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 want to stroll through beautiful gardens to show it. Maybe you love Columbus and want to showcase its downtown architecture. There are lots of great options for your portrait session around Columbus, and I'd like to provide some information on a few of my favorites below!
Inniswood Metro Gardens (Westerville): Inniswood is one of the most photogenic locations in all of Columbus, and has so much to offer for portrait sessions. The park features a rose garden, multiple trellises, a gazebo, forest, a "secret garden", several bridges, and ponds. It can get very crowded with photographers on weekends, but with good reason: it's truly a gorgeous location. View a senior session at Inniswood here.
Everal Barn (Westerville): Everal Barn is the perfect place to get a rustic feeling without leaving Columbus. It features a barn, historic house, lake, and several trails. Occasionally Everal Barn hosts events that will book up the park on Saturdays, but it tends to be free other days of the week. View a family session at Everal Barn here.
Glen Echo Park (Clintonville): Glen Echo is a relatively unheard of little park in Clintonville, and it is probably my favorite forested park in Columbus! Most people don't know of this gem of a location, which means we often have the place to ourselves when we go. Glen Echo features a tall wooden staircase into its ravine, a stone bridge, a mural of Ohio birds, and so much more. View a senior session at Glen Echo Park here.
Whetstone Park & Columbus Park of Roses (Clintonville): This park is aptly named for its magnificent rose gardens that bloom in the summertime. It also features several paths, trees, and structures, that make for lots of options for portrait sessions.
Antrim Park (Worthington): Antrim Park is a large park near Worthington with lots of options for portraits. A long trail wraps around Antrim Lake, which has a dock at its entrance. View a senior session at Antrim Lake here.
Columbus Zoo* (Dublin): If you are an animal lover, the Columbus Zoo is for you! Walk through the various animal exhibits and the central reflecting pond. The zoo is particularly beautiful just before the winter holidays during Wildlights.
Hayden Falls Park (Dublin): Hayden Falls is a beautiful park containing its namesake waterfall, along with meandering boardwalks, trails, and forests. It's a bit more walking than some locations, but is well worth it!
Highbanks Metro Park (Lewis Center) Highbanks Metro Park is known for its scenic woodland trails and and scenery on the banks of the Olentangy River. It also features gorgeous views, fields full of tall grass and wildflowers, and lots of variety in landscapes.
Jeffrey Park & Mansion (Bexley): Jeffrey Park is one of my favorite locations in Columbus, and it has so much to offer! This large park faces Jeffrey Mansion on one side and Alum Creek on the other, and features forests, small wooden bridges, a boardwalk, and lots of corners and crevices to explore adjacent to the mansion itself. View a senior session at Jeffrey Park here.
The Ohio State University Campus (Downtown): Want to showcase your buckeye pride? There is no place like the heart of it all, on the Ohio State campus. The Oval, South Oval, Stadium, and Mirror Lake all are great spots for pictures, and the Ohio Union makes for a great backup location in case of rain. View an engagement session on campus here.
North Bank Park (Downtown): North Bank Park offers fantastic views of the Columbus skyline and has some interesting architecture of its own as well. View an engagement session at North Bank Park here.
Goodale Park & Victorian Village (Downtown): Goodale Park features a white gazebo, pond, elephant fountain, and beautiful blossoming magnolia trees in the springtime. It's also easy to combine with Victorian Village and the Short North, since it's within easy walking distance of both. View a senior session done partially at Goodale Park here.
Schiller Park & German Village (Downtown): Located in the heart of German Village, Schiller Park has a lot to offer for portrait sessions. It features a stage, several paths, bridges, and beautiful blossoming trees in the springtime. What makes this park even better is its proximity to sites in German Village like The Book Loft (which does allow photography inside)! View an engagement session at Schiller Park here.
Bicentennial Park & The Scioto Mile (Downtown): Bicentennial Park features a fountain and a fantastic view of the Columbus skyline. Follow the Scioto Mile for some interesting spots along the Scioto River and downtown. View an engagement session done partially at Bicentennial Park here.
The Short North & Italian Village (Downtown): The Short North is such a fun and unique neighborhood, and what better place to do a portrait session? The Short North is full of interesting murals and architecture, and it's possible to even get a portrait there in the middle of High Street! Italian Village and Victorian Village are also close by, making for an easy combination. View an engagement session partially in the Short North here.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens* (Downtown): Franklin Park is a gorgeous location for portraits both inside and out. Outside, the botanical gardens are full of beautiful flowers and landscaping, and inside the conservatory are exotic plants, interesting architecture, and unique Chihuly glass exhibits.
Ohio Statehouse* (Downtown): The Ohio Statehouse is a beautiful building that can make a dramatic backdrop to all types of images. It contains large staircases, marble floors, and high ceilings. Outside, pictures on its steps and in the surrounding park are also options.
North Market (Downtown): North Market offers something a little different, but still quintessentially Columbus, for portrait sessions. Its many unique shops and stands provide interesting and interactive backdrops, and images can also be done on its second level with a great view down over the market scene. Note that North Market can be very crowded on weekends.
Columbus Hilton* (Downtown): The Columbus Hilton is a modern building that is only a few years old. It has beautiful contemporary interiors and a glass walkway to the Columbus Convention Center over High Street that makes for unique portraits. It's located close to the Short North, making for an easy combination of the two locations.
Scioto Audobon Park (Downtown): This once industrial area has been transformed into an urban park along the banks of the Scioto River. It features tall grass, several natural areas, and a rock wall.
The Columbus Metropolitan Library* (Downtown): The Columbus Metropolitan Library features impressive architecture, particularly in its lobby and entrance area. If you love reading, this is the place to do portraits!
Columbus Museum of Art* (Downtown): CMA features interesting architecture and a large interior atrium filled with soft diffused light, all in the heart of downtown Columbus.
Pickerington Ponds (Pickerington): Pickerington Ponds is a large park with many areas to explore, including ponds, fields and forests. Its tall grass makes for romantic and picturesque evening portrait sessions during the golden hour.
Slate Run Metro Park (Canal Winchester) Slate Run is a bit of a drive from central Columbus, but it is well worth it. This beautiful park features a pond with water lilies, fences, wooded areas, tall grass, and one of the prettiest covered bridges in Ohio.
Gahanna Creekside: This small park next to Olde Gahanna and Big Walnut Creek is a great place for portraits. It features a wooden boardwalk, paddleboats, trees, and charming storefronts close by.
Denison University Campus (Granville): Denison has a beautiful campus that is perfect for portrait sessions. It is full of interesting architecture, paths, and greenery, and it's easy to combine it with downtown Granville. View a family session at Denison University here.
Dawes Arboretum (Newark): Dawes is a bit of a drive from central Columbus, but it's a gem of a location. It contains trees, ponds, woodlands, a lake, a Japanese Garden, and a historic home and memorial, making it a great option for portrait sessions.
Lynd Fruit Farm* (Pataskala): Lynd Fruit Farm provides a rustic and unique area for portraits in the fall. It features rows of apple trees, several natural areas, and a countryside play area.
Homestead Park (Hilliard): Homestead Park is a great spot for portrait sessions and is very family friendly. It includes a covered bridge, a decorative train station, barn, and many pretty paths around its lake. View an engagement session at Homestead Park here.
Kingwood Center Gardens*: Kingwood Center Gardens is a beautiful estate filled with cultivated gardens and interesting architecture.
Indian Mill: This area features old mills, a variety of natural spaces, and a rustic charm.
Gorman Nature Center: This natural preserve features trails, woods, and many more natural areas.
Mohican State Park: Mohican State Park is full of rolling hills, picturesque rivers, and natural woodland, and there is lots of space to explore!
Richland Carousel Park*: Take pictures amongst the animals at this classic yet modern carousel in the heart of Mansfield.
* May have an extra fee