Set in the picturesque landscape of northern Washington state, Seattle is a fantastic city with a charming and vibrant energy. This blend of history and modern development give the area a unique character, and combined with the splendid natural scenery you’re in for a special treat as a photographer in Seattle.
7 Top Photo Spots in Seattle
By far Seattle’s most iconic landmark, the Space Needle dominates the skyline of the city. The needle, along with the Seattle Monorail, were originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, but were both so successful that they were put into use as tourist attractions. The park complex the Space Needle is located in has numerous top photo sites, and of course you’ll want images of the Needle itself. For a bird’s eye view of the city, you can ride the elevator up to the Space Needle Observation Deck. From this vantage point, you’ll be able to get photographs including the city below, the majestic Mt. Rainier, and Elliot Bay.
Olympic Sculpture Park
A free public park next to Elliot Bay, Olympic Sculpture Park is open year-round, and regardless of what season you visit, it’s certainly one of the top photo sites in the city. Your pictures here will not only be of an iconic and artistic feature of Seattle, but also convey historical significance. The park space used to be an industrial site, but with environmental efforts in the city, it was converted into the beautiful space seen today. Make sure you get pictures with some of the most famous sculptures of the park, including Seattle Cloud Cover, an impressive glass bridge, and the well-known Eye Benches. It’s an opportunity no photographer in Seattle would want to miss, with so much creativity and historic significance all in one place.
A famous natural landmark of the Seattle area, Discovery Park looks out over the beautiful Puget Sound, and covers an area of 550 acres. In addition to the spectacular shoreline, the park includes meadows, walking trails, mountain views, and forested areas. Especially for wildlife enthusiasts, Discovery Park is a must-include destination for photographers in Seattle. One of the city’s top photo sites, the West Point Lighthouse, is located in the park. This picturesque building is situated on the westernmost point of the park, positioned out in the water on a rocky peninsula. Either from a distance or right at the lighthouse itself, you’re guaranteed some impressive and iconic images of Seattle.
Hiram M Chittenden Locks
The Hiram M Chittenden Locks, or Ballard Locks, are located close to the center of Seattle, and have been an important part of the city’s history. Boat traffic from Puget Sound regularly use the locks, and the salmon run upstream here to lay their eggs. For a particulalry scenic exploration of the locks, you can take a sightseeing cruise which travels past some of Seattle’s most famous landmarks, including the Great Ferris Wheel and the Space Needle.
Close to the canal area are the Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Gardens, a quiet and serene area perfect for some nature shots to include in your photo shoot. Any traveler going to Seattle will want to see this picturesque waterway, and photographers in particular will appreciate the historic charm and natural beauty of the canal.
Pike Place Market
More than just a market place, Pike Place Market holds important cultural and historic significance for Seattle. It’s a great way to capture the charm and unique energy of the city in your photo shoot, regardless of what time of year you visit. Among the numerous shops and stalls, you’ll find over 200 local artists as well as restaurants serving fresh-caught fish and handmade baked goods.
You’ll find antiques, souvenirs, snacks, fresh produce and fish, and a variety of other odds and ends that can add a quirky touch to your photos. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the market place, there are guided tours that also offer the chance to learn about the unique tales surrounding some of the shops and vendors.
The work of the famous glassblower Dale Chihuly is kept in the Chihuly Garden, one of Seattle’s top photo sites and most famous tourist attractions. Chihuly’s innovative style and ability to work with blown glass earned him a world-wide reputation, and at the Chihuly Garden exhibitions you’ll have the chance to view some of his best-known pieces. The Glasshouse, the crowning jewel of the collection, is actually created in such a way that the color of the building will change is accordance to the sunlight and time of day. Mesmerizing and magical, this is a must-visit destination for any photographer in Seattle, and will add a truly special quality to your photo shoot.
Pioneer Square sits at the center of Seattle’s historic district, a unique and charming area of the city marked by Victorian buildings. Notable attractions include the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, where you can learn about the gold prospectors who came to the Yukon valley in 1897.
While the buildings themselves make the Historic District a top photo site in Seattle, it’s literally only the surface of what the area has to offer. Underground, you can take tours of the historic streets the pioneers constructed when they moved to the area. It’s certainly a one of a kind experience, and one that will truly add a noteworthy touch to your photo shoot of Seattle.