I truly love the city of Milwaukee; shooting engagement photos has become a wonderful excuse to explore and discover all this city has to offer! After publishing a list of my favorite iconic engagement photo locations, I quickly began to scout, shoot, and compile a new list: five of my favorite less-common city locations for Milwaukee engagement photos. If you love this city’s backdrop for its industrial structures, hidden alleyways, and unique spaces, then this list is for you!
If you’d rather get away from the city and immerse yourself in a scenic landscape, then stay tuned for the next post in this blog series: five scenic engagement photo locations in Wisconsin!
1. The Marsupial Bridge and Booth Street Stairs
If you want versatility, this cool city location is definitely the way to go! First, get a cute shot on the swings, then spend some time on the Marsupial Bridge. Next, exit the bridge on the north end and walk east to the Booth Street Stairs—one of Milwaukee’s most unique structures for engagement photos! Then, head back towards Lakefront Brewery and shoot next to the Riverwalk for an industrial yet romantic vibe. All of this can be done in roughly an hour, making it Milwaukee’s most versatile city location for engagement photos! (You might even consider ending your session with an iconic Lakefront beer!)
I love this location for its seasonality—the Marsupial Bridge and Riverwalk below are great options for both summer and winter! If you plan to shoot in late fall or winter, you want to choose a location where dead foliage and dirty snow aren’t an issue; in my experience, this location is photogenic year-round! Truly one of the best city locations for engagement photos in Milwaukee!
2. Black Cat Alley
If you’re looking for a quirky and vibrant city location, then Black Cat Alley is… right up your alley! Since I rarely get a request to shoot here, it’s one of the more unique options on this list—and a personal favorite! I love revisiting the classic locations, to be sure, but it’s always a joy to shoot engagement photos within the hidden nooks and crannies of Milwaukee! Black Cat Alley is also within walking distance to Yo Factory—pick up two ice cream cones for an extra cute photo-op!
Wardrobe is always important for engagement photos, but especially with this location, choosing complementary patterns and colors is a must! Keep in mind that the artwork in Black Cat Alley does change, so make sure to scout the area prior to your session in order to make strategic clothing choices.
3. Trestle Park
This tiny park in the 3rd Ward features a unique backdrop for engagement photos—and a little slice of history! Trestle Park occupies the site of a former railway crossing of the Milwaukee River; today an inactive swing bridge is on display. This little park also connects to the Riverwalk along Eerie Street, which makes it a great location for sunset engagement photos along the Milwaukee River!
Some couples prioritize versatility in location, but others would like multiple wardrobe changes. If wardrobe is a higher priority for you than a versatile backdrop, this would be a great location to pick! In addition to being small (more time spent shooting, less time spent walking) Trestle Park also offers a very neutral backdrop—both casual and “dressed up” wardrobe choices would look great!
4. Canal Street
If your inspo board on Pinterest is filled with pictures of ultra-chic couples running wild in the streets, then this location is for you! Truly a hidden gem for cool engagement photos in Milwaukee, Canal Street is the best location I’ve found for getting those coveted city street pictures. Traffic is relatively sparse on this street, and the horizon is mostly unobstructed—that means the sunset is stunning from this vantage point!
If this location calls to you, start thinking of wardrobe choices specifically for movement; consider wearing something flowy to catch the wind, but most importantly, wear shoes you can run around in!
5. Lakeshore State Park
Although it isn’t strictly a city location, Lakeshore State Park has so much to offer: Lake Michigan, a killer city skyline, a quaint pond, and some lovely tall grass. Compared to more popular lakefront locations, this spot offers a bit more privacy—who wants to waste precious sunset light while joggers pass through, right? Lakeshore State Park is also incredibly photogenic year-round, which is a huge bonus. (Compare the images below shot during the months of January and June!) This spot is truly one of the best city locations for engagement photos in Milwaukee!
There aren’t any nearby structures to cast shade, so a cloudless day will provide harsh sunlight next to the lake—even at sunset. If shooting with Lake Michigan as a backdrop is a priority, plan to shoot in the morning! If your priority is to capture that gorgeous golden hour halo, plan to shoot roughly 45 minutes before sunset.
That rounds out this list of city locations for Milwaukee engagement photos—I hope you enjoyed it! Happy shooting!