As a Minneapolis and Saint Paul 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:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Como Park Conservatory + Sunken Gardens
The botanists at Como Park Conservatory sure do have AMAZING green thumb abilities—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 photo session. It is the perfect location for all things during the wedding process: proposals, engagements, elopements, small to large scale weddings.
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 amongst the Rose Garden. Plus, the park is so large you can easily find space away from others.
Winter Wedding Photos at Lake Harriet
Winter Engagement Photos at Lake of the Isles
Book Your Session with Andy Hardman Photography
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.