August 7, 2020

Best Indianapolis Engagement Photo Locations

Throughout Indianapolis, there are lots of hidden gems when it comes to portrait session locations. Whether it be the outdoors, with beautiful foliage, or an urban setting with colorful walls, it’s hard to go wrong in Indy. If you’re looking for a place to do your engagement session but don’t already have something in mind, we have the perfect place. We’ve had a resource page on the website for a while that we send to clients to help them find the best engagement photo locations for their session in Indianapolis or the surrounding area. We’ll do a quick list up top and then break each photo location down below a bit more in depth with locations sorted into groupings based on the type of setting what you want (rural, urban, park, farm and so on).

Best Engagement Photo Locations in Indianapolis

  • Eagle Creek Park*
  • IMA at Newfields*
  • Canal Walk*
  • The Alexander Hotel
  • 100 Acres The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park*
  • Indianpolis Art Center
  • Fountain Square
  • Downtown Carmel
  • The Indiana World War Memorial
  • Lockerbie Square
  • Holcomb Gardens
  • Indianapolis Zoo and Botanical Gardens*
  • White River State Park*
  • Strawtown Koteewi Park
  • Cool Creek Park
  • Coxhall Gardens and Mansion
  • Garfield Park Conservatory*
  • Monument Circle and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument
  • Broad Ripple
  • Irvington
  • West Clay
  • Downtown Noblesville
  • The Old Northside
  • Mustard Seed Gardens*
  • Trader’s Point Creamery
  • Tuttle Orchards
  • Potter’s Bridge Park
  • Barn at Kennedy Farms*
  • Locally Grown Gardens
  • Indianapolis Central Library*
  • The Inn at Irwin Gardens
  • The Aristocrat Pub
  • The Indiana Statehouse
  • Indiana State Museum*
  • Penn St.
  • Your Home
  • Your Favorite Bar, Restaurant, Brewery, Winery or Coffee Shop 
  • Where You Met
  • On a Lake or Private Property
  • Something You Love to Do Together
  • Something Seasonal
  • Your Alma Mater
  • Your Wedding Venue

If you’re still looking for a photographer, head over to our contact page and let us know a little bit about yourself. Or send us an email at info@jennifervanelk.com

*Photo permit required.

Permission required to shoot at most indoor locations and private property regardless of whether they require a permit.

Parks

Eagle Creek Park

This is our favorite park to shoot at in the Indianapolis area. Eagle Creek is unreal. It doesn’t look like it belongs in Indiana, and especially not inside Indianapolis city limits. There are so many trails at this park and the light that reflects off the Eagle Creek Reservoir at sunset is magical. You came to find the best Indianapolis engagement photo locations. When it comes to parks, Eagle Creek Park is the best. Eagle Creek is actually just our favorite place to do engagement sessions period. It’s beautiful.

Photos from Emily and Ryan’s engagement session and Bryana and DJ’s engagement session.

Strawtown Koteewi Park

North of Indy, and just a little north of Noblesville, is the Strawtown Koteewi Park. We didn’t even know this park existed until a few months ago. It’s a large park with a variety of settings, from places on the White River to fields of grass to forest areas, this park has it all. It’s rapidly becoming our go to place for engagement shoots because of the size of the park, variety of locations, and how close it is to where we live in Noblesville.

These are from Katie and Aaron’s engagement session.

Cool Creek Park

Cool Creek park is a beautiful little park north of Indy in Carmel. This park lives up to the name. It feels a little bit cooler and more refreshing than the surrounding areas.

Photo from Rachel and Stu’s engagement session.

Coxhall Gardens and Mansion

This little park in Carmel has wide open spaces, historic buildings, and an outdoor amphitheater. In the center of the amphitheater is a stone gazebo which is a delightful place for photos. Plus there are several water features in this park.

Photos from Grace and Jordan’s engagement session.

100 Acres The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park

If you get a photo pass for the IMA at Newfields, then you should really consider walking across the bride into 100 Acres The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park. There are so many great pieces of art throughout this woodsy park that makes for interesting backdrops and leading lines in photos. Plus, if you have kids there are several art pieces they can play on which is always delightful.

Photos from Jackie and George’s engagement session.

Holcomb Gardens

Holcomb Gardens is on Butler Universities campus and it is gorgeous. We love shooting around the pond and at the waterfall. We also love the Canal Towpath and the Holcomb Carillon Tower.

Photo from Kendall and Connor’s engagement session.

White River State Park

The White River State Park is a great place to do photos. There is a lot of art throughout the park and on the White River Pedestrian Bridge that leads to the Indianapolis Zoo. Plus, from the White River State Park you have a beautiful view of the Indianapolis skyline.

These photos are from Amanda and Grant’s wedding. For some reason it seems like we shoot weddings here all the time but rarely engagements. It’s perfect for engagements though.

Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory is gorgeous. Their greenhouse, filled with succulents and other plants not normally suited to Indiana, provides an amazing backdrop for photos.

Our most recent photos here are actually from a Hendrick’s Gin and Yelp Elite event, but they still show off how gorgeous the place is.

City Locations and Urban Environments

IMA at Newfields

We love shooting at Newfields. The grounds at Newfields are full of beautiful flowers and there are many stunning pieces of art throughout the gardens. The light breaks through the foliage in the trees creating wonderful beams of light. It’s just utterly gorgeous. Since you’re here to find the best Indianapolis engagement photo locations, we’re just to going to say we think the IMA is the second best spot in the city for an engagement session. It’s really only beat out by Eagle Creek Park in our opinion. But if you’re look for a more urban feel, then check out our next pick.

Photos from Angela and John’s engagement session and Emily and David’s engagement session.

Canal Walk

The Canal Walk is a great place to hang out. It’s a little cooler than the rest of Indy. There are a lot of bridges and a lot of graffiti art under the bridges to give your photos some pops of color in the shade. Plus, if you’re feeling really adventurous you could always rent a paddleboat or gondola for your shoot. When it comes to downtown Indy, the Canal Walk is one of the best Indianapolis engagement photo locations.

Photos from Lotti and Rodrigo’s engagement session.

Indianapolis Art Center

We adore this charming location. The art inside the Indianapolis Art Center is always new and amazing every time we visit. The art outside is always beautiful. If you’re sensing a theme that we like to shoot at places where art is on display, you wouldn’t be wrong. We love art.

Photos are from Timo and Maggie’s wedding. We’ve done a lot engagement sessions here, but they were all filed under the old name for this place so I’m having trouble finding them.

Lockerbie Square

This area is absolutely gorgeous. We loves the cobblestone roads and the amazing houses. There might not be a more beautiful place to shoot in downtown Indy. It mixes that feel of a small town and the city, but unlike a neighborhood like Irvington, it’s really close to downtown.

Photos from Ali and Eric’s engagement session.

Fountain Square

Fountain Square is one of the most colorful places in Indianapolis. There’s so much graffiti art on all of the buildings. This really can make your engagement photos pop with color. It looks beautiful.

Photos from Sara and Sean’s engagement session.

Broad Ripple

Broad Ripple is one of our favorite neighborhoods around Indianapolis. There are so many different restaurants and so many interesting buildings. You can’t pick a bad place to shoot in Broad Ripple.

Photos from Jaclyn and Tyler’s engagement session.

Monument Circle and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument

This is one of the most popular places to shoot in downtown Indianapolis. The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument is iconic. Plus there’s a great view of the Indiana State Capitol down Market Street if you want to have the Indiana Statehouse as a backdrop for a few photos.

Photos from Kaitlyn and Jon’s engagement session and Adriana and Luke’s wedding.

The Indiana World War Memorial

Commonly referred to as just the War Memorial, this is one of the most beautiful buildings in downtown Indy. We love shooting here because the light is amazing. The way it reflects off the white stone just leaves the entire place with a dreamy feel. Plus, the gold doors on the sides of the building make for a beautiful backdrop.

Photos from Ashley and Geoff’s engagement session and Hope and Tyler’s engagement session.

The Indianapolis Zoo and Botanical Gardens

This setting is wonderful. Whether you’re there in the summer or winter, there are lots of beautiful places to shoot inside and outside in the gardens and the zoo. The Indy Zoo Butterfly Exhibit is one of our favorite places to shoot, especially in winter, because of the unique and interesting plant life. Plus in the summer it’s filled with butterflies.

Photo from Kristin and Ben’s engagement session.

Penn Street Tower

Penn Street Tower has a lot of beautiful brick with vines growing up the side in places. The light in this area around sunset is a beautiful golden hue. Plus the tower has a great rooftop area for photos.

Photo from a blog post about 3 chic styles for your engagement session.

Small Town Locations

Downtown Carmel

Carmel is a gorgeous little small town. All throughout downtown Carmel they have golden statues of people hanging out. This is such a welcoming little community. You came to find the best Indianapolis engagement photo locations. When it comes to small town settings, Carmel is hard to beat.

Photo from Margo and Will’s engagment session.

Irvington

Irvington is another great neighborhood in Indianapolis. This area is great because it unites that small town feel with a more urban setting. It feels like the outskirts of a big city.

Photo from Chelsea and Josh’s engagement session.

Downtown Noblesville

Much like Carmel, this is a little outside of Indianapolis. Noblesville has a near perfect small town feel with it’s town square which is basically its entire downtown area. Plus, the old Hamilton County Courthouse is in the center of the Noblesville Square and it is gorgeous.

Photo from Shelby and Dean’s engagement session.

The Old Northside

This is one of the most adorable neighborhoods surrounding Indy. Every house in the Old Northside has a vintage look to it. The streets feel old and lived in and cozy. I love this area.

Photos from Rachel and Jake’s engagement session.

West Clay

West Clay is a picturesque small town north of Indianapolis. Walking into West Clay feels like walking back in time. It’s quaint and beautiful.

Photo from Erica and Andy’s engagement session.

Fields and Farms

Potter’s Bridge Park

This is technically a park in Noblesville, and as such probably should have gone in the park section. But it’s gorgeous covered bridge brings real rural/farm vibes and much of this park is wide open fields. We love shooting here especially in autumn. For our money, when it comes to the best Indianapolis engagement photo locations, if you want that rural look then Potter’s Bridge Park is hard to beat. While not technically a field or farm, it is free to shoot at and provides the same sort of aesthetic.

Photos from Grace and Nathan’s engagement session.

Mustard Seed Gardens

In Noblesville there’s a beautiful little garden with a big red barn. We fortunately are able to shoot a lot of weddings here, but it’s available for engagement sessions as well. The property is well maintained with lots of beautiful light features.

These photos are from Sara and Sean’s wedding.

Trader’s Point Creamery

Every time we come here Steve asks if we just arrived at Jurassic Park. I think that’s because there’s a wonderful old Jeep parked on the property that reminds him of the movie. Or maybe it’s the wide open fields were the cows graze surrounded by tall trees that make him feel like we’ve arrived on a movie set with dinosaurs. Either way it’s beautiful and if you have time after your shoot you should really sit down to eat at their restaurant because it’s fantastic.

Photos from Natalie and Blake’s engagement session.

Tuttle Orchards

Tuttle Orchards is one of our favorite places to go as a family, but it’s also great for engagement sessions. It isn’t just apple trees at Tuttle Orchards. They also have pumpkins and sunflowers. So there are several different seasons where it just makes sense to go to Tuttle Orchards for photos.

Photo from Andrea and Scott’s engagement session.

Barn at Kennedy Farms

This Barn in Lizton is gorgeous. They do weddings inside this space, but you can also get a pass to shoot here for engagement sessions and family sessions. We’ve shot quite a few weddings here and it seems like every year when we return the place looks a little bit more beautiful. They are constantly investing in the beautification of this space.

Photo from Laura and Juan’s wedding. Just realizing we mostly shoot weddings here, even though they are available for other sessions .

Indoor Locations

The Alexander Hotel

The Alexander Hotel is one of the most unique and beautiful hotels in Indy. There are a lot of beautiful art pieces inside the hotel that lend to making great photos. Plus the general design and aesthetic of the Alexander Hotel are a great fit for people looking for a modern, chic setting for their shoot. We adore this space. If you’re looking for an indoor locations, then best Indianapolis engagement photo location is the Alexander. Plus, if it’s a beautiful day and you want to venture outside, there’s lots of beautiful spaces outside the Alexander as well.

Photos from Zoe and Ben’s engagement session.

Locally Grown Gardens

Part store, part coffee shop, this space is adorable. There are so many unique places inside this little building and it’s all aesthetically pleasing. We loved getting to shoot here.

Photos from Jacqueline and Andrew’s engagement session.

Indianapolis Central Library

The Indianapolis Central Library is an amazing space. They have a great mix of window light and cozy rooms with just tungsten light. Plus, it’s always so nice and quiet inside. Also, they have a garden which is delightful for photos as well. If you love books, this is the place to go.

man and woman read book in indianapolis central library, one of the Best Indianapolis Engagement Photo Locations

Photo from Kevin and Kelsey’s engagement session.

The Inn at Irwin Gardens

Steve and I have never fallen so deeply in love with a location before. It’s old and beautiful. The gardens are incredibly well maintained and walking into the inn is like stepping onto the set of a Wes Anderson movie. We felt that way so much that we did a Wes Anderson themed styled wedding shoot there. This is a gorgeous location in Columbus, Indiana. It’s also a Bed and Breakfast so you could schedule a shoot there and then book a room and just spend the weekend in Columbus. It’s such an interesting little town with so many fascinating building from architectural viewpoint.

women sit in front of mirror at the inn at irwin gardens, one of the Best Indianapolis Engagement Photo Locations

Photo from our Wes Anderson themed styled shoot that was published on Buzzfeed.

The Aristocrat Pub

What can we say, this is a fantastic pub. It’s gorgeous inside and is there anything wrong with ending your engagement shoot with a drink?

man and woman hug in doorway at the aristocrat pub, one of the Best Indianapolis Engagement Photo Locations

Photo from Meredith and Jake’s engagement session.

The Indiana Statehouse

The inside of the Indiana State Capitol is one of the most gorgeous buildings in all of Indiana. Not only is the building gorgeous, but because of the vast skylights there’s lots of gorgeous natural light inside as well. It’s a dream to shoot inside this building. Also, we do a lot of sunset sessions outside of the Indiana Statehouse. So, if it’s a beautiful day and you decide you want some photos outside, then this location is wonderful.

Photo from Leah and Jay’s wedding and Timo and Maggie’s engagement session.

Indiana State Museum

The Indiana State Museum is lovely. It’s right on the canal so it’s a great place to do photos if you want to do some inside and then some outside as well. It’s also just a short walk from the White River State Park.

Photo from Angela and Jon’s wedding.

Unique Spaces

Your Home

I know that shooting inside your house might sound crazy. In your home you feel incredibly comfortable and at ease though. When you feel comfortable and confident, that translates into looking comfortable and confident. We love doing shoots inside people’s homes because we love capturing them in a place they love.

man and woman sit in house, one of the Best Indianapolis Engagement Photo Locations

Photo from Rachel and Jake’s engagement session.

Your Favorite Bar, Restaurant, Brewery, Winery or Coffee Shop 

Do you have a special place where you go on dates? Do you have a place where you feel like a regular? Much like shooting at home, if there’s a place that puts you at ease or makes you feel comfortable then you’ll look comfortable and confident in your photos and that’s always amazing.

man and woman drink wine at louie's wine dive, one of the Best Indianapolis Engagement Photo Locations

Photo from Ali and Eric’s engagement session.

Where You Met

Did you meet your significant other at a concert or theater or event? A lot of places are willing to open up during off hours for a shoot if their location is significant to your love story. Everyone loves knowing that their places played an important part in other people’s love stories.

man hugs woman from behind while they both smile during their Ball State Engagement, one of the Best Indianapolis Engagement Photo Locations

Photo from Kathryn and Nate’s engagement session at Ball State University.

On a Lake, Pond or Private Property

Chances are you’ve been reading through this whole thing thinking about your parent’s property on Geist Reservoir or Morse Reservoir or your grandfather’s house out in the country. If the space means something to you, then it’s important to document. Sometimes a space or location can bring back old memories of love or fill you with wonder and we’d love to capture those emotions. Or sometimes it just provides you with a little seclusion you can’t find at a public location so you feel more comfortable being yourself.

man and woman sit in boat on pond on private property, one of the Best Indianapolis Engagement Photo Locations

Photo from Kendra and Sam’s engagement session.

Something You Love to Do Together

Whether you love riding bikes or hiking or kayaking or swimming or riding horses more doesn’t really matter so long as you both enjoy it. We want to see you smile and we want you to feel happy. So grab your longboards or your rollerblades and hit the Monon and we’ll do our best to keep up and capture those important moments.

Photo from Jen and Dave’s engagement session at Tow Yard Brewery. Honestly, grabbing drinks together seems to be a favorite activity of a lot of our couples. We don’t blame them. We love doing a little date activity on a shoot too.

Something Seasonal

Fall is approaching and Brown County isn’t too far away. Maybe you want to capture those seasonal colors. Or maybe you want to go to Oktoberfest and grab beers. Or maybe you want to do a shoot in winter with snow or a shoot in spring while the trees are flowering. Whatever it is we’ll find an amazing location to capture those moments.

man and woman sit in front of eagle creek reservoir, one of the Best Indianapolis Engagement Photo Locations

Photo from Danielle and Alex’s fall engagement session at Eagle Creek Park.

Your Alma Mater

IUPUI and Butler University are both in Indianapolis and a lot of our couples have wanted to go back to do shoots. But Indiana University, Purdue University and Ball State University aren’t that far from Indianapolis and all have excellent locations around campus for photos. Also, Notre Dame University might be a little ways away from Indy, but who could resist a trip to that campus for photos. Your alma mater is important so we want to find a way to incorporate that in the shoot and sometimes physically shooting there is the best way to do that.

Photo from Kendall and Connor’s engagement session at Butler University.

Your Wedding Venue

Most wedding venues aren’t typically open to the public for shoots. However, some of the wedding venues in Indianapolis are willing to open their doors to couples that book them for their weddings. A lot of our clients view the engagement session as a kind of practice run for the wedding day photos. If that’s how you’re approaching the engagement session, then what better location is there than your venue. Pro tip, if you’re doing this then see if you can schedule your practice run with your hair and makeup for the same day so you can really get a feel for what the wedding day will be like.

Two recent examples for us from Jylian and Bertram’s engagement session at Tinker House Events and from Carly and Jonathon’s engagement session at the Mavris.

Did you love this look at the best Indianapolis engagement photo locations?

If you loved these location ideas and tips, then check out our recent post all about the best locations for indoor portraits for winter weddings.

If you need more help with planning your wedding or wedding photography, check out our podcast, Wedded, where we talk all about the planning process.

comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.