Washington Oaks State Park engagement photos are guaranteed to be stunning. There is a reason when you search for engagement session locations in St Augustine, Washington Oaks State Park is one of the top suggestions. It is beautiful, spacious, and has many diverse plants and backdrops to take photos with. Washington Oaks also provides you with the option to go right across the street to capture some beach photos in addition to the park setting. It’s easy to see why wedding photographers in Saint Augustine love capturing Washington Oaks State Park Engagement photos. Below I will share some of my favorite images from Washington Oaks, as well as some tips for planning your engagement session!
Thankfully, Washington Oaks does not charge any extra photography fee on top of the entrance fee. Once you pay for your parking pass you can take as many photos as you like! The gate at Washington Oaks typically is not manned, so you will either need to bring cash ($6 at the time of this blog) or pay ahead online!
The best time of year to photograph at this park would be spring. From April to May, temperatures should be mild (compared to our scorching summer heat) and you should have many beautiful plants and flowers in bloom. There is lots of beautiful foliage in the summer also, but our heat and humidity makes it somewhat difficult to enjoy a full session in the summer.
There are two ideal times of day for photographers to shoot. Right after sunrise, and right before sunset. Washington Oaks does not open until 8 am, so they are not open quite early enough to catch sunrise on the beach. However, if you have a photographer who is comfortable shooting in various lighting scenarios, you can still get beautiful shots on the beach at this time! The images in this post were all captured between 8-9 AM.
With all of the beautiful nature and plants at Washington Oaks, it is inevitable that you will also encounter some new friends. Snakes are not a rare sighting here, as well as spiders and other bugs. This is all just a normal part of Florida, but definitely keep your eyes open for them so you don’t accidentally step on one.
I suggest choosing two outfits for a session at Washington Oaks. One for the park, and one for the beach. For the park, I suggest avoiding green or brown earthy tones, as you may blend in with the background. Instead, look for more saturated colors like blue, pink, etc. White could also be a good choice if you’re looking for a reason to wear white as many times as possible during your engagement 🙂
For the beach, flowy maxi dresses are always a beautiful choice for the ladies. Pro tip : avoid ruffles or flaps on your outfit if shooting at the beach, as the wind could make it difficult to keep those loose pieces in place.
For the gentlemen, I suggest jeans or a nice pair of chino pants (or shorts for the beach) and a button down shirt.
Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the gardens or on the beach. So if you were hoping to have your furry friends involved in your session, this may not be the spot for you. No worries though, I have written a whole post about other St Augustine Engagement Sessions here!