9 Best Places for Engagement Photos in Tampa Bay

Just like Tampa Bay has a multitude of wedding venues there are also endless places to take your engagement photos. Typically your portraits also double as a Save-the-Date card, but they also give you a chance to get to know your photographer and overcome any nervousness in front of the camera before your actual wedding day, as well as showcase your personality.

To discover some of the best locations for your engagement shoot, we asked our preferred wedding photographers to share their favorite spots.

Fort Desoto Park

“You have multiple locations all within one park: the land with the fort, the brush area, and the beach which offers the pier as a backdrop, some fort ruins in the water, as well as some cool stone areas. Couples love this location because of the variety it offers.” – Kristen Jeffers, owner of Kristen Marie Photography

“I love the variety that Fort Desoto Park has to offer. There are some beachy, green areas, as well as a street lined with palm trees, but the park also offers stunning beaches with white sand and is angled perfectly for sunsets by the pier. Some couples like to incorporate the fort which is fun, however, it is just one area of many that can be utilized for an engagement session.” -Amber McWhorter, owner of Amber McWhorter Photography

Amber McWhorter Photography

Kristen Marie Photography

University of Tampa

The University of Tampa is the perfect engagement shoot location for lovers of architecture and history! This location offers a variety of unique backdrops such as the Henry B. Plant Museum and the historic Tampa Bay Hotel. With the stunning Moorish architecture, the UT offers a beautiful setting to hold your engagement session. We met Luegenia and Arnolson for their engagement shoot at the university and they fell in love with the beautiful architecture around the property. They really wanted their engagement photos to capitalize on the historic and artistic craftsmanship of the buildings. – Miranda Gates, Limelight Photography

Limelight Photography

Curtis Hixon

“Some of the best views of downtown Tampa are from Curtis Hixon Park.  There's also a relatively new dock that people don't really know you can go on, but it also is a fantastic view and is so Tampa.” -Carrie Wildes, owner, Carrie Wildes Photography

Carrie Wildes Photography

Sand Key Beach

“Anytime someone requests a beach, especially if they mention Clearwater Beach, I always suggest Sand Key Beach. It not only is a beach with the ocean and sand but there are so many other elements to utilize such as a grassy field, boardwalks, trees (not just palm trees), a rock piling, a lifeguard station, and more. I love the variety of backgrounds in photos therefore, it's a wonderful place to get multiple backgrounds while still having the golden hour beach vibes.” -Amber McWhorter, owner, Amber McWhorter Photography

Amber McWhorter Photography

St. Pete Pier

“One of our favorite places in the greater Tampa Bay area for engagement sessions is St. Pete Pier! We love shooting there, especially during the sunset hour. With the St. Pete city skyline and the beautiful Tampa Bay as the backdrop, engagement sessions at the pier are always a favorite among our couples. One of our favorite aspects that sets this location apart is the Bending Arch. This stunning netted illumination creates the most magical backdrop for night shots! We took our couple, Kathleen and James, to this illuminated masterpiece and the shots turned out incredible!” – Miranda Gates, Limelight Photography

“There are so many cool spots on the Pier that are so gorgeous where you can also get a great view of the bay from.” -Carrie Wildes, Carrie Wildes Photography

Carrie Wildes Photography

Limelight Photography

Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum

Sometimes couples want tropical and garden-like feels which is when I immediately suggest Gizella Kopsick. It is a palm arboretum therefore it is full of various palm trees, bushes, plants, flowers, etc. There are beautiful brick walkways in between some of the areas making it a beautiful and classic feel as well. It is close to North Shore Park which also allows getting the intercoastal waterway of St. Pete in some of the engagement photos as well. -Amber McWhorter, owner, Amber McWhorter Photography

Amber McWhorter Photography

Philippe Park

From the beautiful stone staircase to the gorgeous waterfront views of Tampa Bay, Philippe Park is a serene and peaceful location for your engagement photos. This nature park located in Safety Harbor offers a wide variety of locations which are all within short walking distance. If you are a lover of nature and the outdoors, this park is the perfect setting for you. -Miranda Gates, Limelight Photography

Limelight Photography

Sparkman Wharf/Downtown Tampa

There is a dock just past the Greenwise Market near Water Street where the Pirate Water Taxi stops that is such a great little hidden spot, and it's in walking distance to Sparkman Wharf where the Tampa sign and some really cool street art are. -Carrie Wildes, owner, Carrie Wildes Photography

Downtown Tampa Sparkman Wharf Engagement Session Carrie Wildes Photography

Carrie Wildes Photography

John Chesnut

I love John Chesnut Park, especially for cooler weather engagement photos. It is on the cusp of Lake Tarpon therefore in the warmer months, I don't suggest it as much because of the bugs but when it is cool out – it is PERFECT! It has a nice forest-like feel which is hard to find in Florida. There are lots of trees and greenery surrounding the park creating beautiful backdrops for engagement sessions. -Amber McWhorter, owner, Amber McWhorter Photography

Amber McWhorter Photography

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Vendor Credits


Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pros

Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pros are highly respected by our local wedding community and have been personally vetted by our editor.