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Portrait Photography Locations in Tallahassee

One of the most common questions I get from families and couples when we are scheduling a portrait session is "Where?". My answer is always the same. I ask folks to think about a place that has some significance to their relationshop or a spot that they spend a lot of time. Think neighborhood park, downtown area where a favorite cafe or restaurant is located, a usual date location, a fishing pond.  

I love shooting in new locations and am always excited to hear ideas but if you need help, I've created a list of what I think the 16 best portait photography locations in Tallahassee are.

Your own home is often the best choice for your portrait location. Little ones feel safe, at home and they have lots of familiar things to play with and show off. 

I can generally get the most natural expression from kids in their own space.

I'd like to also get you to think about the look you are going for. Are you interested in a Rural or Urban look? Do you want something more formal and dressy or casual and playful?


Let's find a place that suits your style and personality! 

Tallahassee Portrait Locations Ideas: :

  1. Cascade Park: This is a newer addition to Tallahassee that quickly became a favorite spot for photographs. It really seems to have it all. There is the park itself with trails and trees and the lake as well as the, Capital Cascade Trail that leads over to FAMU way. With the nightime rainbow of lighting, it would be a fun spot for a dramatic sunset and late day shoot.  This is truly a place of variety. You can get an urban feel in the amphitheater and bleachers, the cement and iron bridge, and the giant metal TLH letters to really mark your city pride. In addition to all of those options, the rural look abounds as well with the pathways between the trees, the lake, the lush greenry, and giant oaks and let me not fail to share how beautiful the waterfall is. Imagine your little one running through the splash pad at the end of their session too!! I mean, this spot really is kind of perfect!

  2. Kleman Plaza: Right in the middle of Tallahassee, Kleman Plaza has a view of the  city, a fountain, greenspace, and a lot of really beautiful architectural elements that really gives this area a great deal of variety for portraits.  ANd sometimes, if youre lucky there will be some downtown festivities that add a lot of motion and action for creative photographs. It is so fun to play in Kleman plaza, especially if your game to throw off your shoes and dance in the fountain!

  3. Florida State University Campus:  Doak Cambell Stadium, both inside the arena and outside with the statue and front green lawn are a perfect location for FSU students,  FSU fans and FSU alumni. But that's not all, there are so many places around campus that are beautiful for portraits. Another option on campus is the amazing Wescott Building with it's University East Gate Archway and beautiful fountain. Dont tell anyone but there's been a time or two where we may have gotten IN the fountain. There is also really beautiful landscaping and oak trees.

  4. Goodwood Museum and Gardens: Goodwood museum and gardens is such a beautiful old Tallahassee center of town perfection. The old mansion is a fabulous backdrop along with the big dramatic draping moss filled oak trees. I’ve done multiple mini sessions in this spot because it is generally a winner for everyone! They have built a barn in the back that is great for wedding venues but also makes for a great setting, the old water tower, the old gardens, all of the tiny little cottages, the looking glass pool, everything! It is important to call ahead before we do our session here. There is no fee generally especially if you call ahead but you don’t want to show up and be running around when there is some other event happening. I always call just to be respectful.

  5. Southwood: I'm not sure but I do not think this spot often comes to mind to other photographers when scouting locations but I absolutely love doing portraits here.You'll love it too especially if you live in the neighborhood. It's nice to start at home and get some of those candid, documentary, lifestyle portraits. Then move to the lush greenspaces all over the area. The golf course is fun because who doesnt love a good horizon photo, a sillouette or just a dreamscape? There are so many trails and bridges over lakes and through grandfather oaks. After you have your portraits done, you'll want to spread out a blanket, picnic, nap and never leave!

  6. Railroad Square: This area has become so very active in the last few years. When I was younger, this was a bit of a stomping ground for me. It is considered the art district which stretches out and encompasses the Gainesville area adn butts up next to the new College Town developments. If you're looking for something more uniques and funky, give Railroad Square a tour. Youre in for art galleries, a rock climbing gym, graffiti, outdoor sculptures, a red caboose, and more endless bizarre photo opportunities. 

  7. SOMO: The South Monroe District (SOMO) is a much more spread out but has become more interesting to me than the other location ideas here. Primarily because I haven't photographed sessions in this area as much as other spots in Tallahassee. I'm hoping that after this blog post that interest will rise for the SOMO look! I think what draws me to this area is that it is still up and coming and not as perfectly refined as some areas are. I like the edgy look we can get with the character of the decade old buildings, the bold colors, graffiti and  industrial feel. 

  8. Downtown Chain of Parks: My photography studio used to be right across the street from the Chain of Parks so I know all the sweet spost in this area. It is such a gem right in the middle of town. With all of the amazing oaks, beds of ivy, park benches, and brick fountain, you get the feel of the country side but it is a block from the beloved Galley Alley (Tallahassee's only alleyway). I also enjoy grabbing a couple of tables and drinks at a nearby restaurant/cafe which creates endearing photographs that almost feel like paparazzi catching a couple out on a date.

  9. Lake Ella: Lake Ella is an iconic spot if you grew up in Tallahassee. It has asuch sentimental meaning for us that spent a lot of afternoons as a child feeding ducks, climbing "the climbing tree", marveling at how it overflows the streets during storms and learning to walk and skate on the  sidewalks that encircle it. It's a graceful and charming spot that never gets old.

  10. Mission San Luis: Mission San Louis is like walking into an old European village. I’ve shot many weddings here but rarely do folks inquire about portrait sessions in this location and I just don’t know why. It is really a Tallahassee jewel. From the White stucco buildings to the historic mansion and reproduction historical TP, it offers everything you could want for a romantic unique splendor backdrop for your family or couples session. One of my favorite aspects of this spot is the way the sunlight shines through the trees at death. A late day portrait session here is really an ideal setting.

  11. Flea Market: If you like the look of kitchy and bizarre, the Tallahassee Flea Market will interest you! It comes with it's own props, such as live chickens, vintage hats, piles of people in a dingy swirl around with you and your perfectly poised self  as the centerpiece. Just imagine the joy to be had! If you've never been there, GO! If you have been there, you know why this is a ton of fun!

  12. Maclay Gardens: Maclay Gardens has to be on this list primarily because it is one of the most requested spots in town. Possibly because it’s one of the most well known park and garden. It also has a beautiful landscape. From the brick walkways to the lake and the looking glass ponds and ivy garden it is an obvious contender for top spot. One reason it may not be my first suggestion is because of its popularity. I like to call it 'old home week' when I go there because I run into practically every other Tallahassee photographer. It is a good bit of a walk on a brick cobbled path way back to all the good stuff so it has been a real challenge in the past for ladies in heels. If this is your option, consider bringing a spare pair of comfort soles for the walk.

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