Whether you have chosen a professional photographer or are equipped with your own point and shoot, finding the best place to take family photos can be a tall order. Luckily, Columbia has many outdoor options for creating fantastic photographs. Here is our list of six outdoor spots around the Columbia area for perfect family photographs.
Featuring 70 acres of beautiful blooms, the Riverbanks Botanical Gardens provide a gorgeous backdrop for family photos. Spring and fall are the ideal times to take photos at the gardens, as the flowers and plants will be at their peak. However, there is always something in bloom to create a nice backdrop all year long. There is also a charming children’s garden and play area that can be used for great candid shots of your children at play.
Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Extended spring/summer weekend hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays
Location: 1300 Botanical Parkway, West Columbia 29169
Located in the heart of the USC campus, the horseshoe will lead itself to some truly lovely shots. Whether you opt to sit on the grass beside a stately tree or pose in front of the historic buildings surrounding the horseshoe area, your portraits will be steeped in the history of the university.
Hours: Open daily
Location: 902 Sumter Street, Columbia 29208
Visit the State House grounds in November and early December, and you will find yourself in the company of many families looking for a Christmas card photo. The giant Christmas tree provides the perfect festive backdrop. Visit in the spring and you might run into some prom parties taking photos on the stairs. Regardless, you’ll be sure to capture some beautiful shots that are deep rooted in with our capital’s history.
Hours: Open daily
Location: 1100 Gervais Street, Columbia 29201
There are so many great places to take photos at the Canal and Riverfront Park! Canal side you have the old water works building with its fantastic big red barn door. Along the Riverfront there are gorgeous views of the Gervais and Blossom Street bridges.
Hours: Daily – dawn to dusk
Location: Canal side – 312 Laurel Street, Columbia 29201; West Columbia Riverfront – Corner of Meeting Street and Alexander Road, West Columbia 29201
Looking for a picturesque gazebo to pose your family in? Irmo Town Park has one! How about a bridge overlooking a small pond sprinkled with lily pads? It has that too! This shady park is small, but very quaint. Get there in late afternoon for the best natural light.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Location: 1249 Lexington Ave, Irmo 29063
Nestled in the heart of the town of Peak and the Palmetto Trail is a beautiful trestle bridge overlooking the gorgeous river. The perfect picturesque nature location for photographs. It’s kind of a drive so make an afternoon of it! A great time to photograph is fall but it is lovely all year long.
Hours: Daily, sunrise to sunset
Location: The Peak to Prosperity Passage of the Palmetto Trail can be accessed via three trailheads: Alston Trailhead, Hope Station Trailhead and Pomaria Trailhead. Directions to all three can be found at this link.