top of page

30 locations and ideas for your engagement photoshoot in and around Vancouver, B.C.


This guide was written for all my couples and for anyone that’s trying to think of a place for an upcoming engagement shoot in or around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. When it comes to choosing a location for your shoot, my biggest go-to is to choose a location that has meaning to you both. Examples include (but are not limited to):

- where you first confessed your feelings to each other

- where you had your first date

- where you had your first kiss

- where you got engaged


The advantage of choosing these locations for your shoot lies in the nostalgia they evoke, adding a special and meaningful dimension to your gallery. Being in a cherished location with your partner for your engagement photos will also bring to surface beautiful emotions, resulting in truly meaningful and candid photos!


The majority of my wedding photography packages feature a 2-hour engagement session allowing for multiple outfit changes and location switches at your discretion. This flexibility enables you to capture photos at both a meaningful location and another site for aesthetic variety. We are truly spoiled and blessed by the countless options we have to choose from for locations for photoshoots in British Columbia. I’ve explored so many places as a photographer and wanted to compile all my favourites in one place so that when you are thinking of places to go for your engagement shoot, you can refer to this list!


Parks and Gardens


(1) Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, B.C.



- Gorgeous botanical garden atop Little Mountain, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline and a vibrant display of meticulously landscaped gardens with luscious blooms in the spring/summer

- I usually start off in the rose garden and walk up towards the Bloedel dome – this way you get florals, greens, ponds, bridge and end at the clock tower

- Parking options: paid parking lot, or there is residential parking on Kersland Dr between 35th and 37th avenue that is close to the Rose Garden



(2) Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, B.C.



- Stunning oasis featuring a diverse collection of plants, serene ponds, and winding pathways

- Breathtaking array of blooms during the spring/summer months. Beautiful lights during winter months leading up to Christmas.

- There’s also a maze that makes for really unique photos

- There is an admission fee, current price in 2024 is ~$9. Tickets can be booked online in advance or purchased at the admission desk upon arrival.

- Parking options: free parking lot at the entrance


(3) Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C.



- Situated by waters of Burrard Inlet and English Bay and is connected to the North Shore via the Lions Gate Bridge

- Very large park with many backdrops to choose from for your photos:

1. Stanley Park Rose Garden

2. Along the seawall with Lions Gate Bridge in the background

3. Among the towering trees

4. English Bay Beach

- Parking options: paid, several designated lots throughout the park, including locations near popular attractions like the Vancouver Aquarium, Prospect Point, and the Totem Poles


(4) Sendall Gardens, Langley, B.C.



- charming botanical oasis showcasing a diverse array of curated plant collections and serene pathways

- definitely recommend coming in the spring/summer when the florals and greens are in full bloom

- Parking options: free lot at the entrance


(5) Barnet Marine Park, Burnaby, B.C.



- Spectacular foreshore park with ocean and mountain views

- Walking along the curving path makes for stunning photos with the water in the background

- Parking options: free lot at the entrance


(6) Deer Lake Park, Burnaby, B.C.



- Scenic walking trails, gorgeous lakeside views, and also gardens behind the Burnaby Art Gallery

- I suggest walking a bit along the trail to get to the view by the water

- Parking options: free lot at the entrance


Nature


(7) Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver B.C.



- Iconic suspension bridge with rushing river underneath

- Abundance of trails with towering trees all around you

- The bridge itself is popular with many people and tourists on weekends in summer months, would definitely recommend going during a week night

- Parking options: paid, and fills up really fast on weekends


(8) Golden Ears Provincial Park/ Alouette Lake, Maple Ridge, B.C.



- Remarkable greenery all around and unreal mountain backdrop at Alouette Lake

- If you want to capture both lake and towering trees, I suggest starting at Alouette Lake (which is about a 1km trail walk from parking lot) and then on your way back to the car you can take photos deep in the woods

- Day-use pass required in the summer – get your pass two days before your visit, starting at 7 am.

- Make sure to have a clear plan on where to meet with your photographer because cell service is limited once you get to the park. I actually recommend carpooling with your photographer so you don’t get lost (and only have to use one pass if going during peak season in the summer)

- Parking options: free parking lot


(9) Pitt Lake, Pitt Meadows B.C.



- A favourite spot for mountain backdrop and pond-side magic

- During engagement season this fan favourite is usually swarming with other couples and families with their photographers

- Limited/no cell service once you arrive, so make sure you and your photographer come up with a clear meeting time and plan! Thankfully the roadside where you park is only a few steps from the entrance

- Parking options: free roadside parking https://maps.app.goo.gl/Y2jyWBupkJdBz4uv6


(10) Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver, B.C.


Photo: Romain Collet/604 Now Flickr Pool

- Captivating backdrop with its rugged coastal scenery, iconic Point Atkinsons Lighthouse, and majestic old-growth forest. The dramatic cliffs and sweeping ocean views makes for another classic option for engagement photos

- The scenic point overlooking the ocean is rocky so watch your footing!

- Parking options: free parking lot just off Beacon Lane. When travelling along Marine Drive towards Horseshoe Bay, turn left on Beacon Lane and follow the signs for Lighthouse Park


(11) Whytecliff Park, West Vancouver, B.C.



- Located on a petite cliffside, this park grants access to a serene beach and offers a mix of beach, ocean, and mountain!

- Spectacular panoramic vistas of Howe Sound and Bowen Island

- Parking options: small parking lot near the entrance to the park, as well as limited roadside parking along Marine Drive. However, parking can fill up quickly, especially during peak times, so arriving early is recommended to secure a spot


(12) Londsdale Quay, North Vancouver, B.C.



- Picturesque backdrop of North Shore mountains with vibrant waterfront marketplace with distinctive architectural design

- Outdoor plaza is perfect to soak in waterfront ambiance, with benches and public art installations

- Parking options: The Lonsdale Quay Market has an underground parkade with paid parking accessible from Rogers Avenue. There is also street parking available along Esplanade and surrounding streets


(13) Horseshoe Bay, North Vancouver, B.C.



- Coastal scenery and charming village atmosphere

- Horseshoe-shaped inlet offers a stunning backdrop, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and sailboats floating on sparkling ocean waters

- Imagine walking along the waterfront promenade that is adorned with shops, cafes, and marinas

- Parking options: paid parking lots near waterfront area and public lots near village center along royal avenue and nearby streets. Also limited street parking options along Bay street and Horseshoe Bay Drive


(14) The start of trailheads:



- If you want access to nature but still want to stay in the city, there are so many different trailheads in Vancouver for you to choose from. I recommend pulling up Google Maps and using the “Browse Street Image view” function to look for trails and plan on where you can park. Usually there are residential areas surrounding the start of trailheads where you can park your car and even change outfits in. You don’t need to walk too deeply into the trails before you are surrounded by nothing but beautiful greenery and tall trees. Here are a couple of trails as examples!

- St George's Trail (19), Vancouver, BC V6N 2C4 https://maps.app.goo.gl/AS2Uw6AoZqD8gc6E7

- Douglas Fir Trail

- Salish Trail


Beaches


(15) Spanish Banks/Jericho/Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, B.C.


- Any of these three beaches that connect starting from Point Grey and stretching into Kitsilano make for stunning photos that feature water, glowy sunsets, and cityscapes in the background

- Parking options:

- Spanish Banks: multiple parking lots along NW Marine drive

- Jericho Beach: parking lot located near Jericho Sailing Centre or find street parking along nearby streets like Point Grey Road

- Kitsilano Beach: Kitsilano Beach Park parking lot as well street parking along Cornwall Avenue and surrounding streets


(16) Tower Beach, Vancouver, B.C.



- Tower Beach is secluded and offers privacy! It is a bit of a trek to get down there (many stairs), but it is so worth it

- Wreck Beach is nearby and is clothing optional so I do recommend shooting there during off-season (Spring or Autumn) to avoid running into

- Entrance at “Trail 3” at the intersection of NW Marine Drive and Chancellor Blvd. There is a cozy little nook along the water that I am absolutely obsessed with and found it while location scouting with one of my clients for their proposal https://maps.app.goo.gl/gjHvJ5YHesBkoqR98

- Parking options: free parking along NW Marine Drive (but competitive during the day), paid parking lot in front of Cecil Green Park House


(17) English Bay Beach, Vancouver, B.C.


- Iconic sandy beach, breathtaking sunsets, and stunning views of the surrounding cityscape and mountains.

- You can start off at English Bay Beach to get your beach and water photos and then add on more city-vibes by driving over to Gastown, which is nearby!

- Parking options: street parking along Beach Avenue and nearby streets such as Davie Street and Bidwell Street. There are also paid parking lots available in the vicinity, such as the parking lot at the corner of Denman Street and Davie Street. Additionally, there is a parkade located at the corner of Davie Street and Cardero Street


(18) Ambleside Beach, West Vancouver, B.C.



- Stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, sandy shores, and backdrop of the North Shore Mountains

- Can catch the Lions Gate Bridge in the background from various points along the shoreline, particularly towards the eastern end of the beach near the Ambleside Pier

- Parking options: street parking along Bellevue Avenue and Argyle Avenue, as well as nearby side streets. There are also paid parking lots available in the vicinity, such as the parking lot located at 14th Street and Bellevue Avenue. Additionally, there is a parkade located near Ambleside Park at 13th Street and Esquimalt Avenue


Urban/city vibes


(19) Olympic Village Walk, False Creek, Vancouver, B.C.



- Best place to catch both Science World and Rogers Arena in the background is along the seawall in False Creek, particularly around the area near Olympic Village.

- From the seawall near Olympic Village, you can walk or bike along the waterfront pathway towards the west, and you'll have a clear view of Science World to your left (south) and Rogers Arena further to your right (north). This stretch of the seawall offers stunning views of both landmarks against the backdrop of False Creek and the city skyline.

- Can walk towards here: Habitat Island https://maps.app.goo.gl/epwPctLyMS8dQjdB9

- Parking options: Parking Lot at 1 Athletes Way: There is a parking lot located directly adjacent to Canoe Bridge. Street Parking: There are metered parking spaces along various streets in Olympic Village, including Athletes Way and Manitoba Street, although availability may vary depending on the time of day and season.Nearby Parking Lots: There are other parking lots located within walking distance of Canoe Bridge, such as the parking lot at 88 Manitoba Street or the parking lot at 123 West 1st Avenue.


(20) UBC, Vancouver, B.C.



- I spent a good number of years living on campus so I know all the photogenic places very intimately! There are countless numbers of locations on campus that you can shoot at, ranging from urban looking backgrounds to nature backgrounds.

- Some of my favourites:

1. In front of Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

2. In front of Koerner Library

3. Down Main Mall

4. UBC rose garden

5. Lower Mall during cherry blossom blooms: https://maps.app.goo.gl/eB4eWNtMgk8sFyrf8

- Parking options: many paid parkade all around campus. For Lower Mall cherry blossoms, closest lot is “West Parkade”


(21) Gastown, Vancouver, B.C.



- Classic urban backdrop of Vancouver is the heart of Gastown, perfect for strolling through, hand-in-hand with your partner

- A lot of tourists think similarly, so it can get packed on weekends during summer seasons, especially at the Steam Clock intersection

- Parking options: paid downtown street parking and/or parkades


(22) Parkade Rooftop, Seymour St at Pender, Vancouver, B.C.



- A more unique and playful/grunge aesthetic with distant buildings and urban vibes in the background

- Can always add this spot as a secondary location after shooting for a bit by Waterfront/Gastown!

- Parking options: a literal parkade, so you are absolutely covered here


(23) Chinatown, Vancouver, B.C.



- Rich in vibrant colours, cultural heritage, and architectural charm. Sprinkle in some orange and yellow colours from a crisp fall day and chef’s kisses, perfection

- Bustling streets lined with traditional red and gold facades, ornate archways, and intricate signage, great for creating a uniquely colourful and dynamic setting for your session

- Parking options: paid parking on the side streets and parkades


(24) Fisherman’s Wharf, Vancouver, B.C.



- Backdrop: cityscape, Burrard Street Bridge, boats floating on the water

- Start off at Creekside Park, 1455 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC V6A 3Z7

- Walk towards Fisherman’s Wharf and can follow Island Park Walk which will eventually lead to Granville Island


(25) Granville Island, Vancouver, B.C.



- A good mix of water, boats, greenery, and cute little storefronts

- Parking options: paid parking 11am-6pm (becomes free after 6pm, so perfect for a summer golden hour shoot!)


Indoors


(26) AirBnB


Photo: Fern and Fire Photos

- You can easily schedule your photoshoot while you are staying at a nicely decorated AirBnB – it’s a two-birds-one-stone type of situation.

- There are countless aesthetic AirBnB options. You can choose one according to the vibe that you want for your photoshoot AND your stay

- Parking options: dependent on the AirBnB.


(27) Bloedel Conservatory, Vancouver, B.C.



- This option requires a bit of $$ but is definitely a stunning one. Photoshoots aren’t allowed when you enter with general admission, but there is the option to rent out the entire space for a couple of hours. This gives you all the privacy and freedom you’ll ever need to get incredible photos amidst this domed lush paradise

- Parking options: paid parking lot at entrance to the QE park


(28) Studio (Giggster)



- Vancouver weather is quite unpredictable, especially in the fall/winter. Renting a studio/creative space for your engagement session completely removes all the anxiety of weather mishaps.

- There are so many different spaces to choose from on Giggster, from minimalist, modern homey-studio vibes to complete jungle vibes!


(29) In a café, dessert, bubble tea, or ice cream shop (sharing your favourite treat with your partner)



- A lot of couples have a special go-to dessert, treat, or food. This is on my personal bucket list of places to shoot at, and it probably wouldn’t take up an entire session i.e. can tack this on in the middle of a session or end off here

- The biggest deterrent would probably be the attention that it might draw, having a photographer take out a camera. But, if you purchase a consumable from the shop and find a table to sit at (preferably by the window), we can definitely sneak a few “candid” shots of the two of you!


(30) Home



What better space to do your engagement session than from the comfort of your own home?! Laze around on your couch, make some tea in your kitchen, cuddle your dogs from every corner of your house… make it your own! Cozy vibes all the freaking way.


-----------------


As you can see, there is an abundance of beautiful locations to choose from for your engagement photo session in and around Vancouver, British Columbia. But at the end of the day, the backdrop doesn’t matter so much as the love between you and your partner. So long as you have that, your photos will turn out breathtaking regardless of where you end up getting them taken at!