The 10 Most Popular Places for Portraits in Houston

Some of the most important ingredients of a beautiful portrait happen before you ever get in front of a camera.

For example, the location you choose sets the tone for your entire portrait session. Excellent lighting can impact your appearance, and the right setting can not only help you feel more comfortable, it can tell a story about your life.

When preparing for a portrait session, it’s important to consider carefully the message you want to convey. And since we have no shortage of locations for portraits in Houston, you should weigh the pros and cons of each option. To help, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular places around town.

Top 10 Houston Portrait Locations

Whether you are already working with a professional photographer, or just starting to collect ideas for an upcoming project, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

The perfect spot for a portrait:

  • Creates visual interest that also compliments the people in the picture
  • Provides access to a variety of lighting
  • Has a personal connection or significance

Each of the Houston portrait locations on this list check the first two boxes. But make sure to pick a spot that also captures your personality and makes you feel at home—this will come through in your portrait.

1. HERMANN PARK

On a rain-free day, it’s nearly impossible to pay a visit to Hermann Park without crossing paths with an ongoing portrait session. It is one of the most popular portrait spots in Houston—and it’s easy to see why! With an abundance of trees, art installations, and landmarks, you can capture a wide range of portrait styles all in a single location, making it one of the most versatile locations on this list.

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2. BUFFALO BAYOU PARK

This 160-acre park is nestled snuggly along the downtown Houston skyline. There are few other opportunities to capture a bit of nature and city all at once. The recently-renovated park also home to the lesser-known cistern which creates unique photo opportunities all on its own.

3. HOUSTON MURALS

Murals offer excellent backdrops for unique photos of every variety. But all too often, they’re in locations that are otherwise not photo-friendly—especially for a professional portrait. There are, however, some gems to be found. Both the Sugar and Cloth Color Wall and Biscuit Paint Wall were specifically designed for photo ops. They work well for individual portraits and family sessions.

4. HOUSTON ZOO

The Houston Zoo features dozens of great photo locations, including a decidedly magical carousel. It’s a particularly good choice for family photo shoots, since busy children can run off their energy while admiring their favorite animals and occasionally pausing for a photo or two.

5. GERALD D. HINES WATERFALL

You don’t have to go to Niagara Falls to get a breathtaking photo featuring a waterfall. Located at the Galleria office park, this realistic waterfall provides the perfect background for romantic engagement shoots, stylized family sessions, and individual portraits.

6. MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

If you’re an art lover, it’s hard to find a better photo location than Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Virtually any art museum will provide a lovely backdrop for photos. But the Museum of Fine Arts offers more. The immersive exhibits make it possible to capitalize on a wide range of lighting, styles, and backdrops. Walk through a sea of dazzling lights. Or pose in front of a backdrop of glorious modern art. Even the doorways here can make for magical photos.

7. HOUSTON ARBORETUM AND NATURE CENTER

Bright flowers, lush bushes, and elegant lighting make for great photos. The Arboretum is an ideal choice for photos year-round, and boasts seasonal plant changes that can complement just about any style.

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8. SMITHER PARK

Love geometric backgrounds and bright art? Then Smither Park is the perfect location. Covered in mosaics, Smither Park is a color-lover’s dream come true. Local artists are continually adding new pieces, creating an ever-evolving landscape of artistic beauty. Featuring an octopus, goldfish, a rocket ship, and much more, Smither Park will delight even the most resistant children. Let them run around before the shoot, then watch them ham it up during your own mosaic-inspired work of art.

9. MEMORIAL PARK

The perfect location for a classic outdoor family session, Memorial Park has it all: lovely greenscapes, lush trees, and gorgeous seasonal changes. The park also features plenty of kid-friendly play spots. So if a family photo is on your to-do list, turn it into a fun family day.

10. A PLACE WITH PERSONAL SIGNIFICANCE

While each of the settings listed above may be popular, a location with personal significance most often makes for the best portraits. Personal setting choices allow you to truly capture a moment in your life. Consider, for example, a place you and your family love to be—a local playground, bookstore, or vacation spot. Or showcase something that brings you together. Have a family of equestrians? Your perfect spot may be actually be outside of Houston! The more unique, the better. You don’t have to do what everyone else does.

A Photographer Removes the Guesswork

Let’s face it, Houston has a distinct habit of derailing even the best-laid plans. The last thing you want is to spend hours coordinating schedules and finding the perfect parking spot, only to realize the lighting is off or you’re unprepared for a change in weather.

Our photographers have over 90 years of Houston portrait experience to draw upon. We know the best locations in town to capture a portrait that’s more than just a placeholder on your wall—our pieces become heirlooms that are handed down from generation to generation.

This list barely scratches the surface. Contact us today to speak with one of our expert portrait consultants who each have their own list of favorites. Not only will we help you pick the perfect place for a portrait in Houston, we’ll take every detail into consideration to ensure you have your own work of art.

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