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It has been a struggle to pick the best photoshoot locations around Vancouver that we have photographed over the course of our 12+ years as wedding photographers. Should you take city photos with architecture or go to a place outside of the city, where there is more privacy and beautiful landscapes?
There are tons of incredible places to have your wedding, elopement, or portraits photos around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Some photoshoot locations have some things you need to know like natural lighting, parking, crowds. We take careful account of your timeline and provide you with the best recommendations.
When choosing locations, we look at how the natural light is, and when it looks best for that location, along with interesting landscapes or architecture that allows multiple photo opportunities within one location.
All locations have different pros and cons. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best parks and spots around Vancouver with details on their benefits and drawbacks.
The best photoshoot location is one that means something to YOU. Whether it be the park where you were proposed to, where you had your first date or a place you are drawn to. We always recommend something that resonates with you. We can photograph in any lighting situation and can make the “photo magic” anywhere.
Click images for larger versions. These spots are in no particular order just some of our favourite places to photograph.
Stanley Park (Vancouver)
Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s most popular wedding photo locations. With ocean views, a beautiful seawall, lush forests and mountain views, Stanley Park offers the perfect opportunity to capture your wedding photos.
Pros: Right in downtown, diversity with the city, forest and ocean views.
Cons: Busy, new traffic flow can be challenging for parking and getting around the park.https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park.aspx
Barnet Marine Park (Burnaby)
This park boasts some amazing views of the mountains and ocean, as well as some unique old structures that are perfect for photographs. Barnet is for sure one of the best photoshoot locations Around Vancouver.
Pros: Diverse photoshoot location, good light for a lot of the day.
Cons: It’s becoming a popular park, so parking can fill up, moderate walkinghttps://www.burnaby.ca/explore-outdoors/parks/barnet-marine-park
Harrison Lake (Fraser Valley)
A paradise in the mountains, Harrison is a great place to take pictures. The crystal turquoise water and wide-open spaces provide plenty of opportunity for creative photos. For a Pacific Northwest-themed location, there are mountain ranges and fern-filled forests. This mountain lake is probably the best place for lighting because the sun sets behind the mountains creating a beautiful backdrop for sunset. It might be a good staycation idea to check out a vacation rental and have a photoshoot.
Pros: Less busy, little development, light is in the best spot for mountain photos.
Cons: Further from Vancouver.
More photography from Harrison Lakehttps://tourismharrison.com/
Golden Ears (Maple Ridge)
The Golden Ears in Maple Ridge is a popular photoshoot location because of its beautiful forests and amazing mountain views. The scenic view of the mountains, wooded trails and tree-lined valley is breathtaking.
Pros: Epic mountain views, little development.
Cons: Busy on weekends and requires a reservation in spring/summer.https://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/golden_ears/
Lighthouse Park (West Vancouver)
Walking through the dense old-growth rainforest on your way to the rugged cliffs bordering the ocean, Lighthouse Park is an awesome photoshoot location. It is roughly a 15-minute walk to the ocean with some great photo opportunities along the way.
Pros: Not overly busy, amazing nature close to Vancouver
Cons: Limited parking, longer walk to the water than most spots, possible chance of “Instagramers” holding down the good views.
Photoshoots from Lighthouse Parkhttps://westvancouver.ca/parks-recreation/parks/lighthouse-park
Whytecliff Park (West Vancouver)
A beautiful seaside park on the Howe Sound with a rugged coastline, cool mountain views and spectacular shots of the ocean. There are many cliff edges and photo opportunities here with scenic mountains in the background. Access is close to the parking lot and offers lots of unique variations of scenery.
Pros: Easy parking, little development, ocean and mountain views.
Cons: Busy on warm days, uneven terrain and steep cliffs, so wear appropriate footwear.
Check out more photos from Whytecliff Parkhttps://westvancouver.ca/parks-recreation/parks/whytecliff-park
Cascade Falls (Mission)
Cascade Falls is a great location for a photoshoot. It has stunning views, including a waterfall and suspension bridge that cross over to an even more beautiful view of the raging water from the opposite bank.
Pros: Nothing quite like this spot, waterfall and suspension bridge.
Cons: Small steep hike up to the top, may have to wait a while to get good photos on the suspension bridge.https://www.fvrd.ca/EN/main/parks-recreation/parks-trails/cascade-falls-regional-park.html
Marine Building (Downtown Vancouver)
The Marine Building is a perfect example of a building that has stood the test of time. Built in 1930, it’s been deemed an architectural gem and one of the world’s finest examples of art deco style. You can’t find anything quite like this location around Vancouver.
Pros: Amazing detailing, close to other photo spots.
Cons: On the main street in downtown Vancouver, lots of pedestrian traffic.
Check out more photos from here
Pitt Lake (Pitt Meadows)
Pitt Lake is a nature preserve and a recreational area just a few kilometres from the city of Pitt Meadows. The lake is surrounded by tall grass, trees and mountains. This scenic location provides an ideal backdrop for anyone looking to take photos of the natural beauty of the area.
Pros: Unique marsh and mountain views.
Cons: Sunlight can be tricky, and location can get busy in the summer.
Rainbow Park (Whistler)
It’s often hard to see the full mountain views right in Whistler, but Rainbow Park is a good place set back a little from Whistler Mountain with some spectacular mountain views overlooking a lake.
Pros: Great views of Whistler mountain.
Cons: 15 minutes outside of the village.https://www.whistler.ca/culture-recreation/parks-beaches/parks/rainbow-park
Othello Tunnels (Hope)
Othello Tunnel is known for being one of the few tunnels that you can walk right through the mountainside beside a river – making it really unique for photos.
Pros: Unique location, covered.
Cons: Busy on weekends, “closed” in winter.
Photoshoots from Othello Tunnelshttps://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/coquihalla_cyn/
Coal Harbour (Downtown Vancouver)
If you’re looking for a place with amazing city views, we recommend Coal Harbour. This scenic waterfront neighbourhood is home to a wide variety of photoshoot locations to choose from making it one of the best photoshoot locations around Vancouver.
Pros: Great city views, lots of variation, nice covered areas for rainy days.
Cons: Busy tourist area.https://www.destinationvancouver.com/vancouver/neighbourhoods/coal-harbour/
Around the Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver)
The Vancouver Art Gallery and law courts make for a unique photoshoot location. There are some great urban photo opportunities right around the area with.
Pros: Great spots close by, interesting architecture.
Cons: Protests and events can change the plan.
Vancouver art gallery weddingshttps://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/
Alexandra Bridge (Fraser Valley)
A very unique photography location that has a picturesque old bridge that is perfect for a photoshoot. The picturesque scenery that surrounds this location adds a certain degree of attraction to the atmosphere, which will make your photos pop.
Pros: Unique photo opportunities.
Cons: Far from Vancouver.
Engagements from Alexandra Bridgehttps://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/alexandra-bridge/
Porteau Cove (Squamish)
Another great place to visit is Porteau Cove. It’s right in between Vancouver and Squamish. It offers mountain and ocean views that are breathtaking.
Pros: Great mountain/ocean views.
Cons: Challenging lighting.
Previous shoots from Porteau Covehttps://seatoskyparks.com/parks/porteau-cove/
Historic Stewart Farm (White rock)
A good covered location with a barn. To have photos here a donation to the property is required. It is also close enough to make it down to Crescent beach for some portraits.
Pros: Covered. One of the few public barns.
Cons: Recommended to get permission.
Pros: Good urban location for photos.
Cons: A lot of people get their wedding photos in this location, a lot of car and pedestrian traffic.https://gastown.org/
SFU is a great location for taking pictures during the rain. The campus offers lots of urban, stylized backdrops for your photos. It is usually pretty easy to find your own space.
Pros: The almost entire campus is covered, has unique architecture, a great rain location.
Cons: If you went to school there, it might not be your thing.https://www.sfu.ca/
Lynn Canyon (North Vancouver)
A gorgeous nature location with a suspension bridge, clear water and forest views.
Pros: Free suspension bridge, beautiful trees.
Cons: Busy, limited variety.
Bridal Falls (Fraser Valley)
This easy-to-reach waterfall makes Bridal Falls a popular destination. There is a bit of a steep hike to get to this epic spot.
Pros: Epic waterfall right off the highway.
Cons: Steep climb, might get wet.
Seymour Mountain (North Vancouver)
When you visit Seymour Mountain, you get an awesome view of the city and inlet. The mountain offers amazing views throughout the year, but it’s particularly breathtaking during winter when everything is covered in snow.
Pros: Unique views right off the parking lot.
Cons: Sometimes staff hassles us, and it might require permission to use the location.https://mtseymour.ca/
Redwoods Park (Surrey)
The trees in Redwood Park in Surrey are really tall and the park is not too crowded. There is a nice treehouse in the woods that would be perfect for taking some pictures.
Pros: Quiet park, good shade.
Cons: Limited variety.https://www.surrey.ca/parks-recreation/parks/redwood-park
Iona Beach (Vancouver)
If you are looking for a beautiful sunset, Iona beach would be where to find it! The beach has a lot of driftwood and is very natural-looking.
Pros: great sky if you are lucky, quiet beach.
Cons: Can smell due to Vancouver sewage plant, the tide can go out extremely far offering less ideal views.http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks/parks-greenways-reserves/iona-beach-regional-park
Secret photoshoot locations around Vancouver
We have a variety of secret photoshoot spots that are perfect for weddings, elopements and portraits. From the secluded location on the top of a mountain to epic waterfalls, we can find something to suit your needs and make your photoshoot both memorable and beautiful. Check out this inspiration!
It’s your turn for an amazing photoshoot
When we’re hired to cover a wedding, elopement or another event, we recommend the best photoshoot locations around Vancouver and the best time of day for your photos. We will send you a short questionnaire to help us create your perfect photoshoot experience. We carefully consider a range of factors, including lighting, the time of year, the tide levels and tree coverage. Get in touch for a free consultation for your own photoshoot