All photographers find themselves stuck in a rut from time to time. You've been to all of the sites in your town, and you're ready for a new adventure. If you are a photographer stuck with this question - How to find places to take pictures near me, this article, we would give you ideas and inspiration on how you can always find great photography locations near you, wherever you are.
Finding great photography locations near you doesn't have to be complicated. You can start by researching online. Then go on some scouting trips. And yes, we do have a list of top apps and websites that have the answer to - Where can I find places to take pictures near me?
Top websites and apps to help you find places to take pictures near me?
- Really Good Photo Spots
- Google Earth and Google Maps
- Facebook Local Photography Groups
- The Photographer's Ephemeris
Whether you are a photographer looking for answers or just a group of friends trying to find "cute places to take pictures near me", there are plenty of apps that can help. Check out these websites and apps for photography location options, no matter whether you're in your home town or are just visiting a new place for a few hours.
This web app features an advanced search that returns photography locations to take pictures near you, no matter where you are. The sites listed are categorized too, with useful categories depending on what sort of photography you'd like to do. There are architectural, water/coastal, abandoned, city/urban, and astrophotography categories, among others.
The search tool returns sites based on zoom level and popularity, so if you're looking in a small town, you might want to start with a small zoom like 25 kilometers and then move out to the surrounding area gradually. Even in small towns and rural areas, the site comes up with a lot of shots.
The downside of ShotHotspot is that while it finds photo places near you, many of them may be of little interest. There are generic family photos and other geotagged items found on Flickr and other websites. There is no curation of the data, just the search results.
Available only for iPhone and iPad users, this app is used for finding and researching about the locations. In the paid version, you can save the places you've found to take pictures for later use, and you also get some additional features.
Pixeo was created by a husband and wife team who were sick of searching for places to take pictures. In their spare time, they created Pixeo. It's a custom, map-based search that uses data from Instagram and other photography websites. You can use it on your computer's web browser or a mobile app. Do note that their mobile app is a subscription service, which at present costs USD 0.99 per month or USD 9.99 per year after a 30-day free trial.
What do you get for your money? The idea is that you get curated data. The website owners go through the search results and find the places that are good photography locations. The result is fewer location listed on the map, but those that are there are good spots to shoot.
Google Earth and Maps are both handy for finding great photography locations near you. Both apps are straightforward to use and available on both mobile and web platforms. Both have far more useful features than many people realize.
Google Maps is primarily used for navigation and direction finding. When using it to find places to take pictures near you, looks for parks, public spaces, and nature trails. Streetview is an integrated feature that can help you if you're looking for spots in urban areas. If you zoom in, you can view panoramic photography of many streets and roads. This gives you a pretty good idea of what the place is like, although you don't have any control over the season or time of day for the image you are taking.
Google Earth is even more useful. The app is designed to be a world atlas, and it includes 3D effects that are incredibly detailed in some areas. Integrated into the program are many photo and video features and links to Wikipedia pages. All of this is excellent fodder for discovering something new, whether it's around the corner from your house or half a world away.
The Google Earth app even has a feature that allows you to see the terrain at various times of the day and the year. By playing with this, you can see how light and shadows fall over the place you'd like to photograph.
Wikivoyage is a free and multilingual online travel guide. Unlike guidebooks Wikivoyage, being a part of Wikipedia is updated regularly and can be done by anyone. If you discover a few good places to take pictures near you, and there is no information about it online, then you can add it on the Wikivoyage website. If you are new to a city, then you can search it on this website and find the places to see. You can use according to the type of photography you want to do, like if you are looking for 'places to take family pictures near me' then enter the city or state in which you want to do the shoot and look for the places of attractions. If the search results are not good enough, then use the information to further the research in Google maps or other websites and look for offbeat places nearby, which might interest you.
Flickr has been around a long time. Start your search by typing the location you want to visit into the search bar. Another great way is to click the "World Map" option from the Explore menu at the top of the website. Geotagged photographs will then show up on a map that allows you to pan, zoom, and scroll. The map's search feature will enable you to search by type of photography like architecture, portrait, or natural landscapes. You can also search by location if you already have some ideas of where you'd like to visit. Zoom in on your home town for places to take pictures near you, or scroll across the oceans for sites to add to your bucket list.
Instagram is the go-to photography app these days. But you can easily use Instagram to find photo places near you. You can search by location or search by hashtag. Browse what other users have done recently and you might rediscover some old favorite sites or discover entirely new ones.
If you browse the photos under the location tags, you’ll notice that the photos with the most likes and comments are those that have been edited or designed with creative borders, filters, and text. Instasize is a smart photo editing tool that can do that for you and is available for both iOS and Android.
Occasionally, Instagram will have an added benefit. Sometimes, things get misplaced in the location tool, and you can get an idea of what is around the more popular spots. You can also tell what events are held there and what times of the year are the most popular. Using hashtags that are attached to locations you know you like, you may be able to find other places to take pictures near you that you hadn't previously thought of.
500 Pixels doesn't have a great location search tool, at least not one that is activated with one-click ease. But they do have one of the best galleries to search. Their database is brimming with stellar photography and inspiring scenes.
Write your location into the search box and see what comes up. You might have to play around with it a bit, but chances are you'll see some landmarks and places you recognize. Along with those, you might have a few places you've driven by a million times and never thought about as a photography location. A few might require a little more research to figure out exactly where they were taken. With any luck, the photographer tagged the site or included it in the title or description. Now you are on the right track to finding the perfect photoshoot places near you.
Facebook Local Photography Groups
There are many great things about Facebook, but one of the best things is the vast and varied user groups that exist there. Facebook groups exist for nearly everything, from people sailing around the world on small boats to knitting in Ouray, Colorado.
Search Facebook for photography in your town or region, and chances are you'll come across a group that discusses it. These are great places to meet like-minded souls and share what inspires you. Swap photography places near you and asks for advice, all while networking with other shutterbugs in your area.
TPE is a fantastic app for photographers who are obsessed with light. The mobile app sells for USD 9.99 and is well worth the price. Some features are also available via web or desktop app.
At its core, TPE is an almanac app. The app uses your phone's location services and immediately tells you the details of astronomical, nautical, and civil twilights, along with the moon and sun rise and set times. The map overlays bearings to the light source selected and projects a shadow line based on the time of day. You can play with the time and place to figure out how to set up shoots and when to arrive for the best light. You'll never wonder when golden hour is again!
The mobile app also features some excellent augmented reality features. Using your phone's camera and the atlas information, you can move your phone around and see where the sun and shadows will lie. A globe indicates the light source and will show light versus shadow as you move the phone around. For astrophotographers, the app also shows light pollution levels and stars.
The Photographer's Ephemeris doesn't necessarily show you the best photography places near you, but in concert with the other apps above it will give you a great idea of when to check it out.
Other Ways to Find Photography Place Near You
Go for a Walk
Sometimes finding a great location doesn't mean you need to spend hours in front of the computer or jet setting around the globe. Sometimes the perfect spot is in your own backyard or right around the corner.
All photographers have favorite spots in their hometowns. But the beautiful thing about photography is that it enables us to see things from different angles. Make what is old new again with a fresh take.
One sure fire way to find amazing places to take pictures near you is to leave your camera at home. Without your camera, you will see things differently. Move slow and check out the places you haven't explored, and keep a list on your phone or notebook of places you want to come back to.
Go for a Drive
The same thing applies to the county or region in which you live. You probably have a list of your favorite parks already, just like you probably know where the top ten Instagram sites are nearby. But a photograph can be made anywhere. Go for a drive and take a look around to find good places to take pictures near you. There's probably a lot you've missed.
Travel, but Stay Awhile
Travelling is probably one of the biggest challenges for photographers. When you first visit a place, you might research the best places to shoot. All of the sites above are great resources. But once you've been to a place, and the newness wears off, it's not time to move on. It's time to dig a little deeper. If you move on, you will only have the same shots everyone else has. Instead, walk around your new town or go for a drive. Explore it like it's your town and scout out little-used locations. Find the neighbourhood parks and scenic getaways. Explore and find the best places to take pictures near you.
Of course, this brings up a different sort of travelling that is not practised by many. When you plan a getaway, do you expect to hit all the sights and see as many towns as possible? Are you driving all around the state, stopping for only a few seconds here and there? Or do you take your time and find the backroads, mingling with locals while relaxing in a new place? Both methods result in fabulous photos, but only one results in original and creative images.
Buy a Local Guide Book
Although people might be using guidebooks less these days, it is still one of the best ways to know about photo places near you. The guidebook has curated and well-researched information on a place. Another advantage of it is that they are organized and contains only the information about the place unlike Instagram, where looking for a place might give you pictures that are of no relevance and which might not be from that place. And if you don't want to buy a physical book, then you can buy an ebook and use it on your e-reader.
Try a Different Sort of Photography
Photography is about creativity, and creativity usually happens outside our comfort zones. There are so many different types of photography to try, and each one makes you a better photographer. Sure, maybe your foray into street photography results in awkward and disappointing photos that never make it into your portfolio. But the exercise of trying it is an essential part of learning. Maybe you discover that it's a challenge you love, or perhaps you learn a new way to harness light with your favorite lens.
The most significant advantage of trying something new is that you will undoubtedly find great photography places near you that you had never previously considered. Once you look at a location for multiple purposes, new options appear everywhere.
Don't Forget the Parks
Regional, state and national parks are full of beauty and open spaces. They are great places for photo shoots of any kind. Just remember to check the rules and see if a commercial photography shoot permit may be required.
Finding great photography places near you isn't very hard, but sometimes it's hard to realize that what you need is a burst of creativity. Often, breaking out of your shell and trying something new is just the ticket. These apps and techniques are great ways to explore your world a little deeper and to find lots of fantastic photography places near you.
If you are looking for new places to photograph, then you must have done a decent amount of shoot in the places you know. Have you shown them through an online portfolio yet? If not, sign up with Pixpa for a 15-day free trial. Pixpa is a website builder platform dedicated for creative professionals that takes care of all your needs in one place.