I've been an Austin wedding photographer for the past 10 years and one reason I love working in this city is that it has a little bit of everything for every taste. Great architecture, fascinating history, lush naturescapes, wide-open vistas, gardens, riversides, city skylines—whatever backdrop fits our personality, Austin has something to offer.

Here’s my list of the top spots to take wedding and engagement photos. Some of these will be fairly obvious, such as The Capitol, but hopefully some will be a little less well-known and provide you with some inspiration to get out there with the camera and get busy! This list is clearly not exhaustive, and surely some of you will come up with additional great spots around here that I left off the list. Feel free to add them in the comments.

In no particular order:

1. The Texas State Capitol

The Capitol building is a massive structure made of pink granite and stands 14 feet taller than the US Capitol. It is very well-known and often-photographed. I have been there several times and I enjoy it immensely. You can also get into the House and Senate Chambers for some cool shots, if they aren’t in session. It is worth a visit and the nice thing is that they don’t mind if you are toting around a tripod. The forum of the Capitol is packed with Texas heritage and is a great place to photograph couples who want to bring out their home state.

2. The Austin Skyline

Almost any city skyline is going to be a great backdrop for photos. Austin’s is particularly great because, as a photographer, you have a very clear view of aspects that make the city unique. I think the best place to photograph the city skyline it is from the Lamar Street Bridge—not the pedestrian bridge but from the bridge for cars. It is a little tight but you can stand there with a tripod and get a great photo of the skyline with the river running next to it. Come at night for an extra cool shot with all the city lights twinkling and reflecting on the water.

3. Zilker Botanical Gardens

Zilker is basically Austin’s version of NYC’s Central Park. This 30-acre park is divided into several sections, including a rose garden and a Japanese Garden, which means that it’s incredibly versatile for photos. For me the highlight is all the flowers you can find there, particularly in springtime, as well as the waterfall.

4. The Arboretum

The Arboretum is technically a mall located in North Austin, but it’s also a great photo location for both couples and families thanks to the small park located just behind Amy’s Ice Cream. Couples love having a naturescape that’s not too far from civilization. Kids love that there are giant stone cows to sit on. Parents love that there are modern amenities like bathrooms nearby in case kids need it.

5. South Congress

Hotel, urban scenes, cupcakes—you name it and South Congress has it. South Congress is one of my favorite photography spots simply because it’s packed with a wide variety of stores, meaning that the possibilities for props, urban backdrops and things to do with couples are practically endless. SoCo is also one of my favorite places to take families. Let’s be honest—sometimes the best way to pacify a cranky child is with a little bit of ice cream.