How to Find Places to Photograph Near You
If you enjoy landscape photography, you’re probably always on the lookout for fresh places to photograph. While there is no shortage of great options for photography trips, finding the best spots in your local area can be more challenging. Hey it’s Rachel with Rachel Z Photography, your San Francisco, California photography guide.
Local photography spots are obviously easier and cheaper to reach, plus you can photograph them more often. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to travel far and wide to produce a great landscape photography portfolio, but knowing the best locations near you can be a big key.
When I first became interested in landscape photography, I thought there weren’t very many noteworthy locations near my home. But as I’ve put more effort into finding new locations, I’ve come across so many more than I ever expected.
The photo-sharing website Flickr is an excellent resource for finding places to photograph, and you can do it in a few different ways.
First, search by using the name of your state, region, county, or city/town. Browse through the photos and click on any that catches your attention. Most Flickr users will mention the specific location either in the photo’s name, the description, or the tags. Some will even use GPS data to show the exact location.
Second, once you’ve found an excellent photographer that has photos of places in your local area, browse through his/her photos and see what other locations you can find.
Searching and browsing Flickr to find locations can take some time, but it can also be a great way to find new locations. Many of the locations that I’ve found have been found through Flickr.
Forums can also be a great resource. It could be a photography forum, hikers’ forum, or a forum that is specifically for your local area. Many people will turn to forums to discuss beautiful locations, and you may find existing threads where other people are discussing the best views or best places to photograph.
And if you can’t find existing threads in the discussion, you can always start the discussion by creating a new thread and asking for suggestions about places to photograph in your area.
List of State Parks
Wikipedia has a list of state parks for every state. You’re probably already aware of the state parks that are closest to you, but there may be others you don’t know about that are accessible within reach of a short drive.
Search Google to find a website with details on the parks in your county. These parks will not be as well-known as state parks, but they can be great places to explore and photograph. County parks are sometimes hidden gems.
Talk to Other Photographers
Lastly, you can and should talk to other photographers in your area, especially those who focus on landscape and nature photography. Other photographers can be a wealth of information. As you’re out photographing, you’ll probably come across other photographers.
Strike up a conversation and you never know what it might lead to. Ask other photographers about their favorite places in the area or any hidden gems that don’t get enough attention. And, of course, be ready to share some of your favorite spots as well.
About Rachel Z Photography
I’m a 29-year-old San Francisco-based photographer, activist, tattoo enthusiast, and guardian of 2 lovely rescued birds. I adore doing portrait photography for others, whether that’s indoors or outdoors, covered in flowers and nature or covered in fake blood. My goal with my photography is to empower you by taking the essence of who you are and turning it into works of art. I want to hear what YOUR ideas are and help make them into a reality. I want you to feel powerful. I want you to feel beautiful. I want you to feel confident, because we all deserve that.