Butler Parking Garage
This has been my go-to parking garage for the last couple of years. It's on James Street right across from the famous "sinking ship" parking garage. It costs money to park here but it's affordable and is one of the only garages that aren't randomly closed all the time.
It has plenty of things to use and interact with - staircases, mini walls, fences, light posts, and don't forget the gorgeous buildings that surround it. It is 12 floors high and I've never had issues having too many cars parked on that top floor. Tell your clients to park near the entrance to the floor so they don't take up space on the other side of the stairs where you'll be shooting. After you're done on top, or if you get caught in the rain, don't forget that you can utilize the light and space on the lower levels. You can still get views of the buildings and use the squares of light.
Henry M. Jackson Federal Building
This building is a playground for photographers! The Henry M. Jackson Federal Building is located at the cross street of 2nd Ave and Marion. It has multiple levels, staircases, trees, walls, and windows. It also has the perfect neutral color combo that you want when shooting in an urban area. The bricks and walls were fairly clean which made editing a dream and it was so fun to experiment with all sorts of angles. Another great thing about this location is that it is all the property of the building so it's a great way to stay off the sidewalk and avoid pedestrians constantly "photobombing" your couple. Make sure to check out the super cool arch right outside the main doors as well!
You can walk here from the Butler Parking Garage if you want to get a couple different locations in during your photoshoot.
Underneath the Aurora Bridge
This is a popular spot, but it's popular for a reason. You get to incorporate a combination of textures and materials to make it an awesome backdrop for an urban photoshoot. It's better to go during the week so you don't have to spend half of your time dodging the bikers and walkers with their cute dogs, but if you can't avoid them then there are patches of grass to the side that you can stand on and while still getting the view of the bridge. My favorite part about this location is the bench located just beyond archway. If you have an assistant with you, have them sit there while you finish up so it doesn't get taken because the view of the water and bridge overhead is unbeatable.
Check out more of my photoshoot locations in Fremont here.
The International District can feel very crowded but it's still possible to find good spots for next couple photoshoot. The light rail station for instance has gorgeous green tile and a staircase that you can use in between trains. If you want to get real creative, have you couple go down on the platform and shoot them from above.
The clocktower is an iconic view that you won't want to miss and you can capture it from a few different places. The corner of 4th and Weller as photographed below has a good view but that sidewalk is full of foot traffic as it's on the way to the stadiums. You won't have a ton of room to play around but you can at least get a few shots when it's clear. If you follow the crowd across the bridge, you will also be able to view the clock tower through the fencing. It's a bit dark in there so bump up that ISO. The last spot I have for you is tucked away between WatchGuard and the Union Station. You'll walk down a little alleyway and have a secluded spot with a view!
Pike Place Market
The most classic and iconic place in Seattle maybe besides the Space Needle. The front of the market can be intimidating because there is always a flood of people taking photos in front of the Public Market sign so I love going to this spot at golden hour. The market closes at 6pm so in the summer it will have been closed for hours by the time the sun is setting. People will always be there but it'll be the lightest crowd that you'll get if you go at this time. Once you're done with the front of the market is looking, you can venture through it and find little pockets of magic around every corner. There are stairs, alleys, landings, and beautiful brick walls that will give you plenty to work with! Don't forget about the rest of Post Alley as well! And you're close enough to the water front to walk down there for your second location if you're up for all the stairs.
University of Washington Cherry Blossoms
Now this is a seasonal thing so you'll really have to fight the crowds for this one. When I went for the first time in 2022, my jaw dropped at the sheer amount of people that were there posing for photos but we were still able to make it work because the space is so big and people are constantly moving around. However, to make your experience better and more efficient, I recommend going in the morning during the week.
Since the trees are above you, be ready to shoot upwards or stand far enough away from your couple where you can get the tree in the background. There's also lots of grass and benches for you to utilize so you can get creative!