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5 Must-See Charleston Photography Spots

Most visitors to Charleston say it’s their “secret spot” they don’t want anyone to know about. Why? Because there’s so much beauty in such a small space! Professional Charleston SC photographers are especially familiar with the locations that really make you appreciate this stunning area.


Charleston Mini Sessions has been providing tourists and locals with professional family and portrait photography in Charleston for years. Looking for the best places to take pictures here? Read on to learn about some of the best Charleston photography locations for engagements, family shots, portraits, weddings, and more! Let’s get started:


1. Folly Beach Photoshoot

Best for: Sunrise/Sunset Photos, Family Photos, Portrait Photos, Engagement Photos, Wedding Photos


A big tourist draw is the great selection of beaches in Charleston County. Great swimming, warm sand, good vibes, and most importantly – stunning scenery! Folly beach is a must-do if you’re looking for the perfect sunrise photography spot in Charleston. The Folly Beach Pier stretches more than 1,000 feet (about the height of the Empire State Building) into the ocean. Providing an awesome “runway” for different angles of the surrounding beach.


Low tide and high tide allow for daily opportunities to capture unique pictures. The many fishermen on the pier watching the waves provide background action for your pictures. Morris Island Lighthouse is a perfect focal point for any engagement, wedding, and family photography on the north end of the beach. And best of all… there’s plenty of food options! Don’t forget to take a break for a bite to eat. Posing for Charleston beach photos deserves a sweet treat.


Charleston Battery Photographer

2. Charleston Battery Photoshoot

Best for: Family Photos, Engagement Photos


Given the popularity of this area with tourists and professional Charleston photographers – timing is everything. To determine the perfect time for your photoshoot so you can beat the crowds, consider booking with an expert local photographer in Charleston. Otherwise, the best way to enjoy a hassle-free photoshoot is to follow these times and situations:


Best early-morning/early-evening photography locations in Charleston Battery:


  • Rainbow Row (East Bay Street)

  • Waterfront Park (Pineapple Fountain, North Entrance Fountain, Covered Pier)

  • White Point Gardens


Best Charleston Battery photography locations when there’s no cruise ships docked:


  • The Battery (Defensive Seawall)

  • Charleston Harbor

  • View of Fort Sumter


3. Colonial Lake Photoshoot

Best for: Sunrise/Sunset Photos, Portrait Photos, Family Photos


Not a fan of the crowds around the beaches and ocean but still want a mini photos session by the water? Colonial Lake might be a nice alternative if you’re not the type to wake up early to beat the crowds. This man-made tidal pond is bordered by beautiful homes, plants, trees, and benches to sit on.


It’s a salt water tidal pool that used to be known as Rutledge Street Pond. You’ll know you’re talking to a Charleston local if they call it “The Pond”. Although it’s had the name Colonial Lake since 1881... so that local might have a long history in the area if they do. If so, feel free to ask them if they know any secret spots or hidden locations to snap a perfect picture. (You can also hire a professional Charleston photographer if you’re not interested in chatting with locals).


4. South Carolina Aquarium Photoshoot

Best for: Portrait Photos, Family Photos, Wedding Photos


Bet you didn’t see this one coming! If you’re looking for architecture with a more modern flair or have a little money to spend on a fun activity – Charleston’s aquarium is a great place to strike a pose. The plaza outside South Carolina Aquarium offers ample room to snap a group photo. A cute fountain area. As well as a unique building design that offers a nice break from the historic architecture of the previously mentioned Charleston photography spots.

Inside the building is where you can really capture some magic. Pair those pictures you took of the ocean at Charleston Harbor and Folly Beach with some photos with the fish that live there! Seek out one of the aquariums away from windows to avoid light reflections and boom! You’ve got yourself an excellent background for a mini photo session that offers a unique perspective.


Hiring a professional photographer can help avoid any glare from the glass on the aquariums. They might also be able to incorporate the animals in your photos in unique and fun ways. The beauty of taking pictures with aquatic life is that no two pictures will look the same. If you’re lucky, some of the fish, sea turtles, sharks, and reptiles could turn an average photo into something with the postcard potential. (You might even go viral if they do a funny pose!)


Charleston SC photographers angel oak tree

5. Angel Oak Tree Photoshoot

Best for: Portrait Photos, Family Photos


Like Folly Beach, this one is a bit further to get to if you’re staying in downtown Charleston. It might not be as picturesque as the beach – but it’s still worth a drive! Located on Johns Island next to a church. You’ll need to get here within a 9am-5pm time frame if you want to get a good picture with this interesting natural landmark.


The road to the tree is narrow and not obvious which makes it a bit harder to find. Ask a local Charleston SC photographer for help finding it if you get lost! They come to this spot often to capture family portraits, and sometimes just pictures of the tree itself.


While not as majestic as the sequoias and redwoods of the west coast... it still offers a beautiful sight. It’s amazing when you think about how long this tree has been alive for, and how wildly different it looks from your typical oak. This well-preserved 400+ year old tree might be worth adding to your Charleston picture location list.


Photographer’s Tip: “Use a wide-angle lens to capture the expansive beauty of the beaches and ocean. Use a macro lens for close-up shots of intricate details you may notice during your visit to Charleston.”


The perfect souvenir or memory can sometimes be a simple picture in a memorable place. Capture those special moments with your friends, family, and loved ones at any of these Charleston photography locations. Just be prepared for others to ask you how you found such a beautiful spot to take pictures. Especially if you booked a mini session with us!


Charleston South Carolina pet photographer

Charleston Mini Sessions is a Charleston, SC photographer service offering fast photoshoots for families, individuals, and small groups. Available year-round for photo sessions as short as 15-20 minutes! Get same day delivery and free parking when you book a mini session today!

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