Part of the fun of planning your portrait session is selecting a location! Below is a list of some of the most popular and unique spaces for portraits in the Columbus area.
If you want a "city" feel I recommend:
Bicentennial Park & the Scioto Mile - Downtown
There's some really neat vantage points to catch the skyline, plus you can also enjoy the neat architecture of the Main Street bridge there and still have some trees in your images. Bicentennial Park also has a beautiful fountain that runs from April-October. The park has public restrooms if you wanted to have a second outfit. The back side of COSI that faces the Scioto River (Genoa Park) is also a beautiful area to catch the skyline and is only a short walk.
See Bicentennial Park & the bridge:
You can see some of the views from the bridge and COSI side of the river here: http://www.mpproofs.com/blog/2013/11/amber-danny-wedding-cosi-columbus-ohio
Arena District & Short North
Another wonderful area for portraits is the Arena District and Short North. You have some really cool views of the city's architecture and definitely have that city feel, but it's difficult to get a nice skyline photo in this area. There are some neat brick alleyways near the Convention Center and lots of beautiful brick architecture. Goodale Park is also nearby if you wanted some photos in a park setting as well. (See outdoor feel recommendations).
One of my favorite parts of this section of town is that you can easily visit the glass bridge in the Hilton Hotel. It makes for some wonderful, and very unique images! If you'd like to visit the Hilton, 2 weeks advance permission is needed from the hotel. (I can handle this for you!)
Ohio State University Campus - Columbus
Show your Buckeye Pride - a popular location for former OSU Alum and Buckeye Fans alike! There are so many wonderful places for photographs on campus. Please note, for photographs inside the Union or the Library, advance permission is needed from the University and may be dependent on the University academic calendar.
If you want a unique garden or outdoor feel:
Whetstone Park & Columbus Park of Roses- Clintonville, Ohio
Whetstone Park & Columbus Park of Roses in Clintonville is one of my favorite places. The roses gardens are just beautiful and Whetstone Park also offers a lot of trees and paths for photographs. There's even a couple of neat gazebo like structures that give it a romantic feel. The roses are in full bloom during the summer, they even have a rose festival in early June every year. Dogs are permitted on a leash.
The park hosts a lot of weddings, so if you're interested in going on a weekend in the spring through fall, I highly recommend going earlier in the day to have an easier time walking through the park without disturbing any ceremonies.
Here's a blog post of one of my favorite portrait sessions I had at the park: http://www.mpproofs.com/blog/2013/7/ely-family-portraits-park-of-roses-clintonville-ohio.
Goodale Park - Columbus, Ohio
Goodale Park is located in the heart of the Short North near downtown Columbus. The park has a beautiful pond with an elephant themed fountain, a brick gazebo, and lots of trees. The park is dog friendly, with dogs permitted on a leash. It's beautiful any time of the year, but is especially pretty in the spring and fall.
Schiller Park - German Village, Columbus, Ohio
Schiller Park is tucked in to the historic German Village! It's by far one of my favorite locations south of downtown. Not only does it boast the quaint atmosphere that German Village is known for, but it's gardens are impeccably kept and the pond, bridge, and stage are breathtaking and make you feel like you're somewhere else.
German Village's brick streets and architecture surround the park and are also great for photographs. The park is dog friendly, but dogs must be kept on a leash.
Jeffrey Mansion – Bexley, Ohio
The Jeffrey Mansion is one of the best kept secrets on the East side and by far one of my favorite locations to take photos. It has a very vintage and elegant feel. Not only do you have the beautiful architecture and grounds around the mansion, but the property bumps into Jeffrey Park which has some neat walking paths that take you by Alum Creek. You get the perfect mix of nature and classic architecture. Dogs are not permitted at the park.
Inniswood Metro Gardens - Westerville, Ohio
Inniswood offers is a large variety of gardens/backdrops for us to choose from, plus you also have a wooded area too and a really neat bridge! They're excellent about changing up the flowers throughout the seasons, so no two portrait sessions there look alike! There's also a mini farm with a small barn, a wooden fence, and my favorite, a "secret" garden. Dogs are not permitted at this park.
Inniswood Metro Gardens is definitely the most popular location for portraits in Columbus. Because it is so popular with other photographers, I strongly recommend visiting Inniswood on a weekday, not a weekend as it's hard to avoid other people in your photographs.
If you want a more rustic feel:
The Everal Barn -Westerville
The Everal Barn is wonderful if you're looking for a country feel in your images, but don't want to head too far out of town. It is just a couple miles from Polaris Mall and has a huge white barn, old farm house, and farm out buildings. There's even a small pond and a wooded area that is great for a outdoorsy feel in your images.
Dogs are permitted on a leash.
I love this location so much, that I even took my own wedding portraits here in spring 2016!
Please note, the Everal Barn hosts a lot of events on the weekends and renters have the ability to rent the entire park. Because of this, I highly recommend having a session on a weekday at this location.
Homestead Park – Hilliard
One park that is great is Homestead Park in Hilliard. They have many structures on the property there including a large white "Ohio Bicentennial" Barn, a train caboose, a fake train station, covered bridge, and a small pond. There is also a grassy area that's very pretty and has a country feel. There are so many options, it's truly a one stop shop for a variety in your photographs.
Dogs are permitted on a leash.
Highbanks Metro Park - Lewis Center
Highbanks Metro Park is another gem on the North side of Columbus. Known for it's walking paths through the woods and scenic views of the river, it also has some gorgeous canopy views from it's large deck that seems to float in the treetops and fields of wildflowers and grasses. It's a large park with the areas at the front of the park, totally different from those closer to the river.
The park is dog friendly in certain areas and pathways, but pets must be on a leash.
Rustic Locations A little further out, but worth the drive:
Slate Run Metro Park - Canal Winchester
It's a short drive, but is well worth it! Some of the things that I love about the park are that it has a gorgeous pond with lily pads (and platforms overlooking the pond), wooded areas and wood fences, tall grasses and wild flowers, and a covered bridge! It's one of the prettiest covered bridges in the Columbus area.
Dogs are permitted on a leash.
Dawes Arboretum - Newark
Dawes is only about 30 miles away, and is a very pretty location. There are lots of trees, ponds, a Japanese Garden, woodlands, a small lake and a historic home and memorial that are great for photos. It's definitely got a great outdoorsy feel for photos. They do quite a bit of grounds keeping here to make sure that it's in top shape for their wedding events. Dogs are permitted on a leash.
The Statehouse - Columbus - Permit Needed
A Columbus favorite for corporate head shots, wedding parties, and portraits, the State House is a fabulous location and is conveniently in downtown Columbus. In order to take photos there (indoors or outdoors) a photography permit must be purchased and approved at least 2 weeks before your desired session date. (We can handle the permit process for you!)
The Columbus Metropolitan Library - Main Branch - Permission Needed
The Columbus Metropolitan Library is know for it's beautiful marble staircase when you enter the main entrance. Since the library is very busy and open to the public and space is limited for photographs, I recommend only taking couples or very small families. Advance permission is needed for portrait sessions.
Need more indoor options? Other indoor location options are available - talk to us about your needs so we can find a location perfect for your session!
If you're looking for fresh portraits of yourself or your loved ones, please contact us today to schedule a phone consultation to see if we're a good fit. You can call us directly at 614.301.8579 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.