Locations: Cleveland & Akron

August 22, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

So many decisions to make! The location of your portrait session has a big impact on what your final images will look like, and beyond that, it's a reflection of who you are and what your style is. Maybe you love nature and would love to stroll through beautiful gardens to show it. Maybe you love Cleveland and want to showcase its downtown architecture. Maybe you love llamas and want to do a shoot at a local alpaca farm! (It's happened.) There are lots of great options for your portrait session around Cleveland, and I'd like to provide some information on a few of my favorites below! 

 

West

Favorites:

Stephanie & Vick: Engagement at Schoepfle GardensSchoepfle Garden: Birmingham Schoepfle Garden (Birmingham):

Schoepfle Garden is a small park with a lot of personality and variety. It features large pine trees, groomed flower gardens, and even a small carousel!

Sunflower Portrait Sessions at Maria's Field of Hope in AvonMaria's Field of Hope: AvonThis gorgeous field full of sunflowers is in bloom in late August and early September, and a portion of your session fee there will go to support the Children with Glioma Cancer Foundation. *Extra fee applies.

Maria's Field of Hope (Avon):

This gorgeous field full of sunflowers is in bloom in early September, and a portion of your session fee supports the Children with Glioma Cancer Foundation. *Extra fee applies.

Brittany & Kyle: Engagement Session at David Fortier Park in Olmsted FallsDavid Fortier Park: Olmsted FallsThis park is small but has so much to offer: a covered bridge, gardens, a stone bridge in the middle of the forest, and a series of small waterfalls on the Rocky River.

David Fortier Park (Olmsted Falls):

This park is small but has so much to offer: a covered bridge, gardens, a stone bridge in the middle of the forest, and a series of small waterfalls on the Rocky River.

Huntington Beach Park: Bay VillageThe entire Cleveland skyline is visible from Huntington Beach on a clear day. The park also features a rock jetty, stone staircases, a wooded picnic area, and a delicious ice cream shop. Lakewood Park (Lakewood):

This family friendly park borders Lake Erie and features a paved brick walkway along the shore. At the end of the walk is a fantastic skyline view of downtown Cleveland. 

Other Picks:
 

Miller Nature Preserve (Avon): This garden has lots of options, including flowers, woods, and an extra indoor nature conservatory.

Huntington Beach Park (Bay Village): The entire Cleveland skyline is visible from Huntington Beach on a clear day. The park also features a rock jetty, stone staircases, a wooded picnic area, and a delicious ice cream shop. View an engagement session at Huntington Beach here.

Veterans Memorial Park (Avon Lake): This public beach features a boardwalk and is perfect for a sunset portrait session. 

Rocky River Reservation (Rocky River): Rocky River Reservation is a beautiful area of the Cleveland Metroparks. It contains wooded trails, a tall staircase, a lake, marshes, and so much more. 

Baldwin Wallace College (Berea): This beautifully landscaped college campus features historic buildings and several different areas to explore.

Mill Stream Run Reservation (Berea): This park has lots to offer, including forests, trails, bridges, and a large picnic area.

Lakeview Park (Lorain): This Lake Erie park has lots to offer, including a gazebo, beach, rose gardens, and more.

 

Central

Favorites:

Gina & Allen: Engagement Session in the Flats in Downtown ClevelandFlats West Bank: DowntownBetween Heritage Park's skyline view, the Center Street Bridge's colorful red paint, multiple murals, and the Jackknife Bridge next to the Cuyahoga River, you can't go wrong with this diverse location.

The Flats West Bank (Downtown):

Between Heritage Park's skyline view, the Center Street Bridge's colorful red paint, multiple murals, and the Jackknife Bridge next to the Cuyahoga River, you can't go wrong with this diverse location.

Tara & Pat: Engagement Session at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Wade OvalWade Lagoon: University CircleThis park offer lots of variety with iconic views of the Cleveland Museum of Art and Rodin's Thinker in the background. It features marble steps, a quiet walking path, springtime cherry blossoms, and classic architectural backdrops.

Wade Lagoon (University Circle):

This park offers iconic views of the Cleveland Museum of Art and Rodin's Thinker in the background. It features marble steps, a quiet walking path, springtime cherry blossoms, and classic architectural backdrops.

Kaitlin & Derek: Engagement Session at Edgewater ParkEdgewater Beach Park: DowntownThis park provides a lot of different looks for portrait sessions, including a great view of the Cleveland skyline and Lake Erie, a large beach, a Cleveland script sign, and a large willow tree.

 

Edgewater Beach Park (Downtown):

This park provides a lot of different looks for portrait sessions, including a great view of the Cleveland skyline and Lake Erie, a large beach, a Cleveland script sign, and a large willow tree.

Abby & Brandon: Downtown Cleveland Winter EngagementEast Fourth Street: DowntownEast Fourth Street is in the middle of downtown Cleveland and just a few blocks from Public Square. It is home to a large number of lively restaurants and bars. Parking can sometimes be a challenge but this iconic pedestrian-only street is well worth it, especially at night!

East Fourth Street (Downtown):

East Fourth Street is in the middle of downtown Cleveland and just a few blocks from Public Square. Parking can be a challenge but this iconic pedestrian-only street is well worth it, especially at night!

Other Picks:

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo* (Cleveland): If you love animals, this is the place to do your portraits! Both the animal exhibits and the Rainforest provide beautiful and unique backdrops for portrait sessions. 

Brookside Reservation: Close to the zoo, this park features several rows of Japanese Cherry trees that are typically in full bloom from mid to late April. View a family session at Brookside Reservation here.

Abbey Road/Superior Viaduct (Downtown): This stop provides an expansive view of Cleveland's skyline and features a Cleveland script sign overlooking the city. View a wedding in which we stopped there here.

Cleveland Botanical Gardens* (Downtown): The Cleveland Botanical Gardens have a plethora of colorful flowers, trails, steps, and reflecting pools to explore both inside and outside.

Cultural Gardens (Downtown): The Cultural Gardens near the Cleveland Museum of Art are a natural oasis inside the city. They are lush, green, and have several distinct areas in honor of different countries and ethnicities. Note that in order to ensure safety, certain precautions (like remaining in groups and parking in specific areas) are required. View a portrait session partially done in the cultural gardens here.

Rockefeller Park Greenhouse* (Downtown): This location is perfect as an indoor escape from rain and snow, and it is free to use for portrait sessions. (Weddings and large groups incur a fee). The greenhouse is reminiscent of a small botanical garden and features a variety of plants as well as a fountain. View an engagement session at Rockefeller Greenhouse here.

Little Italy (Downtown): This historic neighborhood of Cleveland has lots to offer, including small shops, walkable streets, a small city Park, murals, and more. View a portrait session in Little Italy here.

Cleveland Museum of Art (Downtown): The Cleveland Museum of Art is bright, beautiful, and a fantastic backup in case of rain for your portrait session. While photography is not allowed in the art galleries themselves, it is permitted in the atrium and outside. View a family session at the Cleveland Museum of Art here.

Voinovich Bicentennial Park & Cleveland Sign (Downtown): For the quintessential Cleveland skyline view, head to Voinovich Park. This urban park faces the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame and downtown Cleveland, and is home to the iconic "Cleveland" sign that everyone loves. View a wedding in which we did some portraits at Voinovich Park here.

The Old Courthouse* (Downtown): This gorgeous building features high ceilings, impressive columns, and a sweeping staircase.

MOCA* (Downtown): The Museum of Contemporary Art is a fresh modern building that is interesting both inside and out. Its contemporary exterior can produce unique reflections for portraits. 

The Union Club* (Downtown): The Union Club is a gorgeous building in the heart of downtown Cleveland, just down the street from Playhouse Square. The interior is filled with classic and luxurious furniture, and its marble staircase is amazing for dramatic portraits. View an engagement session at The Union Club here.

Playhouse Square (Downtown): Explore one of Cleveland's most iconic areas and do portraits under the theaters' marquis and Playhouse Square's chandelier over Euclid Avenue. View an engagement session done partially at Playhouse Square here.

Cleveland Public Library: The Cleveland Public Library a great backup location in case of rain and provides interesting architecture with a literary twist.

Hyatt Regency at the Arcade* (Downtown): The old Arcade, now the Hyatt Regency Cleveland, is a stunning historic building in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Its large gilded atrium provides soft light any time of day that is perfect for portrait sessions. View a senior session at The Arcade here.

Westside Market & Ohio City (Downtown): Westside Market is a lively and cultural market that can make for a fun backdrop to a portrait session, although it can get very crowded. Just outside, Ohio City is brimming with small shops, interesting alleys, and a lively square to explore. 

Wendy Park at Whiskey Island (Downtown): Wendy Park offers unique views of the Cleveland skyline and Lake Erie and is home to the old Coast Guard Building.

 

East

Favorites:

Melissa & Matt: Engagement Session at Henry Church RockHenry Church Rock: BentleyvilleFormerly named Squaw Rock, this metropark has lots of variety. A trail leads through the woods across small wooden bridges and down stone staircases to the Chagrin River.

Henry Church Rock (Bentleyville):

Formerly named Squaw Rock, this metropark has lots of variety. A trail leads through the woods across small wooden bridges and down stone staircases to the Chagrin River.

The H Family: Portrait Session in Chagrin Falls, OhioChagrin Falls Village: Chagrin FallsChagrin Falls is well-known for its historic and charming downtown area. The gazebo, the Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop, Riverside Park, and of course the falls themselves are all within easy walking distance of each other.

Chagrin Falls Village (Chagrin Falls):

Chagrin Falls is known for its historic and charming downtown area. The gazebo, the Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop, Riverside Park, and the falls themselves are within easy walking distance.

Micro Mini Portrait Sessions at Sugar Pines FarmSugar Pines Farm: ChesterlandSugar Pines Farm is a Christmas tree farm in Chesterland, and it makes for a perfect wintery location for portraits with its gorgeous rows of evergreens. Extra fee applies.*

Sugar Pines Farm (Chesterland):

Sugar Pines Farm is a Christmas tree farm in Chesterland, and it makes for a perfect wintery location for portraits with its gorgeous rows of evergreens. Extra fee applies.*

Christy & Casey: Wedding in Ravenna and Mantua, OhioHiram College Campus: HiramThis small college has a beautiful campus full of historic buildings and carefully manicured gardens. It is very quiet in the summer, making it perfect for an evening portrait session.

Hiram College Campus (Hiram):

This small college has a beautiful campus full of historic buildings and carefully manicured gardens. It is very quiet in the summer, making it perfect for an evening portrait session.

Other Picks:
 

Sulphur Springs Picnic Area (Bentleyville): Sulphur Springs is a quiet, wooded area with a small waterfall and beautiful road through the woods. View a senior session that was partially done at Sulphur Springs here).

Shadow Lake (Solon): Shadow Lake is a quiet fishing lake in the Cleveland Metroparks and it was almost destroyed in the 1990s. A wooded trail leads around the lake, complete with bridges and several small piers.

Mosquito Lake State Park (Cortland): Mosquito Lake State Park contains a quiet lake with a drivable beach, woods, and pier. It's a bit of a drive from Cleveland, but well worth it! View a senior session at Mosquito Lake here.

Canyon Estates Park (Bainbridge): This park is a well-kept secret! Located behind a residential development, it has two walkable covered bridges, woods, and a small lake. Some walking is required to get to the good stuff, but it's well worth it!

Chagrin Valley Athletic Club* (Bainbridge): The Chagrin Valley Athletic Club hosts many weddings throughout the year for good reason. Its tranquil gardens make for a beautiful setting for a portrait session.

Frohring Meadows (Bainbridge): Frohring Meadows is an open park with tall grasses and a marsh. It is perfect for romantic and picturesque sunset shoots. View a family session at Frohring Meadows here

Breezewood Gardens and Gifts (Bainbridge): Breezewood is a nursery with a large greenhouse atrium that makes for a perfect rain/cold weather backup. During the holidays, it is filled with Christmas trees, poinsettias, and other decorations. View a family session at Breezewood here.

Bedford Reservation (Bedford): Bedford Reservation is full of wooded trails, waterfalls, and picturesque bridges.

Wiegand's Lake Park (Novelty): Wiegand's Lake Park is a large park surrounding its namesake lake. A dock and picnic area make for great spots to explore here for portrait sessions. View a wedding at Wiegand's Lake Park here.

Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park (Nelson Township): This forested park features hiking trails, interesting rock formations, and a waterfall, and is perfect for those looking for some adventure.  

Boardman Park (Boardman): This gorgeous park has a little bit of everything: woods, gardens, bridges, antique architecture, and more. Better yet, everything is easily walkable! View an engagement session at Boardman Park here.

 

Rebekah & Abel: Engagement Session at Squire's Castle and Sims ParkSquire's Castle: Willoughby HillsSquire's Castle is a well-known Cleveland landmark, and it makes for a great backdrop to all kinds of portrait sessions. The castle itself is surrounded by wooded trails that are worth exploring as well.

Squire's Castle (Willoughby Hills):

Squire's Castle is a well-known Cleveland landmark, and it makes for a great backdrop to all kinds of portrait sessions. The castle itself is surrounded by wooded trails worth exploring as well.

The R Family's Portrait Session at Mentor Headlands Beach ParkHeadlands Beach State Park: MentorMentor Headlands is the quintessential Cleveland beach on Lake Erie. It features a large sandy beach, dunes with tall grass, and a wooded area close by. No dogs are allowed, but families are welcome.

Headlands Beach State Park (Mentor):

Mentor Headlands is the quintessential Cleveland beach on Lake Erie. It features a large sandy beach, dunes with tall grass, and a wooded area. No dogs are allowed, but families are welcome.

The M Family's Portrait Session at Horseshoe Lake in Shaker HeightsHorseshoe Lake Park: Shaker HeightsHorseshoe Lake is a great park featuring forested boardwalks, beautiful neighborhoods close by, and a large lake. There is also a playground, making it a great location for families.

Horseshoe Lake Park (Shaker Heights):

Horseshoe Lake is a great park featuring forested boardwalks, beautiful neighborhoods close by, and a  large lake. There is also a playground, making it a great location for families.

  Chardon Square: ChardonThis colorful town square is perfect for portrait sessions. It is filled with trees and flowers, has a beautiful white gazebo at its center, and is surrounded by historic architecture.

Luvin Lavender Farm (Madison):

Roam through fields of gorgeous lavender blossoms at this unique portrait location perfect for the summertime. Flowers are typically in bloom in the end of June and early July. Extra fee required.*

Other Picks:

Kenneth J. Sims Park (Euclid): Sims Park is a small beach in Euclid, and it has so much to offer! This part of the lakeshore features a small sandy beach, a rocky jetty, a walkable pier, shady trees, and lots of high grass. View an engagement session done partially at Sims Park here.

Veterans Memorial Park (Mentor): Veterans Memorial Park contains a lake, pier, and several pretty hiking trails.

Chagrin River Park (Willoughby): Chagrin River Park is a wooded metropark with several bridges, trails, and fields. It has a lot of variety in a small space, making it perfect for portrait sessions.

Holden Arboretum* (Kirtland): Holden Arboretum, part of the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, is an expansive garden and forest with a plethora of options. It is filled with tranquil ponds, lush green forests, and carefully manicured flower gardens. Holden's Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower add architectural interest to this picturesque location.

Chardon Square (Chardon): This colorful town square is perfect for portrait sessions. It is filled with trees and flowers, has a beautiful white gazebo at its center, and is surrounded by historic architecture. View an engagement session at Chardon Square here.

Burton Wetlands & Nature Preserve (Chardon): Burton Wetlands contains a boardwalk around a beautiful marshland, as well as several wooded areas. It's a large area and has many options for portraits. View an engagement session at Burton Wetlands here.

Chardon Square (Chardon): Chardon's colorful square is perfect for portrait sessions. It is filled with trees, has a beautiful white gazebo at its center, and is surrounded by historic architecture.

Steele Mansion* (Painesville): This mansion was renovated just a few years ago, and it is gorgeous! Its historic interior includes a large staircase, interesting furniture, colorful and unique rooms, and even carousel horses in the basement. View an engagement session at Steele Mansion here.

Luvin Lavender Farm* (Madison): 

 

South

Favorites:

Hannah & Ryan: Engagement at Price Park in North CantonPrice Park: North CantonThis family-friendly community park has a lot to offer: it features cultivated gardens, walking paths, a wooded bridge, duck pond, and two gazebos close by, all in a small and easily walkable area.

Price Park (North Canton):

This family-friendly community park has a lot to offer: it features cultivated gardens, walking paths, a wooded bridge, duck pond, and two gazebos close by, all in a small and easily walkable area.

Emily & Brett: Winter Engagement in Brecksville ReservationStation Road Bridge & Brecksville Station: BrecksvilleThe Cleveland Metroparks meet the Cuyahoga Valley National Park at this scenic station stop next to the Station Road Bridge. The park features lush woods and several bridges.

Station Road Bridge & Brecksville Station (Brecksville):

The Cleveland Metroparks meet the Cuyahoga Valley National Park at this scenic station stop next to the Station Road Bridge. The park features lush woods and several bridges.

Julia & Brandon: Surprise Proposal at Gervasi VineyardGervasi VineyardThis beautiful vineyard features numerous restaurants and opportunities for wine tasting in addition to its gorgeous grounds, which include a lake, rows of grapevines, willow trees, and walking paths. Extra fee required*

Gervasi Vineyard (Canton):

This beautiful vineyard features numerous restaurants and opportunities for wine tasting in addition to its gorgeous grounds, which include a lake, rows of grapevines, willow trees, and walking paths. Extra fee required.*

Renee and Pat: Engagement Session in Cuyahoga Valley National ParkEverett Road Covered Bridge: PeninsulaEverett Road Covered Bridge is a colorful covered bridge inside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It crosses Furnace Run Stream and is surrounded by picturesque woods. A permit and extra fee are required for weddings and large groups.

Everett Road Covered Bridge (Peninsula):

Everett Road Covered Bridge is a colorful covered bridge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It crosses Furnace Run Stream and is surrounded by picturesque woods. A permit and extra fee are required for large groups.

 

Other Picks:
 

Chippewa Creek (Brecksville): Less than a mile from Station Road Bridge lies Chippewa Creek. Chippewa Creek is a small stream running through the forest, and a small footbridge over it makes for a great setting for portraits. Some of the portraits from this wedding were taken at Chippewa Creek here.

Twinsburg Square (Twinsburg): Twinsburg's historic center features a stage, monument, numerous trees, and several historic buildings nearby. 

Liberty Park* (Twinsburg): This large park is full of gorgeous fields of tall grass and wildflowers that just glow during the evening golden hour. Liberty Park features a small stone amphitheater, a flower garden, lush forest, and wooded footbridges and boardwalks. The park's namesake ledges are located a few minutes' hike away from the entrance. View a family session at Liberty Park here.

Downtown Kent (Kent): The city of Kent has lots of great options for portrait sessions: wooded parks, interesting murals and brickwork, picturesque pedestrian alleys, and a train station next to the river. View a senior session in downtown Kent here.

Green Leaf Park (Wadsworth): This small park in Wadsworth has lots of options for portrait sessions, including a picturesque pond, a log cabin, forest, and bleachers. View a senior session at Green Leaf Park here.

Wolf Creek Park (Wadsworth): This park features forested trails, bridges, and a lake, giving many options for portrait sessions.

Hudson Square (Hudson): Hudson's large central square is full of small paths and trees and it features a white gazebo and the town's iconic clock tower. Small boutique shops line the square, providing many options to explore during portrait sessions.

Indigo Lake Park (Cuyahoga Falls): Indigo Lake Park is a beautiful area and has lots of variety for portrait sessions, including a train station for the Cuyahoga Valley Railroad, grassy green hills, and of course its namesake lake. View a family session at Indigo Lake here.

Brandywine Falls (Peninsula): Brandywine Falls is the most well-known landmark in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. A short boardwalk leads through the woods to the impressive waterfall. Unfortunately photography is no longer permitted for weddings and large groups.

Medina Square (Medina): This gorgeous square features a large gazebo and lots of greenery, and it's surrounded by fun and unique shops and restaurants.

Carolyn Ludwig Mugrage Park (Medina): This small park is perfect for portraits! It features a small lake, dock, walking trails, and small bridges through the nearby forest.

Hale Farm* (Bath): Hale Farm is a living museum dating back to the 19th century and it is a historic property of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Hale Farm is a great place for portraits, as it is usually not very crowded and has many quaint and rustic buildings to explore, along with wooded trails and gorgeous fields of tall grass.

Lake Anna Park (Barberton): Lake Anna is a beautiful city park featuring a lake, gardens, and a white gazebo. In October, it hosts the annual Mums Fest and is full of beautiful flowers. View a wedding at which we did portraits at Lake Anna here.

University of Akron Campus (Akron): This college campus has a bit of everything, including gardens, interesting sculptures, and impressive arches. 

Stan Hywett Hall & Gardens* (Akron): This gorgeous location has an incredible amount of scenery, including various tudor buildings, reflecting ponds, gardens, terraces, a greenhouse, and more. Photography is not permitted inside Stan Hywet Hall itself. 

 

 

*An extra fee may apply. This may range from a small entrance fee to several hundred dollars depending on location.


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