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early spring engagement photos in minnesota


A Photographer’s Secret Tips for an Amazing Early Spring Engagement Session in Minnesota

May 3, 2024

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If you’re planning to have your engagement photos session in early spring in Minnesota and are looking for tips, inspo, and photo examples, you’re in the right place!

We’ll chat about what to look for when choosing a location so that your photos feature you, the best window of time to have your session, and how to prepare.

Minnesota’s Best Time of Year for an Early Spring Engagement Photos Session

When I say “early spring,” what I mean is that fleeting moment in Minnesota after the snow is gone but before spring blooms are in full effect. In truth, this period may not even exist every year. 

We’re looking for the time of year when some green grass and early bulb flowers show, but not much else—no leaves on trees and essentially no other plants or flowers yet. 

This sweet spot is in the first two weeks of April! 

Before that (and even sometimes during), you have a pretty good chance of snow still being on the ground as well as wet, muddy conditions from melting snow. Not the most romantic or easy to get around, if you ask me ;).

After mid-April, new leaves will start blooming on trees. But don’t be fooled! The majority of these leaves will either be too small to see in photos or leave your pictures with a more yellow or lime green color than a rich, developed green. Basically, distracting and not pretty…so let’s avoid that!

During this glorious two-week period at the beginning of April, however, we have brown trees and lots of sunshine, despite the old saying “April showers bring May flowers!” 

When you choose an outfit with popping colors and a location that will show off all the best parts of this time of year, you can actually get amazing photos!

Finding a Location for Your Early Spring Engagement Photos

I have two main suggestions for finding great location options during this unique time of year in early spring. 

The first is a tried-and-true city session. This way, snow should be cleaned up or melted, and any wetness from melting snow shouldn’t negatively affect your experience. Plus, if it’s early spring and there’s going to be less focus on blooms and nature anyway, a city environment is a great choice.

In Minneapolis, this can look like the Mill District, 3rd Street Bridge, Stone Arch Bridge when it reopens in 2026, Saint Anthony Main, and Downtown.

In Saint Paul, the Capitol is a great spot, as well as the Wabasha Street Bridge over the Mississippi. 

My second suggestion is out in nature, but there are very specific places that will work well so you can avoid those limey greens and odd color variations that will distract from the main subject and focus of your photos…you! Avoiding most of the mud doesn’t hurt either! 🙂

Choose a natural location where there isn’t any regular lawn grass. Some examples are Westwood Hills Nature Center in Saint Louis Park, parts of Silverwood Park in Saint Anthony, the Eastman Nature Center in Maple Grove, and Lebanon Hills in Eagan.

All of these locations have lots of trees, some have prairie grass, some have lakes and boardwalks, and none of them will have that silly April limey grass! Yes, your photo will be surrounded by brown, but it’ll be even and actually quite nice if you go a couple hours before sunset! 

As promised, here are photos from Ashly & Max’s engagement session in April 2024 at Westwood Hills Nature Center. It was a sunny day, we started at 4:30pm, and I thought their outfit choices were just *chef’s kiss*!

When you’re ready for your engagement session, no matter the season, reach out and let’s get you some fabulous fun photos! I’ll guide you to the very best season, time of day, and location to get the images that you really want so you can just relax and have a great time!

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