Best Baltimore and Surrounding Maryland Area Engagement Shoot Locations
Most couples are getting engaged between November and February every year, which is now! And that means lots of couples are also booking their venues for their wedding and figuring out where to go for their engagement shoots! I love engagement sessions because I get to know the couples I work with so much better and we get to practice working together and getting super comfortable! I put together a list with a few images from 20 engagement shoot locations local to the Baltimore Maryland Area that I love using and frequently use. I hear a lot from my couples that they don't know where to go and it is super difficult to determine what is the best outdoor location for your engagement session because its not something you've ever done before! Some of these locations require a permit but some don't; likewise a few of them require that you actually pay to use them per hour. Check em out!
Who doesn't love Fells Point, for real. The bars are awesome, its super laid back, and the views are stunning. If you want to capture some gorgeous Baltimore charm this is a great location to go to. There are hints of industrial feelings everywhere as well as some rustic docks overlooking harbor views that are totally killer. After your engagement shoot you can hit up Max's Taphouse for some drinks!
Like Fells Point, Federal Hill Park is like a Baltimore icon. Lots of photographers will take their clients to the top of the hill for "the shot" with the city in the background which is wonderful, but I'd MUCH rather these back alley TRUE Baltimore feeling locations for my couples! Obviously we can totally still use that skyline, but don't forget about the charm in charm city comes from the people :)
So, I was spoiled during this specific engagement session at Patterson Park because those gorgeous flowering trees really stole the show! But there are a few great places to hit up at the park. When you enter there are lush green fields and some gorgeous old trees, but most notably the pagoda style observatory at the front which is gorgeous and has those cherry blossom trees during the spring! At the bottom of the hill there is a large pond that has some really nice tall grasses and a more country feel to it. You get lots of different themes with Patterson Park and its so wide open and gorgeous!
Located just off 83 the historic Clipper Mill area is a dream location for someone searching for that true industrial feel! Surrounded by large glass windows, exposed brick and pipes, and those gorgeous orange and red hues its perfect for a more modern boho couple or a sophisticated chic couple looking for some real texture in their engagement shoot!
The grounds at Sherwood Gardens are no secret to photographers, in the spring time it's PACKED with family and portrait photographers but I always manage to still get amazing photos with the colorful plants and flowers! This place is best enjoyed and photographed in the spring time because of the tulips and the seriously bold and vibrant colors of the various flowers that the community plants every year.
Oh my, Rawlings is one of my favorite places to shoot at. For lots of reasons, but the main one is GREEN!!!! I love all the greens in this place! Rawlings conservatory is a very large indoor greenhouse with various plants in different temperatures. They have a large jungle room, a desert room filled with large succulents, another room with more dark green hues jungle looking plants, and still an orchid room. I'm forgetting all the different plants there but I absolutely love this place. PLUS if it rains, guess what... we don't lose anything and we don't need to reschedule! The conservatory does ask for a $100 fee to photograph commercially, but it's worth every penny for these original shots you'll get!
Guhhhhh if you're looking for someplace super Baltimore this is it, the Bromo Seltzer Tower is a Baltimore Skyline highlight that literally screams Baltimore. Its a 15 story tall clock tower from 1911 with all its historic charm still there. The exposed clock provides a gorgeous industrial backdrop for your engagement photos and the history walking through is just phenomenal to experience. It's truly more than just an engagement session its more of an experience! Like Rawlings, the tower requires a $150 photography permit to shoot your engagement session at the top of the tower. It's worth it!
Located in Baltimore City, cylburn is known, like Sherwood Gardens, for its greenery and crazy amazing trees on the property! There are so many gardens, like everywhere and even a greenhouse (although I haven't been inside it yet). I love Cylburn because of it's location being easily accessible from 83 but also because no matter when I go it is never crowded and feels very secluded and intimate while being spacious! There is a cute little secret garden behind the super huge mansion on the property and I freaking love it. Also, there is this HUGE tree with crazy folds on it and it makes you feel like you are in California or something because of how large it is! Cylburn requires that you contact them at least 3 weeks in advance for a permit to photograph on the property, but if its just an engagement shoot there is no fee!
As we leave the urban feels of the city we move into some more country/woodsy areas of Baltimore county like Marshy Point that offer some lush greenery and wetland grasses for a more southern feel! Marshy point is great because there are a few areas to go and because of the really tall trees you get some of that depth for your photos that lots of couples love! Plus, it doesn't feel too "country" it just feels like you are down by the bay!
Located in Harford County, Jerusalem Mill Village State Park has lush fields, a woodsy backdrop, a large stream bed that runs through it, old stone buildings, and a covered bridge. Obviously, you guessed it, lots of photographers love this area so it can be crowded at times, but depending on the time of year and when during the week you are going, you can capture so many great feels at one location. Seriously, its great because there are so many different places to go to get various shots and feels. I definitely recommend this place to lots of my couples who want photos in the field but also want more intimate locations with a woodsy feel.
I haven't shot an engagement session at Cromwell Valley park in a long time but it is still an amazing place for engagements! They do require that the photographer provide proof of insurance beforehand as well as a permit (free) in order to photograph here! Like the previous few places, its got some large lush fields, a cute little run down shack that I love for photos, a larger estate side which has some barns and outbuildings as well. Lots of areas with texture which offers more of a country feel but also that estate vibe people love too!
If you're down for some hiking, like up an old ski slope hiking, this is an amazing spot for you. Its truly a woodsy back country feel shooting here. Its wonderful because again, the location is convenient for travel and located in the Hunt Valley are of Baltimore County! I would suggest this location for a fall engagement shoot because of the trees and climbing up the steep hill provides a perfect location for those dreamy orange sunsets!
So, there are a few places at Rock State Park and it's become a popular place for engagement, family, and maternity photoshoots!
KING+ QUEEN SEAT: Located at the top of the park are some HUGE boulders and a cliff that is a little frightening to be honest, lol, but makes you feel like you are out in Colorado somewhere hiking in the mountains! If you'd like to do sunrise, you will have to hike to the top of it because the parking lot doesn't open until 9A sometimes 10A but I recommend doing sunset photos here instead! There is no permit required but you absolutely have to wear the right footwear out to the site and then change outfits there! If you want that rugged mountain look, here it is!
KILGORE FALLS: About a 10 minute drive while still in the park you can head to Kilgore Falls which has a huge waterfall, you'll have to hike to it and bring tall boots to cross the stream, but again it feels like you're in the mountains! Its a very popular spot in the Summer so I would recommend if you are going to shoot at Kilgore to do something in the Spring or the Fall!
I love Prettyboy Reservoir, not only because its legit like 2 minutes from my house, but also because its super colorful in the summer time and very secluded! The boat docks are gorgeous and provide some colorful elements for your shoot! I typically start at the reservoir and grab some killer shots and then we head to this private rock/cliff area (that's since been destroyed by graffiti but hopefully it is cleaned soon) or my house down the street. I'm including photos of my property in this section because most of my clients will also head to my place for a few shots in the spring with my fake little meadow in my backyard as well as the large white blooming trees or golden hour ivy backdrop!
I wanted to include this location because I love it too! Located in the heart of Annapolis by the Naval Academy, the waterfront boardwalk has a nautical harbor town feel to it. Its not Baltimore but its about a 35 minute drive from Baltimore. The session below was done at sunrise which is probably the best time to shoot here! We shoot down by the boardwalk and then make our way through the town up to the Church + Court circles to end our engagement session! Lots of cute little home town vibes here and a sweet mural!
Located a bit further from Baltimore is Eden Mill Park and Nature Center which is a mixture of a marshy wetland and woodsy vibe. There are some cute little outbuildings too with a red wall as well as a stream that runs through the side where there is a water mill. If you're willing to drive, it might be the look you are going for!
Also, totally not near Baltimore at all, this park is on the other side of the Bay Bridge. I love it because it has the beaches like Sandy Point (so if you want that beauty feel in Maryland without driving to OCMD) but also these gorgeous Eastern Shore green grasses that make you feel like you are down south! The sunset is KILLER too because it actually faces it! Highly recommend this place!!
Oh, I forgot about Hampton Mansion because I haven't been there in so long! I've only shot one engagement session here before but I wanted to include it on this list because lots of photographers go there! I don't believe there is a permit you need but there are strict rules on when the estate closes! If you're into the whole mansion/state vibe this place is totally for you! It's a lot like the Lirodendrion Mansion in Harford County (which is coming up next) with the architectural style of it! The benefit with this location is that it is located close to 83, there are a few different places on the property to get great photos like the gardens, the greenhouse, the grounds, and the front of the mansion.
This is last because I haven't done an engagement shoot here but I have done a few weddings and a maternity shoot! Its much like Hampton mansion with the estate vibe but the best part is that during the summer there are wisteria vines that come down on the back of the property! Its free to take photos at but you just have to make sure there isn't an event going on or a wedding the day of the shoot. Its also open to the public so lots of people in and out and its a hot spot for photographers. I love love love the grounds of this place and its perfect for s sunset golden hour shoot which I totally recommend.
Another place I love, that unfortunately has been destroyed too many times is Old Town Ellicott City! There are, or were, so many cute little coffee shops and bars, lots of my couples who grew up in this area loved coming here to do their engagement sessions. The long hill with the shops on each side are so cute an elegant with the natural rustic backdrop of large rocks and greenery everywhere coupled with an industrial feel from the various buildings make this an eclectic place for your engagement session!