Updated: Jan 11
Did you get some new bling this holiday season and ready to kick off the wedding planning journey!? One of the first things to get checked off the to-do list is setting your wedding date and deciding who you want to invite. To spread the news, most mail out Save the Dates! Engagement photos are practically a must to sending out your Save the Dates to your loved ones. They provides an updated photo of the two of you deeply in love and of course... the new ring!
This post throws out a few of my favorite locations in Huntsville to grab engagement photos! The best part is that all these locations are FREE to shoot at! In my next blog post, I will be including a few gems just outside of town if you're open to travel!
So let's get into it!
Here's a quick table of contents if you want to jump around:
In Huntsville, Alabama:
1-2 Hour Drive Outside of Huntsville, AL - Included in My Next Blog Post!
Weathington Park - Section, Alabama
Honeycomb Natural Bridge - Grant, Alabama
The Shoppe - Birmingham, Alabama
Parking Garage at the Corner of 4th and 22nd - Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham Botanical Gardens - Birmingham, Alabama
Machine Falls - Tullahoma, Tennessee
The Parthenon - Nashville, TN
Corner of Randolph Ave and Greene Street
One of my favorite cityscape locations is the corner of Randolph and Green. As some might know, this is the location of First United Methodist Church. This church is all white, which makes it a perfect, neutral backdrop for most photos! If you're looking to add a pop color, the arch doors are bright purple!
Across Randolph from the church includes a few store fronts. What some people might not know is that there's a parking lot on the top of those stores! Taking photos from the parking lot peering down on Randolph adds a fun, new perspective of the church and makes for beautiful photos.
If you're looking to add some contrast to your engagement photo gallery, the Church of Nativity Episcopal is just one block away. This church's appearance is the exact opposite from First United Methodist! This church is made of dark red brick with black accents! And as another bonus, this is all just one block from Downtown Huntsville.
Belvin's Gap Lookout
This is the best lookout in Huntsville! The best part too, no hiking is needed! You can pull up and park just outside of the lookout. This makes it easy for outfit changes, more formal outfits, or pets that might only be joining for a portion of the session.
This location is the best for evening golden hour since the sunsets towards the view and not towards the busy street. However, this location can get busy in the evening with family and friends picnic-ing and even other photographers. Therefore, I highly recommend trying to shoot at this location on a weekday evening to avoid the crowds!
Wildlife Observation Deck
Enjoy a photo of my friend Suzi since I don't have couple photos quite yet at this location. This location is actually closer to Madison, just past the airport off 65! The area is surrounded by farm land, so please be considerate traveling to and shooting at this location.
Here, you'll find a large wood observation deck (that is covered in spray painted graffiti) which can add some personality and texture to your photos. The field surrounding the deck rotates through different crops throughout the year - wheat, corn, soy beans, etc. Personally, I love a good wheat field! Therefore, it might be best to check out the area before confirming a session here.
Behind Raceway in Hampton Cove
And... Here's another photographer friend - Taylor! And I know... Not what you expected, right? This gem of a location is tucked next to the Raceway off of Governors in Hampton Cove. This land is currently up for sale, so there is no telling how long it'll last.
I will say though, this might not be the best location for small children or dogs. The land is tad rough and there's a ton of overgrown areas that make it difficult for walking and maneuvering.
Big Spring Park
Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville is another one of those spots that offer a large variety of backdrops. My personal favorites are closer to the large staircase towards the courthouse. Near the large staircase, you can find a water feature with rock/stone in the backdrop. Also, the sidewalk begins to stair step down towards the little creek that runs through the area, which is beautiful for sitting photos. If you head over towards Huntsville City Hall, there's an open hill/field that is awesome for photos with more movement as well!
SiP is located downtown Huntsville! The exterior of the building provides beautiful art-deco views. The inside has a cozy bar with the best old-fashion in town! The inside gives Great Gatsby in all the best ways possible! You also can't miss the cigar lounge!
Before you choose to shoot at this location, be sure to reach out to SiP on Facebook first! There is a small fee to shoot here (so I lied about all the locations being free), but it's totally worth it!
Greene Street Parking Garage
The Green Street Parking Garage is the perfect clean parking rooftop that offers beautiful views! I love this location for a formal engagement or a fun session! As you can see in the photo, a white dress pairs so well with the surrounding areas and textures. Since it's an open parking deck, It is a great spot to picnic, skateboard, eat ice cream, show off a cool car, and more!
Just like the corner of Greene and Randolph (which is only one block away from this location), this spot is super close to downtown, providing more options! One of my favorite secret spots is right at the base of this garage. If you stand on the corner of Lincoln and Holmes and look towards Greene Street, you'll find a view that you can't really find anywhere else in the city!
Hays Nature Preserve
Hays Nature Preserve is the one-stop-shop for breath-taking nature photos! There's bridges, ponds, greenways, rivers, and my favorite - open fields. There are a few parking locations throughout the area as well.
One of the most popular areas is right off the Cul de sac parking that you can find at the end of the entrance road. However, I highly recommend going on a run or a stroll along the greenway prior to a session to search for the spots that really fit your vision!
Five Points Star Market
I'll start this off by saying that this is not a formal outfit location. If you've booked an engagement session with me (included with a wedding package, pack 2 or 3), you get up two locations. Therefore, we can start at one location in your formal outfit and then head here for some cute, vintage vibes!
The vintage signage including the coco-cola sign really takes you back in time! The inside of the grocery store also doesn't disappoint! If you choose to take your couples inside, ask a store associate first and be prepared for the low lighting. I do not recommend using an external flash, so just lean into the 80s-90s vibe by capturing some low light grainy photos!
Madison Nature Trail
Don't be fooled, Madison Nature Trail is not nested somewhere within the Madison City limits. This trail is located on Green Mountain near Hampton and Bailey Cove. It can be a bit of a drive for those traveling from the Madison area, but I promise it will not disappoint.
Madison Nature Trail is an easily walkable trail thats sprinkled with tons of features - a pond, piers, covered bridge, old school house, and a wooden chapel! This is one of my go to locations once the leaves begin to change. If you're a photographer (or shooting with a photographer) that loves to take drone/aerial photos, this is the place to be!
The trail around the pond is fairly easy, but I do recommend bringing comfy shoes to make the walk between locations.
Thank you for checking out my blog post!
If you recently got engaged and are in the market for a photographer to document your big day, I would love to be considered! You can check out my wedding page here.