March 18, 2019

Best Engagement Session Locations in Indianapolis

As an Indianapolis wedding photographer, I’m not quite sure how I’ve never written this post before!

After all, I help every single one of my couples brainstorm the perfect location for their engagement session, so I might as well have one great reference point to share. While we may not have the rolling hills or gorgeous cliffs you see all over Pinterest, Indianapolis still has so many gorgeous engagement session locations! There is something for everyone…whether you’re looking for a more urban shoot or hoping for nature and greenery.

The best part is, this post isn’t even an exhaustive list of all our options! I love shooting at new locations every year — especially when they have significant meaning to my couples. However, these are some tried and true favorites that I can’t get enough of! Enjoy!

Best Indianapolis Engagement Session Locations

Indiana State Museum & Surrounding Canal Walk Area

This spot is one of my go-tos for downtown Indy engagement sessions. I love it at both sunrise and sunset — it’s such an iconic “Indy” location, and there are so many options to work with. Also, parking for this location is a breeze!

View a downtown Indiana State Museum + Canal Walk engagement session HERE.

Holcomb Gardens at Butler University

One of my favorite engagement session locations for sunrise OR sunset, this location is ideal for those wanting lots of greenery and light! There’s a neat bridge, this pathway, a gorgeous pond + steps, and a wide open field, too.

View a Holcomb Gardens engagement session HERE.

Trader’s Point Creamery

This is a FAVORITE engagement session location for early morning sunrise sessions! The field behind the restaurant is one of the closest examples of rolling hills I’ve seen near Indy, and I love all the greenery and flowers, too. 

View a Trader’s Point Creamery Engagement Session HERE.

Indiana University | Bloomington, IN

As an IU grad myself, I always get so excited when my couples want to capture their engagement session at Indiana University! Sunrise sessions are ideal for college campuses, because all the students are still sleeping…haha! Bloomington sessions are gorgeous in every season. You just can’t beat the limestone architecture, gorgeous grounds, and iconic locations!

View a Bloomington Engagement Session HERE.

A Downtown Parking Garage

This one sounds kind of silly, but it’s a great way to catch downtown skyline views at sunset! Shooting on top of a parking garage is such a fun way to end a session. It definitely HAS to be done during golden hour though; otherwise, the light would be way too harsh. 

View a parking garage / Alexander Hotel engagement session HERE.

Coxhall Gardens | Carmel, IN

Coxhall Gardens is one of my favorite engagement session locations for sunrise sessions! It really truly only works at sunrise or sunset though — the light is absolutely dreamy, and there are so many different spots like the Children’s Garden, the pavilion area, the weeping willows, or this gorgeous pond below!

View a Coxhall Gardens engagement session HERE.

(And another one here, because I just can’t choose one to share!)

Banker’s Life Fieldhouse area

This is such a neat location downtown — perfect for exploring. There are a lot of fun nooks and crannies around Banker’s Life, and it makes for a very eclectic session! For downtown sessions like this, I almost always recommend sunrise. It’s less crowded, parking is easier, and traffic won’t be bad at all — especially if we’re doing a 6:30am session in the summer! Totally worth it…and you can follow up with an amazing breakfast afterwards!

View a Banker’s Life Fieldhouse Engagement Session HERE.

The Indianapolis War Memorial Park

If I had to pick a FAVORITE downtown spot, this engagement session location would be tied with the Canal for first! I absolutely LOVE shooting at the War Memorial Park. The golden doors and amazing stairs plus the surrounding fountains and trees…it has everything in one spot! This is a perfect location if you can’t decide between greenery and a white/neutral city backdrop. Again, I recommend scheduling sessions here for sunrise, too!

View a War Memorial Park Engagement Session HERE.

The Indiana State Capital Building

This is one I haven’t done enough of for engagement sessions. The Indiana State House is a great classic option for engagement sessions! You can’t ask for more than these stunning doors and those teal stair rails. I love this downtown option for sunset or a cloudy day.

Mustard Seed Gardens

Any chance to visit one of my favorite wedding venues is a plus in my book! I love Mustard Seed Gardens: from the historic farmhouse, to the gorgeous greenery and open fields, it’s a great option for couples wanting more of a natural look.

Flowing Well Park in Carmel

Flowing Well is a great option for couples wanting a casual engagement session with lots of nature vibes. I love shooting here in the morning during sunrise — this back creekbed is absolute perfection, and the light can’t be beat! Here’s some examples from a recent lifestyle family session I shot last summer.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument on The Circle

Another favorite (and iconic!) Indianapolis engagement session location – the circle! I love shooting on the steps and around the actual monument itself, and then we normally will get some city shots around the circle and head to the State House right after. 

Military Park Canal Area

This is another area on the Indianapolis Canal that I love meeting at for engagement sessions. It provides a great mix of greenery alongside the canal backdrop, and is central to a lot of different spots. A lot of my couples combine this with the Indiana State Museum side of the canal, as well. Love this at sunset!

The Historic Ambassador House in Fishers

This is another great location I’ve recently fallen in love with! There aren’t many spots in Fishers that I’d consider a “go to” area for photos, but the Ambassador House + surrounding grounds is a definite exception. I love the stone wall, white fences, and gorgeous gardens! There is also a huge grassy field + trees, which makes for a really well-rounded location. I haven’t done an engagement session here yet, but it’s on my list! In the meantime, here’s a few examples from last fall’s mini-sessions.

Marrott Park

This small park is a hidden gem in the North Broad Ripple area! I love it especially in fall at sunset — the trees have the most gorgeous yellow leaves, and the light falls through them perfectly! There is also a great creek bed only a slight hike into the woods that is 100% worth it. Love this option for a couple wanting casual engagement photos full of trees and greenery.

Lockerbie Square / Mass Ave Area

This downtown location is full of charm and old-school vibes. From the historic cobblestone streets to James Whitcomb Riley’s home, there are so many gorgeous backdrops on this one road. After the session, we can head over to Mass Ave for some more variety or a cocktail or two, too!

Tuttle’s Apple Orchard

An apple orchard engagement session is such a fun idea for the fall! There are a lot of different apple orchards around Indianapolis, but Tuttles is my favorite! The orchard is situated in a great spot for sunset sessions, and I love the large open field behind it, too. This would be a great option for a more casual look — or even a fun lifestyle vibe where you and your man actually pick apples & pull a wagon, too! :)

Newfields (the Indianapolis Museum of Art or 100 Acre Woods)

Newfields is one of the most stunning backdrops for an engagement session in Indianapolis. There is an additional fee to shoot here and we will have to call ahead to get a permit, but if you’re wanting a classic & romantic backdrop, you can’t ask for much more than this. The 100 Acre Woods right next door is a great option, too — but it doesn’t have the same architecture or gardens that Newfields boasts. These images below are from there!

A Favorite Restaurant or Coffee Shop

This one doesn’t have a specific location….but could really be anywhere in the city! I love when my couples want to incorporate meaningful locations into their engagement session. Places like Locally Grown Gardens are great options — a fun outdoor area and a neat inside space, too. We’ll just want to make sure to call before hand and make sure we’re good to go!


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Sami Orndorff is a Wedding Photographer & Lifestyle Newborn Photographer located in the greater Indianapolis area.