Indiana is NOT boring, in fact, Indianapolis is FULL of hidden gems and spots to take pictures at. But honestly, it can be overwhelming to search blindly on Google looking for a park that will capture the vision you have for your session. That’s why I have compiled a list of some of my very favorite picture spots in and around the Indy area, for YOU!
1. White River State Park & the Canal
Right in the heart of downtown Indy is a park that is usually bustling with plenty of people doing all different things- White River State Park. This small park has the most gorgeous view of Indy’s cityscape with small hints of greenery and nature around it as well. If you are wanting to incorporate a city vibe with some nature vibes as well, this is for you! The Indianapolis Canal is adjacent to this park and is the perfect place for ANY type of session- family, couple, maternity, you name it! Since these 2 hot spots are so close together, it’s easy to get a little bit of both in a small amount of time!
2. Coxhall Gardens
About 20-30 minutes north of Indy is a beautiful outdoor venue and park called Coxhall Gardens. This one area has a variety of stunning backdrops that can easily be incorporated into your pictures. Some include an old rustic red barn, large pillars and an “amphitheater”, stone walls & steps, a brick mansion, and a bridge located by dozens of trees and greenery. This spot is perfect for all seasons as there are so many areas that you can choose from, no matter the weather or temperature! It’s a classic spot for any romantic couples session… or even for weddings!
3. Washington Township Park
Washington Township Park is a large open park full of walking trails, an event venue, playgrounds, and a splash pad. Hidden behind all the children playing, however, this park is known for its’ wide variety of nature that can bring your session to life. It features some areas of tall grass, a large pond, wooden fences, and more. This park is located on the west side of Indianapolis in Avon, IN and is a wonderful spot for family pictures in particular. For a more down-to-earth, relaxing session location with plenty of nature, this is what you’re looking for!
4. The War Memorial
Downtown Indy houses a significant war memorial that has a museum and education center inside it. The outside of this memorial, however, is such a unique and beautiful place to get pictures done of all types. The war memorial’s architecture is so intricate, including large pillars, hundreds of steps, statues, and complex railings. The steps of the war memorial are timeless, but you can walk up to the top of the memorial as well and get pictures of Indy’s cityscape in the back! The steps might give you a good workout, but the pictures can be a beautiful display of Indy and all that it has to offer.
5. West Park
West Park is extremely underrated, despite its’ peaceful environment and stunning nature. (This might even be one of my very favorite picture spots in the Indy area!) This park has plenty of tall fields and high grass to shoot near, but also has an awesome wooden bridge and stone steps that can add detail to your pictures. In the fall, this park contains some of the most vibrant autumn colors and its’ nature is one-of-a-kind. This spot is absolutely perfect for this “frolicking in the fields”, boho vibes that are trendy.
6. Holliday Park
Located just north of Indy near Broad Ripple is Holliday Park-another park that really cannot disappoint! Its main sight is the large ruins in the center of the park, however, there is gorgeous architecture located all around as well. The architecture here without a doubt captures those epic, wide shots that are Insta-worthy! While it can be a very rustic & unique place to take pictures, there are also many areas filled with blooming trees and flowers that can give off that nature vibe. Some of the best couples and maternity pictures can be taken here!
7. Friendship Gardens
Just down the street from Washington Township Park is another hidden gem, Friendship Gardens in Plainfield, IN. The sun sets right below the tree line at this park and can capture those perfect golden hour shots. This park has a large, open bridge over water, a rustic brown barn, white gazebos, and tons of open green areas. While it’s a small park, I’ve found that its calm, cute environment is ideal for couples or engagement sessions. This spot is usually never very full or busy, which makes it so fun to shoot at!
8. Holcomb Gardens
Holcomb Gardens is a huge park with tons of property and walking trails just off the campus of Butler University. Some picture-worthy areas that it contains are a wooden bridge with a pond underneath, gravel trails hidden under greenery, a large clock tower with steel steps, and a lawn area. Often, this is a very quiet and small area that is overlooked by many in Indy, so it can be perfect if you are looking for something that isn’t too crowded. It has a mix of both nature and gorgeous architecture for those who are maybe stuck between a city or park setting.
In general, the term “best” is subjective to what you find beauty in. While I believe that these are some of the best areas for pictures in Indy, you may want to take your pictures elsewhere- and that’s OKAY! When choosing a location, make sure that it fits your vision of your session and that you find the area visually appealing. Indy is jam-packed with areas to take pictures, and your session location should be true to you! I hope that you are able to use some of my favorite picture spots in the Indy area for your session!
Indy-based wedding photographer for the joyful, classic-living couple