One question that I see being asked often is where are the great outdoor locations for pictures in Cleveland. Photographers and clients alike are interested in these locations. I would like to address this question and offer my own, humble, opinion 🙂 .
First, I will say, that every location is a great location for pictures as long as the right elements are present. The first and most important is quality of light. With quality light, you can create a beautiful picture that has mood and texture. Quality of light doesn’t mean quantity. Too much light will ruin any image. Not enough light and you don’t have a dynamic picture. Quality light has direction. Good light is the first thing for any great picture for me.
The next element is a great background. Whether it’s the Cleveland cityscape, lush foliage or some cool graffiti, the background helps to enhance the subject (the most important thing). So any of the great location has to have these elements.
Secondly, I will mention, that these are general locations used as a default. Locations that are a go to for most wedding and portrait photographers because they are consistent. This does mean that they tend to be over photographed but, again, they always deliver.
My first great location in Cleveland is East Fourth Street. Such a dynamic location and one of the most popular. Cafe lights. Plate glass storefronts. East Fourth Street has a lot of great ingredients for a quality pictures. It’s a go to location for most Cleveland photographers and to me as well. I really love having photo sessions at night here. All for the elements come together at night.
Another location that really is best at night is Playhouse Square. The second most dense number of theaters outside of Broadway in New York, the reason I love Playhouse Square at night is obvious. Lighted playbills. Theater signs. And the now iconic chandelier. SHINY THINGS!
One of my favorite outdoor locations for great pictures in Cleveland is Wade Oval Park. Located in University Circle and surrounded by The Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance Hall, and Case Western Reserve, with a lagoon right in the middle, Wade Oval has it all. It’s always different every time that I go there. Depending on the time of year, the foliage offers variety and texture. In the fall, it’s gorgeous. A short walk and you are at the Cleveland Museum of Art. This gives you a location to contrast the park. Concrete and steel, the museum is perfect for the geometric elements that I love in my pictures.
Another great location for pictures is the Flats. West Bank or East Bank they both offer the elements that make great pictures. The East Bank is a bit more industrial, which I love. It also has a great view of the cityscape. The West Bank has more new businesses which gives it a more metropolitan feel. Running along the lake and the Cuyahoga River this adds the possibilities that water brings to images. It doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy or sunny, there is always opportunities for great images.
One very popular location for wedding pictures is Voinovich Park. Located on Lake Erie right behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it is another great location for the Cleveland skyline. Parking can be a little tricky, especially on a wedding day, but it is worth it if using the city of Cleveland as a background is important
If you want a nitty gritty, down and dirty urban location, there isn’t a better place than the old warehouse on Carnegie. Once the best kept secret amongst some photographers, the the cat is out of the bag. There is always a photographer of some sort there when I’ve been there. It’s quite dangerous, with large holes in the floor and definitely used by some of Cleveland’s homeless population for shelter. One must be cautious when there and never go after dark (my kind of place).
So these are just a few of the default locations in Cleveland that are great for outdoor pictures. Whether a senior portrait a wedding day or a cool family photo, these locations have it all and you can’t go wrong with any of them. But remember, any location that has the elements for a great picture will work if you look for them.