There are so many stellar engagement photo locations in Milwaukee. Backdrops range from natural settings to urban landscapes with oodles of interesting nooks and crannies to discover between! Over the past year, I’ve had a wonderful time shooting engagement photos in new locations and rediscovering some iconic Milwaukee settings. To help my couples compare options, I decided to kick-off a blog series to index and categorize the best locations around the city for killer Milwaukee engagement photos! On this first list, you will find engagement photo locations in Milwaukee that feature classic and iconic backdrops—happy shooting!
If you’re looking for less-common city locations, check out the next post in the series: 5 cool city locations in Milwaukee for engagement photos!
1. The City Skyline Featuring Milwaukee Art Museum
The #1 spot for iconic engagement photo locations in Milwaukee is (no drumroll necessary) in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Arguably the most iconic building in Milwaukee, the MAM is an extremely popular location for both engagement and wedding photos. Some photographers like to get up-close and personal, but if you ask me, framing the shot with Lake Michigan, the sunset and the iconic MAM building in the background is the unbeatable classic shot!
Timing is of utmost importance to really nail this shot! Make sure you research sunset times. Plan to shoot just before the sun drops behind the city and continue into dusk for those soft pink tones! Additionally, if you want to pop some champagne, this is an excellent location for getting messy!
2. Milwaukee Riverwalk & Historic 3rd Ward
If you prefer a city aesthetic, the Milwaukee Riverwalk in the Historic 3rd Ward is the classic choice. It’s a prime location for sunset photos and it has seasonal flexibility—it’s a great location for summer and winter engagements! My favorite place to meet couples is outside of Blue Bat on the photogenic staircase entrance to the Riverwalk. If you plan your engagement session here in the summer, make it a date night! Wrap-up your shoot with guacamole and margaritas on Blue Bat’s gorgeous patio.
Just north of this location on the Riverwalk, you can access a tiny park near the Milwaukee Public Market. This little park is a great spot for capturing the iconic Public Market sign!
3. The Deer District
While it isn’t necessarily a “classic” location, the Deer District certainly represents a prominent slice of Milwaukee culture. If you want your engagement photos to capture your sports-fan lifestyle, consider this location—it’s unexpectedly chic, versatile, and fun! Shoot around the plaza (don’t overlook the brick wall!) then grab a drink at Good City Brewing or Uncle Bucks; clink glasses for that iconic “brew city” photo! (Plus, a super cute engagement ring shot!)
It probably goes without saying—check the game schedule! Make sure to choose a time when the plaza will be empty. If you want that cute old-fashioned + engagement ring photo, then check Uncle Buck’s hours as well and plan accordingly!
4. Lake Michigan, Atwater Beach
There are so many great locations along the lakefront for shooting engagements, but my personal favorite is Atwater Beach. If you want to get your feet wet, Atwater Beach is the best place for it! Because it’s surrounded by greenery, Atwater has a more exotic vibe than other lakefront locations. Since the beach is below a giant hill, the light is soft enough to shoot here well before sunset. Additionally, Atwater is less crowded in the evenings than other beach locations, making it easier to shoot here without interference.
Even if you don’t plan on getting in the water, remember to bring towels, a second pair of shoes, and bags for sandy items! (Trust me, you don’t want a car full of sand!)
5. Mitchell Park Domes
To round out this list, I’ve included the Mitchell Park Domes for a number of good reasons. First of all, if you grew up in the area, the domes give you those warm, fuzzy, nostalgic vibes. Secondly, because the domes are a great location for a real day-date. I love my engagement sessions to feel more like dates than professional portrait sessions. Most importantly, the domes are beautiful, photogenic, and provide gorgeous lighting opportunities at any time of the day—rain or shine!
There is one downside to shooting at The Domes—it isn’t free. In addition to buying regular admission, a photography permit must be purchased for the day. You can buy this permit when you arrive, so there’s no need to plan ahead for your engagement session!
I hope this list helps you narrow down your options for iconic engagement photo locations in Milwaukee! Stay tuned for the next post in this series—5 scenic locations for Wisconsin engagement photos! Ciao!