A Burlington wedding photographer captures a blissful bride and groom sharing an intimate kiss on the rocks by the lakefront at Pearle Hotel & Spa in Burlington.

As a Burlington-based and Hamilton wedding and engagement photographer, I’m sharing with you a list of my favourite spots for your wedding, engagement and family photography locations.

1. Royal Botanical Gardens | Burlington 

RBG is every Burlington wedding photographer’s dream to photograph. While this venue may have the word garden in its name, there is so much more to experience here! There are gardens that provide the perfect backdrop for your warm spring or summer wedding. It doesn’t stop there, though; there are trails to explore that provide a stunning backdrop for fall weddings or engagement pictures when the trees turn into a scene of rich reds, yellows, and oranges. Even better, these gardens always have flowers in bloom, so your big day will always have an absolutely stunning background when shooting here. 

The one downside to this location is that you do need to get a permit to photograph here, and these are gone fast every single year. RBG reserve Saturdays for weddings in 3-hour timeslots, so if you want to have your wedding pictures here (and Saturdays are the most popular day for weddings), you know you will have more time to get the images you want. 

As a Burlington wedding photographer, I strongly recommend this location if you are looking for an extraordinary spot that’s reasonably priced.

the best time to take pictures: sunset & sunrises; for engagement photos, avoid weekends

photography permit: A permit is $67.80. Visit Royal Botanical Gardens website to find out more about available locations and to submit a permit request

2. Dundurn Castle | Hamilton

Is there anything more romantic than having your wedding or engagement pictures taken in a historical castle? In Hamilton, there is a beautiful 18,000 square-foot castle that took over 3 years to build, completed in 1835. This castle is owned by the City of Hamilton so the public can go and visit or take a tour through the building. 

The castle operates currently as a civic museum, but the green spaces outdoors is a favourite for local wedding pictures. 


the best time to take pictures: sunset or sunrise during weekdays, mornings on the weekend

photography permit: the purchase of a $190 permit is required for all outdoor photography involving 10 or more people. Please call the museum to book your time. You don’t need to buy a permit for engagement photos or wedding photos involving less than 10 people. No matter the size of the party for photography you will still need to book a time to shoot here.

3. McMaster University | Hamilton

Did you and your fiancé meet at McMaster while you were both students? Or maybe you both work here so the school holds a special place in your heart. McMaster University is an iconic landmark to the city of Hamilton, and its buildings are absolutely beautiful. This campus will provide you with an old, historic backdrop to your modern love story. Taking your wedding or engagement pictures on this campus is a great way to incorporate a special place into the pictures you’re going to be looking at for years.


the best time to take pictures: weekend nights, while students are not present on the campus

photography permit: The purchase of a $109 permit is required for all outdoor photography. Visit McMaster University Website to submit a permit request.

4. Bayfront Park | Hamilton

This park is located near downtown Hamilton, with access to the water’s edge of the harbour and natural areas of shrubs, trees and wildflowers. There are also many benches and picnic areas, along with an amphitheatre with natural grass. If you’re looking for natural and simple pictures, emphasizing you and your partner’s love of the outdoors this is definitely a fantastic location. Since it’s close to downtown, it’s easily accessible and you can mix natural pictures with industrial ones just by walking a few blocks. 


the best time to take pictures: early mornings

photography permit: you don’t need a permit to take pictures here

5. Paletta Mansion | Burlington

This is my always number one location for engagement sessions as Burlington wedding & engagement photographer. It has everything you may need: a beautiful stone beach at Lake Ontario, giant trees, a lot of greenery, stairs, a bridge, a river and, of course, the beautiful mansion. Located in Burlington, this mansion sits on 14 acres of lakefront property. Inside, there are 7 fireplaces throughout the 11,000 square-foot building. There is also a park right on the water that is gorgeous for outdoor pictures. This private, intimate location that is nestled in a big city will give you beautiful pictures you will cherish for years. 


the best time to take pictures: sunrise and sunset; avoid weekend nights

photography permit: to book a photography permit for this location, you will need to visit the City of Burlington website

6. Gage Park | Hamilton

Gage Park is a multi-functional park located within the City of Hamilton. It has been home to many concerts and even a public ice rink in the winter. There is also a beautiful gazebo that is perfect for intimate and relaxed pictures in a natural setting. 

This is one of my favourite locations for fall photos as a Burlington and Hamilton wedding photographer. Gage Park looks stunning during fall, as you can see the Niagara Escarpment from far turning into yellow and red colors. 

Gage Park in Hamilton has a greenhouse, which is a great indoor option if you want to take your photos in colder months. As a Burlington wedding photographer, I recommend double-checking with the City of Hamilton if you need a permit for your wedding photos inside the greenhouse.

the best time to take pictures: sunrise & sunset any weekday. For weekends, make sure there are no events happening at the time of your photo session

photography permit:  You will need a permit to do a photography session in this park, and you will need to secure a permit from the City of Hamilton

7. Spencer Smith Park + Village Square | Burlington

This park is located on the waterfront of downtown Burlington and it has a spectacular view of the water. There are also a number of family activities, so if your engagement or wedding pictures are including kids, or maybe your family spends a lot of time at this park and it’s special to you, then this might be just the location for you. The extra-wide promenade here gives plenty of room for group pictures while still allowing for water in the background. 

When you enter Village Square in the heart of downtown Burlington you feel like you transported yourself to one of the European streets. It was designed in the tradition of a turn-of-the-century town square, Village Square unites historic architecture with modern lifestyle elements.

This park is popular for cherry blossom photos end of April/beginning of May. It gets pretty wild then, so make sure to schedule a sunrise engagement photos.

the best time to take pictures: early mornings

photography permit: For both the park and Village Square, you will need to obtain a permit to photograph but it is easy to submit this request on the website for the City of Burlington and Village Square.

8. Collective Arts Brewing | Hamilton

If you and your fiancé enjoy the industrial look of your pictures, this brewery might just be the best location for your wedding or engagement pictures. The building of this brewery has amazing, breathtaking murals on the outside that provide amazing backgrounds for your pictures – especially all of the colours against the stark white and black of traditional wedding attire. 


the best time to take pictures: contact Collective Arts Brewing to find out when will be the best time

photography permit: you don’t need a permit to shoot outside, but you need to schedule a tour if you want to take pictures inside the brewery

9. Liuna Station | Hamilton

Whether it’s the Italian marble floors, the gorgeous walls of oak panelling or the Versace draperies this location will definitely make your heart skip a beat. The revitalization of this property has left no detail untouched, and it is now an architectural masterpiece that is a testament to the experience of rail travel from years ago.

The outside of this venue is just as stunning as the inside, and your pictures here will definitely have a unique fell. 


the best time to take pictures: early mornings, evenings

photography permit: you will need to contact the property to determine if you can photograph here. You don’t necessarily need a permit, but you will need to confirm if there’s another event happening

Interested in a photoshoot in these locations?

10. Hamilton Beach

As a Burlington wedding photographer who lives down the road, I know every square meter of this beach. The harbour signalling point in Hamilton gives an especially gorgeous venue for pictures at sunset. The boulevard gives plenty of space for walking and getting pictures with the water in the background. There is also a trail along Hamilton Beach that goes right along the edge of Lake Ontario. This trail is flat so it makes it very accessible and easy to arrange photoshoots on. 

the best time to take pictures: sunrise & sunset any day of the week. In the summertime avoid weekends, as there are many people spending time on the beach

photography permit:  you don’t need a permit to do your pictures here

11. Shaver and Tiffany Falls | Ancaster, Hamilton

Why take pictures at one fall, if you can visit two? Shaver and Tiffany are 20 minutes hike apart, so you can take both pictures at the falls and the Bruce Trail. If you are not that much into hiking, both have limited parking spots.   

Falls are very popular with families, so it is best to meet there very early in the morning. 


the best time to take pictures: weekday mornings

photography permit:  you need a permit, which is only approved to photograph on weekdays

12. Princess Point Trail | Hamilton

This trail has beautiful views of the bay and the surrounding area around Cootes Paradise. This location also allows dogs (on a leash) so if you wanted to include your four-legged best friend in your engagement pictures this would be a great place. The setting for this is very natural and casual so it would work well for couples who enjoy the outdoors and want a more relaxed and natural feeling to their pictures.

the best time to take pictures: sunrise or sunset, weekdays are less busy

photography permit: There isn’t a fee for shooting here and you don’t need a permit

13. Ancaster Mill | Ancaster

Right outside of the Ancaster Mill is a stunning waterfall where a bridge runs over a small pool of water bringing you into the mill itself. The grounds here also have beautiful greenery and pathways to walk so you have so many options for taking pictures. Inside the mill, where weddings are hosted, gives an intimate feel to any pictures taken. 


the best time to take pictures: sunrise & sunset any weekday. For weekends, make sure there are no events happening at the time of your photo session

photography permit:  You will need to contact Ancaster Mill to get a permit to take your pictures and potentially book a time for your session, depending on if another event is happening here

14. Brant Street Pier & Waterfront Trail near Pearl Hotel & Spa

This is a quiet, hidden gem, just near the always busy Spencer Smith Park, and downtown Burlington.


the best time to take pictures: weekdays, early mornings on the weekend’s

photography permit:  no permit required

15. Royal Botanical Gardens Arboretum: Captain Cootest Trail

This is one of my favourite trails in the area. If you are into hiking and nature, you will definitely love it. The trail is a diverse sanctuary with 10 breathtaking lookouts, many creek crossings and horticulture collections. You will meet there birds eating out of your hand, white-tailed deers, chipmunks and snakes. There are some hills, ups and downs, so comfortable shoes are a must. 


the best time to take pictures: sunrise & sunset on weekdays, early mornings on weekends

photography permit:  Visit Royal Botanical Gardens website to find out more about available locations and to submit a permit request

16. Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

I know this one is a little far but is so worth the drive! Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens opened in 1936 and offers European-style gardens with 40 hectares of allees, roses, herbs & vegetables which are the perfect scenery for engagement and wedding photos.  Building of School of Horticulture and modern sculptures add some more variations to your photos. What I love bout this place, is that is empty on weekdays, making it a great spot for couples to unwind and feel comfortable. As long as you and not inviting a huge wedding party, you don’t need a permit for your photo shoot here.

the best time to take pictures: weekdays, sunrise or sunset

photography permit: you don’t need a permit for your engagement photos, but please double-check with Niagara Parks for wedding photos

17. Whitehern Historic House and Garden

the best time to take pictures: weekdays, early mornings on the weekend’s

photography permit:  The purchase of a $200 permit is required for all outdoor photography involving 10 or more people. Please call the museum to book your time.

18. Niagara-on-the-Lake: The Gardens at Pillar and Post

I visited Niagara-on-the-Lake for the first time after five years of moving to Canada, and when I finally made it, I fell in love with this place. It is now my got place when I feel I need to slow down for a day or two and relax. The flower-filled, tree-lined old town features 19th-century buildings, mainly along Queen Street. Near the river, 19th-century Fort George was built by the British to defend against American attacks.

NOTL has so many perfect spots for photos: trails down the lake, cute, little streets, gazebos, parks, old, tall trees and more. 

the best time to take pictures: weekdays, early mornings on the weekend’s

photography permit:  no permit required for an engagement photo shoot and small weddings, but for larger weddings please get in touch with Niagara Parks

19. Oaks Garden Theatre | Niagara Falls

This beautiful amphitheatre is a peaceful place to walk and admire spectacular views of the Falls. When you visit Oakes Garden Theatre, you will find two impressive pavilions at each end of the pergola wall. They were positioned to offer amazing views of the American Falls and the Canadian Falls. Every corner you turn, you’ll discover artwork in the form of sculpted reliefs, ornamental ironwork and beautifully maintained garden features.

the best time to take pictures: weekdays, early mornings on the weekend’s

photography permit:  no permit is required for an engagement photo shoot, but for wedding photos please get in touch with Niagara Parks

20. Millworks Creative District | Hamilton

You can rent out one of 8 studios for 1 hour or more. It has a raw, industrial vibe, whitewashed brick, exposed wood beams, old factory windows, and custom murals.

the best time to take pictures: anytime

photography permit:  visit their website to pick space you like most, and easily book online

21. Albion Falls Park + Brown Highway Bridge | Hamilton near Carmen’s Banquet Centre

Albion Falls Park is located in Hamilton, Ontario, and features a gorgeous rock wall running along a stream. This natural park features a 19m high cascading waterfall staggered over a series of steps. While this location may not be the lush gardens, the natural waterfall over the rocks is unlike any other location. Additionally, a beautiful highway bridge is a perfect background for your photos.

As Burlington and Hamilton wedding photographer, I recommend these spots to anyone, but particularly to couples getting married at Carmen’s Banquet Centre in Hamilton.

the best time to take pictures: anytime

photography permit: not needed at that time, but double-check with the City of Hamilton

22. Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum | Ancaster, Hamilton  

Nestled in the heart of Ancaster, Hamilton, Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum offers a picturesque and nature heavy backdrop for the wedding or engagement photoshoot. You can also rent this place as your outdoor wedding ceremony location. This historic estate, surrounded by lush gardens and scenic landscapes, provides a peaceful ambiance. For couples seeking a blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and a touch of sophistication, Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum in Ancaster is an ideal choice for an enchanting wedding or engagement photoshoot.

the best time to take pictures: anytime

photography permit: you need to contact the Museum for the permit

23. Sam Lawrence Park, Hamilton

Sam Lawrence Park in Hamilton is an ideal location to capture the magic and romance of your love story. As you embark on the journey of engagement, what better way to celebrate your love than with a photoshoot in this stunning setting? The breathtaking views and serene surroundings of the park provide an unparalleled backdrop to showcase your love and to create memories that will last a lifetime. With the freedom to be as creative and unique as you like, your engagement photoshoot is an opportunity to express your love story in your own special way. 

the best time to take pictures: sunrise, this place gets busy during sunset

photography permit: no permit needed

24. The Nook Studio, Burlington, ON

I was so excited when I learned about this indoor studio in Burlington, as we hadn’t had any near us for a long time. It was difficult before to find an indoor back-up location as a Burlington wedding photographer for your couples. If you’re looking for a fantastic spot to snap some gorgeous indoor photos with plenty of natural light, The Nook Studio in Burlington, Ontario, is the perfect option for you. This place is a dream come true for anyone seeking a simple, clean aesthetic without sacrificing great lighting. We strongly recommend checking it out, as you’ll undoubtedly love the ambiance and atmosphere of this beautiful space. 

the best time to take pictures: anytime during the day for the best natural lighting

photography permit: you can book it here: https://www.thenookstudio.ca/

Interested in a photoshoot in these locations?


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