Many view Texas with preconceived notions, but there is so much more to the state than stereotypes. Austin does an excellent job of showcasing Texas’ best. Words like vibrant, bright, elegant, and even artsy might not come to mind when thinking about Texas, but Austin is here to show you that they should. In this list of photoshoot ideas near Austin, you can expect a great mixture of outdoor adventures, indoor art, and architectural marvels — both contemporary and classic Southern! Grab your camera and let’s get started.
1. Get outdoorsy at Zilker Metropolitan Park
Escape to the great outdoors without even leaving the city! Austin’s Zilker Park is a massive park housing a lake and a kayak-able area for you photographers who live for outdoor adventure photography. The park makes excellent use of its 350 acres, offering an endless number of photoshoot ideas near Austin.
2. Marvel at beauty in botany at Zilker Botanical Gardens
Worthy of a mention independent of Zilker Park, Zilker Botanical Gardens consists of a sizable 26 acres near downtown Austin. Visitors will find themselves amidst some of the best greenery they’ve ever seen. And photographers will be in paradise with the vibrant and colorful scenery at their fingertips upon entering. Note that if you are shooting for commercial purposes, you may need to register beforehand by contacting Zilker Botanical Gardens.
3. Roll on over to an artsy rock music gallery
This bright gallery in East Austin showcases professional snapshots of rock-and-roll photography. Much of the work lining the walls of the space highlights Austin’s early music scene. Spanning about 800 square feet, this venue is perfect for a cool private party or photo session.
4. Get inspired by an indoor/outdoor space with great natural light
Visit this spectacular mid-century space, which features a cozy, radiant living space with a trendy, oversized couch and tasteful accent pieces — everything a photographer needs for an exciting lifestyle shoot. After taking in the awe-inspiring interior of the space, head outside to the spacious yard, which offers a sitting area and hammock.
5. Experience Roman architecture at Driskill Hotel
Completed in 1886, the Driskill Hotel is Austin’s oldest hotel, but you wouldn’t know based on its upkeep. Four stories tall and a half-block in size, this enormous Romanesque building is a must-have addition to any list of photoshoot ideas near Austin. When photographing, start outside and use the massive scale of the structure itself as a canvas on its own or as the grandest of grand backdrops. Then take in the bold interior. With a bright, colorful lobby along with grand pillars, the Driskill Hotel is an architectural marvel.
6. Take in history at the Bullock Texas State History Museum
Look at that mosaic! With such great scale, the entryway already makes for a perfect backdrop for photographs. Venture further into the museum and you’ll come across three floors of interactive exhibits, all unique and offering plenty of different perspectives to make for quite the shoot. After your photo session, enjoy the exhibits or head to the IMAX theater within the museum.
7. Bask in the light at a bright and luxurious abode
Take snapshots in a 2,700-square-foot luxury home with a pool, grill, and plenty of interior natural light. Take advantage of the modern décor for a fashion shoot, or go all-out lifestyle with the grill and lounge chairs that line the outdoor patio. It doesn’t get better than this, and that’s saying something in the great state of Austin!
8. Bring out your inner artist at this contemporary art gallery
Nothing shouts, “Photograph me!” like a modern art gallery. Minimalism is the word here, where the art pieces accent a neutral interior that feels chic, perfect for the trendy photographer. Make it a fashion shoot with some urban apparel, or keep it focused on the art.
9. Take it up a notch at the Congress Avenue Bridge
Don’t forget to stop by Congress Avenue Bridge, a great feature in a photo all on its own or an opportunity for portraits on the bridge itself. Visit on a sunny day and the colors will without a doubt take your breath away. This is arguably one of the most underappreciated locations in the city.
10. Live it up at Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake resembles a river more than a lake, but it’s perfect for kayaking and enjoying sunny days. From the land, capture the dozens of kayakers you’ll be sure to see on a bright day, or get in a kayak on your own and take photographs from a whole different perspective. Enjoy yourself and get a multitude of picture-perfect photographs.
11. Keep it industrious at this East Austin warehouse
Stage a party or event of epic proportions at this awesome Austin warehouse, which is complete with a projector, PA system, and internet for easy communication and plenty of photographic elements. If you’re looking for the rugged warehouse scene, you’ve come to the right place to capture the moment. Make it a full-fledged event with everything here that’s available to you.
12. Admire cool grays at a natural light-filled portrait studio
Bring a model with you and capture unforgettable portraits in this gray-themed studio that lets in immense amounts of natural light. Be sure to bring plenty of nice and light clothing to the studio to keep up with the cool theme. Use the mirrors for enviable reflections, or lounge on the comfy couch.
13. Have the time of your life on stunning Sixth Street
This is the hub of nightlife in downtown Austin. Despite the fact that Texas is known for its country living and not for its urban lifestyle, Sixth Street completely contrasts this notion; it’s a must-see for urban photographers visiting Austin. Come during the day and photograph the magnificent buildings and street art that line the street, or come at night and witness Austin nightlife at its best.
14. End not with a bang, but with a “Howdy Room”
Bring out your inner Texan and artist in the “Howdy Room,” a fun creative space. With a wall that displays “howdy” on its wall, this studio embraces and celebrates Texas. Bring some boots and cowboy hats along, saddle up, and get some Western-themed portraits, or take professional headshots in the workplace that is on-site. Either way, both will surely be a blast.