Sam Lewis State Park Engagement Photo Tips

May 17, 2024

A Couple at Sam Lewis State Park kissing each other as they are sitting in the grass with their legs around each other.

There is nothing better than being out in nature with the people that you love, enjoying the scenery and capturing the beauty of where you are in this moment. That is what makes Sam Lewis State Park engagement photos so special. 

As a Pennsylvania photographer, I have been to so many different places around the state and this is such an incredible place to go if you are looking for outdoor engagement photos. The park has so many different areas to explore so you are sure to find some quieter areas that you and your partner can enjoy during your session. 

So, if this sounds like exactly what you are looking for, check out these tips and ideas for Sam Lewis State Park engagement photos!

Where to Go in Sam Lewis State Park for Photos 

First, let’s talk about some of the great places you can go throughout the park for your engagement photos. 

Woodland Trails

Sam Lewis State Park has some great woodland trails that you and your partner can walk along during your session. These are generally pretty well maintained and are relatively flat so you don’t have to worry about having to “hike” to get amazing photos. 

You will, however, find some amazing spots surrounding but towering trees that create that perfect natural backdrop for your photos. This is also a great spot to go if you are looking for fall photos. 

As the seasons change, you can capture some really amazing colors as the leaves start to fall off of the trees. 


In addition to the woodland trails, there are also some pretty amazing grasslands throughout the park. These are great places to go if you want more expansive views or if you want to do anything during your session. 

The grasslands are also a great place to go if you are looking for any golden hour or sunset photos. You have wide open spaces for the sun to light up and the colors create an amazing image for you and your partner. 

You could also come out to the grasslands and have a picnic. If you and your partner are nervous about being in front of the camera for the first time, something as simple as having some drinks to hold or small snacks can help make you feel more comfortable as you get used to being photographed! 

The Rocks

While this may sound odd, there are so amazing rocks that you should definitely check out during your Sam Lewis Park Engagement session. Piles of rocks stacked up in unique ways creates a fun and interesting backdrop for you and your partner. 

It also gives you a place where you can have a bit of fun with your photos. Whether that is standing up on the rocks, sitting on them, or even playing around with where you both are, it is a unique way to mix things up while still incorporating the beautiful nature of the park. 

Overlook of the River

A couple sitting together in a field with their arms around each other.

Finally, if all of that wasn’t enough for you, there is also the river overlook to make your engagement photos even more beautiful. There are a couple of different ways you can see the river too! 

There is a lookout on Mt. Pisgah that is almost 900 feet above the river. You can head up here and get amazing views of the river and the surrounding area. There are even the old school coin operated binoculars that you can use! 

You can also get river views on some of the trails and grasslands throughout the park if you don’t want to head all the way up to Mt. Pisgah. 

Tips for Sam Lewis State Park Engagement Photos 

Bring your pet

One of the great things about Sam Lewis State Park is that it is pet friendly! That means you don’t need to leave your furry friend behind and can have them as part of your session as well! 

If you do plan on bringing your pets, there are a few things you want to keep in mind. First, make sure you bring them some water and maybe even some treats to have throughout the session to keep them well hydrated and fed. 

You can also think about what photos you would like to get with them. If you don’t want to do the entire session with them, you could have a friend or family member come along so they can take care of your pet/bring them back home after you have taken the photos you want with them! 

And finally, never forget to leave the trails cleaner than when you found them. Be sure to bring anything you need to pick up after your pet to keep this area looking amazing for all of the couples after you who want to capture beautiful photos here as well! 

Wear comfortable shoes

A couple holding hands and standing in a rocky area.

This is super important. You want to remember that you are going to be walking around and out in nature where everything isn’t going to be flat and smooth. Comfortable shoes are going to make your engagement session so much more enjoyable. 

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear the shoes you want to wear during the session. If you do have a nice pair of shoes, or ones that aren’t that comfortable to walk in for long distances, still bring them along. 

What you can do is wear a more comfortable pair as you are walking from location to location and once you get there, you can quickly swap out your shoes and break out the nicer ones to actually wear in your photos. 

Think about time of year 

A person kissing their partner's cheek as they sit on a blanket in a wooded area

Time of year is going to be very important for a few reasons in your engagement photos. One, it is going to determine what your backdrop actually looks like? Is it going to be the middle of summer where everything is green? Or maybe it is fall when the leaves are changing? 

Every season gives the park a unique look and feel and all of them are just as beautiful as the next. But, depending on what you would like your photos to look like, you can plan your session date to match that vibe. 

Second, it is also important to think about the time of year for the weather. Remember that this is all outdoors so if you are planning a June session, it is probably going to be hot and the park itself may be more crowded than if you went during October. 

Be sure to check the weather and make sure that you bring anything you need to and are wearing the correct clothes. This may mean layering to make sure that you are warm enough throughout the session. 

Finally, the season can also dictate when you actually take the photos. For example, in the summer you may want to go earlier in the day to beat the heat. In the winter, the park closes earlier so you won’t be able to do the session as late in the afternoon as you would in spring. 

Plan where to go ahead of time

A close up of two people with their pinkies intertwined

Finally, plan where you want to go ahead of time. If you can, take some time before your session to explore the park with your partner. Find areas that you are drawn to or that have views that you both love. 

The park itself is over 80 acres so you definitely don’t want to feel like you are wasting your entire session walking around trying to find the best place. This is also something your photographer may be able to help you with. 

They may be able to help you pick the best locations based on the time of year, the vibe you are going for, and you and your partner’s personality. Either way, having a plan of action before the session is going to make the photoshoot much smoother! 

Final Thoughts on Engagement Photos at Sam Lewis State Park

Hopefully these tips and ideas help you plan the perfect Sam Lewis State Park engagement session with your partner. It truly is an amazing place to capture this special time in your lives together and a great place to kick off the process of planning your wedding. 

If you are still looking for the perfect photographer to capture these photos (and maybe even your wedding photos), I’d love to chat! You can click here to learn more about my photography services or you can head over here to get in touch and start planning out your own engagement session! 

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