect for capturing a spectacular of view of Hess Tower in the background. Discovery Green is near the George R. Brown Convention Center. There is a lake, several lush green areas lined with Mexican Sycamore trees, stages and venues on these 12 acres of land. The farmers markets, art fairs and parades are some of the events that you can find on Discovery Green. The stunning art installations, like the Margo Sawyer’s Synchronicity of Color and Doug Hollis’s Listening Vessels also create backdrops for some jaw dropping pictures.
Sabine Street Bridge is the top choice because of the iconic view of Downtown Houston and the skyline all seen in one shot. The best time to shoot is right before sunset as the sky usually cascades into a deep midnight blue. In addition, the sun beautifully reflects from the skyscrapers to enrich the effect. Even if you’re afraid of heights, the bridge is actually nestled by trees. You will have the illusion that you are not as high up as you really are. The Sabine Street Bridge is close to state parks that offer you some unique second locations for your photo session. We can find some gorgeous places directly below the bridge. For example, the pictures on the Buffalo Bayou will compliment the appearance of the bridge.
Houston is known for the arts, diversity and culture. The Biscuit Paint Wall is a wonderful contribution with a rainbow-themed wall. It is actually a retail store, called Biscuit Home, which sells bedroom furniture and bedding. It was painted by a French artist that lives in Houston, Sebastien “Mr. D” Boileau. His technique was to pour several gallons of paint from the top of the building and allow the colors to drip down the original black building. Because there is a parking lot close by, it is best to schedule a photo shoot early in the morning when the store is less busy. Another time is early evening, so that you can catch the pink glow that shines over the entire area from the sunlight.
*I’ve never shot at this location. Bonus points for being brave and coming to this location as my first!
There are few areas of Houston that are more urban than the warehouse district. It is anchored by a very grunge looking fire escape along a brick building. Those Beyonce on the Run photos will never look better with this as your backdrop.
Mercer Botanic Gardens has an arboretum and gardens where couples can be photographed beautifully with the all of the surrounding foliage in the scenery. The gardens are named after Thelma and Charles Mercer, and there are over 250 acres of land along Cypress Creek. The east side contains the botanic gardens, and the west side has the arboretum. The arboretum has 60 acres of exquisitely maintained gardens that feature exotic plants from all over the world and the largest assortment of native plants in the region. Let’s just say, we will not run out of the most perfect spots to shoot pictures. Additional highlights are the Dogwood and orchid trees, along with the colorful birds flying overhead. There are plenty of sculptures, fountains and other areas of interest.
Over 100 years old, Hermann Park Conservancy can be found at the southern end of the Museum District. With over six million visitors annually, it is one of the most popular places in Houston to shoot photos. The most striking is the reflection pool, which is 80-foot-wide and 740-foot-long. This the key point of Hermann Park, featuring two parallel paths. There are plethora of opportunities from an outdoor theatre, water features, woodsy areas, grassy knolls and fantastic architectural designs.
Hosting events like the Kite Festival and the Park to Port Bike Ride, there are so many things going on. Moreover, there are few places as attractive as Hermann Park. When you venture off the beaten path, you will discover some true gems. In all honesty when couples ask for Hermann Park, I always suggest an alternate venue. This is due to large crowds and parking can be a nightmare.
Part of the Hermann Park Conservancy are McGovern Centennial Gardens. This attraction showcases eight acres that includes the Arid Garden, Rose Garden, Celebration Garden, Woodland Garden…just to name a few. The anchor to this location is pyramid shaped waterfall. With more than 490 new trees, hedge shrubs, perennial bulbs and azaleas. The McGovern Centennial Gardens even produces seasonal vegetables, herbs and fruit trees.
This is one of my favorite places to shoot photos of couples. Especially Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, which was designed by the architect Peter Bohlin. Very tranquil, this pavilion is a lovely arboretum with floor to ceiling windows. Needless to say, the grounds are absolutely breathtaking to capture in images. Small disclaimer, McGovern’s Centennial Gardens goes back and forth on permit required or not. I think the easiest thing is to get a permit if you would like to shoot here, it’s amazing grounds for photos.
The museum district is the culture of the city, housing nineteen museums and art galleries. It is home to the Fine Arts Museum, American Sculpture, Egyptian antiquities, and impressionist art. Frankly, this is the city’s most diverse pallet within a 5 mile radius. Also, this area is known as the greenest part of Houston. From the colorful buildings and doors, to the ivy walls, there are lots of picturesque views to pick from. This is why this part of town is popular for photography, particularly engagement sessions. When you’re unsure of the look you want, the Museum District is a sure fire win. Or when you simply desire a variety of natural indoor and outdoor backgrounds, you want to choose this location.
North/South Boulevard is nestled in Broadacres, which is a subdivision in Houston. The anchor of the location are the red brick walkways. These walking paths are so attractive under a canopy of live oak trees. Lots of people use this as a backdrop for wedding and engagement photos. This place is so popular that all of the visitors became a nuisance to residents. They took action, and North/South Boulevard was banned from photography! That tells all you need to know about this iconic location. It truly has a look that is so unique in Houston. I will say, that if you choose this location, please be courteous. Leave the props at home. No confetti. No rose pedals. Nothing that will leave a mess. The residents of this community are protective, and who can blame them.
Yes there is a fee. I promise you it’s worth every red cent! With five green arches and bustling flowers all around, River Oaks Garden Club is one of the best kept secrets in Houston. Established in 1942, the club features three formal gardens that were designed by J. Allen Myers, Jr. and Herbert Skogland. The informal gardens are spacious and gorgeous. The Forum is used for ceremonies, receptions, birthday parties, and photo sessions. I especially love all the sculptures around the garden. Top that off with a red brick patio, and you simply cannot beat this location! Although, there are a lot of trees, the sun will shine brightly on this location. You want to pray and hope for an overcast day on the day of your session. Other good times are in the morning or during sunset for the best results.
*I’ve never shot at this location for engagement photos. Bonus points for being brave and coming to this location as my first!
Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden is located at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. The contemporary style garden was created by sculptor Isamu Noguchi. It is a peaceful and serene garden filled with art and nature. There are twenty-five works from the museum that are showcased. This includes outstanding sculptures by Henri Matisse and other well known artists. If you are familiar with the Cloud Gate in Chicago, then you will enjoy the sister piece, Cloud Column. In it you can see a reflection of the Houston landscape. There are also interesting sculpture pieces on display that were commissioned for the site.
The Police Memorial was built to show respect for the fallen police officers in Houston. This amazing architectural piece was designed by Jesus Bautista Moroles. The open grassy field surrounds a Greek cross with a pyramid in the center. Pink granite slabs frame the reflection pool, including the names of these honored men and women. The memorial is part of the Buffalo Bayou Park complex. It’s perfect that we can take photos of the couple and highlight the picturesque view of the Houston skyline in the background. An illuminating aura can be seen across the sky right after sunset.
*I’ve never shot at this location. Bonus points for being brave and coming to this location as my first!
Many may be surprised to know that university and college campuses are widely used for weddings and bridal photos. In Houston, the beautiful campus at Rice University provided a romantic and elegant backdrop for an engagement session. Known for the Lynn R. Lowrey Arboretum, which is named in honor of the Houston horticulturist. It is filled with lush green ivy, native woody plants, grasses, and wildflowers throughout a 300-acre tree-lined campus. In addition, the Mediterranean Revival architectural style of these brick buildings and columns are iconic.
The Museum of Fine Arts offers a cozy and nostalgic vibe, with a charming and sophisticated décor. An engagement photo session can be a unique way to share the story of how common interests can unite two beautiful people. In this case, the interest was in fine arts, which is known to incite great passion and excitement when fused together.
You want the look of DC without the plane ticket? This is the closest look we can manage in Houston. Littered with Stone columns that are to die for this place is a look unlike many others in Houston. I especially love when my clients wear bold colors like: orange, red, burgundy, hunter greens, pinks and blacks against the gray stone. It’s such a flattering compliment.
The Galveston Strand is in downtown Galveston, Texas. This is a National Historic Landmark District of buildings with restaurants, pubs, and antique stores, housed in majestic iron-front buildings. The beautiful Victorian architecture has colorful storefronts. Being that The Strand is close to the beach, there are lots of sites to create a variety of places for your photography session. From the Grand 1894 Opera House and Art Deco railroad museum, this location even hosts the popular Mardi Gras celebration every year. Also, Pier 21 offers fantastic waterfront views, The Galveston Strand provides historic charm and opulence.
There are several benefits for shooting in the studio, because it provides some super clean looks that do not need to be manipulated later. Another advantages to shooting in a studio is the use of an assortment of gorgeous backgrounds and lighting. We e can display the most stunning wall art, like a grass wall, in the background. Also, it makes the shoot itself more relaxed and natural, because I can get to know the clients better in a more intimate and fun way.
As a professional photographer, I’m able to offer a couple more individualized attention to truly bring their personality and style to life through their images. In the summer months, it allows the couple to stay away from the heat and humidity of Houston. The ladies really love that advantage! Lastly, it’s a great fail-safe session in the event of a rainy day. Below are a few from my favorite studio.
An airport can be a unique location to capture the ambiance of an intriguing love story. This is true at the historic 1940 Air Terminal Museum. Designed during the Art Deco era, this museum serves as a wonderful event venue with a very distinctive setting. Most remarkable are the marble floors and elegant chandelier. The exhibit rooms hold vintage aircraft that are perfect for photos taken inside the cockpit or in the background of a timeless black and white photo.
The Galveston Railroad Museum can be found at 25th and Strand in Galveston, Texas. It is at the site of the 1932 Santa Fe Depot and railyard. Starting off with just with the original passenger cars and two locomotives, this a place that will take you back in time. Some of the other incredible features are the forty pieces of rolling stock and an extensive assortment of dining car china in the Southwest. For a photo session, you can choose from two model railroad layouts. Also, there is a carpentry shop that has been renovated to look like one of the early passenger trains. The background will provide a touch of class and an industrial look to your images that will be memorable.
If you want engagement photos that will have a dramatic effect, then choose an iconic landmark in Houston. The Houston Water Wall is the most photographed site with an incredible 64-foot U-shaped fountain. The memorable experience will surely impress your friends and family as these photos will be sure to capture their attention and be the talk on social media. The day of your shoot, be prepared to get up early as the water wall gets an audience fast. On the same grounds of the water wall is a building that often reflects the sky since the windows have tent. An advantage for shooting at the waterfall wall is the central location, which makes it easy to get to other downtown landmarks for a second shoot.
Kemah Boardwalk is a theme park that is only 20 minutes from Downtown Houston. It is open every day and provides a fun environment for a photo session. Who doesn’t want an exciting rollercoaster in the background! Also, there is an impressive view overlooking out over Clear Lake and the Bay. The best romantic spot is to capture a picturesque background is along the waterfront. Another gorgeous area is on the pier where the boats are gliding by. There is no charge to access the boardwalk. You definitely want to watch the weather report, because it is recommended that we shoot on a sunny day. We can always rent a boat while we there, those photos always come out amazing (see below)
*I’ve never shot at this location. Bonus points for being brave and coming to this location as my first!
Taking a beach excursion for an engagement photo session can be a real treat. You will have more fun if you can tap into your inner child, because at the beach, expect water and sand! Don’t be afraid to get into it. You only live once. In Houston, we are only 40 minutes from Galveston. Although the jetties near Pleasure Pier can be tons of fun, you can also consider venture a little further down the coastline to get images that are unlike many others. If you prefer the bluest water color, might I suggest a nice trip down to South Padre Island instead!
Sesquicentennial Park is a 22-acre park with lots of green spaces that is located in the center of downtown Houston. Just a few steps from the Downtown Aquarium in the popular theater district. The park showcases historical tiles and a statue of George Bush looking towards the Downtown Houston skyline. Sesquicentennial Park has architectural designs that are perfect if you prefer a secluded placed to capture some of the most intimate settings. Particularly along the banks of Buffalo Bayou or the waterfall stairs are lovely for pictures. There is even a set of illuminated seven that were designed by Houston native Mel Chin. Semi bonus points, I’ve only shot here twice and it’s been a long time!
Known as a secret gem of Huntsville, the Blue Lagoon is only 1.5 hours north of Houston. As two old lime quarries, this lagoon is actually 28 feet deep. It is also used for diving classes. Blue Lagoon is very beautiful with warm, blue-green water and lots of trees surrounding the lagoons. The wonderful artesian springs pouring into the pools give a magical feel as if you were actually in paradise. The atmosphere is absolutely stunning for couples to relax and shoot elegant photos. Some of the areas are sandy and have a beach feel to them. There is a park fee that is around $20. The best advice is to reserve a spot early and arrive when the lagoon opens at 10:00.
The Woodlands Waterway. One of the most diverse locations on this list. So diverse that I wasn’t sure exactly where it fit because it’s a little bit of woodsy, a little urban, some elements of greenery and flowers all surrounded by a water way. By name alone, I felt it was best to put this into the water section for engagement photos. This location includes a diverse pallet of water features that are even choreographed with colored lighting and music at night. The Woodlands Waterway also rents boats and canoes and give you awesome options for engagement photos. The Woodlands Waterway is unlike many locations on this list, and if you want true diversity and images that do not look like any others, this is your location.
Rob Fleming Park is located in The Woodlands Township, TX. Positioned along Spring Creek, this park features several loops and nice viewing sections with lots of birds and greenery. The attractive small lake even has a dock. Some great places to take pictures are near the pavilion, butterfly garden and specimen tree grove. Robert Fleming Park has beautifully maintained lawns with rows of azalea bushes. A good time to schedule your photo session is during Bluebonnet season, which is from March to April. This park boasts a huge Bluebonnet field that is a stunning for picture taking. Most exclusive are several fountains that are seen along walking trails that lead to the nature preserve, which is across the street.
Brazos Bend State Park can be found along the Brazos River in Needville, Texas. It is a marvelous place to see nature, go horse riding, and bike trails. Including over 35 miles of hiking trails, the grounds have beautiful green spaces and wetlands that resemble an exotic place. The natural areas have plenty of birds and flowers, but you can also locate some quiet areas too. There are pavilions throughout the park to set up a private photo session. A few places that serve as a beautiful backdrop are on the Creekfield Lake Nature Trail and George Observatory. Pay attention to the event calendar, as the park hosts annual events and festivals year round. Another thing you want to watch out for are the alligators, so check the alligator safety tips on the website.
Challenger Seven Memorial Park is 100 acres of land dedicated to honor the seven NASA astronauts who died in the explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle. It is located in Webster, Texas. The landscape is quite impressive with a bird sanctuary, endless nature trails, and a fishing pond. Moreover, the photo opportunities are wonderful on the boardwalk that lead to three elevated observation platforms. Most stunning are the views of the wetlands on Clear Creek. For a natural park, certain times in the day allow for the romantic sunlight to be a huge backdrop in the pictures. This would be early morning or late afternoon.
Kleb Woods Nature Center makes up 133 acres in Tomball, Texas. Originally a family farm, the location is right off of Grand Parkway. On the grounds, you can visit the Kleb Family Home that was built in the 1890’s. For black and white or antique photos in a historical time, the home can serve as the set for a unique experience. All of the artifacts are there, including the old farm equipment. Kleb Woods Nature Center has heavily wooded areas. Some are even undeveloped with a variety of plants and trees. The natural paths have pretty views. Known for its peaceful environment, this nature center is less crowded than most. In addition, you can see some wildlife running around. The Live Oak trail was the loveliest section at one end of the preserve. The grounds are eye-catching, especially when trees and flowers are in full bloom.
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