In working with my many great clients at various venues, I have come to adore certain outdoor spots locally, across Canada and overseas that I would love to share with you all. In case you might be wondering about what photographic spots are out there, what makes certain places special and most importantly which ones speak to the interests of who you are as a couple.
Following is my top ten outdoor romantic destinations for photo shoots in no particular order. I have compiled - Lalla Studios Top 10 Outdoor Romantic Photo Shoot Destinations. Along with why I love them with accompanying photos to entice you or to get you brainstorming for future photo shoot ideas.
I hope you enjoy and feel free to respond in letting us know what your favorite spots or destinations are for engagement & wedding photo shoots.
1) Tulum, Mexico
With a beach by the name of Paradise beach located here, you get the idea the atmosphere is truly top notch romantic. With it’s turquoise waters and white sandy beaches you can’t help but feel you are in paradise and in a world all it’s own. I found Tulum to have many rustic unique areas and beaches where private photo shoots are possible without an influx of other newlyweds taking photos in the background. Photo opportunities are endless and include – beach cabanas, wide open white sandy beaches, ruins, towering palm trees and biosphere parks.
2) Toronto Island - Toronto, Ontario
With a short ferry ride over to Toronto Island photo opportunities abound. Depending on what your tastes are in terms of photos the choices are endless. The photo shoot begins as you board the ferries from the mainland of Toronto and riding over to the island. Upon arrival there is expansive grassy areas, old trees, and private beach with protected flora and fauna. For fun you can head over to Far Enough Farm where sweet photos can be taken with the local animals. Ice cream cones, biking, picnics, and walking on the boardwalk are also a few other photo opportunities available to those interested in doing an activity during an engagement shoot. The ferry ride back to mainland Toronto at sunset in the summer ends the day with sizzling romantic photos.
3) Phyllis Rawlinson Park - Richmond Hill, Ontario
Located just outside of downtown Toronto in Richmond Hill. Phyllis Rawlinson Park makes for some beautiful outdoor scenery, as it was once a horse-farm. Favorite photos I have shot here were during the fall, when the backdrop offered a warming array of reds, oranges and yellows. It is no wonder fall is my favorite season! There is great walk ways through lagoons surrounded by tall grass, crab apple trees, fields of flowers, old barn and as well a historic home.
4) Vineland Estates Winery - Vineland, Ontario
Another stunning favorite of mine during the fall and summer months is Vineland Estates Winery along the Niagara Escarpment. Vineland Estate Winery is a restored Mennonite homestead dating back to the 1840s in Niagara, which is also surrounded by picturesque country vineyards. With restored historic buildings that now house a restaurant and carriage house for private events, hosting a wedding here would truly be memorable. Intimate photo opportunities exist in and around the winery for both an engagement and wedding photo shoot. Along with the wonderful photo shoot opportunities, great local gourmet food is served. Fulfilling your Niagara experience.
5) Parkwood Estates – Oshawa, Ontario
A recent new favorite Parkwood Estates is a grand estate dating back to the 1920’s, which was home to the founder of General Motors of Canada – Mr. Samuel McLaughlin. The gardens of the estate provide an elegant setting for a lovely wedding ceremony or engagement photos. Great care and investment has been put into the gardens and architecture of the home, with a recent 2 million restoration, so that the gardens appear as they did in the 1930’s. The estate has been a setting for many movies and fashion photo shoots, which should give you the idea that it’s definitely a desirable location for a romantic private affair. I myself loved the manicured hedges, marble cherub water fountains and expansive water fountain feature. I had many visions of beautiful photo shoots at Parkwood Estates, this is one venue not to be missed!
6) James Gardens – Etobicoke, Ontario
Located on the west bank of the Humber River, this quiet location offers sweet spots for photo opportunities. Walking throughout the park I adore the stone pathways, mature trees, manicured gardens and the secret spot that sits above the park where I snapped the engagement photos below. Permits are required for wedding photo shoots. Other great spots throughout the park contain - bridges, wooded trails and a duck pond. Creative shoot ideas came to mind for me as well, for couples interested in doing a themed photo shoot using props. The winding residential streets leading down to James Gardens also offers other photo opportunities, as this is a beautiful well- established area.
7) Monterey, California
If you love the west coast, nature, coastal waters and cypress trees this may be the destination for you. Being an avid nature lover myself and enjoying all that California has to offer it’s not hard to understand why Monterey would be a prime romantic destination for a wedding. Among the most memorable scenery in Monterey includes stopping along the spectacular 17-mile drive probably one of the most beautiful places in the world, where many movies have been filmed. Stunning views to take in include Pebble Beach Golf Course, tide pools, sea otters and harbour seals in the background. I can’t wait to head out here again! You can quote me as saying this experience is “One trip of a lifetime.”
8) Prince Edward County, Ontario
One of the less known areas of Ontario - Prince Edward County is a very charming and memorable getaway. Boasting some of the finest wineries in Canada, Sandbanks beach and historic settlements. Some of the beautiful photo opportunities in Prince Edward County include - aromatic lavender fields, farm weddings, wineries, and quaint inns. The Waring House is one such great spot I had the pleasure of experiencing. Be sure to check out this gem for future special events and getaways. The drive throughout Prince Edward County is an experience on its own, stopping off in all the little towns along the way.
9) Royal Ambassador Event Centre - Caledon, Ontario
Caledon as evidenced in the photos below contains some breathtaking backdrops for weddings. Nestled among many local conservation areas the outdoor scenery is something else if you choose to have an outdoor event. The Royal Ambassador Event Centre can accommodate both indoor and outdoor special events in every season of the year. I really loved the long rural roads and fields surrounding the venue location!
10) Vancouver, British Columbia
Having lived out on the west coast I really came to love the convenient spots all around Vancouver for photo shoots. My favorite areas include Deep Cove, Kitsilano beach, North Vancouver, False Creek and Jericho beach. With some of the most beautiful sunsets and mountain backdrops – Jericho beach is a popular location for both engagement and wedding photos. The photos below were taken along Jericho beach and False Creek at sunset hour. Vancouver contains great photo locations for your special event. Whether you want something more posh and elegant or something outdoorsy in a memorable world reknowned landscape, it’s all possible.
Photos taken by Lalla Studios, Written by Maria Lalla