September 18, 2023

The Best Engagement Photo Ops in… Charlottesville

We’re back with our Best Photo Ops in Central Virginia series. The next city… Charlottesville, VA. Charlottesville, named for Queen Charlotte, is the home to three United States presidents, Virginia’s only UNESCO Heritage cultural site, and the University of Virginia. Go Hoos.

From the adorable downtown mall to the serene wineries and the stunning mountain views, this Central Virginia town is one of our favorite places to shoot.

Read on for some of the best spots for your engagement or wedding photos in Charlottesville.

The University of Virginia Campus

This historic university is known for having a gorgeous campus. Its iconic architecture, characterized by Thomas Jefferson’s neoclassical design, offers a timeless and elegant backdrop. The lush grounds, featuring manicured gardens and centuries-old trees, provide a natural beauty that complements the grandeur of the buildings. The Rotunda, with its majestic presence, and the serenity of the Lawn are particularly enchanting spots for capturing cherished moments. Additionally, the university’s rich history and prestigious atmosphere lend an air of sophistication to any photoshoot. Whether under the warm glow of the setting sun or amidst the vibrant colors of the changing seasons, the University of Virginia offers a romantic and distinguished setting that’s perfect for celebrating love.

Some of our favorite locations on campus are:

Downtown Mall

Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall, with its vibrant atmosphere, offers an exciting urban backdrop right in the heart of Central Virginia. For a distinctive touch to your photos, explore the charming bookshops nestled along the mall. The contrast of this quaint literary haven against the city’s lively energy creates a captivating blend. Your loved ones will have the impression that you transported your engagement photos to the bustling streets of New York City, all while capturing the intimate charm of this delightful Southern town.


Quirk Hotel Charlottesville

Charlottesville has some great accommodations perfect for a girl’s night out, staycation, or photoshoot. The Quirk Hotel stands out with its chic pink color scheme and decidedly feminine ambiance, creating a playful and stylish setting. Alternatively, if you’re seeking a blend of tradition with a dash of quirkiness, the Graduate Hotel Charlottesville offers a unique and inviting option, promising a delightful and memorable shoot.


Boar’s Head Resort

Boar’s Head Resort isn’t just a typical resort or wedding venue; it’s an idyllic location for a photoshoot. Its true charm shines during the holiday season, especially during the enchanting Winter Wander event, when it becomes exceptionally picturesque.


Love Mural at Fitzgerald’s Tires

Virginia is for lovers and we love a unique photo shoot location. Be sure to check out the love mural at Fitzgerald’s Tires near the Charlottesville Historic District.


Historic Sites

Charlottesville is known for its historic sites. Highland, Monticello, and Michie Tavern are all within a few miles of each other. Be sure to take a drive to Orange County to visit Montpelier and the Barboursville Ruins. Montpelier has one of the most stunning secret gardens in all of Virginia and the Barboursville Ruins will transport you (and your photos) straight to Europe. A trip west on Route 250 will lead you to Swannanoa, a beautiful 1912 Italianate villa.


Nestled in the heart of Virginia’s wine country, these wineries boast sprawling vineyards, charming tasting rooms, and scenic landscapes that provide a stunning backdrop for capturing memorable moments. Whether it’s the rolling hills covered in lush grapevines, the rustic barrel rooms, or the elegant architecture of the wineries themselves, there are countless opportunities to create beautiful photographs. With the soft, golden light of the Virginia sun and the serene ambiance of the countryside, Charlottesville wineries offer an idyllic setting for capturing both casual and professional photoshoots, making them a favored destination for photographers and visitors alike.



What could be better than photos with the love of your life in a hot air balloon? Monticello Country Ballooning offer soaring rides over Charlottesville.

Wolf Trap Farm

Nestled in close proximity to Gordonsville, Wolf Trap Farm stands as a meticulously maintained 1856 working horse and cattle farm. This remarkable destination offers more than just history; it features a charming bed and breakfast, panoramic mountain vistas, a collection of nine picturesque ponds, and awe-inspiring scenic landscapes. Wolf Trap Farm’s storied legacy is further underscored by its esteemed place on the Virginia Historic Registry, making it a truly exceptional and enchanting location to explore and appreciate.

Grand Caverns

Grand Caverns is only 41 miles from downtown Charlottesville and this natural wonder, with its intricate limestone formations, stalactites, and underground chambers, provides a unique and otherworldly backdrop. The dimly lit caverns create a romantic atmosphere, and the dramatic play of light and shadow adds a sense of mystery to the photos. Whether posing amidst the stunning geological formations or by the tranquil subterranean streams, Grand Caverns offers a one-of-a-kind setting making it a truly memorable choice for a photoshoot.

Area Parks

Charlottesville boasts a wealth of exquisite nature preserves, gardens, and parks. Among them, the Ivy Creek Natural Area stands out not just for its educational value and historical significance, but also for its renowned award-winning gardens. For a captivating sunset photoshoot by the lake, Beaver Creek Park is an ideal choice. Don’t miss the opportunities offered by the Saunders-Monticello Trail and the picturesque Market Street Park, both offering captivating settings that are perfect for capturing lasting memories.

Carter Mountain Orchard

If you’re envisioning a Hallmark rom-com-inspired photoshoot, there’s no better setting than an orchard during the bountiful harvest months. Carter Mountain Orchard, with its scenic beauty and charming ambiance, emerges as the quintessential location for your enchanting engagement photos.

Blue Ridge Parkway

In Charlottesville, it’s impossible to overlook the majestic presence of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which grace the region with their breathtaking allure. A mere stone’s throw away, you’ll find the enchanting Skyline Drive, the iconic Appalachian Trail, and a collection of awe-inspiring overlooks. And for those looking to indulge in the pleasures of Route 151, it’s a convenient gateway to an array of esteemed breweries and wineries, all within easy reach of this captivating city in Central Virginia. For some of our favorite locations, be sure to check out Humpback Rock and Raven’s Roost.

We hope to be invited along to your next Charlottesville photo shoot.

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