engagements at Prairie Grove battlefield park

Great Places for Engagement Photos in Northwest Arkansas

It’s engagement photo season! When we start planning these sessions, one of the main things we talk about is the location because that will impact the photos and the whole session. Some couples will know where they want to go, but I’ve found that many don’t have a clue. I’ve decided to put together a little guide with great places for engagement photos in Northwest Arkansas to help others out there looking for a good location.

Great Places for Engagement Photos in Northwest Arkansas

Before we jump into the locations, let me say that some of these suggestions will be actual places, but look at the general area and think about other places you know. If you like the look of a field, then you can always find a field near you. If you like the look of a park, you can find a park near you. This list doesn’t cover every location. I know I find new places to work every few months, so feel free to take the ideas I give and run with them.

Parks for engagement sessions

When we start the location conversation, the first question I always ask is nature or urban. This helps guide me to the types of places we’d want. I have found that parks are some of the best places for nature shots. Parks are made for people so they are going to be well taken care of and have a good amount of space. Usually a park with have a lot of variety of well. There might be fields, forests, and water all in one place.

engagements at Prairie Grove battlefield park

There are tons of nice parks around Northwest Arkansas. I live in Fayetteville, so I tend to focus on the ones that are here, but each city will have different parks, and I love exploring different areas.

Prairie Grove Battlefield Park

I love history, and I love beauty. Prairie Grove Battlefield park has both. It was the site of a famous Civil War battle, and they still have many of the houses and structures on the ground. Besides that, there’s plenty of space to explore, and I’ve used several different fields and trails in the past.

Engagement session at Prairie Grove Battlefield Park photo at Prairie Grove Battlefield park engagement session in Prairie Grove

Devil’s Den State Park

Devil’s Den has so much to offer. It’s a giant place surrounded by woods, but there is more to it than that. You can get all types of nature shots there with the woods, but there is also creek beds, bridges, trails, and an amazing view if you are up for a hike.

wide shot of bluff at Devil's Den Engagement Photos at Devil's Den

Gulley Park

I’ve probably used Gulley Park more than any other park. It has a lot of wide open spaces which I like without all the distractions of other parks like basketball courts or huge playgrounds. One thing I really like is the creek. There are these really cool bridges going over them, but you can also get down near the water without getting wet.

engagement session at Gulley Park

Wilson Park

Wilson Park is another great option in Fayetteville, but it is a little more restricted. The park is still a decent size, but there are always a lot of people there and most of the space is occupied with things. Still, I’ve done several shoots there and they have turned out great.

Wilson Park engagement photos swings at Wilson Park

Thaden Field

I’ve yet to do an engagement shoot at Thaden Field, but I did visit it recently, and it would make a great location in Northwest Arkansas. It is an small airfield, but near it you have basically a park. There are pathways and fields, and in the middle is a big body of water.

Creeks or Lakes

If the parks aren’t doing it for you and you want something a little different, you might look for a creek. I love creeks because they usually have spots with water and spots that are dry for the couple. Creeks are also usually surrounded by some kind of nature like fields or trees.

using a creek for engagement photosSometimes creeks will be at parks, but I also have had good luck just finding them as I’m driving. The main thing you need to worry about this is the location of the creek. Is it on private land or is it public? Can you safely get to it?

Tanyard Creek Nature Trail

Tanyard Creek is located in Bella Vista, and it’s a very popular spot for photos. The majority of the place is trails that wrap around through the woods and various creeks. The biggest draw is the waterfall. People love it. Down another trail, you can find another great spot with these steps of water like mini waterfalls.

engagements at Tanyard Creekwaterfall engagement photos

Lake Atalanta

Lake Atalanta has changed a ton over the years. It used to be pretty run down, but they’ve done a great job rebuilding it. The lake is much cleaner now, and there are bike and walking trails all around. I’ve only explored part of it, but I really like all of the trees and woods surrounding the trails.

 engagements at Lake Atlanta

piggy back ride during engagement photos

Lake Fayetteville

Lake Fayetteville is another great engagement photo location. The Lake is huge, but honestly, there aren’t a lot of great spots to use the lake. I mainly use all of the area surrounding it. You’ve got trails that wind around the whole thing. I usually pick one direction and work that way because it would take too long to get to all of it. There is one nice big bridge. It’s a nice option for something different besides nature.

kissing on dock at Lake Fayettevilleengagement photo at lake fayetteville

Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake is the biggest body of water in NWA. The only real problem with it is that all around it is houses and docks. As far as I know, there isn’t a ton of public land, but if you know someone that has property or a boat, it can be a lot of fun.

Downtown

If you’re not a fan of nature, there are plenty of urban areas around in Northwest Arkansas. The easiest thing to do is to go to one of the bigger cities (Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville, Rogers) and go downtown. These are going to be the more historical sites, so you’ll have older buildings, and these areas are usually kept up by the cities.

engagement photos in a parking garage

Downtown Rogers

Downtown Rogers has the feel of an older city. The roads are made of bricks and the buildings still look like little shops. The area isn’t huge. It’s mainly a few streets, but you can still take photos there. The main draw is the alleys and sidewalks.

Dickson Street

Dickson Street is the most interesting street in Fayetteville. This is where all the bars and action is. The street is pretty long, so there are lots of different looks. Like Downtown Rogers, it’s mainly buildings and sidewalks.

engagement photo on Dickson Street photos on Dickson Street

Fayetteville Square

Fayetteville Square is an actual square, but there is more to it than that. In the middle, there is an area with some greenery and some water, but it’s mainly streets. If you want to get a little different, you can use a parking garage for a different look.

Fayetteville Square engagement pics Fayetteville Square engagement session engagement shoot on the Fayetteville Square

Downtown Springdale

Springdale is another city trying to revitalize it’s downtown area. In the past, there really wasn’t much going on there. Now, there are several businesses and bars and activity. Besides the normal buildings and streets, there is a small waterway and some woods around the Shiloh Museum.

engagement session in downtown Springdale Downtown Springdale Engagement Photos

Bentonville Square

The Bentonville Square has some similarities to Fayetteville, but the big difference is the middle is a lovely garden area. You also have some really cool steps in that area, and you aren’t far from Compton Gardens.

bentonville squareengagements-on-bentonville-square

Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs is such an interesting place. It’s an older city that is basically for tourists. The place is full of little shops and side streets and all types of interesting things. One place I found that is different than the small town feel is the Blue Springs Heritage Center. It’s a whole park with blue water in the middle.

couple looking out over valley couple in front of spring at Blue Springs Heritage Center

Venues

Another great option is to use your wedding venue or just another venue. Most wedding venues will let you use their space for free if you are having the wedding there, but if you’re using a different site, you might have to pay a small fee. Some places are pretty cheap, like $50 an hour, while others are $200 an hour.

The great thing about using a venue is that, like a park, they are going to be taken care of. Venues are businesses, and they aren’t going to let everything look bad.

Sassafras Springs Vineyard wedding venue

One good thing about using a venue that’s not your wedding venue is that it gives you more variety. On the wedding day you’ll be taking tons of photos at your venue, so for the engagements, you might check out another place that has a different look.

St. Catherine’s at Bell Gable

I’ve been doing photos at St. Catherine’s for years. It’s right down the road and it’s really affordable. I think it’s $50 an hour. It has an old stone church, fields, a barn, a creek, and you can also rent old cars.

Stone Chapel at Mattlane Farm

Mattlane Farm is one of those venues that lets you use the property if you are booking with them. I’ve done bridals and engagement sessions there before. The chapel is usually the central point of the photos, but you also have an outdoor ceremony site, plenty of fields, and the tree lined driveway is amazing!

groom dipping bride outdoor ceremony at Mattlane farm bride and groom kissing in front of Matt Lane Farm

Barn at the Springs

The Barn at the Springs is one of my favorite places as a wedding photographer. Customer service is huge for me, and they are the kindest, hardest working people I know. That’s all good, but the important thing is the location. They have the huge barn which is great to use the inside or outside. Then, there are fields, swings, some beautiful trees.

sunset at Barn at the Springs bride and groom outdoors hugging

Sassafras Springs Vineyard

Sassafras Springs is one of the best engagement locations. The place is huge and has so many different looks to it. They’ve got fields, creeks, bridges, vineyards, and a large white veranda. It has something for everyone!

bride at Sassafras Vineyard Sassafras-Vineyard-Wedding-Venue-with-bride Sassafras Springs Vineyard wedding venue Sassafras Springs Vineyard wedding venue

Some place special

If none of this works, I suggest you find something special to the two of you. Did he propose somewhere special? Do you two have a place that means the world to you? Do you both share a love for some activity or hobby? All of these would make great locations for engagement photos. I’ve done shoots at childhood homes, the Little Rock Zoo, and a music venue!

One bonus to using these special places is that it’s not going to be something everyone else does. It’s very unlikely that a ton of people do an engagement session at a skating rink or an ice cream shoppe. Your location will be special to you and will stick out from all the normal engagement photos.

Arkansas engagement photo at Little Rock Zoo

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

One of the most famous places in Northwest Arkansas is Crystal Bridges Museum. It is a huge place with sculptures outside and inside all types of art. You do have to get permission to shoot there and some places will still be off limits, but it’s a great option for the art lovers.

engagement photo at Crystal Bridges

Dickson Street Bookshop

Dickson Street bookshop is exactly what you would picture for an old bookshop. Books are everywhere and there are little hallways with books and books. It has that perfect cozy, old feeling.

Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks

The Botanical Gardens is exactly what it sounds like. It’s filled with all types of plants and flowers. There is a cost to get in, but as far as I know, you don’t need permission to shoot there.

The University of Arkansas Campus – Old Main Lawn

This is actually one of the most popular locations for engagement photos, but still it’s special to some people. I went to the U of A, and for many, there’s where they met their spouse. There isn’t much to it, but it’s still beautiful. You have huge fields and trees and then the giant classic building, Old Main.

walking down Old Main at U of A photos on Old Main lawn engagements on steps of Old Main

Fayetteville Public Library

The Fayetteville Public Library blows my mind. It is huge and wonderful and has so much to it. You’ll need to get permission to use it, but I think they are pretty open as long as you don’t cause a distraction.

Mount Sequoyah

Mount Sequoyah is at the top of Fayetteville and has a great view of the city. People will actually come up there and just hang out to look at things. The other thing it is known for is the giant cross. Most of the time when I use this area I’m trying to get the cross and the view in the background.

cross-mount-Sequoyah outdoors mount-Sequoyah

Conclusion

You want your engagement photos to fit who you are as a couple, and you want to have a good time taking them. Look through some of the suggestions I made and see if any of the places fit. If not, look at the broader categories and find something and make it your own. If you need any more help with coming up with Great Places for Engagement Photos in Northwest Arkansas, feel free to reach out and I’ll give you a few more ideas

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