best places to take photos in Minneapolis, Andy Hardman Photography
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Best Places to Take Photos in Minneapolis & St. Paul | Minnesota Engagement + Wedding Photographer

As a Minneapolis engagement and wedding photographer, I’m always looking for the best spots to take couples for portraits. Whether you’re doing proposal, engagement, elopement, or wedding portraits, you want the perfect backdrop to create memories and stunning photos. Often, you’ll find me exploring downtown on the lookout for hidden gems with movie-worthy atmospheres for couples. I know that the environment can make all the difference during your session. The perfect spot will help you relax, have fun, and deliver amazing shots all in one, and you deserve the best! When choosing the best places to take photos in Minneapolis, I’m looking for spots that: 

  • Capture the essence of Minneapolis 
  • Contribute to the overall photo composition
  • Feature gorgeous Architecture
  • Lend themselves to authentic images
  • Offer greenery, natural color, or sweeping landscapes
  • Provide a fun experience

Andy’s Top 5 Places to Take Photos in Minneapolis

Minneapolis is a creative-minded city with a great mix of modern and artsy attractions and architecture. Whether you prefer an edgy urban vibe or an ethereal natural landscape, you can have your pick in this vibrant city:

best places to take photos in Minneapolis, Andy Hardman Photography

Stone Arch Bridge

The Stone Arch Bridge offers an ideal height to get full views of the skyline, railroad, and flowing Falls of St. Anthony. Interestingly, this is the only major natural waterfall on the Mississippi River. During the day, the worn white stone, surrounding greenspaces, and thundering river add some unique features to your photos. 

places to take photos in Minneapolis

At night, catch the glow of sun setting behind silhouetted skyscrapers. I love the vintage-looking streetlamps on the bridge as well. It’s a nice place to catch your breath and watch the river roll by as you stroll hand-in-hand. If you’re tying the knot downtown, the Stone Arch Bridge is one of the best places to take photos in Minneapolis for couple’s portraits.

Stone Arch Bridge
Andy Hardman Photography
places to take photos in Minneapolis

The Guthrie Theater

In addition to phenomenal performances, shows, and artwork, this Pritzker Prize-winning architectural masterpiece is a sight to behold. It boasts the Endless Bridge, a gravity-defying cantilever overlooking the parkway and river. The Guthrie Theater also showcases an unusual amber box with 360-degree windows where you can take in views of the city under a soft yellow hue. This iconic theater is incredible both inside and out.

Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls showcases a mesmerizing 53-foot waterfall that pours from a white limestone bluff into the pool below. You’d never expect to find this otherworldly gem in the middle of the city, but here it is! If you’re looking for a natural backdrop with close proximity to downtown, Minnehaha Falls is the place. Check out my recent post for more info and a peek inside a real engagement session.

Minnehaha Falls Minneapolis
places to take photos in Minneapolis
places to take photos in Minneapolis
places to take photos in Minneapolis

Mill Ruins Park

As the name suggests, well-kept Mill Ruins Park indeed features the ruins of a historic mill. However, it’s not as eerie it sounds. In fact, I find the old ironwork, calm pools of water, and surrounding greenery to be a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle above. The park is steeped in rich Minneapolis history, and it’s as interesting as it is picture-worthy.

places to take photos in Minneapolis
Andy Hardman Photography
places to take photos in Minneapolis

Como Park Conservatory + Sunken Gardens

I may not have a green thumb, but the botanists at Como Park Conservatory sure do—and I love photographing it. This garden, zoo, and conservatory is open year-round, featuring seasonal blooms to add color to your photos. In addition, you can turn the experience into a relaxing date after the shoot.

Como Park & Conservatory
Como Park & Conservatory
Como Park & Conservatory
Como Park & Conservatory
Como Park & Conservatory
places to take photos in Minneapolis

Lake Harriet + Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Minneapolis is a nature-loving city, which makes it perfect for a photographer who can’t say no to a picturesque landscape. The Chain of Lakes is part of a massive park with winding trails, thick groves of trees, and of course several lakes—Brownie Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles, Bde Maka Ska, and Lake Harriet to be specific. I look forward to its magic every fall when the leaves change, and it’s a breathtaking spot for couples to take photos. Plus, the park is so large you can easily find space away from others.

Springtime Proposal at Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Chain of Lakes Regional Park
Chain of Lakes Regional Park
Chain of Lakes Regional Park
Chain of Lakes Regional Park
Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Winter Engagement Photos at Lake Harriet

Lake Harriet Minneapolis
Lake Harriet Minneapolis
Lake Harriet Minneapolis

Winter Wedding at Frozen Lake Harriet

Lake Harriet Winter Wedding
Wedding day photos outdoors lakeside winter
Lake Harriet Winter Wedding
Wedding day photos outdoors lakeside winter
Lake Harriet Winter Wedding
Wedding day photos outdoors lakeside winter
Lake Harriet Winter Wedding
Lake Harriet Winter Wedding

Book Your Session with Andy Hardman Photography

places to take photos in Minneapolis
places to take photos in Minneapolis
places to take photos in Minneapolis

Andy Hardman is a Twin Cities wedding photographer who is on an endless hunt for inspiration, golden moments, and striking backdrops. His mission is to beautifully capture every detail of your wedding day in photos you’ll cherish for years to come. Learn more about the experience, and book your session here.