One of the best things the Twin cities has to offer is its variety. I have had so many questions on what my favorite location is for a session. I have compiled a list of the best photo locations near the twin cities for you to refer back to! Each with visuals behind it!
Urban Photo Locations:
Rice Park (St Paul)
Rice park has some historic Twin cities landmarks like the landmark center, James J. Hill Library and the Ordway Theater. I love the James J. Hill Library for a neutral backdrop that looks expensive and historic. Since it is a park, it has plenty of green space and an added bonus is a gorgeous fountain! One draw back with this location is that it can be very busy with people, especially if there is a showing going on at the Ordway Theater! In this case, a sunrise session is your best bet! Check out this blog at Rice Park!
If you are looking for a romantic photo location in the winter, Rice Park has beautiful Christmas lights around the holidays!
Saint Anthony Main (Minneapolis)
This place is a hip and favorited place of many clients of mine. Saint Anthony Main is the most popular photo location in Minneapolis. On a warm summer evening, this place can be swarming with photographers! There is a good reason for this as Saint Anthony Main offers unique and colorful surroundings and brick streets. It is also home to the most popular photo location: “The Rock.” Here you can capture an amazing view of the water the beautiful Minneapolis skyline. There are also many restaurants along the strip with cute outdoor seating and many beautiful doors (Have I ever mentioned how much I love unique doors?!) Check out this blog at Saint Antony Main! There are sure to be many places that fit the bill for a perfect backdrop! The only draw back is finding a close parking spot, so be sure to come early!
Mill Ruins Park (Minneapolis)
Just right across the river from St Anthony Main, you can also find a very unique place called Mill Ruins Park! Seated nearby, is the Stone Arch Bride and the Guthrie Theater. Both have a very filmy neutral vibe! This place has TONS of architecture, stone, metal, and pops of beautiful greenery. Nearby, you have a gorgeous Minneapolis city life with unique lamp lights, doors/windows and a concrete patio-like area for creating depth in your images.
Nature Photo Locations:
Lake Elmo Park Reserve
A favorite close to home: Lake Elmo Park Reserve. I love this park because it looks so different all year round with the plants changing colors and textures. You can find a little bit of glistening waters, tall grasses, trails, and all around dreamy nature setting. With acres upon acres of land, there is always a some place to find in here that fits your vision. For more images here, check out this maternity session!
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
Another one of my clients favorite locations (mine as well!) as there is so much variety here at the Como Zoo and Conservatory. It is unique because it includes a zoo, a these park and conservatory all in one! The white and glass architecture at the conservatory is more of the desired photo location You can also shoot inside the conservatory but you need to reserve your spot ahead of time and is limited to only 30 minutes! Inside is lush greens and flowers and is well worth the trouble of getting the permit! The main pavilion is a beautiful spot to shoot as as well with the unique architecture and nearby park.
Here is a beautiful beach if we can catch a time when it is not busy! I shot here one time in November. it was beautiful and we had the whole beach to ourselves! The wonderful thing about this beach is the sunset was located behind us, over the trees. It has a very irregular shaped beach which gives the eye something unique to hold onto. It IS quite a walk to the middle of the river where the “island” is, but we can also snag some awesome photos along the bridge as we walk to the island.
Street Car Station
Lake Mckusick Bridge of Stillwater
Centennial Lakes Park
St Croix Boom Site (Stillwater)
Other places to consider- North Loop, Lebanon Hills, Mears Park (St Paul)
If you are choosing two locations, they need to be within 10 minutes of driving distance of one another. Good Sites within 10 minutes of eachother include:
St Croix Boom Site and downtown Stillwater
St Croix Boom Site and Pioneer Park
Downtown Stillwater and Pioneer Park
Downtown Stillwater and Mckusick Bridge of Stillwater
Downtown Stillwater and the Fields of Bayport