10 Best Photo Locations in St. Louis, MO

Where are the best photo locations in St. Louis? One of the most frequently asked questions I get when a client wants to book with me is WHERE they should go! In all honesty, the location is the least important piece to me - it doesn't matter to me where you want to go, we will find a way to create beautiful images no matter where we are. However, that doesn't mean I don't also LOVE a scenic location for my photography sessions. The environment only adds to the magic. So, when my clients ask for recommendations on where to take their photos, I do my best to accommodate!

We are so lucky in St. Louis, because we have so many beautiful parks and urban landscapes to choose from for photo sessions. No matter where you're located in the metro area, there's no doubt there's a perfect park, green space, or city-street that inspires some stunning imagery.

Here is a list of locations in St. Louis that I either love to photograph, have photographed frequently, or that have lots of variety when it comes to portrait sessions. This isn't even close to all the possibilities in STL, but I hope these examples help you envision your photo session or inspire some ideas!

1. Forest Park

pregnant woman in pink maternity dress posing at sunset in Forest Park

Forest Park is a classic option for a photo session. Forest Park is BEAUTIFUL and HUGE! There is a good spot to take a photo quite literally anywhere you look. There is so much variety, potential and opportunity at Forest Park. It's a great option any time of year for any kind of session. I have photographed EVERYTHING here: families, high school seniors, engagements and weddings! There's beautiful scenery but also a perfect mixture of urban landscape and architecture too. There's something for everyone. Yes, it's one of the most popular locations for photo sessions in St. Louis, but for very good reason. We are so lucky to have a park like this in our backyard!

2. Lafayette Park

engaged couple kissing in park

Lafayette Park is another very popular destination for my photo clients. This one is a favorite because it includes lovely landscapes, including ornate details and textures, but it's also tucked into a gorgeous urban neighborhood in downtown Lafayette Square. There's a lovely lake, pretty iron bridge over a pond, lovely greenery and gardens, and a couple buildings that offer excellent texture and color. You're likely to have a few ducks or swans in the background of your images too! Plus, there are so many cute little shops and small businesses flanking the park, so when you're all finished with your session, you can unwind with a coffee or ice cream or hang out at one of the nearby restaurants.

3. Bee Tree Park

Bee Tree Park is one of South County's unsung heroes! Tucked away in Oakville, this park has a lot to offer for a photo session. Wooded trails, several overlook areas of the river, a rustic red barn, a beautiful stone house with picturesque gardens, and a fishing lake that makes a beautiful backdrop. There's a little bit of everything here, which makes it a great location option for any kind of photo session.

4. Fabick Nature Preserve

Don't forget about the nature reserve areas near you! They are some of the BEST photography backdrops available to us. Fabick Nature Preserve is one of my absolute favorite places to shoot in STL. It's not your typical "park" so it's never crowded. It's so quiet and peaceful and has amazing views. There are picturesque ridges, two beautiful lakes, and a great expanse of landscape with trails, tall grasses and lush greenery. If you're looking for a country vibe, this is an amazing spot to consider. And the best part, it's tucked away right in Fenton near Fenton City Park. A quick drive from just about anywhere, and definitely worth it!

5. Westside Park

This little neighborhood park tucked away in Fenton is a quiet, tranquil park with beautiful large trees and lush forest with a pond and bridge, offering a lot of variety for photos. It's especially pretty in the fall when the foliage changes colors and has some of the prettiest light for photos along the walking trail!

6. Shaw Nature Reserve

If you want the serenity and natural beauty of a breathtaking landscape, Shaw Nature Reserve is an excellent option. Maintained by Missouri Botanical Garden, you know you'll be surrounded by gorgeous nature all around. There is a minimal admission fee to photograph here (consider it a donation to the upkeep of this beautiful place), but it's beyond worth the backdrop for your images.

7. Queeny Park

young couple with two dogs at park

Queeny Park is one of my favorites for a very natural landscape. It's HUGE and offers a lot of variety for photo sessions. It's also one of my favorite places for great sunset lighting. If you're interested in tall grasses, wildflowers and walking trails, this is a great consideration. Plus there are a few buildings on site that provide some good architectural backdrops. (And this park is VERY dog friendly!)

8. Klondike Park

engaged couple holding hands looking opposite directions

Okay, this place is just amazing. It's a bit outside of metro STL - located in Augusta, near St. Charles - but it is definitely worth the drive. When you see this beautiful place, you might do a double take and think you somehow drove to Colorado or Arizona or something. The gorgeous cliffs and sandy beach-like landscape create a stunning location for photos. I especially love Klondike Park for romantic engagements, but it's truly perfect for any kind of photo session. If you prefer an outdoors-y, mountain-esque location (and didn't think you could get something like that in STL), you definitely want to consider Klondike for your photo session!

9. Tower Grove Park

bride and groom at park in fall

Tower Grove is one of my favorite recommendations for clients who are looking for "forestry." Tower Grove has hundreds of beautiful tall, lush trees. They show off gorgeous color in the fall, but also look exceptional as a blanket of green behind you. There are also lots of little details in the park to enjoy, such as the stone ruins and the pond, as well as colorful bridges and pavilions. Another great option for a combo of scenic and urban.

10. Sandy Creek Historic Covered Bridge

christmas mini photo set up by covered bridge with two toddlers

Sandy Creek Bridge is one of my favorite hidden gems for photos. I particularly love it in the fall and winter because of it's rustic charm. The large red barn-esque bridge makes a great backdrop for all kinds of photos. And it's only a quick scenic drive away!

Honorable Mention

This list is really just the beginning! Like I said, these are just SOME that I like or that my clients choose frequently, but it's not at all an exhaustive list. There are so many more! I recommend you research parks and nature areas near you to get additional ideas. Remember, the location is only the backdrop to the main focus - YOU - but you should definitely choose a place that you like and helps deliver the imagery you want!

Other locations that would come next on the list:

Mural Mile (Graffiti Wall) - Downtown St. Louis

Central Library - Downtown St. Louis

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Francis Park

Mainstreet St. Charles

Grant's Trail - Affton

Whitecliff Park

Horseshoe Lake State Park

Bluff View Park

Share this story