Thursday, February 15, 2018

Philadelphia's Best Wedding and Engagement Portrait Locations - by Faith West, Award-Winning Wedding Photographer, Philadelphia

By Faith West, one of Philadelphia's Top 5 Candid Wedding Photographers for over 10 years

Rittenhouse Square: A hot spot for dining, shopping, and entertainment, Rittenhouse Square is a great year-round location for taking engagement and wedding photographs. The Square’s mature trees, charming benches, walkways, and additional architectural elements provide the perfect backdrop for both casual engagement photos and more formal wedding portraits. In the Spring, the grass, trees, and flowers come to life. The last week of April through the first week of May are particularly vibrant as the azaleas bloom. Couples can enjoy the colors through the fall season and then the beautiful holiday lights and d├ęcor in the winter. On an average Saturday morning, the park is sprinkled with couples and families taking a leisurely walk, having a picnic, or playing with their dogs! It’s a wonderful and happy oasis within Center City.
Washington Square Park: Slightly larger than Rittenhouse Square Park, Washington Square Park is located just steps from Independence Hall. Depending on the season, the wider paths and additional green space may allow for more intimate photographs, without too many passerbys or onlookers in the background. Washington Square Park also features a lovely fountain that can add another visual element to your engagement or wedding photographs. Just like Rittenhouse Square, the Park’s greens are vibrant year-round.
Water Works: It’s no wonder that Water Works is one of the most popular destinations for engagement and wedding photographs! Stunning architecture, picturesque water views, and a lush landscape combine to create a truly romantic setting. Located at the base of the Philadelphia Art Museum with views of Boat House Row and the Center City skyline, we recommend booking a morning photography session to take advantage of the perfect lighting!  
Art Museum Steps: The Art Museum steps are perfect for a quintessential Philadelphia engagement or wedding shoot. The iconic steps, brought to international fame from the hit film Rocky, add a “wow” factor to portrait photographs. The large columns, expansive stairs, and grandiose architecture will add a layer of elegant drama to your images. Be sure to take a portrait at the top of the steps looking out toward Benjamin Franklin Parkway…it’s perfect for capturing Philadelphia’s skyline!
Classic City Hall Shot: Add a classic City Hall shot to your list of must-have’s! The view of City Hall from Broad Street is one of our clients’ favorite because of that great “wow” factor…the scene looks to be from a post card! The building, which was completed in 1901, boasts some of the city’s most intricate architectural details and is built in the style known as the French Second Empire. The wistful and romantic details are perfect for engagement and wedding photos!
Interior Walkway of City Hall: After taking your City Hall portrait, wander into its interior walkway and be further amazed by the building’s architecture. The interior walkway not only provides a dramatic backdrop with its large pillars, creating stunning black and white photographs, but it also provides shelter in inclement weather!  An added bonus is the courtyard in the middle of City Hall. Looking up towards the clock tower and the gabled roofs, you would think  you were in an old European capital. Great for a few romantic photos.
Love Statue/Love Park: What better place to capture the romance of your engagement or wedding than at the famous Love Statue in Love Park! The park’s ideal location also allows for picturesque views of City Hall and serves as the grand entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. An engagement picture here could serve as the perfect Save the Date!
Second Bank Building in Independence Mall: The Second Bank Building is one of our top wedding portrait locations—and with good reason! The timeless Greek Revival architecture, featuring dramatic steps and eight large stone columns, are the ideal backdrop for a bride and groom. The monotone background, while providing visual interest, allows the couple themselves to steal the attention of the viewer. This is a great classic wedding portrait location for traditional couples!

18th Century Garden in Indepedence Mall: The 18th Century Garden is a hidden gem among the city’s otherwise hustling parks and gardens. Neat beds, bordered paths, and small fruit trees decorate the small landscape and frame the picturesque gazebo and covered walkway. While spring and early summer engagement and wedding portraits capture the flowering plants, autumn’s bold colors also make a beautiful statement in pictures from this location.

Merchants Exchange Building in Independence Mall: This unique, round building on a wide, cobblestone skirt makes the perfect backdrop for any photos. It looks both old-fashioned and somehow unique and up-to-date at the same time. The gray, weathered marble walls make a great contrast with colorful clothing for eye-popping images every time.

Race Street Pier: This park has one amazing view - it’s got a stunning perspective of the span of the Benjamin Franklin Bride from below. But on the gently sloping drop to the other side of the park, railroad ties and some landscaping provide the perfect backdrop of Penn’s Landing and the Delaware riverfront.
Addison Street at the holiday season
Addison and 18th Streets, Philadelphia
Addison Street is located in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. This quiet, tree-lined street boasts the picturesque brick townhouses and is one of the prettiest streets Philadelphia. The trees are also decorated year round with white twinkle lights which makes it even more beautiful in the evening.

Lemon Hill Mansion
The rolling, hilltop grounds of Lemon Hill, a historic mansion located in the heart of East Fairmount Park with views of the Center City skyline to the south and the Schuylkill River to the west make it a popular spot for wedding and engagement photos. Lemon Hill mansion was built in 1800 as a summer retreat by Henry Pratt, a prosperous Philadelphia merchant.

Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world and is known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of prisoners. It’s one of the most picturesque places in the area. The striking architecture and crumbling cellblocks truly make for a unique and stunning photo session.

Valley Green Inn
A horse path and stalls, a creek with ducks and people feeding the ducks, a little quaint cottage-type restaurant, surrounded by thick woods -- if you would like to shoot your engagement photos in a natural, quaint environment without leaving the city of Philadelphia, Valley Green is the location for you.

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