Birmingham is such a beautiful city with so many interesting eateries, parks, coffee shops, murals, and more that make great settings for your portrait sessions. There are many possibilities, but here are a few. (***The original post was written in 2019. It was updated in 2022 because two of the locations suggested closed, one location got a revamp, and new photos were added.)
- The Pizitz Food Hall is a fantastic location. You can even venture to the top of the parking deck, which is great if you want to see the cityscape.Or you can take advantage of their colorful murals, artistically designed exterior walls, and the ally.
2. Local coffee shops are a cozy respite from the cold. Church Street Coffee & Books in Mountain Brook has nice window light for photos. Maybe you’d prefer Saturn’s Satellite Coffee in Avondale where you can enjoy board and video games with your beverages.
3. The Theater District in Birmingham is really colorful and makes for a visually interesting backdrop. Walk around a little; within a couple of blocks of The Alabama Theater, you’ll find an ally, and in the late fall, the sun sets right down the middle for those of you who love that back-lit, sun-flare look! Follow this link to read a great little paragraph about this revitalized area and other ideas that range from an overnight stay to must see shops.
4. One place that’s well-known for its cobblestone streets, ivy covered walls, and artisan shops is Morris Avenue, located between 1st Ave. S and 1st Ave. N. This location offers so many options for photographers! You can park at one end and walk several blocks and never run out of interesting places to stop and photograph. There’s a colorful mural that runs parallel to Morris Ave. You can see photos of that in my second post offering location suggestions. Don’t miss walking up the stairs to the overpass to get a great view of the city.
5. Vulcan Park and Museum, is home to Vulcan, the largest cast iron statue in the world, and is also an iconic Birmingham location for photography. There’s an overlook of the city, beautiful landscaping (with pink Pampas grass in the fall), and Vulcan Trail on the lowest level. You can even go to the top of Vulcan if you’re feeling adventurous!
6. Birmingham Botanical Gardens is an obvious choice, but it really is beautiful. No matter what time of year, you’ll find something green, which is a gift in the winter! Although you’ll encounter many photographers and visitors there, it’s large enough that it won’t keep you from having the space and freedom to photograph.
7. Railroad Park is great, especially right before sunset. There isn’t a lot of shade so this is my favorite time of the day for sessions there. There are colorful trees and pink Pampas grass in the fall, more than one large, open field, and a covered area just in case it rains.
8. Historical Park at Ross Bridge is one of those beautiful, small, tucked away places. It’s not the easiest place to find, but if your photographer knows the location, you’ll be happy they do.
9. Moss Rock Preserve is a gorgeous area for photographs, especially in the fall. There is a field where you can let children run freely and then lay down a blanket for some comfortable seated photos. And if you’re up for something a little more adventurous, across from the field you’ll find large boulders and trails. This area is really unique, but in my opinion, a little challenging for small children. 10. Avondale Park is really one of my favorite parks in the Birmingham area. It was renovated several years ago and is one of the most expansive, versatile backdrops for photographers. There is an interesting amphitheater constructed of rock. There are colorful trees in the fall and luscious green ones in the spring and summer, and even a pond. It’s not far from downtown Birmingham, so if you want a natural setting and a city scene, this could be the perfect location for your engagement session, portrait session, or family session.
11. Rotary Trail in Birmingham is kind of a magical place- a long trail in the middle of 1st Avenue South with decorative trees and ivy covered walls. AND it’s located right across from one of the largest murals in Birmingham (on the side of Good Dog Park & Bar). I highly encourage you to walk to the overpass at sunset. Your clients will thank you!
The possibilities are limitless when thinking of a photo shoot location in Birmingham, Alabama. Hopefully these 11 location ideas for photography will help you find the place that’s just right for your next portrait session, family session, or even an engagement shoot.
This is apparently a popular topic. If you’d like to check out what others think about photographable spots in Birmingham, take a look at this article The 15 most Instagrammable Spots in Birmingham, Alabama by Huff Post.