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8 Lakeland Spots to Frame Your Perfect Shots

It is no secret that Lakeland is filled with picturesque charm. Historic cobblestone roads, public Prairie-style architecture, lakes filled with graceful swans––the city effortlessly creates a backdrop for photographers to capture special moments. From maternity and family sessions to creative portraits and documenting new love, photographers both locally and from afar find our city has quite more to offer than you’d first expect.

But what, in fact, makes for the perfect photo opp? Good lighting, a variety of distinct features to diversify your angles and, with the Florida heat, locations that feature shade. Your creative eye looks for it all in one place: textures, colors and tones to compliment your subjects or create your desired outcome. 

The next time you’re looking for a place to snap a memorable selfie or have your family portraits taken, here is a round up of some of our favorite spots that carry significant Lakeland panache.

Lakeland Highlands Scrub / Photo by Jason Stephens

Lakeland Highlands Scrub

Filled with vibrant wildlife––such as osprey and gopher tortoises––and pavilions overlooking this nature trail, the Lakeland Highlands Scrub features beautiful greenery and shrubbery over 551-acres of conservation. Local residents can enjoy how untouched the reserve feels as you make your way through the shady marshlands. 

This hiking trail has a boardwalk overlooking the lake, which gives a great rustic look. As a photographer, you’re always on the hunt for a diverse location where you can feature a bit of everything for your client. Lakeland Highlands Scrub offers just that, while bringing you the creative freedom of trying new angles and creative interpretations with open skies covering so much foliage.

 

Color Wall at Haus 820 

For a colorful, playful vibe, visit Lakeland’s iconic Color Wall mural facing Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Lakeland. Often used in gender reveal photos, it features five different hues for you to strike a pose in front of. 

If you’re looking for a more minimalistic vibe, the other side of Haus 820, one of Lakeland’s premier wedding venues, has an all white brick wall and another colorful mural created by local artist, Jujmo, in 2016. This location perfectly combines modern art with contemporary architecture. 

Lake Parker Park | Photo by Andy Glogower

Lake Parker Park

Noted as a place that has “something for everyone,” this family-friendly park located in North Lakeland offers a stunning view of Lakeland’s largest lake, Lake Parker. Whether you’re looking for lakefront photos by their industrial bridges or for iconic lighting beneath the brush of their palm trees, this picnicking spot offers a variety of options for a full range photography shoot.

With towering trees throughout this park, you definitely feel the sense you’ve found a forest of sorts. 

Lake Mirror 

Take a panoramic view of downtown Lakeland from the Lake Mirror Promenade. Another picture-perfect stop, this area features a timeless view of the lake, the Loggia towering doors and Hollis Gardens, a rich botanical experience. 

Lake Mirror also has a fountain centered on its waters where you’ll find ducklings and other birds roaming around. The romantic cobblestone path paired with its bright vegetation give a great touch to this Lakeland staple. 

Loyce E. Harpe Park

When you venture into the South Lakeland area, you’ll find Loyce E. Harpe Park, which used to be known as Carter Road Park. This park is a beloved spot by bikers and athletes as it has softball fields, baseball fields, soccer fields, hiking trails, fishing and other activity areas. 

Surrounded by wide open fields and seasonal tall grass areas, this is an ideal location for portraits or creative outdoor shots. It also features a skate park that provides more of an urban backdrop for shoots. 

Florida Southern College

An inspiring scene largely created by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Florida Southern College is a local’s favorite for modern design. Two years in a row, The Princeton Review ranked it as number one “most beautiful campus in the nation,” understandably so as the college campus adorns Lakeland with its unique layout. 

Central to the campus, you’ll find the Water Dome––a must-see photo opp. As well, the campus faces the beautiful Lake Hollingsworth, giving access to more waterfront snapshots.

Colt Creek State Park | Photo by Jason Stephens

Colt Creek State Park

With more than 5,000 acres of natural flatwoods, wildlife and wetlands, Colt Creek State Park in North Lakeland is yet another photographer’s dream in Lakeland. Whether at sunrise or sunset, the sun peeks over 15 miles of hiking trails offering you dynamic lighting and outdoor charm. 

For the adventurous couples, you can rent canoes or kayaks to take your photoshoot throughout the park’s lakes. In addition to this breathtaking nature hub, the park allows visitors to enjoy its 75 foot dock. Keep your eyes peeled for critters, including alligators and other Central Florida natives.

Bonnet Springs Park

Bonnet Springs Park is one of Lakeland’s largest public parks, and it has quickly become a local favorite. Whether you’re taking family photos or an intimate engagement session, you have several picturesque areas throughout this uniquely urban locale. Offering venue rentals throughout its 168 acres, it is already one of the hottest event spaces in the city.

Be sure you check out their online map before arriving to make note of the location you’ll want to shoot your photos, as the park is incredibly vast in size. You can snap adorable photos of the little ones in your family at their playgrounds throughout their park. Or you can also take pictures at their treehouse or canopy walk. You can also visit the butterfly house and botanical gardens for those whimsical portraits. 

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