Sunny summer days in Seattle have got to be one of the most magical things to experience; the days you’ve spent the entirety of winter longing for, wishing they would come sooner. Your girl does love the fall months, when all things cozy, warm, & crisp are alive and thriving, but I will never take Seattle summers for granted—especially when the days are spent with humans like Hannah and Robert. Strolling around the gardens of Volunteer Park Conservatory for their engagement session was a memory that will live on with me, right next to every other fabulous couple I’ve gotten to work with! I hope you delight in scrolling through these photos just as much as I did capturing them✨
Nothing beats basking in the sparkling sunshine on a summer day as you wander around a breathtaking garden, hand-in-hand with your love—except for maybe having a photographer there to document it 😉
Hannah and Robert’s engagement is the prime example of why you absolutely do not need to be afraid of shooting during the day, as I know many couples have heard from photographers before that daylight is much too harsh for shooting. In fact, I actually adore mid-day light for the unique shadows, lines, and shapes it can create if you use your angles correctly, and know how to work with the sunshine instead of against it! While golden hour and blue hour are stunners in their own right, the artist in me loves the challenge of using the sun to our advantage; using the shadows to create creative shapes, positioning you in front of the sun to get that gorgeous, glowy backlight against your hair, and walking through the trees as dappled light gleams through.
All that said: save these photos to your Pinterest board to remind yourselves of just how glorious that “harsh” sunlight can be! Don’t be afraid to venture outside & start your shoot a little before golden hour, to really get a variety of lighting scenarios & shadows in your images, and so that we can play around with fun poses beneath the light.
Worried about what would happen if you didn’t luck out with gorgeous sunshine like this on the day of your shoot? Don’t be! Take a quick look at Chelsea + Dayton’s Stormy Engagement Photos at Alki Beach, and you’ll find that the rain is just as magical as the sunshine in its own way ☔
Hannah and Robert truly could not have been an easier couple to work with, as I barely had to prompt them throughout this session or ask them to do anything; they were absolute naturals in front of the camera. Plus, it certainly helped that we were shooting somewhere as beautiful as Volunteer Park Conservatory, one of my personal favorite Seattle engagement photo spots. They meandered through the gardens, taking in the lovely greenery and blossoming summertime flowers around them, and spent plenty of time snuggling up in the dandelion-sprinkled grass. I simply could not get enough of those sun rays shining down onto them nearly the entire time, like the sun itself was coming out to say hello and congratulations to these engaged sweethearts☀️
Christy and Austin also chose Volunteer Park as the setting for their engagement photos, and created the coziest little picnic in the grass beneath the sun. Get a glimpse at their Romantic Cake Smash Engagement here!
Hannah and Robert showed up to Volunteer Park looking their absolute best, and Hannah was even giving me a little bit of a Taylor Swift vibe with her gown (you know I love our queen and her iconic light & airy style). This gorgeous dress is by Lirika Matoshi, a fabulous & talented fashion designer based in NYC who’s most known for her whimsical and feminine designs. I’d say this dress that Hannah chose is exactly that: whimsical, feminine, and an absolutely flawless choice for the garden setting + romantic vibes of this shoot. The dainty little flowers spread out across the gown, the flowy layers of tulle with those soft pink undertones, the intricate details on the corset, and those puffed sleeves? I’m not sure if I was photographing Hannah or a real-life Disney princess next to her prince—who, by the way, was equally as well-dressed in a sleek, cream-colored sweater over a pair of light-wash jeans. Neutral perfection!
What a gift to spend such a beautiful afternoon with this lovely couple—here’s to a fabulous engagement and a smooth wedding planning process!🥂
Before you go, I wanted to throw in a few quick notes about Volunteer Park Conservatory, as it’s one of the most gorgeous venues in Seattle both for engagements and intimate weddings!
If you’d like to take your engagement photos at Volunteer Park Conservatory like Hannah and Robert did, you will only need a special permit if you’d like to shoot inside of the conservatory. Otherwise, you’re good to use the area as you please (being respectful of the park and its other visitors, of course)! For Hannah & Robert’s session, we opted to stay outside in the gardens and use the conservatory as our backdrop, so we didn’t need to obtain a permit beforehand; however, if you do want to go inside (say, for a winter engagement when it’s too cold outside & the foliage isn’t thriving), you’ll simply follow this link and fill out the online application.
Now when it comes to weddings at Volunteer Park Conservatory, you’re able to have your ceremony inside of the conservatory, but you’ll have to have your reception elsewhere. So it’s the dream venue for any couples looking to host a cozy, intimate ceremony inside of a lush, green paradise—in the middle of Seattle, no less—and will then be moving to a separate location for the latter half of the day! Emily and Matt’s wedding was the perfect example of this type of structure: they tied the knot at the UW Horticulture Center, then made their way into the city for an elegant dinner reception at the Metropolitan Grill.
The conservatory is available for weddings in January, February, March, June, July, and August, and requires you to obtain a special permit to host your ceremony. After you get that and book your rental, you’ll be off to the races & ready to plan your perfect day in this tropical oasis!
Take a peek at Hannah & Gunnar’s Colorful Retro Botanical Conservatory Wedding in Tacoma for some uber-romantic conservatory wedding inspo!
I would just love to be there to celebrate your engagement and/or wedding at this breathtaking venue; get in touch with me here if you’re ready to create some magic together—can’t wait to chat🤍
I’m obsessed with couples who use their engagement session to showcase their unique personalities, styles, and hobbies. Here are a few other recent, one-of-a-kind engagements with couples who absolutely killed it!