When you decided to make any kind of photo session in Charleston, whether it is  wedding, engagement, family session or you just  want to capture some nice moments, some problems can appear. “Where to make photo session” – is one of the urgent issues. A lot of factors depend on the location. First of all, it is, of course, the mood of the portrait. The environment gives the picture a certain storyline, this is not just a portrait against a neutral background. This is a kind of short story about a person trapped in a certain space. Choosing a successful location for a photo session is a very important matter. If this place is chosen correctly, well, then the final result is simply bound to turn out great. Let me,  a wedding photographer with multiyear experience, to help you to choose the best locations in Charleston for photo session.

We have big variety of places to choose from, it can be some water background, greenery parks and magnificent gardens with fairy-tales flowers and plants or some historical part of the city. Just keep in mind where you want to have this picture – at home, at work or somewhere else – it definitely should fit the interior, like puzzle part. So, let us surf deeper into the question.

If you would like to make your Charleston photo session near water it is really a nice idea. The dominant colors of “watery photo session” are blue and grey of all shades. The best time of the year would be Spring, Summer and Fall.

Isle of Palms

It’s good there both in summer and in winter) Sandy coastal beach strip with its mesmerizing ebb and flow. It should be noted that parking has become a bit more problematic. Just be ready to pay for parking lot. And one more tiny tip – better to plan photo session on any working day, because at the weekend it is usually overcrowded.

Folly Beach

This is just an amazing place for a photoshoot. Nature lovers can enjoy the local fauna to their fullest, dolphins can be seen in the ocean waters. Just keep in mind that it is easier to park here but the beach can be overcrowded because of high popularity.

Morris Island

This place is famous for its lighthouse. A majestic structure, built in the 19th century, there used to be an island on this place, there were building, now it is in the water. Here you can see dead dried trees and breakwater stones. But the entrance is forbidden for dogs and you cannot drive up to the lighthouse by car, so you have to walk for a while. But it’s a great place to take amazing pictures.

Joe Riley Waterfront Park

Park is famous for its fountains, one of them is Pineapple Fountain, as you may know, pineapple is a symbol of hospitality. Close by there is a fabulous pier, which is simply created for wonderful and unforgettable photo sessions. Just a couple of steps from the pier you can find Charleston historic district.

The Battery

It is historical place with many monuments, and it is located in the historic district. From here, there is just a fabulous view of the bay. And of course, as in all popular places, it is always crowded and parking is limited. If you want to combine architectural and water background The Battery is right for you.

Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park

A beautiful pier, in addition to the largest bridge, is just a godsend for an engagement photo session. This place will give you monumental background due to beautiful Ravenel Bridge. Mass events are held very often here.

Ocean Walk at Pitt Street Bridge Park

This park is a great place to watch the sunset, stroll, look at the old houses of Old Village and take unforgettable pictures. From the old bridge you can see beautiful views of the bay, palm trees, swamps. Just heaven on earth.

Riverfront Park

This place in North Charleston is on the river and you must visit it in order to take a couple of pictures.  The park is immersed in greenery and strewn with alleys and boardwalks. Mass events are held here quite often. But it is worth of your photo attention.

Shem Creek

Shem Creek is a magnificent and popular place with amazing sunset view, boats and tackles. You will feel real spirit of Lowcontry. After the photo session with your family and / or pets you may spend some time in one of the local cozy restaurants.

Gardens and parks is sure-fire variant for taking photos because of some reasons. You can get magical colors, lighting and a fairytale atmosphere even in the simplest places. Important to know that the predominant colors in your “park and garden photos” will be green and grey. But together with pluses we can have “tiny minuses”. Such kinds of places have limited working hours and during the heat weather you risk not to have the desirable effect.  The best time for photo shoots in parks and gardens is winter and spring, as this is the time of Camellia and Azalea blooms. So, let’s navigate the most beautiful greenery Charleston photo sessions.

Hampton park

Hampton Park is a large and blooming park near Historic Downton. It is appropriate for any kind of shooting. Various trees, bushes and flowers are just created to make your pictures “dreamlike”. Free entry and 24/7 is a nice bonus of this place.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

This is one of the oldest gardens in America. In spring, this place is surrounded by Azalea flowers, which give a special charm. It used to be a rice planation earlier so huge cypress trees are the witnesses of that time. The mirror image of water and small bridges are just an integral part of the romantic photo shoot, which you can do here. It is opened 7 days in a week. There is photography fee and your shooting need to be scheduled.

Middleton Place

Middleton Place is America’s oldest landscaped gardens. Outstanding atmosphere of formal gardens with a lot of greeneries, especially Camelia in winter, will make your photos naturally bright. It is opened 7 days in a week from 9am till 5pm. Keep in mind photography fee and your shooting need to be scheduled.

Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site

Charles Towne Landing is one more magic place for your pictures. First English settlement in Charleston was right here. Relaxing walk on Oak avenue, along the river and blooming flower-beds will get you out of reality in a good meaning of word. It is opened 7 days in a week from 9am till 5pm You will need to pay entrance fee, but no photography fee is needed.

Cypress Gardens

Gardens is a romantic place, the best one for weddings and engagement. Famous “The Notebook” was filmed here. If you like that film you will definitely want to make memorable pictures in the boat. It is opened 7 days in a week from 9am till 5pm You will need to pay entrance fee, but no photography fee is needed.

Palmetto Islands County Park

Like any of country parks this is a good choice for your family photo shooting with your lovely pets. Palm trees, curving alleys and numerous boardwalks will create wonderful “decorations” for your pictures. It is opened 7 days in a week. You will pay entrance fee, but no photography fee.

James Island County Park

Park occupies big territory with picturesque corners. It is an ideal place for all kind of photo sessions. It is opened 7 days in a week. You will pay entrance fee, but no photography fee.

W Ashley Greenway

Greenway consists of miles of paved and unpaved path for walking, running, or cycling. In combination with fantastic greenery and flowers it will make your pictures colorful and alive. There is a former railway in the park which makes it even more interesting. It is really nice and comfortable place for family photo session.


I’On is a relatively new place with beautiful houses and unique nature. A large number of small ponds and bridges are skillfully intertwined with well-groomed alleys and thus create the necessary atmosphere for your family or engagement photo session.

Smythe Park

This park will impress you with its waterfront panorama. The whole atmosphere of this very place is so charming so you will definitely be there in an appropriate mood to make your unforgettable family photo session with your pets.

Old Wide Awake Park

This name speaks for itself. A pier with a wonderful view and quiet, long oak alleys just inspire you to have a photoshoot and a lot of fun. You can easily find a secluded and picturesque place for your pictures.

Charleston Tea Plantation

The only one in America Tea Plantation located in Charleston. Tea fans will definitely enjoy the time spent here and the pictures taken. As the place is really popular you should book your visit and check working hours as well. Here you will find all possible shades of green color so your photos will be “naturally bright”.

The historical part of the city will surprise you with bright and pastel colors, a huge number of beautiful private houses, with a variety of shutters and flowers on the windows, well-groomed lawns and gardens. This is a special atmosphere for a photo shoot and an exact reason why millions of tourists come to Charleston every year. City can be overcrowded during the day, so in case you want sort of lonesome atmosphere better to shoot in the evening. And think about parking in advance.

Rainbow row

Here you will find houses of the 18th-19th century with pastel-colored facades. The influence of Caribbean motifs is noticeable everywhere. We can say with confidence that this is Charleston’s calling card.

Legare street

Incredibly beautiful and slanted mansions are located in this part of Charleston. As well as the famous Charleston gate-a masterpiece of blacksmithing. Despite its luxurious atmosphere, it is a very quiet and peaceful street.

Church street

Church Street is part of Charleston French Quarter. There are many churches with steeples. If you are a connoisseur of this kind of architecture, be sure to take a couple of pictures here. By the way, it’s very romantic here.

Meeting Street

The name of the street speaks for itself. This is one of the main streets of the city. Luxury hotels, cozy restaurants, and majestic churches are gathered on one street. The tourist spirit reigns here and it is always lively.

The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

Mills House is one of the oldest hotels in the city. Its walls are painted pink, and the overall atmosphere is simply mesmerizing. This is one of the most popular places for wedding and engagement photo shoots.

Queen Street

Queen Street is simply steeped in romance in every corner. Cute houses with windows decorated with flowers are pleasing to the eye. It is a very quiet street with lots adjoining alleys in the heart of the Charleston French Quarter.

Colonial Lake Park

Colonial Lake is an artificial lake with a large embankment and fantastic views. This place is designed for family photo shoots.

Marion Square

Square is a beautiful square surrounded by luxury hotels. There is also a large number of monuments. Winding paths with green spaces are a good choice for a couple of photos.

Wragg Mall Park

Park is a godsend for secret proposal. This quiet place with old oak trees and a pleasantly bubbling fountain will give the atmosphere of intimacy for your photo shoot.

College of Charleston

College of Charleston is a historic place with centuries-old oaks and beautiful architecture. The main building impresses with its grandeur and a lovely arch with a gate completes this architectural composition.

Anson Street

This street attracts you with its quiet atmosphere. It is a residential street with beautiful typical Charleston homes and churches with adjacent flowery gardens. This is the place where you will take unforgettable pictures.

United States Custom House

It is a monumental composition of the 19th century. Its colonnade and winding steps will add geometry to your photos. It is really interesting and unusual place in Charleston.

Chapel Street Fountain Park

It is a small park with an interesting fountain. This is an amazing place for a photo session. It is very quiet and cozy here, that is why you can feel relaxed while shooting.

Cannon Park

Park is an extraordinary and very popular place in Charleston. A huge area with high columns that survived the fire. Once there was a museum here. You will definitely find an interesting corner for your photos here.

Charleston is beautiful everywhere, in every part of it. We have tried to describe in detail the most picturesque places in Charleston, which will give your photo session unforgettable colors, emotions and sensations. Our so-called “photo-place guide” will make it easier for you to choose  the best location for photo session in Charleston.

    Dennis Aliaksandrou: The Charleston Wedding Photographer

    Article author:
    Dennis A. / Lead Photographer