I'm a traveling wedding and elopement photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. I capture real moments with bright, bold, natural images. My goal is to make your wedding day the best it can be and ensure that you have a meaningful, memorable, FUN wedding day that is the start of a lifelong adventure.
Updated for 2022
Boulder, Colorado is a beautiful city located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It’s a fun and vibrant place that mixes mountain views with a city feel. Boulder is named one of the best places to live in the U.S. and is known for amazing views of the Flatirons and unparalleled access to outdoor recreation.
Boulder is also a really awesome place for engagement photos. The city is a popular destination, so working with someone who knows the area can make or break your engagement experience! In this guide, I’ll share my favorite engagement photo locations in Boulder, recommendations for picking a location, and some of my personal tips on how to make your engagement photo experience special.
There are so many reasons to pick Boulder, Colorado for your engagement photos!
There are SO many amazing photo locations around Boulder. I couldn’t possibly list them all. Here are a few of my favorites, but I also have lots of other suggestions.
Chautauqua Park is an iconic location for photos in Boulder. The park itself is right in downtown Boulder and you have amazing views of the Flatirons just from the parking lot. The park is very popular and can get crowded, but with a short hike, there are lots of great spots that will offer more privacy.
Red Rocks Trail, located about 10 minutes from downtown Boulder, will take you to some really cool rock formations with mountains in the background. This trail is a good choice if you feel like doing some scrambling on rocks and also want mountain views. It’s about a 10-minute hike from the parking lot to the rock formations.
Boulder Canyon is a cool spot because it follows Boulder Creek. This is a perfect spot if you want a forest/stream landscape. The fall colors are beautiful here, and the trail is easy and short.
Betasso Preserve has mountain views, forest, and open meadows. Located about 10 minutes outside of Boulder, you can hike as much or as little as you’d like. There are beautiful views all around! The Preserve is a bit less popular and crowded than places like Chautauqua Park.
This trail is one of my personal favorites. The Walker Ranch Trail is a 7.8 mile loop in Boulder, but you don’t have to hike the entire trail for amazing views! The trail is a great spot to find incredible views with very few crowds. It’s also a good spot for sunset.
This trail has such beautiful views! You get great views of the Flatirons and the valley below. It’s a short hike (less than a mile) to get to views like this. Skunk Canyon Trail is also a pretty quiet trail, and it’s unlikely that we’ll see many other people.
Lost Gulch is an incredible overlook in Boulder. However, it’s very popular (for good reason!). This spot draws crowds because it is a really good place to watch sunset. The sun goes down right over the mountains, and it’s beautiful. I recommend going on a weekday to avoid the worst of the crowds. Lost Gulch is a very short walk, but you will need to be comfortable walking on rocks and very uneven terrain. If you get nervous around heights, this is not the best location.
Crown Rock is a good alternative to Lost Gulch if you want a quieter, less crowded spot in the Flatirons. This spot is cool because it’s way less crowded, but still has cool rock formations and great mountain views. Crown Rock involves a little bit of hiking and some walking/climbing over rocks.
The location of your session will set the tone for the photos. Here are a few things to think about when picking a location!
If you are unsure about locations, I recommend thinking of places, activities, or experiences that are special to you and your partner. Is there an area of Boulder that is special to you and your partner? Think about things that you love to do together. What kind of scenery makes you both excited? Ultimately, I recommend picking a location that will represent you and your partner.
What type of location do you envision? Again, I recommend thinking about what kinds of places you and your partner love to spend time in. Location types can include mountain views, meadows, rocks, woods, lakes, and more. I have lots of location ideas, so if you have a vibe in mind but not a specific location, let me know and I’m happy to help you decide on a spot.
Think about how much walking you want to do for the photos. Do you want to hike for a couple miles in order to access a location, or would you rather pick a location that is close to a parking area?
You may want to incorporate an outdoor adventure into your session. If you want to incorporate hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, camping, rock climbing, or any other adventure into your session, you can do it in Boulder!
The good news about Boulder is that any time of the year is epic for photos! You can get incredible photos all year round.
Here are a few of my personal tips for planning your engagement photos in Boulder:
Be open to weekdays: Weekdays are much less crowded than weekends. People in Boulder love to do outdoor activities, so trails and parking areas can get very crowded on weekends. If you are open to a weekday, it’s likely that there will be way less people out there with us.
Sunsets and sunrises are best: The best time for photos is about 1-3 hours before sunset or 1-2 hours after sunrise. These times are known as “golden hour” because light is softest and most glowy during these times of day.
Avoid these dates: The first week of May is graduation weekend for the University of Colorado. Holiday weekends like Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July, and Labor Day can also draw large crowds.
Inquire at least a few weeks in advance: Photographers, myself included, book and plan their schedules months in advance. If you are considering getting photos done, inquire with a photographer at least a few weeks ahead of time. Sometimes I can accommodate last minute requests, but it’s much more likely that I’ll be able to work with you if you inquire ahead of time. If you’d like to work with me, click here to inquire and send me a message!
I'm Abby Shepard, a traveling wedding and elopement photographer based in Boulder, Colorado USA. I document real moments with bright, bold, natural images and help you have a meaningful & fun wedding day.
Copyright Abby Shepard Photography