5 Best & 5 Worst Engagement Locations for Outdoorsy Couples (in Victoria)!

5 Best & 5 Worst Engagement Locations for Outdoorsy Couples (in Victoria)!

My clients want amazing photos that showcase the beautiful nature we have here on Vancouver Island, but some of the most popular places are soooo hard to make look pretty in pictures. If you’re not a photographer, you won’t realize the light comes from the “wrong” direction, and other places are generally too crowded to get a clear picture without people in the background! 

That’s why I put together this list of the best, and just as importantly, the worst places you could choose for your couple’s engagement session. (Or any photo session for that matter!)  Save your time, and your photos by simply choosing one of the recommended places! I hope this helps :0)

Top 5 Best Engagement Locations for Outdoorsy Couples 

  1. Thetis Lake – So many trails, views, mossy trees and lakes you can’t go wrong!
  2. East Sooke Park – Wild nature for those who really want to get out in the wilderness. Amazing sandy beach unlike those closer to Victoria.
  3. Summit Park – Great view and easy access from the city. Trails and Garry Oak trees typical of the area.
  4. Spiral Beach & Ross Bay Beach – Less crowded beaches with driftwood (usually!) and big open sky at sunset
  5. Government House – less crowded than Butchart gardens or Beacon Hill and offers a wide variety of plant life, views and florals.

Top 5 Worst Engagement Locations for Outdoorsy Couples

Here’s the problem, people love water views! And they also love sunny days. Put those two together and you have a recipe for a mediocre snapshot, not a beautiful portrait.  I know what I am about to say below is contrary to popular belief – these are great places afterall.  I’m just saying I wouldn’t personally choose them for a photo session because more often than not it will be difficult (or impossible!) to create nice photos. 

  1. Beacon Hill Park – probably the most popular park in town and also notably busy with tourists. Majority of park area is green and grassy which causes green shadows on skin. Hard to find pockets of usable space for nice photos.
  2. Parliament Buildings – another popular choice for tourists and hard to get a shot without plenty of people in the way. Also it will only have “soft” light after sunset as there is no shade during the day. If you really want photos here, I’d suggest the back of the building. 
  3. Inner Harbor – Can you tell I don’t like crowds yet? The Inner Harbour is lovely in real life and worth a visit, but for your engagement it’s just too busy and offers no reliable backdrop to use since things/people are constantly moving around the area.
  4. Saxe Point Park – I love this park and have good memories going here as a child, but for photos I’ll have to say nay. It’s just too open to the elements and offers no good view on a sunny day unless you plan to squint in all your photos.
  5. Esquimalt Lagoon – If you’re looking for a beach, the ones recommended above are far better in my opinion than the lagoon. It’s generally way too busy here and too open with no option for shade.

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