So you’ve scheduled an engagement session at the Princeton University campus! This is one of my absolute favorite locations for an engagement session thanks to the variety of backdrops it offers. However, because the campus is so big, it can seem overwhelming when trying to choose the spots you’d like to shoot in. Which is where this guide comes in! In this post, I’m sharing sample images of the backdrops available on the campus. If you’ve got your heart set on a specific one, definitely let me know! I really hope that this guide to engagement photos at Princeton University inspires you for your portraits!
This building is beautiful, but it’s also one of the most highly-trafficked locations on the campus so you can’t always get wide shots like this one with no one around. If you love it, though, it’s always easy to include because it’s right in the middle of all the other locations I typically recommend shooting at. Plus it’s right by Nassau St and Witherspoon, which is a great meeting point.
Clio and Whig
This is one of my favorite buildings to shoot at, and luckily there are two identical buildings! I love the lighter backdrop this provides; works for a more light and airy feel to your photos.
There is also a nice lawn space in front of Clio and Whig so you can incorporate some shots with trees and greenery like this:
Mathey College Area
When you’re facing Clio and Whig, you’ll have to decide if you want to go West towards the residence halls or East towards the chapel. If you go West towards the residence halls, make sure to check current announcements as photographers are sometimes not allowed to shoot there, as it disrupts the students in their place of residence. It all depends on the time of year and day!
This is the other side of that same building:
This is one of my favorite areas, but it’s in a residence hall so shooting there is sometimes not possible. I’m usually pretty lucky though and can get at least a few pics there. I love this area for its arches and textures on the walls with beautiful greenery!
This spot is one of the most desirable locations of Rockefeller College:
Look how pretty it is from the outside looking in as well:
Princeton Chapel Area
If you’re facing Clio and Whig and you decide to go left (East), you’ll end up on the Princeton Chapel Hall side. This is where this iconic spot is located:
East Pyne Hall
This is right across from the Princeton University Chapel and is so pretty with all the greenery!
Behind the chapel you’ll find McCosh Hall which is a lighter building and also has ivy.
The city of Princeton is also a beautiful location for a shoot. Just outside of the campus, there is this beautiful path on Nassau Street:
There are also lots of alleys and side streets with restaurants and cafes for a more urban feel to your photos.
There are numerous other spots on campus that make for beautiful backdrops both outside these areas and right around these areas on the way from one building to another. These are just a few favorites! Where you shoot will largely depend on crowds on campus and any limitations, but if all areas are accessible, here are the circuits I recommend:
- Nassau, Clio/Whig, and West side (Mathey and Rockefeller Colleges): 45-60 min
- Nassau, Clio/Whig, and East side (Princeton Chapel area, East Pyne Hall, McCosh): 45-60 min
If you want to cover both East and West Sides then I definitely recommend a 90 minute session. And in both cases, flat shoes for walking around the campus.
Download the campus map here.