Best Engagement Photo Locations in Northwest Arkansas and Surrounding Areas

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Looking for the perfect place to take your engagement photos? Look no further than Northwest Arkansas. From the big city appeal of the Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers/Bentonville metro areas to the small-town charm of Cave Springs and Centerton, a wide variety of options are available to make your vision come to life. 

To help couples sort through all their options, we are proud to offer you our engagement photoshoot guide. Read through our list and envision where you’d like your photoshoot to take place, with the best options right at your fingertips. We’ve come up with a comprehensive list of urban environments and natural settings, inclement weather alternatives, and unique choices that deserve a closer look. Keep reading to learn more about the best engagement photoshoot locations in Northwest Arkansas. Or, use the links below to jump ahead to your area of choice. 

1 – Fayetteville Arkansas Locations
2 – Springdale Arkansas Locations
3 – Rogers Arkansas Locations
4 – Bentonville Arkansas Locations
5 – Outside of NWA, but close
6 – Bad Weather Locations
7 – Nature and Urban Combo Locations
8 – Bonus Locations

Fayetteville, Arkansas Engagement Photo Locations

Dickson Street

Dickson Street is an iconic location for that urban city vibe. You have options such as the beautiful Walton Arts Center, as well as a variety of unique and colorful pieces of street art. Hidden nooks and crannies in the alleyways between buildings will lend your photos a dramatic flair. To spice things up, or to simply take a break from shooting, you can always stop into one of the many bars for a quick drink and a casual photoshoot location. One of our personal favorites is the 21st Amendment. The warm wooden walls, poured concrete floors, and metal chairs are the epitome of city chic. 

Fayetteville Square

Fayetteville Square is a short walk from Dickson Street, but a little different in terms of style. Here you will find buildings and infrastructure that harkens back to Fayetteville’s founding in 1828. Alleyways and street art feature prominently, along with gorgeous landscaping year-round and Christmas lights during the holiday season. If you’d like shots from a casual date night, we can even swing into Tiny Tim’s Pizza for a warm slice and a few photos!

Lake Fayetteville

Lake Fayetteville can be found a short drive away from the Northwest Arkansas Mall, nestled among small businesses. This nature lover’s dream has two entrances, each offering different photo opportunities. The first, located off Vantage Drive, is Veteran’s Park. Couples who like to get competitive might enjoy taking photos at the park’s volleyball court. For more traditional outdoor photos, we can take the dirt trail found on the northeast side of the parking area. This leads you to the secluded dock off Lake Fayetteville, where your photos will celebrate your love story set in the Natural State.

Following the paved trail on the northwest side of the park leads you to a quaint bridge with natural water features surrounding it. We can also go further down the trail and get photos under the bridge, taking advantage of the natural rock and industrial construction.

The entirety of the lake is surrounded by over five miles of paved trails with a wide variety of photoshoot opportunities. There are cozy wrought iron park benches where we can get cozy seated shots. There are wide open fields perfect for dramatic gazes shared between fiancees. If you prefer the more classic, natural images, the trees surrounding the trails provide the perfect backdrop for any couple. When we’re all done shooting, we recommend stopping into Apple Blossom Brewing company for a local drink and some great food; their beer cheese fries are amazing! 

Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks

The Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks is a must-see location in Northwest Arkansas. Not only is it an amazing wedding venue location, but it is also a great place to casually stop in and smell the flowers and view the butterflies. The Botanical Gardens boats twelve gardens, each with a unique theme and floral design. But the gardens aren’t just for weddings or strolling. They are also available for an engagement photoshoot! Couples interested in this location must fill out the online permit and pay the $50 fee. This gives you access to the Botanical Gardens during normal business hours. Prefer shots after hours? An additional $10 an hour will make the gardens available to you at the time of your choosing and without any onlookers.

The University of Arkansas Campus – Old Main Lawn

On any given day, you can find a minimum of 5 photographers doing photoshoots on the University of Arkansas campus. This speaks volumes as to just how great this location is. Large open fields with giant trees are mixed with interesting and beautiful architecture. Add in that it’s right in the heart of Fayetteville just a few steps off Dickson Street, and it’s an ideal location for any engagement shoot in Fayetteville. The only thing to be cautious of is just how crowded it can get at times. The campus is large so you can usually find a secluded spot to shoot, but you will almost always have a mixture of students and other photographers to consider when picking your location. Regardless, it’s a great place to shoot, especially for couples with fond ties to the university.

Wilson Park

Located near the city’s center, Wilson Park is Fayetteville’s oldest park. 23 acres of gardens, trails, artwork, and gazebos make up the property, giving you dynamic and diverse photo opportunities all within walking distance. We can celebrate local art by getting some shots on The Castle, created by sculptor Frank Williams. Looking for something to showcase your sporty side? Let’s take some fun pictures on the basketball courts or embracing your inner child on the swingset! If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for Fayetteville photo locations, it’s hard to beat the diversity that can be found at Wilson Park.

Springdale, Arkansas Engagement Photo Locations

Downtown Springdale

Downtown Springdale is a hidden gem in Northwest Arkansas photo locations. Investments in the area have encouraged new businesses and designs to flourish, all while embracing the historical facade of the area’s architecture. It’s an excellent example of Washington county’s flair for vintage chic. An added bonus? Low crowds mean that images are quick to set up and snap, making it a hassle-free location for you and your significant other.

Sassafras Springs Vineyard

Traditionally viewed as one of the best wedding venues in Northwest Arkansas, people often forget to consider Sassafras as an engagement shoot location. Their loss is your gain because Sassafras is easily one of our most romantic shoot locations. Wide-open fields, large native trees, and obviously the vineyard are just some of the idyllic settings on the property. Add in their chapel ruins and the fact you can grab a nice glass of wine after the shoot, and Sassafras Springs Vineyard is a win for any photoshoot!

JB Hunt Park

JB Hunt Park is one of our favorite locations in Springdale. It’s hard to find another location in the area that gives you as many location options like this one! There are wide open fields, secluded dirt trails, bridges over trickling streams, and even a quintessential southern gazebo. There’s even a creek where guests are encouraged to splash around; we think it’s the most fun way to end an engagement shoot! Part of the reason the park is able to offer so many options is because of its expansive size. We encourage couples to prioritize their shot list so we can best plan how to organize the shoot. There is also a frisbee golf course on-site, which is great if you’d love to capture some images of you and your fiance enjoying the game, but also something to watch out for during a photo session!   

Rogers, Arkansas Engagement Photo Locations 

Lake Atalanta

If you haven’t been to Lake Atalanta in the past few years, boy are you missing out! Recent renovations and improvements of the property have added lots of nooks and crannies for great photo locations. The south side of the property offers a wide variety of shooting locations, from open fields to wooded areas. There’s even a fun creek if you’d like to add a water element to your photos! But bear in mind that this area has pretty steady foot traffic. Images may take a bit to set up and wait for traffic in the background to subside.

On the north side of the lake, you’ll enjoy some quaint little trails that tend to be more secluded. They also give you easy access to trails overlooking the property’s lake. Both locations are gorgeous and have great potential. The choice on which way to go is really up to you, but we normally love to do a little bit of both while we are there.

Downtown Rogers

Downtown Rogers is similar to Springdale in that it embraces the urban small-town vibe. Historic buildings have undergone modern transformations, giving you a diverse selection of location opportunities. One of our favorite features is an alleyway off the main street that has fairy lights suspended all across it. So make sure to schedule your shoot for some after sunset time in order to take advantage of the added ambiance!

Beaver Lake – Horseshoe Bend Marina

If you and your fiance love Arkansas’ lake culture, we can’t recommend Horseshoe Bend Marina enough! Warm sandbars and cozy picnic tables surround the area’s mainland, while marinas and docks invite you to dip your toes in the water. Have a boat? Even better! We’d love to take some images of you guys out on the open water or on a sunset cruise! We can even stop in at other lake locations along the way to add some more diversity to your images

Osage House

SONY DSC

Just outside of Rogers lies Osage House, one of Northwest Arkansas’ newest wedding venues. The chapel and reception halls are gorgeous in and of themselves, with creamy black and white decor and wide-open windows. But what really sets the property apart is the fifty verdant acres it sits on. The property features grassland fields, secluded woods, and the rolling hills that the Ozarks are famous for. It doesn’t get much more Northwest Arkansas than this! If you book Osage House for your wedding, two hours for an engagement shoot on the property is included in your package. If you are getting married somewhere else, fear not! Osage offers two hours for photos on their property for only $250!

Bentonville, Arkansas Engagement Photo Locations 

Park Springs Park

We love to shoot at Park Springs Park for convenient and beautiful nature shots in Bentonville! There are wide grass fields, a small playground area, and beautiful stone pathways leading into the area’s arboretum, featuring over 40 varieties of trees native to Arkansas! Trickling streams and small wooden bridges also provide romantic image opportunities for us to capture. Want something a bit edgier? We can even grab some images at the mountain bike tunnel or the rock walls. If there has been any recent rain, these rock walls may even surprise you with a few small waterfalls. 

Bentonville Square

Fun little shops and historic architecture make up the downtown Bentonville Square. The water fountain in the center of the square provides a perfect place to pose for seated images, while the fantastic wall art in the area will add pops of color. As with any downtown, you will face the struggle that comes from lots of pedestrians, especially on warm days. But not to worry! We’ll take that opportunity to get some images in the square’s alleyways for a more private industrial look.

Crystal Bridges

Perhaps the most iconic location in Northwest Arkansas, Crystal Bridges offers a wide variety of location options all in one stop! Outside the museum are miles of wooded trails, broken up occasionally by outdoor sculptures. The modern architecture of the building itself and the water features surrounding it make for idyllic photography. And inside? Where else could you go to have your engagement pictures taken next to iconic pieces of the nation’s best artwork?

While Crystal Bridges usually attracts a crowd, it’s never a problem to shoot around. Keep in mind that though images on the exterior of the museum are free, you do have to pay for access to the inside of the museum itself. Couples have to apply for a permit no later than 72 hours before the shoot, as well as pay a $500 fee that guarantees two hours of shooting time. 

8th Street Market

Describing itself as a “community-focused food hub”, 8th Street brings the charm of an outdoor market to Bentonville. One of a kind restaurants share a common area with interspersed trees and twinkle lights throughout. We can take pictures in the restaurants, or as you and your fiance enjoy a bite at an outside table, recreating all those lovely date night feels. Just keep in mind that ultimately, 8th Street is a business, and we’ll want to keep our footprint low so as not to distract patrons and business owners.

Tanyard Creek Nature Trail

While technically not in Bentonville, Tanyard Creek is close enough to count! This setting is an amazing space if you are looking for a way to embrace nature locations for your photos. The area is filled with trails, cliffs, bridges, and even waterfalls! The best part? All these elements are just a quick walk away, instead of the miles-long hike you would normally expect to be required of locations like this. No hiking boots required!

Not in Northwest Arkansas, but Not Too Far

Devil’s Den State Park

Devil’s Den is a camping and hiking trail area that is about an hour away from south Fayetteville. It’s home to gorgeous lookout points, trails, creeks, and cliffs. You could spend hours and hours hiking through the area, or you could simply pull up to a parking area and find tons of great shooting locations. How adventurous you want your shoot to be is totally up to you!

One of our favorite areas to hike to for an amazing view is the Yellow Rock Trail. It’s an easy walk along a well-maintained trail that will give you not only views of the valley but also outstretched rocks along the cliff’s edge.

Other Spots on Beaver Lake

We know we mentioned Beaver Lake before, but it’s worth mentioning again here! The lake is expansive, with lots of quiet coves, picturesque docks, and smooth sandbars just begging to be photographed. Pull up Google Maps and do some exploring, then let us know where you want to go! We’re always up to try out a new location.

Hawksbill Crag – Whitaker Point Trailhead

This location may be known by two different names, but it is synonymous with the state of Arkansas. You’ve seen it on posters, magazines, travel guides, and commercials. The picturesque rock formation jutting out above the tree-covered valley below. While this area doesn’t technically count as Northwest Arkansas, it is a quick and easy two-hour drive away. Once there, expect a comfortable three-mile walk to get your images. We guarantee that it will be a location you never forget!

Buffalo National River

Located just outside Jasper, Arkansas, the Buffalo River doesn’t just make for a good time. It makes for some great photographs! A roaring river punctuated by giant waterfalls and scenic overlooks, there are photo opportunities available at every turn. Out of the many trails and campgrounds, our favorites are Kyle’s Landing and Eye of the Needle. They are must-sees! We ask all couples to keep in mind that, when choosing this location for photos, you will likely be doing some walking and hiking. And while not all of the trails are hard, you could quickly find yourself scaling a mountain! We advise that you plan your trip accordingly, know where you want to go, and have an idea of how long it will take you to get there. We also encourage you to build in time to stop and take pictures along the way. A simple 30-minute hike could easily take hours once you account for all the times you’ll want to stop and shoot! 

Garvan Woodland Gardens 

Located four hours away in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Garvan is the University of Arkansas’ Botanical gardens. The name alone tells you to expect some amazing trails and beautiful plants and wildlife. Even so, one of their newer additions will be sure to steal the show. The Bob and Sunny Evans Tree House is one of the most interesting and picturesque architecture formations in the state. Made from Arkansas lumber and metal, the treehouse appears to float amongst the treetops. It’s a sight you will never forget, and one that will elevate your photos to iconic status. As always, bear in mind that a two hours shooting window must be applied for in advance, and will run you about $125. If you reserve Garvan Gardens for your wedding, however, you get a complimentary shoot prior to the wedding included in your purchase 

Bad Weather Photo Locations

Sometimes you need to shoot on a certain day and a certain time, but the weather just doesn’t want to cooperate. So what do you do? Well, that’s totally up to you and what you are looking for with your images. But ultimately, the shoot must go on! There are some options we suggest to stay warm and dry while still getting beautiful images. Several of these locations are places of business, so you’ll want to double-check they are comfortable with you taking some images. While we have shot at all of these places and know they usually don’t mind, it’s always nice to check-in.  

Fayetteville Public Library

Celebrate your mutual love of literature at the Fayetteville Public Library! We can pose you among the shelves or pouring over your favorite novel. The copious windows will provide the best natural light. And if books aren’t your thing there are still a plethora of ideas we can shoot, like photos on the staircase or around the building’s modern designs.

Shopping Building – Fayetteville, Arkansas

Near the Fayetteville Library is a little indoor shopping area situated right off the square. Inside you will find some open areas with huge windows looking out to the streets below. The building is two stories, giving us added versatility. Who doesn’t love a good staircase image?   

21c Hotel – Bentonville Arkansas

21c Hotel is the iconic Bentonville hotel located just off the square. It’s not just a hotel, however. It also boasts a unique gallery of modern art. There are large windows for natural light, as well as some blank walls for clean and minimalist images. While they do require you to submit a form to request access to shoot, they’re understanding of the fact that sometimes bad weather happens. Just give them a call before the shoot, and they are generally more than happy to accommodate you. 

8th St Market – Bentonville, Arkansas

We talked a lot about the open market areas of 8th Street, but did you know you could also pop in the shops for photos? We always ask and try to be considerate with our setup, and generally, shopkeepers are happy to oblige. Inside you will find some gorgeous street art, long concrete hallways, and large windows to showcase you and your fiance sipping a cup of coffee.  

Parking Garages

All around the city you can find little parking garages that either have a charming view from under the covered areas, or they have a distinctively modern feel from the exposed concrete. And while almost any parking garage will give you something to work with, we can’t help but play favorites with a few! Near the University of Arkansas is the Garland Avenue Parking Garage. This garage offers unbeatable views of campus! Then in Bentonville, just off the square, you will find a nice parking garage right near the entrance to the Neighborhood Market Walmart. Parking on the top floor will give us great images with the city in the background.

Parks Springs Park Canopy – Bentonville, Arkansas 

If you are in a crunch and desperate for images in nature, we can set up underneath the canopy at the Park Springs Park in Bentonville. This will keep us dry while still giving us access to some greenery. 

Thaden Field – Bentonville, Arkansas 

Thaden Field is an airport located in Benton County. Inside has a beautiful, modern design with expansive windows for massive natural light. Thaden also offers an elegant pilot’s lounge, as well as covered patios that we can shoot. But as with any place of business, definitely call ahead and make sure they are comfortable with you shooting there. The phone call in advance is important as it will be the only way you can potentially get access to the pilot’s lounge. 

Anywhere Outside

This may seem crazy, but we aren’t afraid of a little rain. So if it’s not too cold, shooting in the drizzle can be a fun experience and also give you one of a kind images guaranteed to impress. What we recommend is to visit one or two of our recommended alternate locations first, just to get some images of you guys nice and dry. Then let’s embrace your inner child and close out the shoot with some fun puddle splashing!

Nature and Urban Combinations

One thing to consider when planning your session is if you want more of a city/urban feel or if you rather go the nature/scenic route. While there are a number of both of these options across the area, there are only a handful that sit in close proximity to each other. To take the struggle (and travel time!) out of the equation, here are our recommendations for locations that are truly the best of both worlds.

Crystal Bridges – Bentonville, Arkansas

This spot will give you access to some incredible nature scenes and trails. Then all we have to do is turn around in order to use the sleek exterior of the museum. Just don’t ‘forget that if you want to shoot inside, you will have to apply for a permit and pay a fee. 

Park Springs Park / Bentonville Square – Bentonville, Arkansas

A quick five-minute drive is all that separates these two locations. We could easily spend an hour at either spot, but if you want that nature and urban combination, we suggest a different plan of attack.  We suggest focusing on the top section of Park Springs Park and cut the photos off at around 30 to 45 minutes. From there, head on over to the Bentonville Square and use the remainder of our time there to capture those urban locations. 

Lake Fayetteville / Surrounding area – Fayetteville, Arkansas

Lake Fayetteville is a natural paradise with a surprising number of office buildings and structures surrounding the lake. We could easily shoot around the lake, then head over to a nearby building and use the exterior to change things up! 

Lake Atalanta / Downtown Rogers – Rogers, Arkansas 

This is another combo with only a quick drive between them. Since you have to drive through downtown Rogers to get to Lake Atalanta, it’s a convenient area to stop off to give yourself some variety to your images. 

Wilson Park / Dickson St – Fayetteville, Arkansas 

These two locations are just a short distance apart. While the park is surrounded by homes, there isn’t much in terms of that urban feel unless you use someone’s house. For the record, we do not recommend this! Instead, you can easily make a quick drive out to Dickson Street, Fayetteville Square, or the University of Arkansas. 

The University of Arkansas – Old Main Lawn – Fayetteville, Arkansas 

This is one of our favorite ways to get a mix of urban and outdoor locations! Old Main Lawn is a fantastic location for nature images with its expansive lawn and giant trees. Then we’ll take a brisk walk and take advantage of some of the best architecture to be seen on campus. If you prefer, we can also head over to Dickson Street to change things up even more.  

Bonus Locations

Your Wedding Venue

While we had a few wedding venues on the list, there are just too many great spots to list them all. But if you chose a wedding venue that you absolutely love, most Northwest Arkansas locations will grant you access to their building and grounds for your engagement shoot at no additional cost. You just want to make sure you schedule the visit in advance. We recommend locking down a weekday when the venues don’t typically have an event. 

Private Land or property 

There are so many great and public locations to choose from, but if you have access to some private land, you may be able to use that for your location. Not only does this give you a unique location, but it also allows you the area all to yourself for the shoot. There won’t be any worry about other people milling about in the background of your images!

Somewhere Meaningful

When most people start thinking about locations for the engagement shoot, they typically jump to “epic” or “beautiful” locations. But the location is just a small piece of the puzzle. The real goal is to capture the love you feel for one another. And what better way to do that than to shoot at a location that has meaning to you?! Maybe you solidified your love by taking a daily walk around your neighborhood or maybe you met at a football game. The location you choose doesn’t need to be something grand or otherworldly. Sometimes simple and meaningful is best. 

Go on a trip

If all these locations in Northwest Arkansas and surrounding areas are leaving you wanting more, we can always explore locations outside the area. We constantly travel for shoots and weddings, so the world is your playground for your engagement shoot, too! Some of our favorite nearby travel locations include Dallas, Kansas City, Saint Louis, and Oklahoma City. 

Do an Activity 

If posing for the camera is something that gives you a nervous twitch, but you still want engagement style images, this section is for you. While there will still be some posing, there will be far less of it. Instead, you get to spend the majority of your time just hanging out and doing fun things with the one you love. For this style of shoot, you are moving away from standard portraits and getting into the realm of documentary photography. Much like the way we would shoot your wedding, we simply capture moments as they naturally unfold. We then mix in a few portraits here and there to spice things up! Below are a handful of activities you could choose from, but in reality, you can pretty much do anything. We just recommend it’s an activity with some variation. For example, going to a movie would be fun and have some cute moments, but it would mostly just be the two of you looking at a screen for 2 hours. 

Play a sport you love

If there is a sport you both love to play, then set up a game! You can play against each other or with each other, just so long as you’re having fun. Having a great time doing something together you both enjoy will give you lots of fun little moments without the need for posing.  

Go to Fast Lanes or the Jump Park 

You can have a lot of fun with a quick round of bowling followed up by some arcade games and laser tag! Anything you’re having fun doing will leave you with smile-filled images. 

Go grab drinks

This is also a great way to end a normal session at one of the many above locations. We’ll embrace the relaxed bar vibe, sipping drinks and sharing some laughs! 

Go to the Lake 

Time on the lake is filled with tons of fun opportunities. You can go cliff diving, wakeboarding, wake surfing, floating, and anything in between. We have an underwater camera so we can be right in the action with you! 

Go on a hike 

This is a great way to not only make a little adventure out of your shoot but also a way to get some amazing locations. Some of the best and more beautiful scenes require a bit of legwork to get to. Incorporating a hike into your shoot will not only get you some fun in-the-moment images, but you’ll also get some great portrait locations at the end of the journey. 

Final Thoughts

All these locations are just some of our favorites to choose from. But at the end of the day, if you are drawn to a certain area, we can almost always create great images for you. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box and look for locations not on the list. But if your brain is in a fog from all the wedding planning and you simply want to pick from a list, feel free to chose from the locations above. Also, make sure to download our Free Wedding Planning Guide to help destress your wedding planning! 

If you have any locations you feel should be added to this list, make sure to drop them in comments or shoot us an email!

Sources

https://www.garvangardens.org/photos-videos/photo_video_policy_page.aspx

http://8stmarket.com/

https://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/3130/Lake-Fayetteville

https://www.sassafrasspringsvineyard.com/

http://www.springdalear.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/JB-Hunt-Park-6

https://www.rogersar.gov/1085/Lake-Atalanta-Information

https://www.osagehouse.com/

https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/devils-den-state-park

https://www.buffaloriver.com/pages/whitaker-point-trail-hawksbill-crag/

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