I've been contemplating this for some time now. Baltimore has been changing rapidly throughout the last decade. The downtown skyline has remained static. After a small change in the 70's, a dead end in architecture plagued the city. Fast forward to the last decade, developers have arrived, dropping money on the city like an allied airdrop on western France in 1945. With this boom came renovations to old parks and completely newly developed land. You're probably wondering what this has to do with engagement locations; let me explain.
It's the most obvious and surrounding view of the city. Virtually unchanged for the last twenty years. The view presents as one of the finest in the city, and for obvious reasons, attracts many visitors from outside the city. The size of the park in general provides almost endless options for photographic compositions. Park benches scattered throughout with 'Old town' street lamps lining the cobblestone walkway. Once the sun sets over the western hill, a beautiful night-scape backdrop arrives.
The perks of the view also pose as a subtle hint of a becoming the "me too" photograph when comparing them to your friends. Search for Baltimore engagement photos on Google, I can guarantee the first few images will be the typical inner harbor skyline directly behind the couple. I'd even bet the canon pointing toward the harbor will be in the mix of those images.
I'm not bashing the park! It's beautiful and I've spent many hours contemplating projects while staring at the city with a hot coffee. But it's worth a second thought about what you really want in your engagement photos, or even your spring/fall family portraits.
Baltimore's first official park! To me, the city has always felt like a small town in pace, with a big town attitude. Which is ironically fascinating to me, because Patterson Park is like the Central Park of Baltimore (though it is not central at all). As you slowly make your way to the center of the park, the noise and commotion of the city fades into quiet serentity. Especially in the morning! The park is a staple in the Canton, Fells Point and Butchers Hill neighborhoods. It provides the most countryside feel for everyone who loves the city but needs a contrast of peace without the drive.
From the old boat lake and the infamous blue herring who poses for joggers in the center of the lake every morning, to the hillside view of the city. The pagoda is a top choice for many visitors looking for a view of the city. This view even creates a 'Baltimore henge' during the spring and summer solstice as long as you position yourself properly. The great thing about the parks 134 acres would certainly be the limitless possibilities. Not to mention the lack of a crowd, which means blanket and a bottle of wine to relax during the session. Not kidding by the way! The location has not been exhausted by photographers yet, so it is well worth the thought.
Harbor Point / Sandlot
I wanted to leave the best for last! But this is just my personal taste and love for anything that is beach related. This newly re-developed land has transformed an old rundown industrial pier into a gorgeous beachfront. Though Baltimore is very much an east coast city, we do not have ocean front views. But now we can mimic those views with the redeveloped Harbor Point waterfront.
Sandlot offers a Caribbean style experience with drinks delivered to your cabana inspired seating arrangement. I don't think at this point and time the require any permitting for photo sessions such as engagements, however this could change in the future. All in all Baltimore has become a beautiful place to photograph. The small town feel with a big town attitude is changing quick. I may have to write a complete review on specific locations. But for now, this will be my top three picks.