Best Engagement Photos Locations In Alberta & Surrounding Areas

December 10, 2019

Selecting your engagement photo location to celebrate your love for each other and to be photographed professionally is a fun and exciting experience. Engagement sessions are about you two, but where do you start from in deciding where to choose your engagement photography location is another thing. Couples always ask me, “where do we do our engagement photos?” First of all, it is about exploring what is important to you, and your partner as often engaged couples think of a location but yet has no meaning to them.

You might, after speaking with your photographer, say that your home means the world to you than meeting in a park, which means nothing emotionally to you. Only after learning what is important to my engaged couples do I offer my suggestions for a location as often an engagement session location comes up during our discovery call. This is the difference when you start out wondering what the average cost of a wedding photographer is as finding a photographer who cares is important to a fabulous engagement shoot.

For those couples who wonder what is the point an engagement shoot or do I need one, are often the ones who love their engagement experience and celebrate their love for their partner with a beautiful piece of wall art displayed in their home. Knowing what is important to you will allow for more unposed candid photos, so if this is important to you, definitely find a photographer who wants to get to know you before your engagement shoot. Furthermore, make sure it’s the photographer who captures your engagement shoot than a second or assistant photographer!

Since 2007 I have explored Alberta a lot by hiking, mountain biking, being out with my family. With hundreds of engagements, weddings, and family portraits at OKES Portraits, below is a list that I have created for couples wanting to know the best engagement photo location in Alberta. Many couples know of the famous locations from Moraine Lake, Banff, Lake Louise, and Canmore, many couples do not know of Drumheller or excellent locations in Calgary or Edmonton. Something different for some couples could be a hiking adventure session or helicopter engagement shoot. Have you ever heard about this? If this excites you, you can contact me to know to learn more.

Best Engagement Photos Locations In Alberta & Surrounding Areas

Engagement couples might first explore and wonder if they need guidance from a wedding planner. A great wedding planner will work with a photographer. A wedding planner is also a great person when you have no idea about choosing a venue for your wedding. Your heart might be a top Alberta mountain wedding venue, or Calgary is your home, and you want to know the best wedding venues in the city. Reach out to a wedding planner if they need help as they often cost way less than most people realize. At Geoff Wilkings Photography, I love working with wedding planners and if you need a referral contact me today.

Once you have selected your chosen engagement shoot location, you can think about hair and makeup as it could be a great time to find a professional and do a dry run for your wedding day. Finding a fantastic hair and makeup artist can reduce the time taken to retouch for your photographs – if they’re using digital.

By using this engagement location guide, you can scroll down at your leisure, or you can open the table of content guide to jump ahead to your area of choice. I have included many locations that I have not photographed at along with many locations I have. This guide is to help you deiced on a place that means the world to you. Explore and your detailed engagement guide.


Castle Mountain

Located halfway between Banff and Lake Louise, you will find Castle Mountain on the right-hand (north) side. Early morning or twilight is the best time to capture couples with Castle Mountain the background. Make sure to keep your eyes open for climbers and the Castle Mountain Cabin halfway up the mountain.

Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon is very much worth the hike and adventure! Located in a gorgeous area of Banff National Park, Johnston Canyon will reward those prepared to put in the effort.

Johnston Canyon engagement session of a engaged couple embracing each other.

Lake Minnewanka

Easy to get from downtown Banff. Unquestionably one of the top locations to be photographed so you might find it busy with people. If you want a unique experience, I would suggest exploring a different area.

Norquay Chairlift

Super fun experience but will involve a unique viewpoint of Banff. Definitely worth the added expense of taking the chairlift.

Surprise Corner

A favorite location for everyone. By that, I mean every visitor to Banff National Park, so do not expect to be alone. With easy parking and a fabulous viewpoint to Banff Spring Hotel, you will be treated with instant views.

Tunnel Mountain Reservoir

An accessible location to explore and photograph, you will see the West End Of Mount Rundle instantly sitting right there for you to enjoy. Just make sure to have a backup as there might be a wedding or another shoot taking place.

Two Jack Lake

A gorgeous location but I would suggest going for a walk once you’ve reached the car park. It is a busy location where people love to dip into the water or sit and eat lunch. With such easy access, you won’t be alone.

Vermilion Lake

I love this location when alone. If you want the dock, the boat launch area makes sure to give yourself some extra time with great views and stunning.


Bow Valley Ranche, Fish Creek Provincial Park

One of the most well-used locations in Calgary for an engagement shoot. Meet in the car park of the Bow Valley Ranche and head out for a beautiful evening walk.

Fish Creek Calgary Engagement Shoot Couple

Central Memorial Park and Memorial Public Library

Beautiful building with easy access via paid street parking. Or approach your downtown experience with a Calgary walkabout.

Devonian Gardens

Great location, and when I last checked, you will need a permit to photograph. Superb location during the winter months in Calgary

Edworthy Park

Fantastic location with easy parking and accessibility. Spend an evening having a picnic. If you want a private location, definitely do no head to Edworthy Park as it’s very popular with families. 

East Village Riverwalk & Junction

The East Village area was redeveloped and is now a fantastic urban location to explore. Leave your car, head for a walk with your photographer. I would recommend a late evening with the summer sun.

Glenmore Reservoir

There are several fabulous locations to explore around the Glenmore Reservoir. Head down Weaselhead is a great start. 

Glenmore Reservoir Engagement Shoot

Hudson Bay & The Hudson Bay Archways

Head for a downtown Calgary walkabout engagement session with a stop with the Hudson Bay building in the background and the historic Hudson Bay Archways. 

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

One of my favorite locations in Calgary for an engagement shoot. I love The Bird Sanctuary on every level. A must location for an engagement shoot in Calgary.

Wonderland Sculpture

A very cool sculpture and worth noting during your downtown Calgary engagement walkabout session.

Lougheed House and gardens

Love love love so much. The Lougheed House and grounds is a fabulous location for a late afternoon engagement shoot.

McHugh Bluff

A location that is often used by everyone, given its fabulous views of downtown Calgary. Can I suggest this location is used the late afternoon to sunset.

Studio Bell – National Music Centre

If you are after a creative engagement shoot, this is the location for you. Not your typical engagement shoot location but one of my favorites

Peace Bridge

During your walk along the river and stopping in Prince’s Island Park, you a great stop is along Peace Bridge. It’ll be busy, so make sure you’re patient to have nobody in your photos. If you don’t mind having people in your photos, then you’ll be fine.

Prince’s Island Park

A huge favorite in the summer and winter months. Very clean, easy to get to with lots of options. 

Ramsay Ruins

If history interests you along with gorgeous architecture, then Ramsay Ruins is worth stopping at. Can I suggest not using this location for your wedding day as they’ll be lineup given its popularity! It doesn’t make for a unique experience with three other brides waiting to use it. 

Reader Rock Garden

Mom’s the word with this location, hardly anyone knows about it. Don’t tell anyone, wink wink.

Saskatoon Farm

Yes, it’s a drive south of Calgary, but it’s worth it. I love shooting it at Saskatoon Farm. Don’t forget to buy a pie.

SAIT & SAIT Parkade

Super popular but worth visiting for your walkabout shoot on the grounds of SAIT.  

Simmons Building

During your walkabout of East Village, you have to explore the Simmons Building. One of my favorite urban locations, for sure.

Stephen Avenue

When you are downtown, you have to walk along Stephen Avenue. It’s a classic. 

St. Patrick’s Island Park

A short walk from the Simmons Building, you can easily access St. Patrick’s Island Park. It’s a fabulous location., especially as the sun is setting.

The Hangar Flight Museum

Like the Bell Max Building, The Hangar Flight Museum will offer different photographs. If you’re after something unique and aviation means the world to you, this could be your top engagement location.

Town of DeWinton Abandoned Train, Train Tracks & Grain Mill 

A train and a grain mill. A super fun location for those who love trains and Grain Mills. 


Alpine Club of Canada Hillside

When I first traveled To Canada from the United Kingdom, the ACC in Canmore was my first home in Canada. The Hillside along the ACC is stunning.

Benchlands Trail

Similar to the ACC but with more options. It’s perfect late evening as you’ll be treated with Ha Ling Peak and the Rundle Range as the sun goes down.

East End Of Rundle

You are adventurous, and you love hiking. Then this is worth thinking about. Late evening or early morning will be the very best for this experience.

Engine Bridge – The Old Railway Bridge

A very popular location in Canmore and worth noting if you’re on this side of Canmore

Grassi Lakes

Make sure it is open as it often closes due to bear activity. Grassi Lake is fantastic, and the color of the lake is quite remarkable. It is worth the hike.

Ha Ling Peak

Not for those not wanting easy photos as the trail goes straight up however you will be rewards with a stunning Ha Ling Peak photography session. With your heart pounding, you’ll reach the summit with joy. It’s worth the 2-hour uphill hike.

Mount Lorette Ponds

Okay, it is not in Canmore, but I added it here as it’s the closest option I could place. Mountains and a gorgeous lake. It’ll be worth it if you love Kananaskis Country.

Quarry Lake

Extremely popular with weddings, Quarry Lake is a fabulous location for an engagement shoot. I’d recommend an evening or late afternoon shoot given its open landscape.

Rawson Lake

Rawson Lake is in the Kananaskis Country area and is stunning. For those who love nature and life, this will make you very happy.

Spray Lakes Reservoir

You’ll wind up a long dusty road in Canmore to be greeted to a fabulous area known as Spray Lakes Reservoir. You’ll have to do some digging around this area, but with the backdrop to Ha Ling Peak, it might be worth the adventure. 

The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters is the backbone mountain to Canmore. You’ll have no problems finding a great location to capture The Three Sisters.

Wedge Pond

Not far from Highway Number 40, you’ll find Wedge Pond. I would suggest an early morning or late afternoon/evening shoot is for those who want to experience a great shoot in a beautiful location to be one with nature. 


Canadian Badlands in Drumheller

Below are the locations with the Badlands in Drumheller. Make sure to take water and suncream. Drumheller is gorgeous and may I suggest early morning or a later evening as the sun goes down.

Drumheller’s Pathway

The Hoodoos Trail


Horsethief canyon


Below are a number of fabulous Jasper National Park Locations. Some locations will involve more hiking than others, so you will need to research the level of activity you’d like to take on for your adventure. Late afternoon or early evening is the best time if you want the colors of lakes to pop in your engagement photographs.

Athabasca River

Cavell Meadows Trail

Edge of the World

Mount Edith Cavell Lake & Glacier

Horseshoe Lake

Indian Ridge and Whistlers Peak

Jasper Park Lodge

Lake Annette

Lake Edith 

Lake Beauvert

Maligne Canyon

Maligne Lake / Spirit Island

Medicine Lake

Old Fort Point

Patricia Lake

Pyramid Lake & Pyramid Island

Sulphur Skyline Summit

Tonquin Valley


Emerald Lake

Okay, Emerald Lake is located in British Columbia and not Lake Louise. I posted it here because it’s close to Lake Louise. Emerald Lake Lodge is undoubtedly worth the trip and possibly an overnight experience.

Lake Agnes

Lovely lake Agnes. A personal favorite of mine, but you’ll need to hike to it. Do you fancy a cup of tea, great let’s stop at the Tea House.

Lake Louise

Do I need to give Lake Louise and introduction? It is easy to get to and explore. I love it for many reasons. I do suggest we photograph at Moraine Lake given we’ve come so far.

Moraine Lake

To many, they have not been to The Canadian Rockies unless they’ve visited Moraine Lake. I sincerely suggest you do not explore Moraine Lake midday. Try early morning or at sunset.

A newly engaged couple at Moraine Lake  on a rock

Peyto Lake

Close to Lake Louise Peyto Lake is jaw-dropping. I would also suggest bringing your hikers and head around the areas. Mom’s the word as most people do not.

Takakkaw Falls

Located on the way to Emerald Lake Lodge and in British Columbia, Takakkaw Falls made my list because of its stunning environment. You won’t get a sunset here but receive a breathtaking location.


The Capital Of Alberta has many locations for your engagement shoot. An engaged couple who would love to capture the city of Edmonton below is the top engagement locations from downtown to parks.

Alberta Legislature Building

Borden Park

Edmonton City Hall

Edmonton Ice Castles

Edmonton River Valley

Forest Heights Park

Fort Edmonton Park

Gallagher Park

High Level Bridge

Hotel Macdonald

Keillor Point

Kinnaird Park

Louise Mckinney Park

Muttart Conservatory

Ramsay Heights Lookout

Rutherford House

Union Bank Inn

William Hawrelak Park

Wolf Willow Stairs

FAQ For Engagement Shoot Sessions

How many engagement photos do you get?

Expect from a standard shoot 40 to 50 photographs per hour. However, the number of pictures that you will receive will depend on the style of the photographer that you have hired. A Top tier photographer would instead give 10 to 20 amazing photographs than 150 repetitive photos that mean nothing to you. The other thing to note is that what will you do with the pictures? Consider wall art to celebrate your love for each other?

What to do after getting engaged?

Start planning for your big day is the most natural thing to do after getting engaged. Find the best wedding venues in Calgary or the top mountain wedding locations should be the first thing you book. From here, you can hire a wedding planner and photographer next. Once these top items are reserved, every other item becomes easy to book as these three items become booked quickly.

What is involved in an engagement shoot?

An engagement shoot consists of capturing what is important to you; this is the goal. How a photographer reaches this will differ, but the goal is for the photographer to produce photos that you love. When you view the photographs, you want to see you and your partner as to how you see them. What is involved in an engagement shoot could be laughter, tears, smiles, joy, dancing, hugs, and much more?

How much does an engagement shoot cost?

The cost of an engagement shoot truly depends on the quality of the photographer you hire. If it is a new photographer (0-3 years in business), they will include the engagement shoot free of charge. They are building their portfolios and need you more than you need them.
When you move up the quality ranks of a photographer, the fee increases from nothing to whatever the talent demands. If you love a photographer’s style and character, how can you put a price on this? We believe that you purchase what you love rather than include items you do not want.

So, when it comes to the cost of an engagement shoot, nobody can honestly give you a definitive answer as to the price. To better understand the average cost of a photographer, take the time to visit in person or Google Hangout/Skype/Zoom at least three photographers making sure you see real products for your eyes. This way, you can determine how much you should spend on an engagement shoot.
Even better, you could visit a photographer who is out of your price range to see the quality.

How long does an engagement shoot last?

A typical engagement shoot will last 1 to 2 hours. If the photographer knows what is important to you, then they won’t require to spend lots getting to know you during the shoot. A professional photographer will know what to shoot for and what means the world to you; therefore, that shoot could be 1 hour in length.

The other point to think about is what is included in your collection. If a photographer includes ten digitals, likely your shoot will less in time. If your engagement shoot is on a private boat in the summer and you are looking into investing in Wall Art or an Album, then your shoot could be half a day in length.

Are engagement photos worth it?

Yes. The reason and the point why an engagement shoot is worth it is that an engagement shoot allows the two of you to celebrate your love for each other with no other distractions. An engagement shoot is not a warm-up to get to know a photographer that many believe is the case. A true wedding professional should have no problems at all photographing your wedding day and directing for the best angles.

How soon after getting engaged, should you take engagement photos?

6 to 12 months before your wedding date is the normal time frame for professional wedding photographs to be taken. This allows for your photos to be developed and printed as wall art and loved ahead of your wedding date. Some people use a couple as save the date cards so possibly work back from when you require the photos for your save the date cards.

What is a reasonable price for a wedding photographer?

The average price of a wedding photographer is $2500 to $6000. The range in price differs much on what is included in your collection, the talent of the photographer, and her/his demand.

What should you wear for an engagement shoot?

Complimentary outfits will produce the best photographs. Keep away from busy outfits like Hawaiian tops and short and not fluorescent colors. You have to keep in mind who your engagement shoot is for? Is this a fashion shoot to sell items, or is it about you two? If it’s about you, consider beautiful clothing items like sheer fabric for the lady and an unbuttoned shirt for the gentleman.

What is the best location for an engagement shoot?

The best location for your engagement shoot is the location that means the world to you. This location could be at your home, or in the mountains at Moraine Lake. The key is to not head to a park to shoot for no reason, apart from believing you should do an engagement shoot as everyone has told you to do one.

Do I need a wedding planner after getting engaged?

A good wedding planner will make your life more relaxed on your wedding day. They will take away the pressure and organize your day, allowing you not to have to think about your day. You can then thoroughly enjoy your dream wedding day without thinking about a thing. So, if this is important to you, then yes, a wedding planner is worth it.

How should I prepare for an engagement shoot?

Your photographer should be in contact with you to learn about you. During the call, she/he will let you know what to expect. I would highly suggest for the lady treating herself to hair and makeup and possibly allowing this to get to know your stylist.

How many outfits do I need for engagement photos?

The number of outfits will depend on what you would like to do with the photographs. For instance, if you have them professionally printed as wall art, you would want your pictures to be of the same color tone and palette. So, in this case, one outfit is the perfect amount. A couple of different outfits will be a great idea if you’re heading to three different locations, and you’re not aiming to have them wall mounted in one collection piece.

What is the best time to take engagement photos?

Early morning or an hour before the sun goes down is the best time for engagement photographs to be taken.

Can you wear jeans for an engagement shoot?

The general rule of thumb is no. Your engagement shoot is a special time for you and your partner to celebrate your love for each other, and jeans often do not make wall art collection pieces. This said, if you have stylish jeans and they fit great, then yes can wear jeans for your engagement shoot.