Best Places to Take Pictures around Washington, DC.

Washington, DC. The nation’s capital, seemingly packed to the brim with landmark institutions, events, and activity everywhere you look, visitors and locals alike will not fail to find more than enough to do here around the year. Between travelers composing an itinerary for a getaway and curious locals, there’s something for everyone here in Washington DC. Read on for some of our favorite places to take pictures here around the capital. 

National Mall

Of course, the premier attraction in all of the nation’s capital is this majestic and rich concentration of historic and important landmarks. This has remained the go-to way to announce and show to all your visit to the capital, and not without reason. Among these sites at the National Mall are the United States Capitol, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Museums, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial. With so many major sights of Washington and even more in proximity to the Mall, all visitors make sure to include this on your itineraries.

National Zoo

For a more lighthearted photoshoot, come stay a while at Smithsonian’s National Zoo, where visitors can catch selfies and cameos with some of Washington DC’s most eccentric personalities, the residents of the National Zoo! Here, visitors can take pictures with bison, elephants, otters, wallabies, sea lions, cheetahs, and most famous of all, the giant pandas! For a sure conversation starter suitable for travelers of all ages, bring your party to the National Zoo.

Library of Congress

One of the world’s largest libraries, the Library of Congress is truly a sight to behold, where visitors will become lost in it’s 171 million items, including some 25 million cataloged books, materials in over 450 languages, and historic copies of the Declaration of Independence! This is a great way for your party to explore and tour some of the most important texts and documents to the nation, as well as tour this truly unique facility.

US National Arboretum

If you’re looking for a lush, green, and verdant landscape in the dense city of Washington DC, fret not, because the US National Arboretum is here. For both casual and formal photoshoots, all photographers will delight in this slice of emerald quiet, a vacation from your vacation and a place to just unwind. 

Washington National Cathedral

This landmark building is striking in its opulent detail and lights, a great nighttime addition to any tours around the city, and another famous face we recommend visiting while in Washington.

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Best Places to Take Pictures around Times Square, NYC

Vibrant Times Square. This energetic and dynamic part of New York City with its shops, shows and lights showcase so much that New York City has to offer. Whether visitor or local resident, you don’t need to go too far from here to see and do it all. Read on for some of our favorite places to take pictures here around Times Square. 

Times Square

Of course, of all of the major tourist destinations here around New York, if you and your party will be here around Times Square, you can’t pass up the chance to make the many billboards and screens of this iconic location your backdrop. Nicknamed “the center of the universe” for it’s intense energy and dynamic nature, this is a great setting for the casual photo of every group of every size.


Mark your visit to one of the world’s most iconic venues for the performing arts, and take a picture of you here on Broadway! The various celebrated acts and theaters of Broadway are a great addition to your travel album here in New York City, especially during the many community events when the troupes and companies take to performing in the street! 

Madame Tussauds New York

Find all of your favorite celebrities right here in one place, at Madame Tussauds New York! This institution is renowned worldwide for its scarily life-like wax sculptures of different celebrities, the cast here at the New York location including Ed Sheeran, the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr., Priyanka Chopra and Lionel Messi among others! Take your pick of photos with your party and some of the world’s biggest celebrities right here in one go. 


The many eateries esteemed in the Times Square area is also of note for foodies and food photographers alike.This concentration of restaurants is a great way to enjoy the celebrated atmosphere, mouthwatering dishes, and fuel your party while enjoying your stay in New York. Of note are Sake Bar Hagi, a cool, underground Japanese Izakaya boasting shumai, gyoza and karaage, the Russian Vodka Room, with hearty fare such as bliniys, pirozhki and caviar, or the esteemed Toloache.

Bryant Park This location is also home of the New York Public Library’s flagship institution, and a great destination for groups large and small who want more casual photos. Here, your party can unwind and enjoy the company of Bryant Park, one of the city’s most popular gathering spots. The library and its interior provides backdrops in a more elegant, yet reserved setting.

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Best Places to Take Pictures around Seattle, WA

Seattle. This verdant corner of the nation boasts pleasant temperatures, majestic peaks, evergreen forests all in a dynamic and independent city, and with more than plenty to do. Whether you’ve made this your getaway, are returning to see friends and family or are a curious local, you’ll be pleased at the variety of options when it comes to what Seattle has to offer. Read on for some of our favorite festivals and places to take pictures here around Seattle.

Pike Place Market

Indeed, one of Seattle’s most famed attractions makes yet another appearance, this bustling corner of the city with so much to see and happening! Your party will enjoy the photo opportunities galore, whether with your wacky find among the many unique and peculiar small vendors, a foodie’s heaven in one of the eateries, photographing some of the activities and shows that regularly take place here, or of the many views of the city. Not to mention, the market itself being an exceptional, dynamic and picturesque backdrop to your photo, a great and fun way to experience so much of what Washington has to offer, and mark your visit.

Seattle Space Needle

For views over Seattle and a stunning backdrop of the city from 600 feet above sea level, bring your party to the Seattle Space Needle! This is a great stop for cityscape photographers, those wanting a jaw-dropping background to their photos, and all visitors who want to get a truly great view over the city.

University of Washington

If visiting during early spring, we highly recommend your party to take a trip to the University of Washington, when the many cherry blossoms are in full bloom! This is one of Seattle’s most beautiful sights, and is both a remarkable subject on its own and a great backdrop for your photoshoot, whether for couple, family, groups or solo pictures alike. Not to mention, if visiting outside the early spring, the campus itself features a large number of grand buildings suitable for solo shoots and large groups, a very picturesque campus in proximity to many other attractions and dining / nightlife options in this part of Seattle.

Washington Park Arboretum

This sprawling urban park features wooded areas and colorful walkways, a getaway from the city in the city, and a great place for photographers of all interests to undergo their projects with a gorgeous collection of backdrops. 

Seattle Central Library

This landmark of Seattle features stunning views inside and around the building, and is again, a worthy subject of its own as it is a backdrop for a number of photoshoots. Photographers can get creative here with the ample amount of lighting and striking architecture around the library, featuring wide open spaces and narrow bookshelves alike.

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Best Places to Take Pictures around San Francisco, CA

San Francisco. This city needs no introduction, across storied and unique neighborhoods, charming corners, cool weather and the center of the Bay Area, it comes as no surprise that there is always something happening here. Whether you’ve made San Francisco your travel destination, visiting friends and family or a local who’s curious to see what’s around home, read on for some of our favorite places to take pictures of your trip, and get ready to explore!

Golden Gate Park

One of the city’s biggest centers of community and gathering also features a wide variety of activities and backdrops, from wide fields to wooded and lush footpaths, and the famed Japanese Tea Garden, the Golden Gate Park is as good of a place for your party to meet up while in San Francisco as it is a photoshoot destination. 

The Palace of Fine Arts

Another one of San Francisco’s most famed attractions is The Palace of Fine Arts, a truly picturesque stop while you’re in town, a breathtaking relic of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. This spectacle of Beaux-Arts architecture is as much of a fine subject from afar as it is a grand backdrop up close.


The Ferry Building in itself is a vibrant and dynamic way to mark your journey to San Francisco, with its bustling interior and views out over the Bay. However, there is the lesser known side to this building, and of all the attractions here in San Francisco, the regular open-air market and eateries! These delicious bites you can find here are a great stop for any foodies and food photographers, as well as a satisfying way for your party to fuel up during your adventures.

Musee Mecanique

This collection of antique arcade machines is another snazzy attraction of San Francisco filled with character, and a truly unique photo opportunity featuring nickel shows and machines from seemingly every decade. This is a great way to entertain the family/group while also taking pictures at this one-of-a-kind location.

Mission Dolores Park

Mission Dolores and it’s wide spaces have remained a popular gathering point for San Franciscans for generations, and is also quite suitable as a group photo setting. Aside from the park itself, the neighborhoods surrounding it are a fun corner to explore here around San Francisco, with activities regularly taking place here in this part of the city.

Baker Beach

This iconic beach is a great place to get views of the Pacific at sundown or sunset, as well as providing for beautiful oceanside photos. This is suitable for formal and casual shoots, with the beach less packed away from the peak hours.

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Best Places to Take Pictures around Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City. Nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of Utah, between mountains, saline waters, forests, and flats and a dynamic community, Salt Lake City is on the come-up with more to offer each year! Whether you’re a visitor, returning to see friends and family or a curious local, you’ll be delighted to know there is a great variety of activities to do here around the year. Read on for some of our favorite places to take pictures here around in Salt Lake City, and get ready to explore!

Temple Square

Amid striking, intricate and grand works of architecture and it’s immaculately curated gardens and footpaths, this is a great way for your party to mark their visit to Utah with a number of beautiful backdrops. While visits into some of the buildings are not permitted, visitors can get close to many of the establishments and enter plenty others. This is a great destination for groups, families, solo adventurers and cityscape photographers alike with the selection here at Temple Square.

Tibble Fork Reservoir

Tibble Fork Reservoir is one of the many jaw-dropping areas of Utah’s nature here near Salt Lake City, featuring dense, tall forests, clear waters and massive mountains. This is one of the numerous solid options for outdoors activities and recreation here around Salt Lake City, as it is a setting for your party’s photos here in Utah, or as a subject for nature photography. 

Neffs Canyon

This is another one of the absolutely stunning views around Salt Lake City, providing for amazing photoshoots among it’s colorful footpaths and tall grasses. This variety in settings from forests to mountain peaks to flowing grasslands is yet another way Utah boasts its natural beauty.

Great Salt Lake

Of course, of all of the breathtaking views of Utah’s outdoors, this Great Salt Lake is one sight to behold, whether through a camera lens or just to see in itself. The numerous unique formations on the shoreline, rocks, salts and colors of the Great Salt Lake are remarkable additions to any albums or as an otherworldly backdrop.

Salt Flats

On a related note, that takes us to the Salt Flats, one of the most alien landscapes visitors will find in the lower 48, wide flat, blinding whites reminiscent of the Antarctic, and a sight to behold for all who come to Utah. The wide open spaces and unique setting make for a great background to solo and couples shoots, casual and formal alike.

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Best Places to Take Pictures around Sacramento, CA

Sacramento. This proud hub of Northern California quietly boasts ample outdoor activities, charming and independent neighborhoods and a creative melting pot with so much to do year round. Whether you’re a visiting tourist, returning to see friends and family or a curious local, if you’re in Sacramento, read on for some of our favorite spots to take pictures in the area, and get ready to explore!

Park Winters

This Northern California getaway features a variety of gardens, wooded areas, wide fields, views of mountains, rural surroundings, a picturesque pool, and last but not least, the grand Park Winter’s estate. This is more suited to larger groups and more formal projects, hosting large events and gatherings such as weddings. This is one of the Sacramento area’s more majestic faces, and is a thirty minute drive from Sacramento, not too far from the bustle of the city but far enough to offer the peace of the countryside.

Sacramento Zoo

For a more lively and casual attraction, bring your party to the Sacramento Zoo! This is a great opportunity to snap a true conversation starter with some of Northern California’s most eccentric personalities, among capybaras, chimpanzees, orangutans, cheetahs, lions, giraffes, kangaroos and more! Aside from the bountiful selfies, cameos, and solo shoots you can find here, the many festive footpaths around the zoo also make for great stops for large groups and family photos.

Capital Gardens

While the grand front face of the state capital is a noteworthy subject in itself, a lesser known secret of Sacramento are the number of gardens neighboring the capital building, including colorful and stunning showcases of local flora, rose gardens, and commemorative gardens. 

William Land Park

The William Land Park is a great “anytown, U.S.A.” attraction for visitors wanting a casual photoshoot. Great for families and couples, offering plenty of options among its different corners, including lakes, forested areas and gardens, which are great for postcard photos and spacious photoshoots.

University of California, Davis Arboretum

Another one of Sacramento’s better kept secrets is the University of California, Davis campus’s Arboretum, a great getaway from your getaway featuring a number of colorful flowerbeds, forests, and gardens of native and exotic flora. This is a great setting for photography projects of every type, and most famously, featuring a Redwood Grove! This is a solid option to tour some of California and the nation’s most celebrated landscapes in your photo album, all in one place!

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Best Places to Take Pictures around Raleigh, NC

Raleigh. At this corner of the research triangle, there’s more than meets the eye, the region quietly marching forward in academics, sport, medicine, the arts, and in growth. Whether tourist, returnee or local, if you’ve chosen the Raleigh area as your destination, you won’t be disappointed. Read on for some of our favorite places to take pictures in the area and get ready to see Raleigh like never before

Nash Square

For a slice of America and that hometown feel, come to Nash Square Park here in the heart of downtown Raleigh, where wooded walkways and wide open green space are your canvas! This beloved location is suitable for casual photoshoots of all groups, especially for those families visiting the area that are looking for locations to add to the annual postcard.

City Market Raleigh

For a vibrant, dynamic and festive backdrop for your photos, bring the party to City Market, one of Raleigh’s most energetic venues! This is a charming collection of open-air entertainment, small businesses and lights that is a delightful visit day and night. For those small parties looking for a variety of things to see and do as well as a variety of things to photograph, this lively corner of Raleigh won’t disappoint.

Raleigh Rose Garden

Tour the Raleigh Rose Garden with your party and enjoy colorful and verdant backdrops for your photography project, featuring ornate lily ponds, rustic footpaths, and last but not least, a striking variety of roses in every color! This is a favored local destination for formal and casual photoshoots alike, great for couples, weddings, reunions, and family photos.

JC Raulston Arboretum

Another stunning collection of flora and plant life here in the Raleigh area is the JC Raulston Arboretum, a showcase of the many colors and shapes of nature both local and exotic. This, like the Raleigh Rose Garden, also lends itself to both formal and casual photoshoots, and especially so for any visiting couples who want a truly romantic setting for their pictures.

Dorothea Dix Park

This is one of Raleigh’s most esteemed meeting spots, Dorothea Dix Park! Named after the famed medical activist, Dorothea Dix Park continues to wow and serve the Raleigh community with its bountiful green space and the ever-famous Daffodil Fields! These Daffodil Fields offer a captivating background for any photography project, as well as serving as a worthy subject for their own photos. The accompanying Sunflower Fields are also of interest, for those guests who really want to be immersed in the colors of summer.

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Best Places to Take Pictures around Queens, NY

Queens. This bustling and dynamic borough of New York is pound-for-pound one of the most vibrant parts of the tri-state area for those who see it for its true character. Whether you may be a tourist drafting a travel itinerary, a returnee visiting friends and family or an adventurous local, all will find that there is so much to be discovered here in Queens. Read on for some of our favorite places to take pictures here around Queens, and get ready to start exploring. 

Flushings Chinatown

One of the nation’s most historic and iconic Chinatowns can be found right here in Flushings, Queens. This is a vibrant, dynamic and unique backdrop for photos of your visit to Queens, and is great for groups and solo pictures. The raging food scene of mouthwatering Chinese cuisines is also of note for foodies and food photographers staying in Queens.

Queens Botanical Garden

For those visitors looking for a gorgeous natural backdrop of trees, flowers and vines of myriad colors and shapes, look no further than the Queens Botanical Garden. The variety of colors, footpaths and settings here at the Queens Botanical Garden makes this a great setting for a number of different photography projects casual and formal alike. Whether looking for a lush setting for your family photo, a romantic couple’s shoot or a noteworthy solo project, Queens Botanical Garden has so much to offer.

Rockaway Beach

For those wanting a beach setting for their photos but can’t leave Queens, look no further than Rockaway Beach, Queens’s own slice of the sea by the Atlantic. This is a great backdrop to visit for those projects wanting to make the most of natural lighting, particularly at midday, sundown or sunrise.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

This is one of Queens’s most celebrated and famed meeting spots, featuring the iconic Unisphere! This is a great addition to any travel itineraries in itself as a tour of various happenings around Queens, as well as a collection of unique and varied backdrops for your photos. The proximity to other Queens landmarks such as Citi Field and the New York Hall of Science also make this an accessible addition to any travel plans here in this corner of New York.

Queens Zoo

For a more lighthearted experience, come take a selfie and catch the rare cameo with some of Queens’s most eccentric personalities, including the bison, bald eagle, sea lion, puma and the highland cattle. This is a great way to meet some of the nation’s most iconic species as well as add a conversation starter to your travel album!

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Best Places to Take Pictures around Portland, OR

Portland. This charming northwestern city punches well above its weight, boasting beautiful and varied scenery, famously independent and unique neighborhoods and innovation all in a city that’s yet to break 4 million. If you’ve chosen Portland as your destination, you won’t be disappointed, with so much happening here year round. Read on for some of our favorite places to take pictures here around Rose City.

International Rose Test Garden

In honor of the city’s famed moniker, the International Rose Test Garden is the first entry to our list, a gorgeous collection of over ten thousand rose bushes of over 650 varieties! This is a great backdrop for your photoshoot, with the plentiful flowers and footpaths. We recommend visiting in late spring/summer for the most amount of blooming roses.

Portland Japanese Garden

Neighboring the International Rose Test Garden is the Portland Japanese Garden, a lush, emerald getaway much in the style of Japanese garden heritage, featuring multiple buildings in the Japanese style, a sand and stone garden, a tea garden, bridges, pagodas, streams, falls, and even a cultural village! This is a great experience for the whole party to tour this corner of Portland, and make the most of this variety of backdrops.

Forest Park

Here, deeper into the wilderness of Oregon, nature photographers and visitors of all groups and interests will delight in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Here, there are over eighty miles of trails and forest roads, this is a great way to immerse yourself in Oregon’s nature without getting too far from Portland itself. All while surrounded by the elusive cameo by native wildlife and wallpaper-worthy scenes the whole way.

Pittock Mansion

This venue offers itself to both the casual and the formal photoshoot for all sizes, (although the larger party would prefer to book the venue in its entirety) This historic mansion features an intricate and celebrated interior and exterior, as well as views of Portland and the surrounding forests. For those who do not have such a lengthy itinerary and just want to do a visiting tour with photos, this is also available regularly by appointment. 

Keller Fountain Park

This corner of Portland features a stunning view, these square and challenging falls will be a true conversation starter to any album or social media post. The scope of the falls has made them a favored gathering point of generations of Portland residents, and the length of this installation means that both solo close-ups and large group photos are accommodated.

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Best Places to Take Pictures around Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix. Between the Sonoran Desert, low mountain ranges and rapid growth, this southwestern city only gets more exciting with every year. Between an increasingly young and diverse population and breathtaking landscapes, there’s something for everyone here in the Valley of the Sun. So whether you’re a visiting tourist, returning to see friends and family or a curious local, read on for our favorite places to take photos and capture the highlights of your trip around Phoenix, and get ready to explore!

Dobbins Lookout

Enjoy the view over Phoenix and Arizona here at this iconic attraction, a striking observation point of a number of stone shaded lookouts providing views in all directions. This is great for landscape and nature photographers, as well as suitable for families and solo projects alike, showing to all in great fashion that in fact, you were here in Arizona! 

Papago Park and the Desert Botanical Garden

We’ve put these two together due to their proximity, Papago Park is another of these lookouts over Phoenix celebrating the natural beauty of Arizona, while also making for a great viewpoint and project on its own. The Desert Botanical Garden is a further celebration of the natural beauty of this state, showcasing its native variety of flora in a colorful and lush backdrop sure to make the most of any photography project.

Diving Lady Sign at the Starlite Motel

This celebrated sight of Americana is a great postcard addition to your visit to Phoenix, a stunning view in the Arizona night and a worthwhile companion to the local palms. This is a great backdrop or a subject in itself, and is a great introduction to this side of the Phoenix Metro’s heritage.

Phoenix Zoo

Take a picture with some of Phoenix’s most eccentric personalities, the animals of the Phoenix Zoo! Here visitors can catch a conversation-starting selfie with giraffes, lions, cheetahs, baboons, rhinos, zebras, elephants, tigers and Komodo dragons among others. There is also the elusive cameo from the dozens of other species resident here, and a number of immersive footpaths and gardens that make for even more great photo opportunities! For your party, make your day at the Phoenix Zoo for a day of attractions, sights, memories and photos galore.

Japanese Friendship Garden

Find your zen and unwind here in this verdant and peaceful corner of Phoenix, the Japanese Friendship Garden! Among footpaths, streams, ponds, gardens and a tea house, this is a great shoot for casual purposes, especially for solo projects and couples.

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