September 8, 2020

Top 5 Charlotte Portrait Session Locations | Maggie Mills Photography | NC Wedding Photographer

Up next on the location series are my all time favorite shooting locations in Charlotte!! We lived in Charlotte for three years before moving back to the triad and I still shoot there all the time! From parks and lakes to high rises and hallways, here are my go-to locations in the queen city!

1. Clark’s Creek Nature Preserve

This is my absolute favorite place to shoot, hands down! It’s so quiet and beautiful with tons of open space, tall trees & grass, and great light! It’s different every season and has so much potential! Unlike other locations in Charlotte, you’re not dodging tons of people and parking is a breeze! It’s located in North Charlotte in the university area.

2. Freedom Park

Freedom Park is a great option for shoots because there’s tons of variety there. It’s a fairly large park so you need to make sure you communicate clearly about where to park & meet as there are different entry points and parking lots. I suggest parking at the top right off of Lilac St. That’s a closer walk to the bridge and there are tons of great trees over there. There’s also a suspension bridge over a creek that provides some variety in the shoot! It can get pretty crowded, especially on the stone bridge, but you can still get some really cool shots there! The sun does get eaten up by the trees pretty fast so you don’t get tons of good golden hour glow, so consider doing an earlier shoot if possible!

3. The Farmstead

While this isn’t *technically* in Charlotte, it’s close enough that it counts as a portrait option if you’re wanting big open fields, great trees & light, and more rustic vibes!! The Farmstead and the Farm at Brusharbor are wedding venues in Mt. Pleasant near Concord and they’re on the most beautiful piece of land! Because they are venues, you do need to schedule and pay a portrait fee but it’s totally worth it!! You don’t have to worry about dodging other people or struggling to find parking, it’s all so easy! Plus it’s family owned & operated and they’re the sweetest!

4. Rankin Lake Park

This is a new discovery to me thanks to a photographer friend and I’m so excited to have found this awesome location!! This park is in Gastonia but it’s the perfect option for people who want a lake shoot. Yes, I realize that Lake Norman is just north of Charlotte however I haven’t loved shooting in the local parks off of Lake Norman. They’re always super crowded and have difficult lighting situations. So if you’re dying for a lake shoot, this park is a great option!! It has trails and nice trees & landscaping, while also having the beautiful lake with great light! Parking is a breeze and it’s not too crowded!

5. Uptown Charlotte

So I know everyone loves uptown so I had to add it to the list! It’s not without it’s challenges but it’s definitely possible and you can get some pretty cool shots if you know where to go! My favorite shooting spots in Uptown are Romare Bearden Park and the Convention Center! I realize that they’re not super close to each other, but the walk is worth it! Charlotte has since changed it’s crazy photography policy so now you can shoot in public parks without getting kicked out…praise!! Romare Bearden is busy and you’ll be dodging ALL the people & dogs. But the city in the background is great, there’s good trees and a waterfall that’s pretty cool! The Convention Center is great because of the tall columns in the “hallway” that create symmetry and help with the light & airy style! It’s in between the Mint Museum and The Green park which are both good options for pictures as well. You might get stopped at The Green since it’s technically owned by Wells Fargo and they get weird about portrait sessions, so I wouldn’t plan a whole shoot there.

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