Circle C Metropolitan Park

Circle C Metropolitan Park

For the past month I’ve been scouting locations for photo shoots in order to get more familiar with Austin and to find some places that are free to shoot professional photos.  There are several locations that require a photo session fee.  I thought It would be nice to try and find some places, such as local parks, which do not require a fee to shoot portraits.  I’m also open to suggestions.  I will be writing a series of blog posts on this topic since there are so many outdoor locations and it seems this will be an ongoing activity for me.  Below are some places that I’ve found so far which I feel would work great for portraits and do not charge photo fees.

Currently bluebonnets are everywhere and Circle C Ranch Metropolitan Park has quite a bit.  So I took my favorite model with me to this location.  Not only are there lots of wildflowers in the spring here, but lots of lovely trees all year round, which can be a great backdrop.  There’s also quite a bit of open spaces that make capturing people quite easy.  So far there seems to be a lot of space to shoot that is not congested with people.

McKinney Falls State Park

Speaking of congestion, I would assume a large park might be saturated with people.  Possibly because there are so many trails, it’s easy to spread them out.  When I went to visit McKinney Park, it was a weekend.  While there were lots of people, there were lots of areas that are open and would work well for capturing people.  Not to mention there is quite a variety of landscapes.  I went this spring, so there was a section with fields of wildflowers.  In addition, there are both falls and some grassy trails with lots of trees.  This could all make for an interesting background if shot at the right time of day.  I imagine it could get quite busy around sunset though.  Maybe a weeknight would work better.

Bee Cave Sculpture Park

In the city of Bee Cave, there is a little park set off the 71 near the Galleria that not only has great sculptures, but is landscaped with a path, a few bridges, some rocks, and is aligned with many trees.  This beautiful little park is really a great setting for photography.  It offers some shady areas, due to all the trees, which provides an option to get out of the sun if it is too harsh.  This can be helpful even when the sun is starting to go down and is still pretty bright.  Even at those times, it can be hard not to squint.  The city of Bee Cave is about 12 miles west of Austin.  I’m looking forward to shooting at this spot in the near future!

Mueller Lake Park

About a month ago I was invited to watch a few of my friends from Portland, Oregon perform at the Farmers Market at Mueller Lake Park.  I was impressed by the beautiful landscape of the park!  The thing I really like about this park is that there is a big pretty lake, along with surrounding trees and lush green grass.  I would love to have a photo shoot here, as I believe it’s spread out enough that you can get away from some of the crowds, while still having some nice scenic backdrops.  Again, I haven’t visited this place enough to know the peak time for visitors, but I do know that I was there at sunset on a weeknight and it was very beautiful!  I will be visiting again very soon!

Grassy area next to the Giant Spider Sculpture

About 5 minutes from Mueller Lake Park is a giant spider sculpture.  It’s pretty cool, but what I like about this place for photography are the nice trees next to an open field.  There is also a spot, that I think if framed correctly, has a distant cityscape in the background.  It’s pretty far in the distance, but I’m sure it would look nice.  This is something I may have to test out when I already have a confirmed session at Mueller Park, since it’s about 5 minutes away.

Well that’s all that I have for this post, stay tuned for part 2.