Floral displays, botanical gardens, and the picturesque scenery of the Niagara River surrounded by wine country provide infinite spots for photo shoots during the spring and summer. With the rise of social media, photography has become a necessity to capture the moments of important milestones in our lives.
Wedding photos are traditional, but now, couples like to share every moment of their matrimony with family and friends. Engagement photoshoots, proposals, anniversary and couples photography are very common, and the Niagara region is a great place to capture these moments on camera in every season, especially in winter.
Oakes Garden Theatre
With free entry year-round, Oakes Garden Theatre provides magnificent views of Niagara Falls. A central amphitheatre surrounded by shrub gardens, fountains ponds, and colourful floral displays provides a beautiful setting to commemorate special occasions. It is far less busy in the winter time, yet still a romantic place to take pictures. When covered in snow, the site becomes a true Winter Wonderland, as the sparkle of the sun-kissed white garden creates a beautiful backdrop.
Horse and Carriage Rides
Bundle up under blankets and enjoy a romantic ride around the quaint town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, or by the breathtaking views of Niagara Falls. Some companies provide an option for professional photoshoots, where you select the colour of the carriage, horse and decorations. These will make beautiful shots for your first Holiday Greeting Cards together as a couple.
Open year-round, the Botanical Gardens features 99 acres of European-style gardens with herb and vegetable plantings, perennials, rhododendrons, azaleas, and a world famous rose-garden with over 2400 roses. Though most of this vegetation blooms in the warmer months, the Botanical Gardens offers a wonderful spot for winter photos. Featuring walkways, bridges, ponds, and gardens, when there is light snow, the property is great for unobstructed photos. The gardens are next to the Butterfly Conservatory, where you can warm-up inside the glass-enclosed observatory.
Niagara On The Lake Gazebo
Down by the water in the historic old town of the Niagara-on-the-Lake, you’ll find the iconic white gazebo at Queens Royal Park. Offering views out to the peaceful lake and over to the United States, the spot can be reserved for private weddings, and is also an attractive spot for romantic photography. In winter, the area is surrounded by snow with a backdrop looking out to the frosty lake, where on clear days you can get a great view of the Toronto skyline.
Winter Festival of Lights
This year from November 3rd to January 31st, the annual Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights offers a perfect setting for couples to get beautiful outdoor photos at night. The 8km stretch of magnificent light presentations begins at Queen Victoria Park- a great spot to get a shot with the iconic Skylon Tower in the background. The display stretches through landscapes of the Niagara Parks and Dufferin Islands, which also provide beautiful winter scenery for photos during the day time.
Queenston Heights Park
One of Niagara’s historical sites, Queenston Heights is a landscaped city park which attracts visitors and locals year-round. Nestled at the top of the Niagara Escarpment, the park houses the Brock and Laura Secord Monuments, the Six Nations and Native Allies Commemorative Memorial, picnic pavilions, trees, wildlife, and an upscale restaurant featuring seasonal fine dining. As the trees turn vivid shades of red, yellow, and orange in the autumn, the park is a beautiful location for brides with fall weddings. In the winter, when covered by snow, the park is open, offering a traditional winter setting for special photography.
In the middle of winter when the temperatures fall far below freezing, witness the magic of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls when they become frozen. A one of a kind spectacle, this natural phenomenon creates a beautiful backdrop for romantic photography. At night, the falls are illuminated by a multicoloured light display and make for outstanding photographs if captured by the right camera.
With so many locations to choose from for winter photography, you can capture romantic moments for all special occasions. Remember, that although photography is welcomed at many public parks and locations, inquire about permits ahead of time and be respectful of other events taking place before arranging professional photography.
Photos courtesy of: Ken Chambers, Dreamscape Canada