After photographing in Downtown Detroit for years, I’ve selected my top 10 favorite locations for engagement photos. These places are perfect locations for Detroit engagement photographs in any season and will not disappoint!


This location ties in the beautiful skyline of Detroit with the natural environment. From the flowing water and weeping willows to the beautiful fields and lush open spaces, it has it all! The Belle Isle Conservatory is also a perfect place to stop for photographs while on the island. A little caveat is that you are required to have a Recreation Passport to access the island and Belle Isle requires a photography permit to photograph on the premises. So keep that in mind when selecting locations!


Located right next to the Z Lot, The Belt is a culturally redefined alley” and is filled with amazing murals and artwork. It is a work of art in itself. When you walk down the alleyway, you are transported into a museum of color and culture. Due to the variety of murals and decor, it’s a perfect spot for photographs!


Want to grab a beer or sip on a cocktail during your engagement session? Then The Brakeman is the perfect place for you. What I love about this space is the uniqueness, the beautiful window light, the great drinks, and the fun games you can play! You can grab a drink and play foosball with your fiance.

I mean, come on, that’s pretty awesome!


Capital Park isn’t just a historic district, it’s also a great place to take photographs. It’s usually less populated than the other locations on this list, but it has a great variety! From parking garages and cafes to little parks and unique colored walls, you can always find a great place to take pictures. There's even a dog park right at State St. and Griswold, so it's also a great location to bring your furry friend and include them in your photos with a spot to tire them out before or reward them with after your photos.


Want to sip on your favorite cup of coffee or enjoy some tea? Head to Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters in Detroit. Their large windows provide great natural light and their drinks and desserts are some of the best in town! DOCR, as they are affectionately called, is a local, family-owned company that now has three locations all with unique atmospheres. I love that the Detroit location provides an industrial-chic ambiance and is the perfect complement to a session with some fun city shots around town!


The Detroit Riverwalk can be quiet or bustling, but it’s always a stunning location. Whether it’s the sun setting over the Detroit River or the contrast between nature and city, it’s a great spot for photos. When my couples ask for location recommendations that offer nature and cityscapes, this a go-to spot because I know I can give them exactly what they are looking for! This is also the perfect location for proposals, too! Check out Max and Sophie’s Detroit Riverwalk proposal!


I love the diversity of the murals, the pops of color, and the richness of culture that Eastern Market has to offer. Some of my couples love it so much, they host their entire wedding here. A little wise advice, it’s best to photograph here during the weekday because the weekends get pretty busy! On Saturdays, you’ll have trouble finding parking spots.


Thinking about a classy engagement session that combines your love of cocktails with your love of the city? Look no further than The Monarch Club! While this location isn’t free, it’s definitely worth the investment! The Monarch Club offers a Photo Shoot Package on Monday nights that includes exclusive use of their three rooftop patios with an unforgettable view of the city.


Similar to The Belt, The Shinola Hotel Parker’s Alley is a beautifully curated space nestled between the buildings. It’s not just an alleyway, it’s an artfully designed space that adds an intimate feeling to the big city. The rich tones from the brick buildings and cafe-style Edison lights are a great backdrop for fun photos. Also, take note of the Flowers for Dreams shop located on the alley. They are a great floral company that create beautiful wedding florals while supporting local charities.


Okay, so this place is infamous for photographs but also has new restrictions to be aware of! The Z-Lot became a hot spot for photographs because of its expansive view of the Detroit skyline. You have the whole cityscape as your background and it’s truly the best public spot in Downtown to catch a glimpse of the sunset before it drops behind the buildings. I love the convenience of parking in the Z Lot, too. There are also fun murals scattered around the Z Lot that you don’t want to miss! But, be aware that because there was an influx of photographers, professionals and amateurs, and kids trying to make the best Tik-Tok, there is now fencing around most of the perimeter and photography restrictions.

If you're looking for a spot in Detroit to take your engagement photographs, I know that these locations will be the perfect backdrop for your love to be captured. Do you have your eye on a location but still have questions about it? Don't hesitate to reach out and ask. I'd love to help you navigate your engagement session planning!

All my love,

Are you engaged? Check out my engaged couple resources below!

How to Prepare to be Photographed

Tips for Planning your Engagement Session and FAQ

Book Your Engagement Session

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Nicole Leanne is a Detroit Wedding Photographer and Elopement Photographer, serving couples who desire raw and timeless imagery in Metro Detroit and beyond. 

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