We have had a chance to shoot in a lot of locations in Dallas and surroundings.
In this post we are going to share our 10 most favorite places that we always offer to our lovely clients, with some photo samples and the information of the location with map provided.
Let's dive right in:
1. Prather park - Davis Park(map)
These two parks are connected via a tunnel under Lexington avenue that you can find limited parking spots and get to the park by stairs. Both parks have various photography spots including a couple of bridges over a creek, and the creek is accessible in different locations. Also you can find a couple of beautiful stairs, greenery, open fields. We recommend to get there at least 2 hours before sunset for the best result, because the parks are lower than the surrounding area and you'll miss the sun light earlier than usual. It's perfect for different portrait sessions; engagement session, family portraits, senior session, bridal photography, couple photography, Christmas pictures. It's a four season location, and pictures will be always beautiful.
Lakeside park is stretched along Lakeside Drive in Highland Park, TX. You can park your vehicle by the street for free and jump right in the park. There are various photoshoot spots in the park including lake view, a bridge, a small staircase, greeneries, and open fields. Also there are two teddy bear sculpture on the other side of the bridge for some fun shots or toddler photography. We recommend to get there 1.5 hour before sunset if you like to catch some sun glare in the shots. It is almost a four season location but sometimes city closes the park for some construction. Late December would be the best time to get sunset light right on the bridge with long shadow all over the bridge. Sometimes we take our clients to both locations (Highland Park Village & Lakeside Park), it's just 4 minutes drive. Clients will definitely enjoy the variety and appreciate the offer.
3. Mandalay Canal Walk(map)
Mandalay Canal is a gorgeous Venetian style place in Las Colinas. You can Park your car for free by Mandalay Drive and using the stairs to get to the canal sides. There are a lot of photography spots including tower, bridge, stairs, a hallway full of arcs, beautiful doors and gates, greenery, and open fields. It's safe to be there even 2-3 hours before sunset, because the area is surrounded by buildings and you will be in the shade most of the time, but you still have enough light if you don't shoot with off-camera flash. For us, it's a four season location with all the beautiful architectural facades.
4. Adriatica Village(map)
Adriatic Village is a stunning photoshoot location in heart of McKinney. There are both covered and uncovered free parking around the place. Literally everything you need for a photoshoot is there. A beautiful lake, a concrete deck over the lake, stone bridges, stairs, a prairie, cobblestone streets with cool cozy houses, a bell tower, and a beautiful small chapel by the lake. For more information about the Chapel, venues and different activities you can visit Adriatica Village website. 1.5-2 hours before sunset would be good time for photoshoot. Again, It's a 4 season photography location which we always offer to the clients that live far north side of Dallas.
5. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve(map)
It's a huge preserve in west Plano with plenty of free parking spots. The park is accessible both from Plano, and Austin Ranch. It's all natural with some man-made scenes. there are creeks, prairies, meadows, bridges, huge rocks, trees, hills, and literally everything you love in nature. You have to take a time to explore, find your favorite spots, and start your creativity. We prefer to start the photoshoot 1.5 hour before sunset to catch the sun between trees. We prefer spring and summer for the photoshoot, rater than fall and winter. If you're like us and love to explore new trails you may check Arbor Hills Nature Preserve | Plano, TX - Official Website for more information.
6. Prairie Creek Park(map)
You barely can find a waterfall in the city, but there is a beautiful waterfall in the heart of Richardson which is one of the hot spots for photographers. There are a couple of free parking by the intersection of West Prairie Creek Drive, and West Lookout Drive. The parking is right in the middle of our two favorite spots of the park. If you walk toward south, there is a gorgeous bridge, if you walk toward north, you can easily find the waterfall, and there are lots of greenery, trees and open fields in between. Also there is a hidden covered bridge which not many photographers known of, but we reveal the secret! You can hop on your vehicle and drive toward south, when you passed Fall Creek Drive, you will see a stunning covered bridge on your left. For this location, we prefer to start the photoshoot 1.5 hour before sunset, and it's almost a four season photography spot.
7. Sammons Park - Flora Street(map)
You may see a lot of photography workshops around this place. Flora Street in downtown have a beautiful modern architecture that make every corner a photography spot. You can park your vehicle by the street for free and start your creativity. There are greeneries, mirrored windows, stairs, cool benches, concrete walls, sculptures, beautiful buildings, and there is a shallow water in front of AT&T art center that you can take advantage of the reflection. Hour before sunset is a good time to start the photoshoot. It's a four season location and if you are interested in low light photography or night photography, it's the place. If you're engaged and looking for venues or interested in different art & performances Sammons Park - Ticket DFW and Sammons Park at the Winspear Opera House | ATTPAC.
8. Downtown McKinney(map)
We picked Downtown McKinney as our wedding photo location and we never regret it! You can find a lot of free parking spots all around Downtown McKinney. There are a lot of vintage look corners in there besides cool storefronts, brick walls, stair cases, old doors, fountains, old buildings, beautiful architecture, and greeneries. Each alley in the city has its own unique view and you can't get enough of this place. 1.5 hour before sunset would be the best time to start your session. It's a four season place for photography, but to avoid crowds you may check Downtown McKinney website for different events. They have bridal show too!
We love these two places and sometimes we take our clients to both locations for different looks. Deep Ellum is known for the graffities. bars, and some sculptures, and West End Garage has a cool view of Downtown Dallas from a rooftop of a 4 tier garage. It's a cool spot for friends gathering so parking would be limited, but if you get there earlier, carry light weight equipment and intend to walk a little bit you may find free parking further away from your photography spot. You may gift yourself by joining one of the events for more info use Deep Elum Event Calendar. For Deep Ellum 1.5-2 hours before sunset would be good for photoshoot, but for West End Garage, the closer to sunset the better, so if we decide to take our client to both locations, we firs take them to Deep Ellum, and then West End Garage for great sunset shots. Both places are good for photoshoot all the time.
10. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden(map)
Dallas Arboretum is the most known place for photographers. A 66 acers park that the beauty catches everybody's eyes. There is an entrance fee and sometimes a parking fee to enter the park, and fortunately, unlike Fort Worth Botanical Garden, there is no photography fee. If you're engaged and looking to book a venue we recommend checking Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden website. You can spend hours in the park and try different spots to create your desired art. Every corner of the park is stunning for any kind of photoshoot. The sad part is that the park closes at 5 PM and you have to plan to find good spots in the shade in most of the year. If you want to be there in golden hour, November trough February would be the best time because sunset is early during winter time.
Now we would like to hear from you:
which one of these locations you are going to try first?
Or do you know a location that we missed to add to the list?
Either way, let us know by living a comment below