Have you saved all of the discount codes from Shutterfly, Snapfish, AND Minted? Have you Pinned coordinating outfit selections for the whole family? Have you promised your brother-in-law who owns the nice camera a dozen homemade cookies for an hour’s worth of his time? All you need now is to find the perfect location for your holiday photos.
You are in luck, though, because Just Vibe has done all the legwork for you. We’ve curated this list of 8 Locations for Your Perfect Houston Holiday Photo Shoot. Some ideas came from our own experience, some came from friends-in-the-know, and some from good old-fashioned research. In the end, we are confident that you could close your eyes, point to any suggestion on this list, and go home with fabulous shots and memories you will enjoy for years to come.
8 Locations for Your Perfect Houston Holiday Photo Shoot
#1 Old Time Christmas Tree Farm in Spring
For a beautiful traditional Christmas photo, this is the place to go. With over 40 acres of planted Cypress and Pine trees, you could leave with not only a treasured portrait but also a fresh cut tree as well. Adorable photo opportunities here abound. They have hayrides, live wreaths and garland, and Santa even makes an appearance on the weekends. You are welcome to snap as many of your own photos as you would like, but be sure to check their website for fees and guidelines if you plan to use a professional photographer.
#2 The River Oaks District
There is no better time than the holiday season to visit The River Oaks District Houston. With its tree-lined walkways where every limb is draped in lights, and its store-fronts decked to impress, no corner is left unadorned during the month of December. Nighttime shots here will be breathtaking, but remember to adjust your settings to capture the light.
#3 Hermann Square at City Hall
This year marks the 87th annual Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting. On Friday, December 1st, you can join Mayor Turner and Santa for fireworks and family fun. Houston’s official tree will be standing and lit until after the new year, which means you can plan your photo shoot anytime. With the reflection pool in the foreground, City Hall in the background, and a towering lit tree, your perfect urban setting photo is just a click away.
#4 19th Street in The Heights
Before I even moved to Houston, 19th Street in The Heights had worked its way into my heart. In the short span of a few blocks sit my favorite coffee shop, my go-to gift shop, and the place I buy everything cute that is in my closet. It’s also one of the very best places in the city for a photo shoot. Whether you are looking for a picture with Elvis, a quirky mural, a gallery of local art inside a real estate office, or sidewalk shots at sunset, there is no shortage of creative staging choices. You may have to say “excuse me” once or twice, because the awesomeness of 19th Street is no secret, and the foot traffic on weekends is real. But the end-product will be worth it, and you may just discover a new favorite small business while you are at it.
#5 Christmas Village at Bayou Bend
There may be no place in all of Houston more beautiful than the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, and between December 15 and January 6th, all 14 acres are alive with the holiday spirit. This immersive experience includes a trail of lights and a faux snowball play area for some great action shots! Be sure your camera battery is charged before going, and be aware of required entry fees.
#6 Houston’s Rich Outdoor Art and Graffiti Scene
For the first three years that my family lived in Houston, our Christmas card included local graffiti that we fell in love with around the city. One of my favorites was taken in front of the painted wall of on an old building, which was torn down only a few months later. Since then I’ve discovered Silver Street Studios with their long line of intriguing options, and Carrie Colbert has probably the most comprehensive guide to Houston’s outdoor art that I’ve ever seen. Check it out here, throw on your holiday sweaters, and say cheese!
#7 Briarbend Park
This active Houston City Park is a gem nestled in a quiet neighborhood off Woodway Drive, and backs right up to the Bayou. Although the park suffered some damage during Hurricane Harvey, it is up and fully operational. If you are looking for real pebble stone, running creeks, and woodsy winter backgrounds, this is the perfect place. The wooden steps leading down to the canoe launch are especially charming. Wear your plaids and scarves and even bring the family pet, but remember to “go” before you go, because there are no public facilities here!
#8 Sabine Street Bridge
This one is my personal favorite. My husband has the great pleasure of walking across this bridge to his office every single day, and he often texts me pictures of the ever-evolving beauty. The shot below was taken with his phone and it is stunning. There is ample parking in the Buffalo Bayou visitors center lot, and no photographer’s fee or reservation is required. Go morning or evening for the best light.
Happy Holidays and Perfect Photos from Just Vibe Houston!