Huge List Of Places To Take Family Pictures In Tampa
Where could be a better place to take family pictures than Tampa? We have among other things, beaches, gardens, painted murals, urban areas and open fields. There is so much variety and you can choose and can go to a different place multiple times year if you are so inclined.
A few years ago we made a list of our top 5 places to take family portraits in Tampa and it was so popular and people keep asking us for more, so we decided it was about time to update our list. We decided to make it a fully comprehensive listing of the best spots in the Tampa Bay area for photos. Some of these will be well known and some will be my favorite secret spots! I have tried to include images in these spots where possible.
*Please note: some of these spots will need a permit and/or permission before you shoot there. We are not responsible if you do not go through the proper channels to do so! Please use your best judgement.
Also- if you have a place to add, please leave us a comment so we can check it out!
- USF Botanical Gardens– 15 acres of wild garden is a great place for portraits. The fee to get in is really reasonable and is a pretty spot for portraits!
- Sunken Gardens– So this spot is not in Tampa, but it is worth mentioning. This is 4 acres of absolutely gorgeous botanical gardens with every type of tropical plant imaginable. Tons of pockets for tons of variety in your portrait session. There is a fee to enter and a photography policy, so make sure you are informed before you go.
- Philippe Park– This park is in Safety Harbor and is right on the water. It also has gorgeous steps with brick as well as beautiful old oak trees. It has a lot of options and variety.
- Lettuce Lake Park- This park has some water, and boardwalks, but it is more of a park than anything else. It has great little pathways with oak trees, some open areas with room for families to run and in general rustic outdoor scenery.
- Cypress Point Park– This is a hidden little spot for water/beaches on the Tampa side of the Bay. It is fairly busy, and the planes from the airport fly right overhead (can be a bit distracting for young children and maybe even the Dads) but it has gorgeous purple beach grass that makes up for it. You can get a lot of variety here- purple grass, beach daises, rocks, dunes and the bay. It even has a little dock to get out over the water. A great spot instead of going over the bridge!
- John Chesnut Senior Park– This Palm Harbor park has beautiful boardwalks and is on a large lake. It is very scenic and pretty!
- Davis Island Yacht Club– A cute little area in downtown Tampa, Davis Island Yacht Club has a little beachy area with sailboats in the background. This is a sweet little area for portraits and could take up a whole session, or just a short stop on a longer day of photographs.
- Picnic Island Park– A personal favorite of mine because of the gorgeous greenery, mangroves and hidden spots plus the beach all in one spot. It has water on both sides (so you could easily get a sunrise and sunset session there) . It tends to be “buggy”, the beaches are pretty small and on the weekends there tends to be a lot of people there, however there is a ton of variety to be had in the scenery.
- Al Lopez Park- This is an old baseball field turned park and it has boardwalks and pretty open fields.
- Edward Medard Conservation Park- This is a beautiful park full of hidden nooks and crannies for a natural session. There are some beautiful oak trees and beautiful water as well.
- Ft. Desoto Park– This is not in Tampa, but is one of my favorite places so it had to be included. There is a lot of variety to be had, and I mean where else in Tampa can you shoot at an old fort? There is an entrance fee, so keep that in mind- but it is a beautiful spot and worth it! I like to start at the fort and then drive down to the end of the park to the north beach and park in the last lot.
- Bayshore Linear Park Trail – Bayshore Greenway- Not exactly a park but it runs along the water and has a pretty little white water breaker. I have done sessions at clients homes and then walked from their South Tampa homes up to the trail to also get some images on the water. This is a busy road so make sure children are close by. I would not recommend this session with children that are apt to run away unexpectedly or are too young to know the dangers.
- Water Works Park– A newer park, Water Works Park is an urban park that is set on the Hillsborough River. It is well manicured and has pretty rocks for sitting and posing. This is a fairly crowded park because of its proximity to Ulele and Armature Works but you should still get some beautiful photographs from this park.
- Ballast Point Park- This is a cute park in South Tampa that has a beautiful view of downtown Tampa located on Hillsborough Bay with a boat dock.
- Armature Works- This is a relatively new spot, full of energy and people. I love the brick walls for portraits as well as the beautiful light down some of the hallways. You can even photograph the family playing outside with the larger than life games or walking along the river. There are always a ton of people there, so be warned. Bonus: stay after the session for some amazing food!
- Sparkman Wharf– Brand spankin new and totally Instagram worthy, this spot next to Amalie Arena and The Florida Aquarium (formerly Channelside) is right on the water and full of brightly painted containers. This is a spot for the bold and colorful family!
- Hyde Park Village– Hyde Park Village is a cute area close to downtown. It has a beautiful fountain in the center and ivy covered brick walls all around. You can find a million spots in this area and it has plenty of parking as well. You could do a super cute session at this South Tampa landmark!
- Ybor City– The ultimate in urban areas, you can find beautiful alleys, brick walls, and old buildings galore. One of the oldest areas in Tampa and full of character, this is the perfect urban location. This is a great spot for adventurous and easy going families (you never know who or what you might see). I like to park at Centro Ybor and explore until we find good spots. Watch for the roaming roosters and hens! Afterwards, grab dinner at the Colombia Restaurant, one of the oldest and most well known eateries in Tampa- an institution open for over 110 years and has delicious Spanish food!
- The University Of Tampa- This is a hugely popular spot with photographers and for good reason. It has a little bit of everything- trees, brick, stairs, beautiful old doors, fountains, greenery and so much more.
- Downtown Dunedin- Definitely not a Tampa location, but it needed to be on this list. Dunedin is a cute little area with lots of spots for portraits with old brick buildings, walking paths and parks tucked here and there. Definitely a place for a quirky portrait session!
- Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park– If we can say one thing about this park it would be “CHECK THE CALENDAR”! This park is in an awesome location with views of University of Tampa’s beautiful gold domes in the background but it is extremely busy with events, yoga and visitors, so make sure you check their event calendar. This park has borders to two museums and there are beautiful images to be had along those windows and of course the river is a beautiful backdrop.
- The Tampa Riverwalk- This waterside walkway stretches 2.8 miles along the Tampa waterways. It connects restaurants, museums, and other fun landmarks. Taking a walk on the Riverwalk is a great way to get some variety in your session! Our reccomendation would be to start at the North side at Armature Works, and work your way South with stops at Waterworks Park and Curtis Hixon Park. There are plenty of architectural elements as well as natural beauty on the walk. Just be prepared to dodge people (or have them in your portraits) as this is busy both at sunset and on the weekends.
- Maykka River State Parks- This is quite a drive from Tampa (Sarasoata), however it is WORTH it! If you are looking for a beautiful natural flower field, this is the place. Every spring this place explodes with yellow flowers making a gorgeous sea of yellow. The blooms can depend on the amount of rain, the weather and the temperature, so it is best to call before making the trip. Also, stay to see some of the alligators (there are a million of them). This is a sight and unique location you won’t soon forget!
- Lazy Lay Acres– This is an adorable Christmas tree farm located north of Tampa in the Dade City area. They always have beautiful spots for photos as well as a petting zoo and as a bonus you can get your holiday tree right there (and support a small business while you are at it). The perfect place for multitasking during the holidays! Bonus tip: Make reservations before shooting here. They only allow a limited amount of photographers per day.
- Buddy Brew Coffee Hyde Park- This is such a cute spot and a Tampa institution! If you are looking for something different, this is the place! I imagine an engagement session here would be perfect with the couple cuddling over coffee! Make sure you get permission here first!
- Lange Farm Stonebridge Wedding and Events– This is beautiful for a family wanting to be around rolling hills, horses and authentic barns. This beautiful location can be found in Dade City and has so much charm and ancient oak trees.
- The White Barn- This barn is beyond adorable! There is a fee to shoot here, however if you had a day of mini sessions or a client willing to pay the fee, it is a gorgeous location. This is located in Brooksville, a bit of a drive from Tampa, however the white siding of the barn and the decor more than makes up for it!
- Posies Flower Truck- This truck moves allllllll around Tampa and has some of the prettiest selections of flowers in the area. The truck is painted robin’s egg blue and is restored beautifully. Bonus, the owners are very sweet and helpful. They do have a regular schedule plus do special events, so make sure you watch their site for updates. For sessions, contact them for details!
- Fancy Free Nursery- EVERYTHING in this adorable place is Instagram worthy, from its peachy pink front door, its abundant indoor natural light with plants all around to its sweet courtyard. They need to be contacted before sessions for reservations, but it is well worth it. This is definitely a special spot.
- Rialto Theatre- One of my favorite places- this is full of character and is absolutely beautiful. A wide open room with pretty natural light and exposed brick. Plus the blue doors out front are another awesome feature. There is a fee to shoot here and you can’t just show up, but it is really worth it!
So these are some of my favorite family photo locations in Tampa and the surrounding areas. Are there any important places that I missed? Let me know by commenting here!
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