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4 Places to get amazing engagement photos near Jacksonville!

Hello guys! Paul and Ashley Farace here! We wanted to share a few great spots where we love to have engagement photo sessions near Jacksonville. To us, engagement photos are a very important part of your wedding experience. We always encourage couples to take advantage of them and they are included in all but our lowest priced package. Engagement sessions give you a chance to connect with your photographer before your wedding. You can get comfortable and get to know each other a little bit. This makes for much better photos on your big day!

OK so you have decided to get engagement photos. Now the questions is, where do we take epic engagement photos in or near Jacksonville?

Here are 4 easy spots to get great engagement photos near any part of town!

1. The Jacksonville Beaches

Hannah & Trey in Atlantic Beach

This was a fun shoot!

While a bit overused, there is a reason so many engagement and family photo sessions work great at the beaches. Jacksonville Beach is awesome and you can get a variety of city and beach shots, but if you head a little bit north or south you will find less people to get those great empty epic beach shots. Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach are places to head north with tons of public access, but can still be a bit crowded. If you are going south I would check out Ponte Vedra Beach if you can find an access spot (there are a few secret public access points like Solana Rd or across from San Juan Dr). Or if you drive a bit further South you can really find some privacy like the Guana Reserve North and Middle beach access along A1A.


2. Tillie K Fowler Regional Park

You can pull off great shots at Tillie K Fowler in the ferns.

Classic wooden walkway look here with the epic pines in the background.

Southwest of downtown Jacksonville, Tillie K Fowler Regional Park is a great location if you want to get woodsy and forest types of shots. There are several awesome wooden walkways throughout the trails. Remnants of a 16-foot wide brick road that linked Ortega to Jacksonville can be found at several locations within the park too. The road predates 1917! There are also amenities there like bathrooms, drinking fountains and easy parking. Find out more here.


3. Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (Whew lol)


I actually grew up in Palm Valley and Guana was literally my backyard. Chasing snakes through the swamp was the norm. Luckily, you don't have to get into the swamp to get great photos! Guana Reserve is an awesome place to get a nice variety of shots. You can get woodsy on the trails all the way to the intercoastal waterway, you can use the salt marsh as a background and you can use the north side of the dam for great water shots. Also you can take advantage of the full sunset here, which is always a great bonus! We recently did a maternity shoot at Guana. I will share a few images we took below, but this place is excellent for engagement photos too!


Parking is $3. Find out more info here.


The salt marshes give a very unique look!

The north side of the dam offers great water photos.


4. Black Rock Beach - Big Talbot Island

Paul at Black Rock Beach during one of our shoots!

Some great backgrounds in every direction here! The beach behind us is being reflected by a prism.

20 minutes from Downtown Jacksonville you will find a (not so) hidden gem. Black Rock Beach on Big Talbot island is truly one of a kind! Huge fallen trees and driftwood are spread out along the entire shore line and rock formations from long long ago (which are pretty rare here) line the north end. There are endless epic shots in every direction. You will usually find other couples or families getting photos, but it's never too crowded. Small walk from the parking lot is about a half mile so keep that in mind.


Pro tip - go on a day where sunset and low tide match up within an hour or so.


You can check the tides here.


Parking is $3 per vehicle. Find out more here!


We hope you enjoyed this post and it helped you consider some places to get your engagement photos done if you are around the Jacksonville area! If your photographer offers engagement shoots with their wedding package be sure to take advantage! The benefits are way more than just the pictures! Plus, the pictures!!! :) Thanks guys! See you next time!