Best Engagement Photo Locations around Oregon

April 24th, 2024

Salem, Oregon Area Locations

Bush Pasture Park and Willamette Mission State Park are two solid parks around the Salem, Oregon area. Mainly for both of these, you get nice wide open spaces and you actually rarely are fighting too many people at once. 

What I think is so unique about Bush Pasture Park is that is has a lot of different terrains. You can start on the far left side of the park and get the thick forest trees, go by a little water bridge, and walk the path back toward the right side of the park. There is a racing strip that you can do road type photos without having to actually go into the road and up the hill next to the rose gardens is a green house. The green house is typically only open during business hours, but it's always worth checking and the outside of the greenhouse is still cute! 

Parking $5 fee, pay upon entry
Willamette Mission State Park is super cool for how vast it is, when you first drive in, the driveway is lined with orchards where you can stop and take photos there, or keep going for many different types of fields to take photos in! You literally could just pull off of the side of the road just about anywhere and have a beautiful backdrop or open field! This park is truly a hidden gem! There is a large parking lot the further you come in where you could park and just shoot around there, but I think driving from the parking lot toward the entrance has the best spots! 
NOTE: There is not an easy place for a bathroom along the road.. so try not to drink too much water before arriving. You'll likely need to find one of the picnic areas to find a restroom or a porta potty.  

One of my absolute favorite places to do engagement photo sessions is at Mary's Peak! It is about 30 minutes outside of Corvallis, like you're going toward Waldport on the Coast. Mary's Peak is part of the Siuslaw National Forest which is apart of the National Forest to the Oregon Coast, and on a clear day, if you hike to the top from the Day Use Area, you can see the Ocean and lots of the Cascade Peaks to the East across the Willamette Valley. It's crazy beautiful! 

Typically for an engagement session, we start at the top parking lot of the Day Use Area and shoot in the fields with the trees behind us to get some epic sunshine and just frolic in the fields like we are in a movie. Then about halfway through our session, we drive back down about 5 minutes or so to a landing that has a mountain in the background but once the sun is low enough, the whole landing is shaded with the most beautiful light ever. So we cozy up, and finish up our session there! 

There is a public restroom up at the Day Use Area, but it is a hole in the ground, and there are no lights inside, so go to the bathroom early and bring hand sanitizer!

Corvallis, Oregon Area Locations

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Columbia River Gorge Locations

I truly think that the Columbia River Gorge is one of the most sought out after location region for all engagement sessions happening in Oregon, especially amongst photographers. For good reason too!! It's absolutely stunning and so unique to Oregon. My two favorite spots of out the five you could choose from for your engagement session, is 100% Rowena Crest Viewpoint and Government Cove!

Rowena Crest Viewpoint is so cool! It went viral many years ago for the windy road that you can look over the edge of one of the cliff sides and see the road below. Although, if you want a picture with that in it, you essentially have to go over the edge, which I do not recommend, because it is wildly unsafe. I would never ask one of my couples to go anywhere where I wouldn't go, and while that spot is cool, I wouldn't bother getting that photo. 

BUT Rowena Crest has the most epic cliff side (away from the edge) spots and open fields to frolic through and take in the epic winds that whip through the Gorge, and see the river flowing by! This spot is super easy to drive up to and find, and once your there, you just get off the road and you have three wonderful spots in that one location for some epic photos! 

Government Cove is truly a hidden gem. So hidden that Apple Maps doesn't accurately get to the right location, and you can easily miss it. But once you can find this location, there is just a small area to park, and you'll be walking about 0.25 miles to get to an area with some views to take photos. This spot is unique for the three main levels to this small little peninsula! Once you leave the parking area, you can hang a right and follow it all the way back for the lowest part of the peninsula, or you can take the most left path to be right in the middle (I find this one is the easiest to shoot in!), or take a left, and then when a path on the right opens, you can head up and do your photos from the very top! I will say, the very top is HARD to maneuver to get up there. I did my maternity photos with my husband up at the top, and I actually personally wouldn't try to do that again with any family or anyone pregnant because of how difficult it was. 

I say all that about Government Cove but honestly, no matter which level you end up doing your engagement photos, they will all be very Oregon, and very Gorge-ous! LOL see what I did there???? 

There is absolutely no place to go to the bathroom, or change clothes. So if you think you might need to use the restroom, I would do it in a neighboring town, or the nearest gas station, or public restroom before arriving for a shoot just in case you need to use the bathroom!

Click Here for a full gallery at THE GORGE

Oregon Coast Locations

The Oregon Coast is one of the most sought out tourist & engagement photo locations in the entire state. And honestly, I can't really blame anyone for wanting to experience the beauty that comes from the Oregon Coast. As someone who grew up about an hour from the Coast, I didn't really appreciate its beauty and majesty until I got older. 

Some of the coolest beaches that Oregon has, include the iconic Haystack Rock. Locations like Pacific City and Canon Beach shine two of the most popular ones, especially for those taking engagement photos. At low tide, you can get pretty close to the Haystack Rock at Canon Beach, but you only get to enjoy the glorious rock in the ocean over at Pacific City. 

Shining one of the states' Haystack Rocks, Cape Kiwanda is about 2 hours from the middle of Portland, sitting North of Lincoln City and South of Canon Beach. This small little town packs a big punch when it comes to the size and variety of the beach. Truly one of the coolest places to do engagement photos because you have a vast beach to play with. I typically take my couples to the right part of the beach, play in the grass, sometimes we head up the sand dune (prepare yourself... it's rough LOL) and roll around in the sand dunes, and play around on the various rocks with the Haystack Rock in the background. If we go at low tide, we can shoot in between someone of the cave like rock formations!  

NOTE: There is a big main parking lot for this beach, and the weekends are the most busy days, but there is a public restroom at the top left part of the parking lots! Also, the only food options in town are a pizza place, Pelican Brewery (which is amazing!), and a little store. Things don't really stay open late, so keep that in mind! 

I've debating sharing info about this beach because it's really one of my new favorite beaches to shoot at. I love how quiet it is, even on nice Saturday's because most people will go up North to Lincoln City, or down to Newport to places like Nye Beach. There are two sides/ parking lots at Fogarty Creek State Park, and I tend to park and direct my couples over to the North Entrance. I assume both sides are pretty similar and have a little park right by the parking lot, with a public restroom, and a short path/walk to the beach. The best time to go is at low tide, so you can get more of the rocks that you can move all around and shoot in between. 

PRO TIP: Do your engagement photos at sunrise here, there is literally just fisherman up that early hitting the beach, so you'll have a practically empty beach, and it will be the most beautiful glowy light across the whole beach for blue hour and golden hour! 

Click Here for a full gallery on the Oregon Coast

Central Oregon Locations

Central Oregon is one of the coolest places in Oregon because it feels so different from the rest of the state. It's basically the Oregon desert, with much dryer air, lots of sunny days, but still does get snow in the winter time! 

Smith Rock State Park is one of the most beautiful state parks that Oregon has to offer! It's super gorgeous and makes for the perfect setting for your engagement photos. There are many parking lots to choose from when you arrive to the park, and there is a day use parking fee required when entering in the park. **Please note that there may be an additional fee for a permit to shoot directly inside the park, we will need to reach out to the park office to determine if one is needed for an engagement session. 

We can either do your shoot from above, from the upper part of the park and do a few by the river along the path and explore in that direction. The goal is to not disturb the guests in the park that are trying to hike or climb the rocks! But no matter where we go the views will not disappoint! 

Sisters is one of the cutest little towns in Central Oregon that brings you right back to an old Western movie. It's a must stop to Sisters Coffee Company to grab some delicious coffee and head around town to little corners that are filled with trees or logs or a clear view of the Three Sisters, but I think right outside of Black Butte Ranch has the best view of the Three Sisters where they can be front and center for your engagement photos! Stay the weekend in a cozy AirBnB, explore downtown to all the little shops and soak up the slow pace of Sisters. You'll love every second of it! 

Click Here for a full gallery in Central Oregon


With Portland, OR being such a sought after touristy destination, there's no mistake that Portland is so uniquely gorgeous with so many parks and locations that are the perfect backdrop for your engagement photos!

Being in North Portland, right next to the iconic St John's Bridge, Cathedral Park is so iconic to Portland and is a gorgeous location for your engagement photos. The wide open fields, stairs that lead down, the Willamette River nearby -- Cathedral Park has so much variety for your engagement session. You can start on the St John's Bridge, and get the cars driving by, go to the top of the stairwell and end down by the water. Note that this is a neighborhood park so shoot around sunset, especially on weekends, will be fairly busy, so we could be dodging lots of people during your photos! 

This park is located about 5 minutes from Fred Meyer in Wilsonville, OR, and is perfect for those couples who love lots of trees, and the overgrown grass look for their photos! I really like this park for it's accessibility. It's super easy to park, and walk between locations without any crazy hike or parking on the side of the road. There is also a public restroom on site, so if you need to change in the middle of our session, then it should make it really easy! 

Oregon has so many amazing state parks to choose from, and I really think that Champoeg State Park is like a hidden gem. It's about 15 minutes outside of Newberg, Oregon, and has so many different areas to stop and park to take pictures! With miles of hiking/walking paths, there is so much variety to choose from! I'm a girl who loves a good open field and trees to have in the background of photos, so Champoeg State Park is always a yes for me! Note that parking is $5 for the day upon entry! 

Click Here for a full gallery from Portland Oregon


AirBnB's are such a great option for your engagement photos that double as a little weekend getaway! These three AirBnB's are all beyond gorgeous and make the perfect setting for those cozy in home vibes, making coffee together in the morning, popping some popcorn and enjoying a movie. You can't go wrong with any of them! 

There are also perfect if you want those cozy in home engagement photos but either live outside of Oregon or you don't think you have a super pretty home and you wouldn't have to worry about cleaning up when I show up for your photos! 

The Woodlands House is truly one of the most iconic neutral AirBnB's nestled in Sandy, OR, with less than an hour drive to Mt Hood! It's tucked away in the trees which makes for the most private and amazing getaway for those photos! We could go run around in the ferns and trees outside, or get in the hot tub, on the wood deck or even get cozy on the most beautiful brown leather couch. I really think that every square inch of this home is insane, and would make the perfect location! 

The River Cabaan sits right outside of Tillamook, OR, along the Oregon Coast and is the perfect AirBnB for an intimate getaway. The house is significantly smaller than the Woodlands House but you have access to the river and all the grounds surrounding the house which is incredible. This house has major mid-century modern vibes to it, so if you're into that, this house is perfect for those cozy in home engagement photos! 

Another house along the Oregon Coast, but Our Plaace is about 10 minutes from the Iconic Pacific City! This home is the quintessential Oregon Coast AirBnB, overlooking the Ocean, and direct beach access. So if playing and running around in the sand is more your vibe, you cannot go wrong! With windows lining the whole backside of the house toward the Ocean, there is no bad place in the home! 

Truly all these homes photograph SO well, you couldn't go wrong with any of them! 


Last but not least, we cannot forget to mention that if a studio is more of your vibe, there are SO MANY options to choose from in Oregon. With some cool perks at each studio! 

I think (personally) this is one of the better studio options that you can find, located in Portland, OR. Cream Creative Space has these beautiful concrete floors, and a whole wall of windows that has the most amazing mid-morning light, especially if you're into cool shadows across the floor when its bright and sunny out! Parking is super easy to navigate, as there is a lot right outside of the building, and a large elevator to take up to the correct floor! This space is iconic for it's moveable stairs, like pictured above. Now they have the stairs in black and a couple black walls instead of just being an all white studio. This space is 1200 sq ft of insane modern vibes that are perfect for so many different outfit options for your engagement photos!

Bloom Studio is such a great option for those intimate cute engagement photos that don't want those white walls. Ashley, the owner of Bloom, spent so much time and effort getting the studio to feel like a cozy library. It is on the smaller end, especially compared to Cream Creative Space but the bathroom is close to the studio, and is located in Salem, OR. I would arrive a bit early to make sure you can find a good parking spot since it is right downtown Salem.

Being the only (that I know of) studios in Lebanon, OR, Studio Jae is a crazy cool option to choose from for your engagement photos. There are mirrors, moveable backdrops, black garage doors, and clean walls and floors, it's such a good option in the valley. Also the bathroom is in the same space as the shooting space, so you don't have to go out of the studio to use the bathroom, do touch ups or even change! 

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Sunset at Oregon Coast

Sunrise at Oregon Coast

Columbia River Gorge

Em Photo is an Oregon based wedding and elopement photographer, often traveling across the Pacific Northwest for wedding photography. Specializing in warm and timeless film inspired photos that feel nostalgic and bring you back to your wedding day. Emily loves those couples that are a little goofy, true to themselves, and want to do their wedding their way - big or small!