LEAH RIFE PHOTO

Winter Engagement Locations |Indianapolis Wedding Photographer

Winter Sessions can seem a little daunting, you look for locations that are still beautiful and work with cold and wind, or locations that are inside, have good lighting and are okay with you coming in for pictures. Plus, We’re coming up on engagement season and on your big list of wedding planning items where things can sometimes feel a bit stressful, your engagement session location shouldn’t have to be one of them. Thankfully I’ve been able to shoot in lots of different spots and a bunch of different weather conditions, (hello Midwest weather!) and have some favorites for the wintertime here in Indy. 

Having a winter engagement session can still happen beautifully with a little creativity here in Indiana. One thing that always helps is being flexible on the time of day, knowing we’ll likely need to shoot a little earlier than a 7pm evening session during the longer days in the spring and summer. Choosing locations that bring in more color can make the photos feel really vibrant in an otherwise grey winter we sometimes have around here. Cityscapes, in-home sessions and meaningful locations can give your photos a more intimate feel. At the end of the day, I want to make sure you’re choosing locations that feel comfortable and meaningful to you so your session feels really fun and relaxing, and I’m here to help!

Northside

Coxhall Gardens in Carmel, IN

The Gardens have a variety of neutral stone backdrops, a waterfront, and beautiful brick elements that pop in winter’s cloudy light.

Parking Garage Rooftops in Fishers or Carmel 

You can always use various parking garage rooftops in your neighborhood to give a neutral feel to photos where you and your fiancé will still pop even if it’s not a beautiful snowy day. Plus the concrete can bounce creamy light onto your skin. Bring some hot chocolate and a blanket and we’ll get real cozy!

Midtown

Indianapolis Art Center

The center has these beautiful coral walls, among other textures around their grounds, that look really fun and different to bring in some warmth during the winter Check out Kelly & Danny’s Engagement Session

Holliday Park

This park has some great scenery with Evergreen trees that can give you an organic background or pop of color when the other trees are brown and leafless.

Newfields

Here you’ll actually need a permit, but it is so worth it! This space looks great all year around, with creamy walls, stone bridges and steps, evergreens, and a ton of other options. If you choose this location, please keep in mind the schedule for Winterlights around the holidays. See Brynn and Spencer’s Engagement Session.

Downtown and Near Areas

Indiana War Memorial

Here you’ll find some more neutral walls and with gold touches, plus there are some good spots to get sneaks of the downtown in photos. Here’s Hannah and Nolan’s engagement session.

Your Favorite Whiskey Bar

Places like whiskey bars are a perfect idea for couples who like to bring in the element of their favorite drinks. Usually if you chat with a manager or owner ahead of time, and purchase something, tag them in photos, they are pretty cool with you shooting there. I would definitely recommend checking ahead these days with Covid going on though! For Whitney and Chris, we went to West Fork Whiskey’s tasting room! Check out their engagement session here.

Garfield Conservatory

At this conservatory a permit reservation is needed. This one is one of my very favorites, however for the time being they aren’t allowing indoor photography. Keep it in your back pocket for later on when they allow shoots again. Sometimes local greenhouses will also let you shoot onsite, and while they might not have a lot of inventory, they still might have something green in there.

Fountain Square

The Fountain Square neighborhood has tons of walls and nooks that I love to work with, all within a short walk of each other. Winter is a great time to utilize cityscapes since there are more colors to incorporate.

Other Areas

In-home & Airbnb Spots are perfect for cozy winter vibes. You’ll stay warmer, and you can incorporate your favorite indoor activities like baking cookies together, or snuggling in your favorite comfy clothes or interacting with your pet.

Columbus Indiana 

The downtown spaces in Columbus can really work well no matter where you are with their neutral backdrops of the cityscapes. Plus the city is known for it’s beautiful architecture and there are a ton of really amazing spots.

Winona Lake Indiana

This waterfront space looks really nice when there isn’t much vegetation but you still want an organic feel. See Rachel and Aaron’s engagement session.

Some Things To Keep in Mind for Winter Sessions:

Time change and how early the sun sets. I alway keep an eye on sunrise and sunset times, and often we need to shoot earlier in the day to snag that beautiful light.

Layering outfits to keep warm if outdoors. You can throw on a special jacket or wear warm tights under a dress to stay warm and still wear something fun! Hats and other accessories work well too, especially when it’s cooler. I also send out some ideas for outfits when we’re planning your engagement session.

I hope these locations inspire you and give you all the creative ideas for if you’re planning a winter engagement session!

Xo, Leah.

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© Leah Rife Photography  |  all rights reserved | Copywriting by Amanda Burg Design Studio

Hey friends, my name is Leah Rife! I am a wedding, family, and lifestyle photographer based in Indianapolis, Indiana. I’m also the creator of The Haven Mentorship, a regular resource, and workshop for photographers.