I am happy to call Columbus, Ohio home and I've found a few locations around town that make me jump for joy when my photography clients want to have their portraits taken there. Most are near the heart of the city, but a few are just a little further out in neighboring towns. My top 5 portrait locations in Columbus Ohio are below (with photo references of course) followed by some honorable mentions that I couldn't quite leave off the list.
Quick View of Top 5:
FRANKLIN PARK COMMUNITY GARDENS
This hidden gem of a garden is located at the southeast corner of the grounds of Franklin Park (which is also home to the Franklin Park Conservatory). Although gorgeous at all times throughout the year, the majority of flowers are in bloom early summer through early fall. The Community garden area can occasionally be closed down at times for wedding parties, but choosing a weeknight or weekend morning is usually no trouble at all. There are other scenic spots within Franklin Park itself, should the community gardens area be closed during our session time. My favorite parts- the wooden structures and all the flowers!
Jeffrey Mansion is located within Jeffrey Park and offers beautiful brick and stone backdrops paired with close access to greenery and blooms. My favorite parts- the textures of the building and the stairs in front and back!
INNISWOOD METRO GARDENS
Inniswood Metro Gardens has seemingly endless options for photo backdrops. Wooded walkways, a variety of gardens (including a rock garden with waterfall, herb garden with gazebo, rose garden, and more), small bridges, and more make this park so versatile. This is a fantastic location option for portrait sessions year round. Keep in mind, this is also a very popular park (especially for people having pictures taken). During peak photo seasons for Ohio (spring and fall), when there's nice weather, you can expect a packed parking lot. Be sure to give yourself extra time for travel in case the rangers have the gates closed while they wait for cars to leave! My favorite part- so many options for a variety of backdrops within 1 park and beautiful florals.
PARK OF ROSES
Park of roses is a location that shows its true beauty during peak bloom time for roses: late spring to early fall. There are sections upon sections of roses (and other flowers too!), some neat wooden structures, a beautiful water fountain, and even an iron lookout point with winding staircase. My favorite part: hands-down the flowers!
HOMESTEAD METRO PARK
Homestead Metro Park holds a near and dear place to my heart-- It's where Paul (my husband) proposed to me! I grew up coming to this park occasionally to play, then it turned into a frequent photo spot for me when I first started my business. Paul knew it was the perfect spot to have our friends schedule a "photo session" so he could come along without question. When our friends were "running late" to the session, he casually dropped to a knee and popped the question and had my sister there to photograph the whole thing! (Maybe I should do a separate post on our proposal?!). Once our daughter Nora came along, we eventually had some family portraits taken here as well. With a covered bridge, open fields, a field of wildflowers with a walking path in the middle, white barn structures, and lots of greenery, you can't go wrong choosing this as your photo location! This is a great spot for spring, summer, and fall portraits. My favorite parts- the covered bridge area and the wildflower section at sunset!
I absolutely love the gorgeous crispness of the statehouse and the light it offers as a portrait backdrop. Being in the heart of the city, it offers an impressive backdrop with quick easy access to other awesome portrait locations within a quick drive or walk. The statehouse does require a permit and fee for taking photos on the grounds (and inside) which needs to be set up at least 2 weeks in advance. If this location is of interest to you for your photos, let me know as early as possible so we can be sure to cover our bases in time!
I love all the options the Scioto Mile has to offer in terms of backdrops for photos! It's a great spot to capture the skyline while also being within easy walking distance of green space, under/over bridges, brick/stone backdrops, and more industrial style/urban settings. My favorite part- the mix of city and green space specifically at Genoa park (right behind COSI).
OHIO STADIUM ROTUNDA
O-H!! I-O!! If you're a Buckeye fan, OSU Alumni, or about to graduate from The Ohio State University, this is my favorite spot to capture the essence of being a Buckeye! This iconic rotunda is a wonderful spot for capturing all kinds of portraits. While I've enjoyed all of my sessions here, my favorites have been OSU grads throwing their caps and popping champagne while celebrating such a huge accomplishment!
My favorite time of year at this location is the fall, but it's a good choice all year round especially with its white barn structures. In the fall, the trees surrounding the barns are a gorgeous display of color which never disappoints. In the spring and summer, you can find some blooms near the Dublin Historical Society which is at the corner of the park. There's also a stone bridge that crosses a small creek which offers great backdrops as well. My favorites- the barn buildings and the fall leaves!
Thank you for taking the time to look through my favorite Columbus Ohio portrait locations! These are great suggestions, but I am always open to learning of new spots or listening to my client's unique ideas that will make their portraits seem more personable. If you have any questions about the locations above or if you have ideas you'd like to share with me for your own personal photo session, please let me know!