“So where should we have our engagement session (we call it a Forever Session)?!” Is the question we get asked most from our couples, and we understand why. In Memphis, there are so many options! You have the Mississippi River and downtown. In midtown alone you can go to Overton Park or Cooper Young area or the Crosstown Concourse or Overton Square. And we haven’t even gotten to Shelby Farms, a Memphis gem, as well as the many outdoor places that have such a beautiful southern landscapes and moods.
Before we start though, there is one very important thing to take into account: who you are as a couple. This includes your story, personalities, and interests! We love to ask a simple question, “When you two have free time and want to get out of the house, what do you love to do?” Most answers from couples are usually about taking their dog to their park (which we LOVE dogs at engagement sessions!), or going out to try a new restaurant, etc. But the answer to that questions tells us whether you gravitate to the free, invigorating outdoors or the energetic, romantic city life. From there it becomes a lot easier to find your perfect spot for engagement photos in Memphis!
So don’t freak out! We have been doing this whole engagement photography thing in Memphis for a while now and know the best, most consistent places to get beautiful photos!
From a great view of the Memphis skyline and bridge to a beautifully manicured, urban garden space, you can really get a little bit of everything Memphis out of Beale Street Landing. This urban park has some of the best sunsets we have seen over the Mississippi River were here! Plus the modern architecture will give your photos a sophisticated, yet fun feel. With a more dressy attire, it can really make your pictures stand out! This is for sure one of our favorite spots for downtown Memphis.
Harbor Town is so much fun to shoot at because it is one part park by the Mississippi River and one part small town. The park features massive trees, open fields, and views of the river and bridge. The Park lends itself to spacious photos with depth, but really the star of Harbor Town is the town itself. It is quaint, well manicured, and feels homey while almost foreign to a typical Memphis scene. You can get lost in its mystique! Add in the numerous little parks nestled deep into the town, and you have a location with lots of options! Plus around the holidays the town is decorated with tons of Christmas lights and we love the magic that comes from twinkle lights!
We don’t play favorites, but if we did, Shelby Farms Park would be it 🙂 No, it is not downtown nor has any strong Memphis landmarks (beyond the park itself being a haven for many Memphians). What Shelby Farms does have is the most unique landscape in Memphis. If you want outdoor photos, this is THE place in our opinion. The Hyde Lake area is a top notch urban park and the Uplands are a perfect place to feel like you are in the wild (with your dog off leash too!) And, if you like sunsets, Shelby Farms have the best in Memphis without a doubt!
Main Street is one of the most popular places to have an engagement session in Memphis, and for good reason. South Main Street has a great feel with the shops, restaurants, and trolley! But to be honest our favorite part of Main Street is closer to the central part of downtown. This part of downtown feels the most like a bigger city. A great mixture of modern and old buildings, brick sidewalks, and ornamental street lamps will really give your session a romantic, “night out on the town” feel! Plus you are a simple walk to the river where you can get a lot of beautiful sunset photos if the weather is right!
5. Somewhere Personal to You
For us, this is should be the first consideration at all possible. This engagement session is about YOU so we love to learn what is a place to you as a couple that is special. It could be where you got engaged, your first date location, or even your home! These type of engagement sessions always make you the most relaxed and in the right mood. Happy memories means happy smiles! Plus, it keeps the photos authentic to who you are as a couple. We, as photographers, LOVE it when we get to photograph a couple in a meaningful location. It truly is the best!
Overton Park is a midtown staple. It’s variety of locations is almost endless – Brooks Museum, Levitt Shell, the old Memphis College of Art, the beautiful parks – so you can really get a bunch of different looks from your session! One thing, as photographers, we really enjoy about Overton Park is the light quality. There is so much variety in light because it is wooded enough that you can find beautiful beams of light to really give extra interest and depth to your photos. We are always happy when we get to shoot there!
If industrial, modern, and indoors is your thing then nothing beats Crosstown Concourse! This walkable community is truly a photographer’s dream. So many little vignettes and scenes can be found there. The Atriums are vast and industrial, the art space is modern, and the reading nook is just so much fun! If you have more modern tastes and prefer indoors, then this is a great place to have your engagement session in Memphis!
Okay, so this one is pretty obvious. Flowers, beautiful gardens, and outdoors. But seriously, the Botanic Gardens offer some of the best vistas in Memphis. Since it is sectioned out into numerous gardens, we always have fun exploring with our couples and finding what the next turn has in store because every time we have shot there we found a new favorite place. It never disappoints. Make sure your photographer has a professional membership there though – otherwise they will kick you to the curb!
Yes, there are ducks, and yes they are cute! Beyond those little guys you will find a stunning lobby that feels like from another time. It oozes romance! The lighting is just right, the wood is warm, and the feel is grand. If you like to dress up and enjoy the town, then the Peabody totally lends itself to dressy attire. Our dream is to one day have the whole place to ourselves, but we have gotten really good at making your photos feel like you are the only two in the world!
10. Cooper Young District
When Memphians think of midtown Memphis, most think of the Cooper Young District. It’s funky. Artsy. The home of so many Memphis staples. This is such a great place to really show off your personalities because it already has so much personality. From murals to fun bars to even small parks, you can really have freedom to find a location that accentuates who you are as a couple. We always have fun exploring this area with couples and make fun photos for them!
Obviously, this is not an extensive list but it should be a great place to start for your engagement session planning in Memphis! If you have any questions, please post it in the comments and we will try our best to answer it for you!
Savannah and Philip