Today's Bride

The Best Cleveland Photo Destinations

Cleveland is full of amazing parks, architecture, and scenic backdrops. From the chandelier at Playhouse Square to the new Cleveland sign installations to Lake Erie, there are so many gorgeous destinations for your wedding pictures!

If you’re considering shooting wedding or engagement photos at some of these fun locations, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. “Choose a location that best matches your story,” Omari from JazzyMae Photography advises couples. “If you’re music lovers, consider shooting at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. If they love food, the Westside Market can make for a fun and playful photo-op. The best location is not always the location has the best aesthetics, but rather the location that means the most to your narrative.”

Stadiums

Cleveland Photo | Artistic Photography, Inc. | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Artistic Photography, Inc.

Cleveland Photo | BCR Studios by Brad | As seen on TodaysBride.com

BCR Studios by Brad

Cleveland Photo | LMAC Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

LMAC Photography

You also need to consider time. Taking photos at the Ohio City mural and the Playhouse Square Chandelier isn’t feasible within an hour. While Stephanie from That Wandering Light suggests scheduling at least 30-40 minutes to shoot at each location, and Lisa from LMAC Photography suggests no less than 2 hours total if you’re traveling to multiple locations. There are several factors that can affect your schedule. “An experienced photographer will know how long it takes to travel from landmark to landmark,” adds Karen from Karen Menyhart Photography. “Make sure you know what events are going on, especially something that might draw huge crowds. For instance, getting around downtown during or after a big game can be difficult.” Stephanie from That Wandering light reminds brides that “Finding parking for your entire party is nearly impossible. Taking the trolley or renting a limo is a must if you’re taking pictures around town.”

Playhouse Square/ Chandelier

Cleveland Photo | Genevieve Nisly Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Genevieve Nisly Photography

Cleveland Photo | Justin Ketchem Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Justin Ketchem Photography

Cleveland Sign

Cleveland Photo | Riverfront Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Riverfront Photography

Cleveland Photo | LMAC Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

LMAC Photography

You also should consider how large your wedding party is. Just think of how long it takes for you and your best friends to get ready for a selfie. Between fixing your hair to finding the perfect angle and re-taking the picture a dozen times, it takes some time! Similarly, it takes quite a bit of time to get your 20-member wedding party out of the car and ready to pose.  “I ask each of my clients to list the family members and arrangement they would like photographed then multiply the number by 7. Not every shot will take a full 7 minutes, but considering weddings are emotionally high events, it gives family members enough time to relax for photos. This also gives additional time to position elderly and handicapable family members in photos as well,” Omari from JazzyMae says.

4th Street

Cleveland Photo | Cirino Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Cirino Photography

Cleveland Photo | Orchard Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Orchard Photography

If your photographer has professional experience, he or she should be able to get good photos of you no matter how much time you have. “If you tell me I have 10 minutes at this location, I’ll still take good pictures. But you’ll get more pictures and more poses if we have longer,” Bruce from Riverfront Photography says. Regardless of how much time you have, a good photographer will make it work. But warn them in advance how many people they should expect and how many locations you plan on going. That way, they can plan ahead and prepare to pose large groups or route around traffic.

Skyline

Cleveland Photo | KT Rae Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

KT Rae Photography

Cleveland Photo | John Paul Studios | As seen on TodaysBride.com

John Paul Studios

Trust your photographer! “They will know the best places to go and whether or not you need a permit or special permission,” says Karen from Karen Menyhart Photography. “I have a 7-stop route in Cleveland that makes for the ultimate photography experience,” adds Brian from Brian K Artisan Photography. “Though this route typically takes 2-4 hours, it varies with each couple.”  “It’s important to be flexible. Sometimes there are last minute changes in Cleveland. An experienced wedding photographer will have a backup plan or know a good spot to shoot around the crowd.”

Lake Erie

Cleveland Photo | LMAC Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

LMAC Photography

When it comes to shooting at public locations, you should be aware of your surroundings. Walking across a crosswalk a la Beatles will make for an awesome photo but make sure you’re not interrupting or blocking traffic. “Some great photo destinations – like the Botanical Gardens and Old Arcade – charge per hour. Make sure you consult with your photographer beforehand about possible photo locations so you can reserve the space,” Lisa from LMAC Photography notes. You should also be aware that most places won’t be secluded. “You’ll have to share populated spots like 4th Street and Lake Erie beaches with pedestrians.”

Cleveland Photo | Malick Photo | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Malick Photo

“Sunrise and Sunset are the best time for pictures,” Stephanie from That Wandering Light says. When the sun is high in the sky, there will be more shadows which make photos unflattering. “I prefer to shoot at sunset,” says Brian from Brian K Artisan Photography. “The lighting will make Cleveland backdrops look more dramatic.” Bruce from Riverfront Photography adds, “The farther away you get from noon, the better the photos will be. Don’t fret if you wake up the morning of your wedding and it’s overcast. That’s great for photos! The lighting is more even and you can take photos and anytime in any direction,” Bruce continues.

“It’s important to have a back-up plan in case of rain or weather conditions,” Lisa from LMAC Photography notes. Like Karen from Karen Menyhart says, an experienced photographer will know of gorgeous spots around town to take your photos in case of rain. “The Cleveland Library is one of my favorite spots to shoot,” says Bruce from Riverfront Photography. “It’s free and has beautiful architecture and details.”

Cleveland Public Library

 

Cleveland Photo | Riverfront Photography | as seen on TodaysBride.com

Riverfront Photography

Cleveland Photo | Genevieve Nisly Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Genevieve Nisly Photography

Cleveland Photo | Riverfront Photography | as seen on TodaysBride.com

Riverfront Photography

Cleveland Photo | Riverfront Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Riverfront Photography

If you don’t want to make your guests wait too long, consider taking your engagement photos at landmarks around town rather than during your wedding day. This gives you much more flexibility and time to work out poses, find angles you like, and choose a route you’d like to take to catch all the photos you want. Plus, since it’s just you, your fiance, and your photographer, you won’t have to worry about parking.

Attractions

Cleveland Photo | BCR Studios by Brad | As seen on TodaysBride.com

BCR Studios by Brad | Cleveland Aquarium

Cleveland Photo | Malick Photo | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Malick Photo | The Arcade

Cleveland Photo | BCR Studios by Brad | As seen on TodaysBride.com

BCR Studios by Brad | The Botanical Gardens

Cleveland Photo | jadie foto | As seen on TodaysBride.com

jadie foto | The Cleveland Zoo

Cleveland Photo | LMAC Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

LMAC Photography

Stephanie from That Wandering Light highly recommends getting engagement photos taken with your wedding photographer. “It’s not just a great way to build a relationship with your photographer. An engagement session lets you work out which angles and poses you like, demonstrates how you can expect your photographer to behave and work on your wedding day, and allows you to get comfortable around your photographer.” Getting to know and become comfortable around your photographer is so important. When you know what poses you like and can comfortably pose in front of the camera, you’ll end up with better wedding photos.

Cleveland Photo | Genevieve Nisly Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Genevieve Nisly Photography | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Cleveland Photo | Riverfront Photography | as seen on TodaysBride.com

Riverfront Photography

Cleveland Photo | Karen Menyhart Photography | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Karen Menyhart Photography | Cleveland Aquarium

Cleveland Photo | Karen Menyhart Photography | As seen on todaysbride.com

Karen Menyhart Photography | The Flats

One final piece of advice when it comes to your wedding photos: hire a professional. “Experience is the primary attribute that a seasoned professional brings to assist with planning, itinerary, locations, family issues, etc. They are also going to bring back up gear, and be able to handle difficult lighting scenarios; a typical challenge for weddings. Any seasonal professional will also exhibit sound business practices such as paying taxes and carrying business insurance,” says Lisa from LMAC Photography. “It can be tempting to take a chance on a hobbyist, but unfortunately, the hare core reality is that it’s a gamble.”

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