There’s only one reason why I love living in Vancouver and affordable housing is not it. I love living here because it’s absolutely beautiful. Sure it rains 9 months of the year, but when it’s nice out… it is NICE out. I’ve taken some time to put together and tell you about some of my favourite places in the city to photograph engagements! Some are well known, some are not… I hope you all enjoy!
1.) Dyke Road in Richmond
This road stretches along the south side of Richmond and follows the Fraser River until it empties into the Strait. It offers amazing water views and fields of tall grass. Head over during low tide and you can make your way onto the beach of old logs and tree stumps. Richmond is as flat as can be so you’ll get that unobstructed golden hour light and it will actually last an hour! Stevenson is near by as well as the Britannia Ship Yard if you’d like to get heritage looking structures in your shots!
2.) Vancouver Art Gallery
The VAG is known for its iconic cylindrical columns, grand staircase and neoclassical design. It’s a great location for a fancier engagement session, but can be pretty busy at times. It’s best to come here later in the day as there are generally less people in your way and events usually pack their bags when the sun goes down.
3.) Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver
The Cleveland Dam is located just before Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. It’s a great spot because it’s generally not too busy and the scenery is amazing. There’s a huge grassy mound right beside the parking lot which overlooks the Capilano Reservoir and a forest full of trails which lead you to the bottom of the Capilano River. I love this spot because it gives me a chance to explore the trails with my couples and take photos at the same time! Remember to bring your walking shoes or a pair of flats as these trails will be difficult to navigate in a pair of heels
4.) Iona Beach in Richmond
Do you ever wonder why Richmond smells like sewage sometimes? Well… it’s because of Iona Beach. There’s a pipe that extends 5km out that dumps sewage water out into the ocean – I call it the poo pipe. Just Kidding. Richmond smells because of all the fertilizers being used on all the farmland. I assure you that all the water being dumped from the poo pipe has been treated. This spot runs along the North Arm of the Fraser River. It offers the same amazing water views as Dyke Road, but it’s close the Vancouver Airport so if you’re into airplanes, you can sit and watch them as they land and take off. And don’t worry, I won’t make you walk all the way to the end of the poo pipe.
5.) Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver
Whytecliff Park is such an amazing spot that just screams, “Welcome to the West Coast”. Located on the edge of West Vancouver, it offers sweeping views of the Strait of Georgia and a beautiful (but rocky) beach. At low tide, you’re able to walk across and scramble up to the Whytecliff Islet. If you’re not that adventurous, we can stay on the beach or explore the coves on the mainland side.
6.) Capilano Suspension Bridge
Imagine navigating along granite cliffs on top of the canopy of our temperate rainforest, then walking across a suspension bridge that stretches 450 feet across and 230 feet above a raging river. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Well, that’s the Capilano Suspension Bridge and it’s awesome! This place is crawling with tourists though and you have to pay an admission to get into the park, but it’s definitely worth it! I would try to arrive early to avoid the crowds. If this isn’t for you, there’s a smaller free version of the suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon that is equally beautiful, but it requires a bit of a trek to get to.
7.) Grouse Mountain
This place is just beautiful and is advertised as The Peak of Vancouver. A bit pricey to take the gondola up, but you receive a free admission if you make a reservation at their award winning restaurant, The Observatory. This is a great spot in the summer as it really is the peak of Vancouver. You can get amazing views of the downtown skyline as well as wander around in the trails at the top of the mountain. If you’re looking for some snow, this is your winter wonderland!
8.) Spanish Banks Beach
If you’re looking for a spot that’s on the water and offers views of the North Shore mountains as well as an unobstructed view of the downtown skyline, then this is it! Spanish Banks can get REALLY busy during the summer months, but it’s really quiet during the spring months. UBC is nearby if you’d like to throw some interesting architecture into the mix and Pacific Regional Park is just across the street if you’d like to go for a hike through the forest. Spanish Banks is great for portraits, but we could also bring some props for a styled shoot as well!
So there you have it! There are 8 fantastic locations in Vancouver for engagement photos. I’ve got a few more spots up my sleeve that a bit less known to the public. If you’re looking for a unique location for engagement photography or are interested in having a session with me, feel free to contact me and we can find a location that suits your personality the best!