Scheduling an engagement photo session is high on the to-do list of any newly betrothed couple. And there are certainly some spots around town that are more popular than others (ahem, Ault Park), where you’ve undoubtedly witnessed a photographer capturing true love.
Yet, nice as Ault Park is, Cincinnati and the surrounding areas offer a multitude of unique and beautiful backdrops for engagement photo sessions.
If you’re looking for something different, or closer to home, here are a few other spots that local wedding photographers recommend highly.
Greenacres Arts Center
Nestled in the village of Indian Hill is this gem of a property. The fully restored Norman-style manor house anchors acres of photographic opportunities, which include formal gardens, water fountains and a moat.
Voice of America MetroPark
Located in West Chester just north of Tylersville Road, this 435-acre park offers interesting outdoor photo opportunities for couples living in the northern suburbs who want to stay in the area.
“It has a huge hill that gives you a different background instead of a white sky,” said Glenn Tatman, owner of Tatman Photography. “There’s a lot of tall grasses and it’s nice to capture those brown tones in the fall, greens in the summer.”
Wiedemann Hill Mansion
Sitting atop a hill in Newport you’ll find the Wiedemann Hill Mansion and grounds, offering a panoramic view of the Cincinnati skyline. Noted Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford designed the historic home, and each of the 17 rooms is finished in a different wood, including mahogany and cherry.
“Wiedemann has a gorgeous porch with a breathtaking view of the city,” said Megan Noll, owner of Megan Noll Photography. “The venue is filled with character and details to make any photographer swoon.”
Another option in the northern suburbs is Sharon Woods, which has a little bit of everything. The park’s 730 acres boasts hiking trails, a 35-acre lake, babbling creeks with waterfalls and a rustic Heritage Village, a recreation of a 19th-century community with historic buildings.
“I can go to Sharon Woods and get a more natural setting with big old trees, bridges, trails, creeks, waterfalls, stonework and skyline. All the while I have great lighting,” said Daniel Michael, president of Images by Daniel Michael.
Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum
Yes, it may seem a bit unusual to celebrate an engagement by taking photographs in a cemetery, but this is no ordinary cemetery. From the massive iron gates that greet you upon entry, to the 12 ponds, the Gothic-revival memorials and the more than 1,200 species growing and flowering across its 733 acres, there’s grandeur around every corner.
“If you want greenery and landscaping, nothing matches Spring Grove Cemetery,” Michael said. “It’s Central Park in Cincinnati.”
At the end of the day, what makes an engagement session special and unique is that it captures the essence of the couple. Whether that’s a picture of the duo walking their dog around the neighborhood or one that showcases their love of gardening, the image should represent them.
“My job is to make things look beautiful,” Noll said. “If they met playing soccer, let’s go back there and take photos. Maybe they love going to the Eagle in OTR, so let’s take photos there.”