Middleton Place is a sophisticated plantation, where the beauty of nature is perfectly combined with geometry and balance. Here you may touch the rich history and behold the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States.
Founded in the late 1730s, Middleton was built in several phases. It was owned by the generations of Middleton family, who made a huge contribution to the developing of gardens. Initially the plantation was meant to be a country residence. Trying to outperform his neighbors Henry Middleton invited an English gardener to design the territory. Inspired by the popular gardening book, Middleton and his gardener excavated a couple of lakes and added more geometrical features to the plantation.
The plantation sites witnessed a lot. They were severely damaged during the American Revolution, Civil War and the Charleston earthquake. Due to the lack of money, the restorations in the end of 19th century were insignificant. The gardens were left untouched for several decades.
The main restoration and reworking process started in 1915. Several years of hard work paid off, allowing to open the gardens for the public in the late 1920s. In 1971, the plantation was added to the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark District.
Today the Middleton Place is an inspiring location for the history and nature admirers. As a team of engagement photographers, we also recommend this place for those who are going to propose. Below we would like to show you the beauty of locations suitable for your engagement photo session.

1. Restaurant

An impressive brick building perfectly fits the plantation landscape. Its architectural style and the green walls create a special image. A neat veranda with panoramic windows adds an elegant modern accent to the building. This location is not only a nice background for your photos, but also a great celebration place. Here you may try a traditional Low Country cuisine and enjoy a majestic view of the Mill Pond and Azalea Hillside.

2. Hill

Spacious green hill looks fantastic any time of the year. The well-cared lawn is like a green velvet. Together with the blue sky it divides the picture into two zones, creating a peaceful atmosphere. After taking photos at this location, you may easily get to the Butterfly Lakes.

3. Wooden arch

This is an amazing modern element located near the entrance. It will diversify the picture backgrounds. Massive wooden arch has a minimalistic design, so it will not play the main role in the ready photos. However it will provide a great support to the photo composition. Look carefully and you will see the “frame inside the frame” effect.

4. An old oak

That one has witnessed a lot. Imagine, the estimated age of this oak is about 1,000 years! It grows in front of the main house. And we can only guess how many events have taken place near this tree. We recommend considering this magical location for taking your engagement photos. The old oak brings romance and uniqueness to the photos.

5. Inside the Watermill

This location is perfect for those who prefer more intimacy. Besides this is one of the indoor locations of the plantation. Its interior looks a bit uncared and that is the main feature of this place. The brick walls and the old wooden windows significantly differ from the manicured gardens and cozy paths. If you would like to hide from curious eyes and take the photos with different lighting, keep in mind the Watermill.

6. Behind the Main House

The house has remarkable outlook. The brown bricks and black window shutters add a bit of mystery to its image. This is an amazing background regardless of the way you shoot. The photos can be taken near the house or far away from it. The result will impress you whatever distance you choose. This location allows you to have not only the greenery, but also an old stylish building as a background.

7. A path

Nice and romantic path is a perfect place for taking engagement photos. Numerous flowers grow on both sides of it. During the blooming season this place look so stunning. The vibrant flowers fill the greenery with their colors. The Spanish moss adds a bit of magic to this romantic scene. Even if you choose another season for your secret proposal, this place will charm you with its atmosphere.

8. Beside the pond

There are several ponds at Middleton Place. But this one differs from the others. Here you will see very nice fountains that look refreshing in the photos. Also if you are lucky you will notice a family of swans. They live here. Even the trees at this place have a special beauty. This location gives us endless opportunities for taking gorgeous photos. You can stand by the water or sit on the bench. Or you can choose the trees or fountain as a background. The location is a true gem for romantic photography.

9. Brick fence

An old fence most likely was brought back to life during the huge restoration process that took place almost a century ago. The fence reminds us about the long history of this place. As it is not very high, it can be used not only as a part of the background but also as the props. You can lean on it to have more relaxed photos. Or you may stand next to it, then the photo will be cozy and elegant.

10. Between two vases

This is one of our favorite locations at Middleton Place. A couple of antique style vases are placed in front of the Butterfly lakes. All together they create a neat and balanced composition. But that’s not the only reason for our admiration. This location is good for the secret proposal photography, because the face of the future fiancée will be visible whatever angle we choose. As you understand, the secret proposal is about spontaneity. And this location helps us to capture all the sincere emotions despite the unexpected factors we may face.

11. The bridge

Another type of location at Middleton. We love this bridge for giving us a chance to take a lot of good photos. We usually consider this spot not for a secret proposal, but for shooting the couple at a nice place. The bridge is not high, so the shooting is very comfortable for the photographers. Besides, it looks spectacular regardless of the angle or distance.

12. The sheep field

Cute sheep will be your companions if you are lucky. Fluffy and peaceful they will enjoy their day. And you can be a part of this harmonious rustic background. Even if the sheep are not here, you can still take wonderful photos at this spot, as it is also suitable for a romantic picnic.

13. The gardens

Middleton Place is famous for its geometrical gardens. They were created according to the gardening book dated 18th century. The well-cared gardens are amazing for taking all kinds of photos. Thoroughly manicured greenery looks great if we shoot both from a distance or not. It adds unusual yet natural features to the ready pictures.

14. The oldest oak

One more old oak grows by the water of Middleton Place. It leans on the shore as if it was a bit relaxed. The massive branches were provided with special supports to avoid ground touching. You may see one branch has an arch shape. Arches are a very good element for photography. In case you like this spot, please note that you need to walk a little to get here. But trust us, it’s worth all this walking.

15. The green bench

This location looks like a romantic secret spot from a movie. It’s hidden behind the bridge. The bench base is made from bricks, they are solid and stylish. Besides, it has a small roof which is also fully covered with greenery. The place is not only romantic, but also comfortable. If the day is hot and sunny it will hide you from the sun beams.

16. The bench under the tree branch

Another bench suitable for your secret proposal is located on the top of the hill. An old tree grows near the bench. Its branches lean on the ground, creating a natural frame for the photos. There are not so many places where you can comfortably sit, so take your chance and make the most of this amazing spot.

17. The benches

As a team of experienced secret engagement photographers, we know there are several small benches located in different parts of Middleton. Although they are very different from each other, all of them look stunning in the photos. The benches are surrounded by the green bushes and trees. As some of them can be found in the end of the paths, we can take great photos from a distance. The greenery will look like a natural tunnel. It puts a bit of magic in the ready pictures.

18. Outside the Watermill

There are few buildings at the Middleton. If you admire the architecture and old buildings, you definitely need to see the Watermill. The first watermill was built here in the middle of the 19th century. What we see now is a small square building beside the pond. The landscape near the watermill is so peaceful. A perfect spot to hide from the buzz.

19. The footsteps under the tree

A huge tree and a staircase will do their best for your engagement photos. An old tree covered with greenery and Spanish moss can be a good background itself. But the staircase makes it even better adding more balance and straight lines to the photo composition. Whatever distance or shooting angle we choose, the result is always impressive.

20. The footsteps beside the house ruins

Middleton Place has gone through a lot of historical events. It was damaged and some of the buildings were not restored. Here you may see what was left after the long history of the plantation. The forged fence and gates survived to remind us of the past. This location will impress those who like the combination of unusual forms and greenery.

21. The paths among the bushes

Flowers make every picture vibrant and emotional. Middleton has a very remarkable collection of azaleas. There are so many ways to take photos among the blooming bushes. Shooting from the distance you will get the effect of the green wall or tunnel. While shooting from the close-up picture you will be able to see all the beautiful flowers in detail.

22. Beside the cherubs’ monument

A troupe of five cherubs are located in one of the garden paths at Middleton Place. You will see them down a straight shrub-lined path, which draws you in. The monument color provides an amazing contrast to the overall background. Besides, cherubs are the symbol of romance. Such a nice and unusual location will bring some diversity to the photos’ background.

23. By the river

A long time ago the water from the river was used for irrigation of rice fields. Now the time has passed and the location has turned into a wonderful place for taking romantic photos. A magnificent oak tree grows here staring at its own reflection. Regardless of the weather, the taken photos are always picturesque.

24. Photo shooting through the greenery

As you have already noticed, Middleton Place is full of all kinds of plants and flowers. Many of them are not too high. That’s why this place is a heaven for the photographers. Blooming or not, beautiful plants and bushes doing a great job as a photo background. Also, the photos will look very natural, as if the couple was not posing.

25. The front of the Main House

This location is inevitable for Middleton visitors. The Main House is the heart of the plantation. It was built in 1755 and survived tough times. The roof was added in 1868 after the old one was burned. The service wing was added in the 1930s, but its architectural style was the same as the whole building. Surrounded by the palms and other trees, the house has become a splendid background for the photos.

26. The Stableyard

This is a demonstration area built in the 1930s. It includes smithery, pottery, spinning room, barnyard and freedman's residence. Here the visitors have a chance to see the plantation life of the 18th and 19th centuries. The enslaved people used to live and work at the plantation, making tools, clothing and pottery. This is an amazing educational experience and a very interesting place for taking photos.

27. Chapel

The small chapel is built with the same architectural features as the other buildings. Most likely you won’t have a chance to walk in, but the exterior of the chapel is also a good background for the photos. If the photos are taken before noon, the sun will be behind the chapel’s roof.
We bet the shown places inspired you. They look even better when you see them yourselves. The manicured sunlit lawns and gardens are perfect for any photos, especially for so important ones. You may notice that the locations are quite spacious. It has an amazing effect on the ready photos. They are full of air. Looking at them you will feel the fresh wind and the warm sun. As a team of professional engagement photographers, we truly enjoy taking photos at Middleton Place. Our dedicated work and your unique love story will result in priceless and emotional pictures.

    Dennis Aliaksandrou: The Charleston Wedding Photographer

    Article author:
    Dennis A. / Lead Photographer