Recently engaged? CONGRATS! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: married life is the best! But you don’t want to get so caught up in wishing and planning for married life that you miss this sweet, tender time of being engaged. Enjoy this period of your life! You’re only engaged once. So let’s slow things down a little bit with your engagement session and soak up this precious time together.
Here are some of my favorite engagement session locations, some photos to go with them, and any information you might need to know about them. (like if they have a photography fee, if there are restrooms for outfit changes, etc.). That way you have all the information you need to choose the perfect location for your session!
If you’re recently engaged looking for a great wedding photographer in the San Antonio area, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s chat about how I can make your wedding day as special as you’re dreaming it’ll be!
McNay Art Museum
The McNay Art Museum get top spot on this list because it’s.. well.. it’s absolutely gorgeous! As you walk along the expansive, green grounds you’ll see the statue garden under the towering oak trees, a rustic little gazebo on a pond, and of course the bright, white, elegant building itself! It provides nice, clean backgrounds that will complement – not distract – from you and your fiance and your love. San Antonio is known for its Spanish architecture. This building will give your engagement a little bit of Spanish flair and a clean elegant vibe. It’s definitely a must see!
There is a $30 photography fee to shoot on the grounds outside the museum. There’s also a $100 fee to shoot inside the museum (they have gorgeous staircases and windows inside). This also includes their courtyard with lush greenery and bold fountains and intricately tiled staircases. Personally, I think the outside is beautiful enough on its own, but access to the inner courtyard provides a greater variety of backgrounds for your engagement gallery.
The Pearl is one of my absolute favorite engagement session spots!! There is just so so much you can do. Besides the riverwalk and the goooorgeous Hotel Emma, you also have the urban alleyways, the ivy-covered walls, waterfalls with koi fish, and seriously SO MUCH more. You’ll be hard pressed to decide what to you want us to capture! You can get a wide variety of backgrounds at the Pearl to give your gallery a lot of unique shots; no two photos will look the same.
They also have easy access to restrooms to change outfits, and there’s no photography fee which is always a plus! Because it’s such a popular place to visit with all the restaurants and shops, it gets crowded on the weekends. Not to mention the other photographers taking advantage of the plethora of gorgeous backgrounds. Maybe consider planning your session for a weekday evening instead of a weekend if the Pearl catches your eye!
Once upon a time this sweet couple donated their beautiful family estate that to the city on the condition that they’d turn the estate and its grounds into a public library. Welcome to Landa Library! It’s got gorgeous architecture, a bunch of small intricate details, greenery and trees, and even a butterfly garden! (not a garden of butterflies, but a garden for butterflies to live). There are some big, bold doors that I love to utilize whenever I shoot at Landa Library! And quite a few intimate little corners providing the perfect background for closeup, snuggle shots!
This location can get pretty crowded on the weekends, so just be prepared for that! It’s a hot spot for lots of local portrait photographers so we may be waiting our turn for the really sweet spots. If your schedule can handle it, a weekday session would be perfect here! I’ve heard talk of Landa Library starting to charge a small photography fee, but I can’t find anything on their website about it. If you choose this as your engagement session location, we’ll definitely call ahead and double check first!
Joshua Springs Park and Reserve
This one is a little outside of San Antonio near the cute town of Boerne. But I included it on this list because it is WORTH the drive! Joshua Springs Park showcases the best of Texas hill country: calm green fields, blue streams, rolling green hills. It reminds me of the hill country in front of the You feel like it’s just you two and nature (and me) and I’m all about it.
There isn’t a photography fee to shoot there, and it’s far enough out of the way that crowds won’t overwhelm us on the weekends like the Pearl, Landa Library, or Brackenridge Park might be. They do have restrooms there if you choose to bring a second outfit to your engagement session (which I totally encourage!) so there won’t be any frantic changing in the back of the car (woot woot)!
San Jose Mission
If you’re looking for a quintessential Texas location with beautiful backgrounds, graceful arches, and a rich history, then the San Jose mission is for you! The neutral colored walls of the mission make you and your fiance POP as the focus of the photo. If you choose this as your engagement session location, make sure to wear those light, calm colors that will complement that background sooooo well (I talk about that in the Engagement Style Guide I send you!).
I’ve gotten beautiful images, very single time I’ve shot here. Without fail. And that’s in spite of how crowded it can get (because it’s the most popular mission for tourists and locals). We can work around the other people pretty easily, though. If this location just speaks to you, don’t worry about a thing! I’ll take care of it 🙂
There is a $100 photography fee to shoot at any of the missions. There’s a form we have to fill out ahead of time, and they won’t allow us to photograph at all if there’s a real wedding taking place at the mission that day. So if this is the location you want, let me know ASAP so we can make sure it’s available on your date!
Y’all Brackenridge was the first place I ever shot a session when I moved to San Antonio and it’s STILL one of my favorites. It has miles of green walking trails, majestic trees, the river running right through it, and these gorgeous bridges near one of the entrances. If you’re wanting primarily natural backgrounds for your engagement photos, this is where I would recommend going! Literally every single backdrop at this park is insta-worthy. It also gives us a lot of awesome shade to get some pretty fantastic lighting in the evenings!
There’s no photography fee to shoot here. But because it is one of the biggest and best maintained parks in San Antonio, it can get a little busy with pedestrians on the weekends. Like always, we can totally work around that if this location speaks to your heart! It certainly speaks to mine 🙂
So there it is, folks! A list of my favorite engagement session locations in San Antonio, Texas! Hopefully one of these locations sparked your interest and you’re now one step closer to getting everything ready for your big day. Didn’t see a location you think would be awesome for your engagement session? Let’s chat about it! There are soooo many amazing spots in and around San Antonio we’d be here all week if I included them all. But let me know in the comments if you think someplace else belongs on this list! Who knows, if it’s truly incredible it may even make it’s way onto my list 🙂
**Lucille Photo, Dawn Elizabeth Studios
***Marni Wishart Photography
Top San Antonio Engagement Session Locations | Sara Welburn Photography
July 31, 2020