Fresh air, greenery, waterways, and more. Whether you’re from the south or not, it’s hard not to be in awe of nature here. City Park is a great spot to see mighty oak trees and other plant species. City Park is the largest park in New Orleans – with lots of areas to roam around in, including the botanical gardens, several waterways, and even the more woodsy remote Coterie forest.
The French Quarter
Colorful houses, iron balconies, cobblestone streets, there are so many obvious reasons why everyone loves the French Quarter. Engagement sessions here can be lively and romantic, but it’s always a better idea to plan for a morning session in the quarter instead of an evening one to beat the crowds. Roam the streets and even take a sunset ferry ride over to Algiers.
Audubon Park is located right on the Mississippi River near uptown. It’s a little smaller than City park, but contains much of the same scenery, including the Audubon “Tree of Life”. There’s a big grassy lawn area right on the river that’s great for sunset photos. It’s also right near Tulane University and the area is buzzing with great coffee shops and restaurants.
Marigny / Bywater Areas
More colorful houses but at a slower, quieter pace. The Marigny and Bywater areas are more residential and quaint but are still packed with Nola charm. There are lots of cute bars, restaurants, and coffee shops in this area too. We love Bacchanal- an indoor/outdoor wine bar with a laid back atmosphere and tasty, creative food and cocktails. Hop over to Crescent Park for a more industrial scene.
Fountainbleau State Park
Here’s another spot for you nature lovers. Although Fountainbleau State Park isn’t technically in NOLA, it’s just a causeway away and well worth the drive. Fountainbleau is the beachy, swampy, magical sunset spot of our dreams and we love photographing there any chance we get. Sometimes the beach can get a little crowded so it’s best to plan on walking through the sand to more remote spots for photos (or bring easy shoes and go barefoot.)
The Magazine Street area (aka Uptown) is another spot if you’re looking for New Orleans architecture, but don’t want to get caught up in the French Quarter crowds. The houses in this area are more like mansions, and the places to eat drink and caffeinate are endless. A session here might include grabbing a coffee or a drink on magazine street then exploring the surrounding residential streets for the best photo spots.
Downtown NOLA has just as much charm as the rest of it. The tall, reflective buildings, create interesting light and shadows no matter what time of day it is. It can be fun to pop into places like Stumptown and the Ace hotel for a coffee or drink during the session. The warehouse and arts districts are full of colorful and textured spots to photograph.
Lake Pontchartrain is pretty big and the lakefront stretches on for miles on both the New Orleans side and the Mandeville side (see also, Fountainbleau state park). Sunset is gorgeous here, and we love how its easy to get really clean, minimal photos by the lake on lakeshore drive. The lake also has several marinas that are really great for photographs.
Some Final Thoughts:
We are excited to explore new areas of this city and continue to add to this list. It’s a good idea to try and keep your session all within one of these spots. Sometimes traveling across this city can take a lot longer than it should and traveling from spot to spot can take up a lot of your golden hour time. It’s also a good idea to dress for the location. If your session includes lots of walking around, wear appropriate shoes, and always check the weather before getting too committed to a particular outfit. Some locations, like the french quarter, are less crowded in the morning so it’s always a good idea to keep those things in mind when scheduling.
Thanks for check out our Best New Orleans Engagement Photo Spots. Check out our post with the top tips to make the most out of your engagement session.