Photos by Glenn Guiao


This place is huge.

It's managed by Duke university next door. And they manage it really well. So much so that it's one of the most photographed and visited places in Raleigh.

Parking gets really packed during weekend and weekdays. You might want to plan ahead when there's least amount of people.

There were grad students getting their photos taken here.

Here, seniors don't take their photoshoots lightly haha


We spent most of our session walking around looking at the scenery, and of course Jess and Anna probably enjoyed me marveling the place because it was THAT beautiful.

This was our first stop of our engagement session.


There are long paths so its perfect for walking shots like these. I had them just be themselves, talking and looking at each other while I take shots all the way!


Duke Gardens have a few seats that you can take to get them relaxed while taking photos of them unnoticed.


One of the beautiful gazebos at Duke Gardens. I had to take one of them in it.


We saw maybe 20 people walk down past the gazebo. There were kids running around, people with their phones getting selfies with the flowers. I tried to ignore it but I'm glad there was a path for us to just take photos without people in the background.


We stopped at my favorite spot which had one tall pine tree.


As you can probably see, there were people sitting around lol

For research purposes I included this one and had another without people in it.


With my GFX50sii + 80mm F2 projector Lens (which I frankenstiened, literally.) I soften the background and obliterated the people in the background while keeping them sharp in the foreground.


Another impromptu photoshoot in one of our paths. I had Jess do the Heimlich maneuver pose. While Anna looks back "oh, hi"👋


We headed to the lake where we saw a few ducks and a wide open space.

You're halfway through this post. If you like this article so far and in need of a photographer, fill out the form below!


Then I made them walk around the lake so I can get a shot of them like this haha


I so love love love this shot! Another variation from the Heimlich maneuver pose! So good.


We did a ton of these lol 😂


Duke Gardens also had an edible plant garden(not sure what they're called haha) but I saw one of these posts that had cities on them. I asked them to guess where the cities were and point them where they think they go. Had a lot of fun with these haha


About an hour in. There was a Koi pond behind the Recreation center. It was really nice to just sit down and relax after walking around. The landscape had a lot of hills too.


I had random bubble mixture in my pack. Must have for a cute engagement session like these


Anna couldn't wait to blow bigger bubbles lol


One of my favorite shots at Duke Gardens. There were a couple of graduates that we had to shoo away cuz they spent probably 30 minutes just in this one spot.


This was our 2nd to last sections of our shoot. There were too many people when we arrived, so we went full circle around Duke Gardens. It was also on our way to the Parking lot.


The Gate shot was the last shot I took of them. In the beginning of our session, there were too many people that were coming in and out. I knew that this will make them uncomfortable if I stopped to take a photo of them. So I saved this for last!

Download your "How to get engagement photos that SLAYYY"

In this guide, you'll find:

  • Complete Engagement Session with Photos
  • 20 Different Prompts & posing tips
  • What to wear based off of the photographers style
  • Location Tips + Best Wrightsville Beach Access
  • Printing for Save the Date/RSVP Cards

Hey! I'm Glenn, a Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Get to know me
Wilmington Wedding Photographers

Let’s get to know each other

I hope y'all enjoyed the article. If you want to book an appointment to talk about pricing, features, etc. click on the button below to get y'alls sorted out!

If you're in the early and beginning stages of wedding planning, my friend Devon who owns a wedding planning business might be able to help out!