12 Great Dayton Engagement Photo Locations (And Some Pro Tips to Make the Most of Your Engagement Session!)
Getting engaged is an exciting time in your life, and one of the most fun aspects can be your engagement photos! Finding the best wedding and engagement photographer for your needs is extremely important, and that can be a conversation in and of itself, but once you've found the best photographer for you, the next step is finding a great location for engagement photos. Having photographed numerous engagement sessions in Dayton, I can say there are loads of great spots to go for your engagement photos. Read on, and I'll share 12 of my favorite locations in Dayton for engagement photos, as well as some photos of the places below.
12 Great Dayton Engagement Photo Locations
- Dayton Quarry
- Carriage Hill MetroPark
- Koogler Wetlands
- Sugar Creek MetroPark
- Eastwood MetroPark
- Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark
- Ghostlight Coffee
- Proto BuildBar Dayton
- Downtown Dayton
- Oregon District
- Lost & Found Vintage Rentals
- Riverscape MetroPark
Above all, have fun with your engagement session locations. Below, you'll find some engagement photo inspiration, as well as some helpful tips on how to make the most of your engagement session!
One of my absolute favorite places to shoot Dayton engagement photos is in the local quarry. While it may sound like an odd place, the quarry offers some insanely diverse terrain to shoot a variety of engagement photos in a relatively small area. It's a beautiful place to hike, and it is a wonderful place to adventure for engagement photos that don't feel like they're in Ohio. With vibes of a desert, wooded area, high grasses, and ponds, the quarry provides just about any outdoor opportunity Dayton offers. I enjoy bringing adventurous, outdoorsy couples out to the quarry, but even if you aren't big hikers, there are beautiful spots right out of the parking lot. Sunset engagement photos always turn out fantastic here when the light cooperates, and sunrise is just as great. Golden hour is fantastic, so pretty much, any time your photographer suggests you do your engagement session, you are good to go in this beautiful area!
Clothing wise, I recommend my couples bring comfortable shoes to hike in, and if you're a heels person, bring them, but pack them to put them on when you get to your destination. Rich, earth-toned clothes are always a win here, and don't forget a complimentary scarf or jacket in cooler temperatures, or a stylish watch or necklace to finish the look in warmer weather. It's incredible how little pieces and layers can accent and pull a look together, and it's always fantastic when a couple can collaborate together to pull a look together without being totally matched. Hit that color wheel up, my friends, and find the colors that compliment one another and your location, and you'll be good to go!
Below are some of my favorite quarry engagement photos in a myriad of times, seasons, and spots within the quarry. You simply can't go wrong with this location!
Carriage Hill Metro Park
Koogler Wetlands is one of my favorite, most serene places in Dayton to take couples for engagement photos. With its high grass areas, its beautiful nature trails, rad boardwalk through a marsh, and some cool spots old homesteads used to stand (and still partially do!), it has a little bit of everything to work with. The hikes are super easy, and it’s not far from the main thoroughfares on North Fairfield Road to go grab a bite to eat after your session. With most of it in the woods, I recommend to start your session earlier so the sun can stream through the trees, and end out in the fields during golden hour. In no time you’ll have a solid set of looks, and never have to leave the one area! (Pro tip: because of the marsh, during summer, Koogler can be buggy. Plan for this and apply bug spray if you’re prone to being loved by the bugs!)
Eastwood Metro Park
Eastwood Metro Park is a treasure trove of an area for Dayton engagement photos. With its beautiful ponds, mini dock area, arched bridges, not to mention the wooded areas and other stunning water features, there's really endless opportunities for fresh looks and options for photos. One of the key elements I look for when I assist my couples in choose their engagement photo locations is that they have multiple "looks" in a relatively small area, so that we can minimize our travel time, and maximize our shooting time, without sacrificing style or opportunities. With Eastwood Metro Park, I feel as though it's a hidden gem in Dayton for this very reason, and I love when couples are game to have their engagement sessions there! With the varied outdoor options, it's great in all seasons, and loads of outfit options are possible here as well, with many different styles and tones. My favorite seasons for shoots here are early and late summer, as well as the fall. As with Koogler Wetlands, sometimes bugs can get a bit ridiculous in the humid months with the abundance of still water, but with the proper precaution (I always have bug spray in my car for my couples, just in case!), it's a really lovely time, with beautiful scenery for engagement sessions. You simply cannot go wrong with your engagement photos in Dayton at Eastwood Metro Park!
Sugarcreek MetroPark, part of the Five Rivers MetroPark system, is located in Bellbrook. Primarily wooded areas and hiking, it provides more of a wooded feel, and I recommend going well before sunset to ensure you have light through the trees most of the year. The walking stones along the waterway and the orange blossom tunnel are two of my favorite features of this part, and it's a beautiful place for an engagement session in Dayton, especially for those game to hike and wander a bit in the trails!
Downtown Dayton/Oregon District
Downtown Dayton is a fantastic place for engagement photos! With all of the character of the buildings, the beautiful green spaces like Riverscape Metro Park, fantastic creativity with the art along the walls, and the great locations in-between, you cannot go wrong with a stop in Downtown Dayton for your engagement photos. Any style can work downtown, whether you want to dress it up for a night on the town, keep it casual with jeans and comfy shirt, or something in between, the Oregon District and Downtown Dayton can make it all look great. And, with it having a more urban feel, a downtown Dayton engagement session can look great in any season. Whether it's a warm sunny day and we hit Riverscape, or it's a snowy day in February and we walk along the beautiful brick buildings that line downtown, you can find something that will suit your vision for your engagement photos.
Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark
Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark is a fantastic option for outdoor engagement photos in the Dayton area. With its beautifully manicured floral areas, the hedge gardens, fountains, and boardwalk through the wooded areas, there are plenty of opportunities for a varied engagement session. Some of my favorite features are the mall area lined with evergreens, the tall grasses (have you noticed my affinity for nature?), as well as the water along the other side. With Wegerzyn being extremely close to downtown Dayton, it's a great spot to start an engagement before heading downtown to make a second look in an more urban area. With everything on even terrain and in close proximity, Wegerzyn Gardens offers a very easy walk through manicured areas, with little effort. As with a few of the other location I've mentioned, Wegerzyn has a slight bug issue (as with many areas of Ohio), so if it's summertime or early autumn, spray up with bug spray before venturing out!
Lost & Found Vintage Rentals
This isn't a specific place, but rather a business that makes engagement photos really darn rad, no matter the location in Dayton! Lost & Found Vintage Rentals has a studio, but the really neat concept behind the business is that they will travel to you with amazing vintage armchairs, couches -- heck, even chandeliers -- to transform whatever special place you have into a beautiful backdrop for your engagement session. Having worked with them multiple times, I can attest that if you have a flair for the spectacular, or even if you're just feeling like a really awesome vintage couch in the middle of a field will set your images on a level you'd love, Lost & Found can make it happen. And, having just opened The Honey Farm as a new Dayton wedding venue, Lost & Found is stepping their game up to provide experiences for couples all the way through their engagement, to their wedding day.
Special Locations/Date Inspirations
One of the best things you can do as a couple on the day of your engagement session is to have a day to celebrate one another and this journey you're on, and there's no better way to do that is to incorporate some of your passions or go to favorite spots to visit as a couple. And, one of the things I love doing the most is tagging along and capturing the two of you enjoying a date together, or after we've had a great time at one of the many Dayton engagement session locations I mentioned, let's go hit one of the fantastic places to eat or hang out for coffee and finish on a fun note. Some of my favorite places are shown in photos below, but to give suggestions for great places to start or end an engagement session in Dayton, here are a few of my top picks for a great date:
- Ghostlight Coffee
- Proto BuildBar
- Crafted & Cured
- Wheat Penny
- Press Coffee Bar
- Thai 9
At the end of the day, there's no wrong way to do your engagement session, and no wrong location in Dayton to do them. I love to do multiple locations when couples are game to wander, and it's always fun to grab a drink or coffee with you before or after! Engagement sessions shouldn't be stuffy or canned; they should be a ridiculous amount of fun, and make the best parts of you and your relationship shine! Enjoy every step of your engagement and wedding planning process, and celebrate yourselves with killer engagement photos!