Page Four

30-31. Japanese Cherry Blossom Season: This only happens for two weeks out of the year in early spring, but it’s always a setting that I try my best to catch. The two best places I’ve found to photograph these beautiful buds are:

a) The parking lot at Trussville Baptist Church when the buds are still on the tree:

150324 Japanese Cherry Blossoms Aglow

b) Victoria Road in Mountain Brook when the buds have fallen:


32. Sweeping Skies and Weeping Willows: Vestavia Hills Baptist Church on Vestavia Drive. They have the most lovely real estate of any church in the Birmingham area – an overlook of Homewood, a giant tiered yard, fabulous rock formations, and dreamy weeping willows.



140426 Reach For the Sky


33. Rustic Trains: The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera. They have rows and rows of magical trains that are just begging to be photo backdrops.

150412b Adventures of Times Past

150412 The Trainyard

34. Rustic Trains and Knick Knacks: Irondale’s Grants Mill Station, a strip mall, has all kinds of curiosities in the parking lot – a train with several cars, an old British Phone booth, a train signal, an old red pickup truck, and more. It also has a pretty straight shot to sunset for even more spectacular backgrounds.





35. One more Train: The Welcome Center Caboose in old town Helena. There’s also a nice waterfall nearby that is quite popular for photo shoots.

131204 IMG_5291

36. Rustic Barn: The Petting Zoo at Oak Mountain State Park. Aside from also having fabulous goats, a donkey, and several peacocks, they have quite the quaint barn.






37. Autumn Paths: The trails at Oak Mountain State Park. There are both easy and hard trails, but many places where you can find scenes such as these:



38. Lake / Bridge / Ducks: Star Lake in Hoover. There’s an easy-to-access trail around the lake to find your optimum angle.

141204b The Lake's Constituents

39. Lake / Flowers / Foliage / Sculptures: Aldridge Gardens in Hoover (You have to have a photography permit to shoot professionally here.) There are plenty of great backdrops, quirky sculptures, seasonal flowers, arbors, and even a totem pole or two.

141202 The Perfect December

40. The Ultimate Hike-To Picture Destination in Birmingham: These magical overgrown train tracks in Red Mountain Park.

140614c Railway Trails

Although there are scores of photo op spots at Red Mountain Park, these tracks in particular have always enchanted me, and I’ve been dying to take family photos here since the day we found them.

150207b Making Tracks at Red Mountain Park

It is on the far eastern end of Spring Gap Trail (reference this trail map to find it.)


It’ll take you a couple miles to get there, but..WORTH IT.


What did I leave off? Where are your favorite photo op spots?

I do not offer family photo shoots (with rare exception), but all photos in this post are available through Picture Birmingham for sale in print or digital format with 100% of the profits going to The WellHouse to help rescue victims of human trafficking. For inquiries about digital image purchase, click here. For the Picture Birmingham shop, click here. To make an inquiry about purchasing a print that isn’t available in the shop, special orders, or commissioned photos, email

To see my photos in your Instagram or Twitter feed, follow me at @ObjectivityRach. To follow me on Facebook, click here.

Feel free to inquire for more information about specific spots by emailing me at

You might also enjoy these posts:
30 Hiking Destinations Around Birmingham
35 Things to Do in Birmingham
10 Best Hikes and Runs in Birmingham
Birmingham’s Best Sunset Views

8 thoughts on “40 Spectacular Spots for Birmingham Photo Shoots

  1. Such a great list, thanks for sharing! We’ve done pictures down on Morris Ave before, but it was harder to keep my (special needs) son’s attention – he kept running off to watch trains. Last time we went to Aldridge gardens and that was much better for him with less people and a lovely setting. We got married at Samford so will do 25th anniversary pics there next year – yay!
    Anyway, now I’m inspired to get my camera out and take my kids to Sloss, or maybe the train museum.

    1. Btw, my son looked at these pics with me, and kept insisting I scroll back to the bridge one. That’s one of his favorite bridges for train watching. ❤️ I may have to order that one for him.

  2. Wow these make me want to come just to get pictures taken! But there’s the small matter of being stuck on a plane all day with 4 children. :P

  3. Such great ideas!! Thank you soooo much for sharing. And thank you for adding tips and FYI’s on them, that’s so helpful and makes the article well worth note taking!!

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