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Top 10 Engagement Session Locations in the Hudson Valley

Let’s get right into it! If you are having a hard time figuring out what you would like to do for your engagement session ask yourself these few questions here first:

  • What season do you want it to be during your session. Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter? Think of blooming florals, or changing leaves, maybe a light blanket of snow in the Christmas tree farms?!
  • Is there a location that is near and dear to you and your SO’s heart? First date spot, the perfect hike you’ve been on, etc.
  • What would you want your surroundings, or backdrop to look like? Maybe a city scape, field or farm, more on the adventure woodsy side, or maybe even on a beach?!

Here are 10 location ideas in the Hudson Valley for you to start to get idea’s for a location to choose for your engagement session:

1 & 2. Minnewaska State Park – Kerhonkson & Awosting Falls

If you haven’t been to Minnewaska State Park yet you’ll definitely want to check this place out! Only a $10 fee to get into the park with so much variety to work with. Stay at the lower parking lot and explore the beautiful Awosting Falls or go up to the top of the mountain for the beautiful views of the cliffs and lake. My favorite time to go is during the fall when the leaves are changing colors, it makes for the most epic of Hudson Valley backdrops for your engagement photos.

It is easily as breathtaking in the winter as well!  The upper part at the lake closes to day guests for cross country skiing, but Awosting is phenomenal when frozen with blankets of snow! I would suggest bringing a comfy pair of shoes to walk to each destination. The walk down to the falls is about a 10-15 minute walk.

3. Cold Spring

Cold Spring is such a sweet and small town located 50 miles north of Manhattan. Right on the beautiful Hudson River where you’ll see the views down the river and the mountains of the Hudson Valley.

4. Beacon

If you are looking for some downtown vibes, Beacon is a great backdrop for any engagement session. Walking through the streets of beacon you’ll find many shops and boutiques, galleries, and the cutest places to dine. Start from Bank Square and walk up main street or start by The Round House for some waterfall landscapes.

5. Millbrook Winery

First thing’s first – wine. If you are shy and need a drink first, you go girl. I don’t mind! Grab a bottle to share before your session and get the blood flowing. Walk through the vineyards or around the lake. The winery grounds are rolling with beautiful backdrops of the mountains and greenery.

6. Long Dock Park – Beacon

I love going to Long Dock park. There, you’ll find trails to go hiking with views of the Hudson River. There is so much greenery around with a small pathway through to the river. An easy walk from the train station and a great picnic spot. Hike around the grounds or if you’re an adventurer, like me, rent some kayaks or canoes! They also have an excellent sunset tour of Bannerman’s Castle where you boat to Bannerman’s Island and get a tour of the tiny island jewel.

7. Vanderbilt Mansion – Hyde Park

The garden at the mansion is a fan fave. It is best photographed during the summer around June when the florals bloom. Hyde Park is great for a night out in town. They have a drive-in movie theater right by the mansion and my childhood favorite – roller magic! If you plan to wear heels be sure to bring an extra pair of shoes, the walk from the parking lot to the gardens is a bit long. There, you’ll find old statues, garden architecture, and some fountains all wrapped around beds of flowers and green ivy. Oh also isn’t shooting by this tree magnificent?!

8. Sunflower Valley Farm – New Hampton

If you have a thing for sunflowers like I do you’ll LOVE this place! Keep in mind sunflowers are usually best bloomed around July/August. We went when there was a little bit of a sun shower, but like, look at these photos – WORTH IT! The farm is located in New Hampton, New York. There is a fee to photograph but is only $30 (prices may vary after publishing date).

9. Roosevelt Mansion – Hyde Park

Located in Hyde Park as well, Roosevelt Mansion is about 2 miles down the road from Vanderbilt. Besides the architectural backdrop that the mansion gives there are also hiking trails and garden exhibits to explore and photograph at.

10. Testimonial Gateway

Escape to the enchanting world of Testimonial Gateway, nestled within the breathtaking landscapes of Minnewaska, NY. Testimonial Gateway unveils a mesmerizing backdrop for your engagement session, where nature’s artistry intertwines with rustic charm. As you step foot onto this hidden gem, be prepared to be swept away by meandering trails, lush meadows and a beautiful stone gateway that invite you to explore hand in hand. Being close by New Paltz, NY there are plenty of restaurants and bistros to enjoy after your session.

Not Yet Photographed BONUS options:

  • Poets Walk – Red Hook
  • Little Stony Point Cliff – Cold Spring
  • Dutchess County Fair – Rhinebeck
  • Bear Mountain State Park/Perkins Memorial Tower
  • Kaaterskill Waterfall – Hunter NY
  • & more!

- Melissa & Mitchel

She is so kind, caring, professional and goes above and beyond. The only thing that “went wrong” on our big day was a button that popped off on my husbands suit and Kelly was right there to save the day and help sew it back on. Kelly was open to the locations I had in mind for our wedding day pictures at our venue, The Garrison, and 100% listened to my wants. She got every shot that I wanted and knew which ones were most important to me. Her edits are gorgeous and timeless and we got our pictures back in a timely manner. I have highly recommended Kelly to other friends who are in the planning process. Book her ASAP!

If you’re still looking for a wedding photographer- stop looking! Kelly is the most amazing human being to work with - ever.

-Jenna + Brian

We are FOREVER grateful we found Kelly Jean and have all these stunning memories to hold onto for life. Her unique, artistic approach and attention to detail truly shines through every photo. We haven’t been able to stop looking through our gallery and reliving every special part of our day!

Even under a constant cloud of rain, Kelly Jean captured our day better than I could have imagined.

- Taylor + Blake

From DAY ONE of working with Kelly, she removed so much stress and truly CARED about our big day. Her work speaks for herself but her personality, organization and actions are what makes her the best possible option for your big day. Kelly truly goes above and beyond to make not only the physical pictures everything you could have ever dreamed of but makes the entire experience that much better.

Book Kelly as your photographer and you will not regret it one bit.

I don’t even know where to start when it comes to Kelly but I know one thing- if you want to have the best wedding and day ever, book Kelly.