In 2017, one of my goals has been to think outside of the box for portrait sessions. I want to make sure I’m not getting too comfortable with locations and spice things up. My goal is to add new, exciting and different places to take couples that they might not traditionally think of on their own. I also have been trying to up my steps to 20,000 each day. So I use my daily walks to scout cool and fun locations to bring people.
Here are three of my favorite stl portrait locations for unique, yet amazing shots.
There’s an old, abandoned church near the Fox Theatre in St. Louis (460 N. Spring Avenue) that’s perfect for portraits. The church has been ripped from it’s foundation and all that’s left is three walls with vines and vegetation growing up them. It’s beautiful.
According to Preservation Research, the National Memorial Church of God in Christ was built in 1884. It was destroyed by a fire in 2001. The church was bought to be made into an urban sculpture garden and in 2003 crews began removing debris, but the project was abandoned in 2004.
The church is nestled in the theater district, which means it’s surrounded by the Fox Theatre, the contemporary art museum and St. Louis University — all perfect spots to get great portraits.
That’s right. Our second borderline crazy portrait location is a haunted house. The Lemp Mansion, located near Cherokee Street in St. Louis, is said to be haunted. The mansion was built in the early 1860s as a home and brewery and has a sordid past. Now, it’s used as a restaurant and inn that draws many paranormal enthusiasts year round.
From the outside, it looks abandoned, but not in a decrepit way. Because it’s used as a wedding venue and inn, it’s well-maintained. I would describe the mansion as dark, moody and just plain cool. There aren’t many people who live nearby (unless you count the ghosts). Being right by Cherokee Street is a plus, because there has a hipster vibe to it, complete with artsy shops and the perfect streetscape for portraits.
Old Town St. Charles
Often, when people think of portraits in St. Charles, they think of Main Street. I love Main Street! But if you get just a little off the beaten path, about a mile away, you get to Old Town. It’s really similar to Main Street except there’s less traffic and fewer people. There are cobblestone roads, vintage shops and the vibe is chill. The area offers so many vibrant, fun colors that make the perfect background.
Old Town also near the river, which is a cool spot in itself. But if that’s not great enough, there’s this huge tree that has fallen in the river and looks as if it were placed there as a photo prop. There’s no other word for it except picturesque. Old Town has the amazing river view and everything else Main Street offers in a more secluded space.
It’s always fun and rewarding to step out of my comfort zone and put a unique spin on portraits.