In my over three decades in the professional photography business in Visalia, I have found what I think are the 5 best places to take pictures Visalia. For those looking for family, weddings, children and high school senior settings can all find the location for that perfect shot at one of these locations around town. You don’t have to travel far and wide for great shots, these close to home places can provide you with great backgrounds.
What makes a great location?
I look for plenty of shade. Direct sunlight can be the kiss of death to good portraits — large areas of shade, and good simple backgrounds. I hear many people who want to take pictures with a wild, colorful background. That’s great if you’re taking a photo of the environment, but that kind of background takes away from the subject. Look for simple locations. No cars, no buildings, just simple greenery.
What is the best time of day?
The best time of day is what we like to call the golden hour, the hour or two before sunset. The light is warm, the shadows are long, and the sun is directional.
Props; To use or not to use?
I’m not a big fan of props; I like to keep it simple. But I see plenty of photographers using chairs, love seats, hay bails, and tin buckets. It’s up to you.
So here they are, the? 5 best places to take pictures in Visalia
In order of preference on my part, though West Main and Kaweah Oaks would be a tie, depends on the look you are after.
1. West Main Park.
2. Kaweah Oaks Preserve.
3. Mayers Park.
4. Downtown Visalia.
5. Blain Park.
West Main Park
My current go-to park when the client wants a park-like setting.
West Main Park, located on West Main St. near the Lamp Liter Inn and the government buildings, offer lots of great backgrounds, is close by just about any venue in Visalia, making it a great place to take photos after the wedding ceremony and is large enough to allow more then one photographer to work at the same time. You’ll often see what I like to call “Facebook Photographers” set up props and do portrait sessions during the day.
Check out the little walkway that runs beside the canal on the northwest side, and the dirt path offers some lovely settings that look like your in the mountains. The old bridge offers some beautiful photos and the government buildings on the other side of the park provide some interesting juxtapositions to the greenery of the park.
Kaweah Oaks Preserve
While not truly in Visalia, its just east on 198 and offer lots of variety
Kaweah Oaks Preserve, located just north of Highway 198, east of Farmersville exit, is the valleys natural area. It’s a preserve because the land is set aside as it was naturally before development in the valley. An oak woodland owned by a group called that Sequoia Riverlands Trust. It’s a beautiful wooded area with several trails that lead through the grasslands offering many photo opportunities. In the spring, it’s lush and green, but as summer arrives, the grass turns golden and creates an entirely different look.
It takes a little time to walk to the trails from the parking area. It’s well suited to family portrait and engagements sessions where you have a little more time. The weekend can be a bit busy, but weekdays you’ll often have the place to yourself. Beware that it closes at sunset.
Kaweah Oaks preserve address is 29979 Rd 182, Exeter, CA 93221
Everyone Knows Mayer’s Park
Mayor’s Park has long been a popular location to take photos in Visalia. Located where Hall St. intersects Main, it offers a convenient location and one with a simple, beautiful background for photos. Compared to West Main, it is small, and you will sometimes find it hard to get a spot to take pictures on a busy weekend. But, when you do, you will find you get beautiful photos.
When You Want that Urban Look
We’re lucky; we’re located right in the heart of Downtown Visalia. One of the five best spots in Visalia to take photos. Just walk out our door, and we’re there. Photos taken in downtown have that urban look. We shot this photo in the alley behind our studio, but there are many other locations, including along Oak Street, (the street with the railroad tracks running through it) offering many cool photo ops, but weekdays are busy. If you are going to do some photography on Oak street, Sunday evenings the best.
For Two or Three Weeks in November
The Color Explodes
Blain Park, on Court St. just south of Caldwell is an excellent spot in the fall. The trees there turn a beautiful yellow in November, and it offers some beautiful backgrounds. But, you may have to wait for your turn. Try for a weekday.
So there you have it, what I think are the 5 best places to take pictures in Visalia. With any photo shot, planning and timing are key. Think about what you are going to wear, make sure your camera’s battery is changed and that you have an extra memory card (if you don’t, you going to have that one card with a problem) Bring along a comb or brush, and for girls, bring along your makeup. Most of all, have fun. It’ll show in the photos.