Seven Best Engagement Session Locations in Sarasota, Florida

May 13, 2022

Updated December 6, 2023

Sarasota, Florida is one of the most beautiful cities in all of Florida. Couples from all around the country and world choose Sarasota, Florida as a destination for their engagement sessions and weddings, and it’s pretty obvious why! With year-round sunshine, endless greenery, beautiful white sand beaches, and golden sunsets, with just a little bit of planning you’re bound to have a magazine cover worthy engagement session. As a Sarasota engagement photographer, I’m going to share some of my favorite engagement session photography locations in Sarasota, Florida!

The Ringling Museum

The Ringling Museum is known around the world as a luxury wedding and engagement photo destination, and for good reason. It’s centrally located off of 41 and University Pkwy and offers both European inspired views, as well as water views. Due to it’s popularity, The Ringling’s availability for sessions is limited, and oftentimes has to be booked as far as 6 months out. There is also a $300 permit fee required for this location. If you’re able to plan far ahead in advanced, then this Sarasota engagement session location will not disappoint!

Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is one of my favorite beaches for engagement sessions in the Sarasota area. Anna Maria Island’s white sands make for beautiful sunset portraits here on the west coast of Florida. There are a few locations I like most, including Bean Point and Beer Can Island. Unfortunately, Beer Can Island’s famous driftwood has been removed from the beach. I think every Sarasota engagement photographer cried at this news! Even still, Beer Can Island has a few driftwood pieces left that make for a whimsical engagement session. Both Bean Point and Beer Can Island have small accesses and very limited street parking, so it’s a good idea to arrive ahead of time for your engagement session here to ensure you can get a parking spot!

Myakka River State Park

One of Sarasota’s most loved parks is Myakka River State Park. Known for it’s mossy oak trees, alligator sightings, and it’s rustic charm, Myakka River State Park serves as one of my favorite Sarasota engagement session locations. The park is open 8am to sunset 365 days a year and has only a nominal fee of $6 per vehicle. There are plenty of differing locations for photos around Myakka River State Park, from mossy oak tree drives to open grasslands, rivers, and little nooks filled with charm.

Selby Gardens

Selby Gardens is a classic Sarasota location for engagement sessions and weddings. These gardens are filled with floral blooms, historic houses, and hidden pathways. You can easily spend an hour or two exploring Selby Gardens, and just about every corner of the park is photogenic! Selby Gardens has a $100 permit fee, plus the cost of admission for each person attending the session, which is $25 per person. Selby Gardens has more open availability than The Ringling, but it’s still a good idea to select an engagement session date a month or so in advance!

College Hall at New College 

College Hall is my favorite engagement session location for couples who love The Ringling but are unable to get a permit. This location boasts similar views as the famous Ca’D’Zan, in fact, the Ca’D’Zan can be seen from certain angles at College Hall! This location is open to the public, no permit or reservation required, making it a great location for couples who are on a time crunch to get those engagement photos done!

Siesta Key Access 8

Siesta Key has eight miles of beautiful beaches, but access 8 is a favorite Sarasota beach of mine for a few reasons. One reason is the sailboats which sit here. These make for a beautiful and nautical backdrop for engagement photos! Another reason I love this beach is because the beach is not as deep as it is at the main access, meaning less time to make it from the parking lot to the water. There is also beautiful greenery at this location, which gives some variety in your engagement photos without having to go to a different location! This access has limited parking, so I’d recommend arriving early for your session. If you’re lucky you’ll find a spot at the access, but if not, there are plenty of other access parking lots as well as parallel street parking a short walk away.

Celery Fields

Celery Fields is a great option for those who want an outdoor location that isn’t the beach. Located right next to the Sarasota Audobon Nature Center, there is a large hill in the middle of the park, tall grasses and trees, a fence, and a small botanical garden! Celery Field boasts a more “wild” aesthetic, without the hassle of traveling to Myakka or further. Celery Fields has a large parking lot that very rarely fills up, so you shouldn’t have any issue finding parking here!

Planning Your Own Sarasota Engagement Session?

If you’re looking for your Sarasota engagement photographer, contact me here!

meet kenna


Photographer, dreamer, traveler.
Inspired by the beauty our natural world offers and the people we get to share it with.

My approach on a wedding day is to turn your moments into art which you’re proud to display in your home and pass down to generations. We strive to be in the balance between capturing moments as they’re happening, and stepping in to direct and pose when needed. The end result is a gallery that feels like fine art and brings you right back to the best day of your life.