Updated: Mar 8
So you're engaged - how exciting!! It's time to show off your love with some engagement photos 🖤💍
But where to go? What to do??
Lucky you - there are so many beautiful and unique places in the Buffalo and western New York area to choose from and I've compiled a list of my top 15 favorites.
Let's jump right in!
1. Downtown Buffalo
Iconic architecture, city lights and colorful murals - downtown Buffalo is one of my favorite places for an engagement session! I can spend an hour or two with each couple I take there and have a totally different session every time - there's so much to see and explore!
BONUS: if the weather has you wanting to run inside, there are beautiful buildings such as Ellicott Square Building, 500 Pearl, City Hall and Hotel at the Lafayette to dip into for even more gorgeous photo ops. (Make sure to check certain buildings, such as City Hall, for their business hours before planning a session there).
^ playing inside Hotel at the Lafayette on a cold winter evening
*See more of L+E's downtown Buffalo + Deep South Taco Engagement Session
2. Woodlawn Beach State Park
Catch a big wave at Woodlawn Beach in Blasdell! I love this beach because it offers pretty greenery as a backdrop in addition to the classic beach setting.
BONUS: the sun sets right over Lake Erie creating a gorgeous pink sky!
^ sunset on the beach
3. the Cobblestone District
If you love the industrial and historic side of Buffalo as much as I do, Cobblestone is the place for you!
BONUS: warm up for your session with a beer or cocktail in one of the area's many bars
^ playing games and sipping beers at the Labatt Brew House
4. East Aurora
Is there another town as cute as East Aurora?! Nope! Which is why it's #4 on my list! Cute shop fronts and abundant foliage make this town feel like something out of a Hallmark movie 😉 I love walking down Main Street and Elm Street and visiting places like Taste Bistro and Coffee Bar, 42 North Brewing and Elm Street Bakery along the way!
^ Elm Street
^ outside the Aurora Theater
5. Chestnut Ridge Park
Miles of hiking trails, that stunning view of downtown Buffalo on a clear day, and the famed Eternal Flame Falls - there's so much to see at Chestnut Ridge! This is one of my year-round favorites (especially in winter if I'm seeking some pretty green pine trees!).
BONUS: If you're a disc golf fan, bring your frisbees - there's a course that runs through the park!
^ hike down to the Eternal Flame Falls
* See more of A+J's Eternal Flame Engagement Session
^ the perfect park, rain or shine
* See more from M+B's Chestnut Ridge Engagement Session
6. Buffalo Waterfront + Tifft Nature Preserve
Lake Erie! Grain Silos!! Need I say more? If you want authentic Buffalo - a little pretty and a little gritty - visit Buffalo's Outer Harbor.
^ Gallagher Beach is one of my favorite spots with view of Lake Erie + the silos!
^ you can't beat golden hour at Tifft!
* See more from L+J's Tifft Engagement Session
7. your favorite Murals
There are so many murals in Buffalo and there are more popping up every day! Whether you want bold and colorful, pretty florals or to show your Buffalo pride, a mural is a must-stop on your engagement session adventure! You can find many of them on Hertel Ave, Elmwood Ave and in downtown Buffalo.
^ find the "Wildflower" mural on the Sinclair building downtown (next to the Library)
* See more photos from S+J's downtown Engagement Session
^ "Noodle in the Northern Lights" sits on the corner of Tupper and Main St.
^ "Greetings from Buffalo" is a great way to show your Buffalo pride! Located on Ellicott St
8. Buffalo + Erie County Botanical Gardens
I'm obsessed with greenery (seriously, you should see my house!) and the Buffalo Botanical Gardens is easily one of my favorite spots for engagement photos! It's the perfect spot to beat the heat in the summer and get out of the cold in winter. They've recently updated their photo policy though - so make sure to check it out before you visit for your session.
Want that mountain feel without driving for hours? Thank goodness for Ellicottville! Whether you wander around the quaint town or drive up the mountain for some snowy hills and killer views, E-Ville is worth the trip 😎
^ Holiday Valley / McCarty Hill State Forest has some great views!
* See more from H+J's Ellicottville Engagement Session
^ if you want to drive up to McCarty Hill, know that the road is seasonal and doesn't get plowed in the winter. But if you get stuck (like we did 🤣) feel free to pull over and take photos anyways - it's a super pretty tree lined drive!
^ the town of Ellicottville
^ the awesome staff at Dina's let us take photos in their modern, rustic bar and restaurant
10. Delaware Park
Classically Buffalo - Delaware Park is home to Hoyt Lake, the rose garden, miles of lush green grass and a cute stone bridge.
BONUS: Visit the park at sunrise for a beautiful golden hour and less crowds.
* See more photos from M + A's sunrise Engagement Session at Delaware Park
11. Niagara Falls
Don't let the tourists scare you away! Braving Niagara Falls State Park is so worth it with those breathtaking views! And there are lots of places around the park to snap some shots other than the Falls - cozy park benches, the Niagara River's rapids and pretty tree-lined lanes. Just know that you'll be giving everyone a show while you love up on each other 😘
12. Knox Farm State Park
Epic sunsets, ivy covered buildings and rolling green hills - it's like Knox Farm was made just for romantic engagement sessions 🖤
BONUS: there's a dog park there so be prepared to see lots of cute pups 🐶
^ my favorite tree, can you find it on the property? 😉
* See more from A+B's Knox Farm + 42 North Engagement Session
13. your favorite Bar or Cafe
If sipping brews or lattes is one of your favorite things to do with your sweety, make sure to make a stop at your favorite spot during your engagement session.
BONUS: Starting your session with a little snip of alcohol gets ya all loosey-goosey and less worried about being camera shy 🍻
^ the Moor Pat in Williamsville
14. someplace with a Special Meaning or something you Love Doing Together
When deciding what to do for your session, consider incorporating something you love doing together or a place that has special meaning.
Where did you have your first date? Your first kiss?
What's your favorite weekend activity?
^ these cuties love to camp, so a campfire cuddle sesh was certainly in order!
^ this couple have been friends since high school, so we took some of their photos at the fountain in Geneseo where all the cool kids used to hang out 😎 (notice they're both wearing his high school football gear too!)
^ big hockey fans, this couple decided to start their session off on The Healthy Zone Ice Rink in East Aurora
^ we kicked this session off watching the Buffalo Bisons game - a favorite date spot for these two
* See more from L+J's Bisons game + Tifft Engagement Session
^ I just had to take these two to Misuta Chows when learning of J's pinball mania 🤓
15. your Home
What could be more a cozy and intimate spot than the home you've created together?
I hoped this sparked some great ideas for your own engagement session!
Still searching for a photographer to capture your love story and dream wedding day? See what it's like to be a JEP bride!
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