Venues in Edmonton and Sherwood Park
As a photographer, I often get the questions 'What is the best location for my formal wedding photo?' or 'What is a good location where my kids will feel comfortable enough to get a great family portrait?'
The honest answer is that there is no best spot. The list of great venues is endless and it all depends on what style you prefer for the background. Are you going for a classic look (Legislature Building), an urban look (Commerce Place downtown), a country look (Ft. Edmonton Park) or perhaps a combination of styles?
Whether we are talking about venues for wedding shots, family portraits or even business headshots, Edmonton and Sherwood Park have an endless list of great locations to offer.
Following are a few of my favourites.
Let's travel from Downtown Edmonton to Sherwood Park:
The Alberta Legislature (outdoors free, indoor photography is not permitted)
I love the classic lines of the building and its colour radiates this warm glow that reflects in the images. Behind the building is a beautiful green park with colourful flower beds. There are endless opportunities for wedding and family photography.
McKay School (booking and fee)
A former public school (1906), hidden downtown Edmonton, now hosts the Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museum. The brick building is still in its original state for most part and offers many historic backdrops, which is ideal for weddings.
Commerce Place and Manulife Place - Jasper Ave (free permit needed)
The words classy and creative come to mind. The two places are connected and offer unique photo opportunities. The natural light is fabulous. The flooring is stunning. The perfect place for a session with an urban touch. Over the past few years I have done a lot of wedding photography at these stylish downtown Edmonton locations.
Union Bank Hotel - Jasper Ave (free)
A classic! The opportunity for indoors formal wedding photography is limited but the hotel offers a ideal environment for a smaller wedding. Outdoors, the brick facade offers lots of photo opportunities with an "old downtown Edmonton" background.
The Telus Plaze Parkade - Jasper Ave (free)
I used this location a few times now for wedding photography. Not a location everybody thinks of for wedding photography, but this location totally fits the urban style of photography. Check out this unique images and decide for yourself.
104th Street (free)
This is the location of the Downtown Farmer's Market in the summer months. Go there right after the market is finished and you kind of own the street to yourself and your kids. It's car free. Great for Edmonton street photography. There are some interesting old back alleys as well. For cool kids only!
The back of the Old Strathcona Farmers Market (free)
Located just north of Whyte Ave., brick walls, huge green warehouse doors, cool graffiti, and old train tracks - it's all there! Take a look at these engagement photos.
Whyte Ave. itself! (free)I love the Old Strathcona atmosphere and the characteristic facades of the buildings. For example the front and the lighting of the cinema is a great background for engagement photography. I did some wedding photos there as well as well as outdoors in front of the O'Byrne's Irish pub.
Over the last couple of years, I often combine all three of these downtown locations for formal wedding photography. It's such a unique combination of backdrops, all within walking distance and all free.
A great downtown location for family photography is:
Another favourite location for wedding, family and engagement photography is:
Let's not forget
We're leaving downtown now and are on our way to Sherwood Park:
On top of the world (free)
Well, not really but it's one of the higher points in Edmonton overlooking the river valley. Passing the famous Pyramids you go up to the top of the ski hill. You not only overlook the valley, but the whole Edmonton downtown is your backdrop. Beautiful opportunity not only for weddings and engagements but also family photography.
Gold Bar and Capilano Park (free)
Situated at the border of Edmonton and Sherwood Park there are two great locations, only 3 minutes apart, that are perfect for fall photography. I often combine the colorful fall woods of Gold Bar with the river valley at Capilano Park. It's a very relaxing environment. Kids can be themselves and I can capture the moments that are so typical and unique for the family. Ideal for fall family photography.
Broadmoor Golf Course (free)
Any golf course would work actually; they offer a beautiful green location for wedding and family photography. Are you an avid golf player or is someone in your family? Consider a golf course for your family or wedding photography. It adds a personal touch.
Festival Place (outdoors free)
It's an all-in-one location. The stage offers a unique place for your ceremony, and the banquet hall for your reception, but the building is surrounded by a beautiful park with bridges and even a fountain.
Woodbridge Park (free)
A beautiful addition to your wedding photography at Festival Place. The two locations are only minutes apart. The little bridge over the lake is a popular location for wedding and family photography. It also offers a great green park with mature trees in the back.
A.J. Ottewell Community Centre (for rent per day/per hour, outdoors free)
Its deep red color offers a unique backdrop that you won't find anywhere else close to Sherwood Park.
We arrived in Sherwood Park:
There is one location I really recommend, but it can mean a bit of a travel:
Fort Edmonton Park (entrance fee)
The historical streets and buildings offer so many opportunities for both family and wedding photography. The opportunities are endless and please take your time for a single family session. It's so worth it for a two hour session. The Fort offers many benches, stairs, swings, or fences so that everyone can take a break. It's so much fun that you and the kids will lose track of time. I have photographed weddings here as well and the results are breathtaking.
Other locations that come to mind are:
- Edmonton City Hall
- Royal Alberta Museum & Government House
- Devonian Botanic Gardens
- Rutherford House
- Ukranian Village
- The Arts building University of Alberta
- McGrath Mansion
- Hawlerak Park
- and of course all of the other the beautiful parks in Edmonton, St. Albert and Sherwood Park.
Some other alternative historical venues that you may be interesting in:
(data from edmonton.com)