Every time we have a photography session for someone that doesn’t have a location already selected, this topic comes up. So I (Seth), wanted to begin creating guides, putting together some of our favorite spots to give you an idea of what’s right here in our our own back yard.
As a South Tampa Native, I’ve explored all over the area and have seen just about every nook and cranny of this gorgeous city, and those nearby. But, of course new places are always popping up in this “it has to be instagram worthy” era, which really only makes picking a location that much harder!
In this first guide I wanted to start with what I like to think of as the Florida staples; those gorgeous water front locations! I’m hoping that this location installment can help you find a beach location that “sparks joy” for you.
WATER WATER EVERYWHERE
Florida has the second most coastline of any state. The first is Alaska. Don’t get me wrong, Alaska is beautiful, but it isn’t exactly a tourist destination. We are seriously spoiled for choice on waterfront locations.
People travel from all across the world to enjoy our beaches – so it’s a no-brainer to get your families portraits taken along the water here.
It can be a beautiful backdrop, a way to showcase where you live, or a way to boast about the warm weather you got to experience for a week while your relatives are much colder and shoveling snow up in the polar vortex.
And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most requested locations that our clients request and love are somewhere along, or adjacent to the water.
The following locations are all mostly well known, and they have fantastic beauty. They’re each worth checking out for locals or visitors looking to get a truly Tampa-vibe and some awesome instagram shots.
So without further ado, here are some of our favorite nearby waterfront locations:
For the beach feel without the drive and crowd. This beach has great sunrise and sunset lighting, white sand, and they’ve recently been making improvements by adding rock outcroppings. The mosquito’s can be bad, but as a one stop location with grass fields, greenery and the good old Tampa Bay, this is a great little hidden gem (seriously, it’s pretty far back there!), right in our back yard.
Though it’s usually packed full of fishermen, kids eating ice cream cones, and families walking their dogs – this is a great spot for some posed and candid pictures. First thing in the morning, this has a beautiful view of the rising sun and the lighting is awesome. There’s also good sunset lighting, but no sunset view at all. Parking can be difficult so arrive early!
Ballast point has so much to offer, from the long fisherman’s pier, benches and picnic tables along the waters edge, a children’s playground and splash zone, greenery, and of course an ocean backdrop. Nearby, there are old brick roads lined with beautiful old oak trees.
Is there a more known beach on the planet? It’s always ranking as “THE #1 BEACH“. It certainly is unique being wide and spacious and full of that beautiful soft white sand. While there is often a lot of people, it’s for a reason. The sunsets that can be seen from Clearwater Beach are so incredible, that they devoted a nightly festival called the “sunset festival” for everyone to enjoy, with all types of entertainment.
A beautiful sunset at Clearwater Beach can make the best location
for a fun-family session, or a romantic engagement. And the golden hour lighting there is simply spectacular!
Within the amazing stretch of white sand you’re just a short walk from interesting architecture, shops, piers, waves, and maybe even some local wildlife.
Now that it’s finally completed, the Tampa Riverwalk is an awesome photo location in downtown Tampa. This 2.6 mile path is chock-full of perfect little nooks and crannies to get an amazing variety of photos.
The Tampa Convention Center has gorgeous landscaping and large staircases and pillars which all make for great backdrops and the neutral color of the Convention Center itself is really subtle and is complementary to all different types of skin tones and outfit colors.
North of the Convention Center, on the opposite side of the Riverwalk you can find Armature Works, an old streetcar storage and maintenance facility turned modernized hangout which offers something for everyone! This place has one of the best aesthetics in town, it’s no wonder people choose to have their weddings there and/ or request to have other types of photo sessions there.
So yeah, all in all, there are so many new and exciting things popping up all over the Tampa Riverwalk. Between the docks, Greenery, Bridges, Skyscrapers, Stairs, Benches, revamped old brick buildings, Fountains and of course the view across the river of the University of Tampa’s main building (which used to be the old Tampa Bay Hotel) you’re bound to find a spot that’s perfect for you!
A super cool little spot tucked away at the end of Davis Islands near the airport. There's a ton of greenery, rocks, palm trees, sailboats, and sometimes even a cruise ship or two.
It might be tough to talk now and again as small propeller planes occasionally fly overhead, but it's a really relaxing corner of the Tampa Bay, and is a really neat waterfront location with a ton to offer.
Alrighty, well, that’s all for this guide, we’ll be sure to stay on the lookout for more great waterfront locations to share. And make sure you stay tuned for more guides to come with all different types of locations and venues all over the Tampa Bay Area! If you’ve been inspired and would like to get some photos taken at any of the locations pictured (or any other location you might have in mind) feel free to contact us!👇🏼