While I call Edmonton home, I feel like I haven’t given my hometown enough credit for what it has to offer in what are beautiful photo locations. I’m going to share with you some of my spots in the city of champs (it’ll always be called that in my heart of hearts), and while you might think to yourself, HERE? REALLY? at some of the spots I mention, I promise, with a creative eye and change of perspective, anything is possible.
P.S. At the bottom I’ve created a map for you to bookmark all the locations and a few more secret places I love (there are 29 locations in total on the map)! Click here to skip to the map.
This fountain in the middle of Glenora brings the old world charm without taking you too far from downtown. For a classic wedding like Tracy & Alan’s (shown above), the fountain and surrounding greenery keeps things timeless without detracting from the subjects. Want to up the fun for a more casual shoot? How about sitting or standing in the fountain a-la the opening credits of Friends? Just make sure to not fall in!
Old Royal Alberta Museum + Government House
From Alexander Circle, the old RAM is just a hop, skip, and a step away. If you’re planning for two different locations for an engagement session, wedding formals and want cohesion, this is how you do it. With the overarching trees and the Government House’s Jacobean Revival style, this location gives you the best of both worlds if you’re looking for mixed scenery.
Want it swing it mid-century? The front of the the old RAM building is a modernist DREAM.
You may notice an already recurring trend of urban Edmonton photo locations being featured (can’t stop, won’t stop), and it’s because when I’m taking photos in a city, I LOVE urban photos that showcase the location and structures of where people live.
104th street between Jasper Ave and 102 Ave is the location that reminds me the most of New York while being North of the 53rd parallel. Great for photos, but you might have to dodge some traffic!
AGA Blue Wall
But when it comes to walls, this one is one of my favourites! The North side of the Art Gallery of Alberta is a beautiful blue grey wall that is a blank slate (literally) for photos, and depending on the colour combos, you can really make things pop (imagine yellows and dusty tones in clothing against this wall – swoon).
Bonus: If your wedding is booked at the AGA or you decide to opt for the photography fee ($500 last time I checked) to take photos inside the gallery, the staircase is a dream, and it’s giant swooping metal curves on the top floor and rooftop patio is a gorgeous!
After Rust Magic Int’l Festival hit the city a few years back, there hasn’t been any shortage of murals around the Edmonton. Murals like Gisele Denis’ beautiful floral wall or this PichiAvo Mural make for interesting and location centric backgrounds that can add depth to the story you’re telling. Linda Hoang has done a great roundup of instagrammable walls in Edmonton and you can find the link here.
City Centre Parkade
While I haven’t been to this loopy parkade in a long while, it holds a special place in my heart as for some reason (???) I was drawn to it like a moth to flame when I started taking photos, and it was my go to photo location in Edmonton for the longest time. While I believe taking photos that capture the essence of the person(s) in front of your camera is the the first and foremost important thing, interesting lines and the movement created can help you direct the viewers gaze to where you want them to look.
Edmonton City Skyline – Strathearn Crescent NW
Want greenery but also that city view? This is the place for you! This is a large green space that overlooks the city and with trees and interesting greenery nearby, this location does double duty of skyline photos and green space centric images.
Bonus: pop over the ridge and you’ll meet some tall green and blonde grass where you can snuggle in for some landscape shots overlooking the skyline or turn your back on the view and instead fill your image with a blend of green and sandy hues.
An old one, but a good one. I always keep Hawrelak Park in my back pocket as the water feature, North Saskatchewan River nearby, tall conifers and sweeping willows make it the perfect spot to get a variety without having to drive around the city.
Besides being the PLACE to pet all the dogs, you have so much to work with in this space. Want an open field? Straight ahead from the parking lot. Want a hill? Head left. Want to be by the water? The river is right there. Need a pathway lined with trees that form a tunnel? Also here. My favourite time of day for this photo location is sunset – everything looks dreamier here at golden hour.
Sometimes you gotta take it inside, and all the better when there are tasty treats! Whether it’s a favourite coffee shop or place to grab a pint, featuring these locations will add depth to your story as it’s a place you’ve connected with. Just like Aimee and Dean here at Polar Park Brewing Co. where they got engaged.
Here me out! I know, this one is a controversial location for the fact that if you grew up in Edmonton, you know this was the place to go for graduation photos. But it’s so much more than that! There’s a green space South of the building which is beautiful, and the East and West stairs on the Legislature building also make for a great place for engagements, wedding formals, and even headshots. And you can still make those front stairs we all know and love work for you. Change it up by standing between the columns at the top of the stairs or even climb onto the platform for a different vantage point.
Bonus: The Capital Plaza up top is also a favourite spot of mine for photos!
University of Alberta – Old Arts Building
The university always holds a special place in my heart because I went to school there, but the Old Arts Building (Convocation Hall) brings the old world romance with its large columns and ivy covered walls. This place is beautiful during the summer months, but a complete knockout in Autumn when the leaves turn red and orange.
Bonus: the trees just East of this building in the spring are lilacs!
Also check out: the SUB building concrete stairs, the North side of the Earth & Atmospheric Science building for an open green space with large canopied trees.
This is a pretty green space near the Highlands that features a colourful sculpture titled the Vaulted Willow by Marc Fornes & THEVERYMANY, and you can find lilacs here in the spring too!
Bonus: Concordia University is across the street if you’re looking for another location for photos.
This is one of my favourite green spaces for family photos as it’s easily accessible and has the perfect amount of variety needed for a mini session. It’s beautiful any time of the day be it high noon or golden hour.
Whew! While this isn’t a completely extensive list of all the Edmonton photo locations I use, these are some of my go-to ones.
I’ve created a map for you if you want to references for everywhere I mentioned above, and if you grab the map, I’ve included 7 more of my favourite locations for photos and 5 additional locations with lots of potential (including some secret ones!) that can be your backdrop for your next photo session.