I get asked all the time about where to take pictures so I thought I’d compile a list of some of my favorite places for you. I am kind of an expert when it comes to finding flower fields since I am soooooo in love with them. In the last 4 years, I’ve been keeping track of when they are in the bloom and so far, it has been very consistent.
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Camellia Garden in Downtown Sacramento
Usually in bloom from January to April in red, pink and white. Since it rains a lot in Sacramento, use caution since the ground may be wet, slipper or muddy.
Wild Yellow Mustard Fields
Usually in bloom from February to April. We usually stop by the ones that we see on the side of the road. LIGHT Color clothing is recommended. You should go super early in the morning at 7:30 or 8am to get the best lighting since there is no shade to hide under anywhere. Be careful of bees. Since it rains a lot in CA during the winter time, the ground is usually wet. Not ideal for heels. Be cautious of bugs or small animals. Also, wear something that you don’t mind if the pollen actually stains it (just in case).
Pink Magnolia Trees in Downtown Sacramento
Usually in bloom around Valentine’s Day for 2-3 weeks. If there are heavy rain then they will fall down faster. I usually go to the ones in Downtown Capital Park just because it’s safe and super large.
Almond and Cherry Blossom Farms
Depending on how much rain we get, they will bloom sooner or later but usually they come out at the end of Feb and the beginning of March and would last for about 2 weeks. If it rains a lot when they are in bloom then the flowers will fall down sooner. There are usually lots of bees as they are pollinating the flowers. Almond and white cherry blossoms are white so it is best to wear colored clothing but keep the colors light so that they photos will still come out pastel and airy.
Most almond farms are in Dixon, Stockton, Esparto and Woodland. There’s even an almond festival in Esparto each year.
Dogwood and Azaleas
Usually in bloom in March all around town.Dogwoods are usually white or light pink while azaleas are plentiful and colorful.
Downtown Sacramento Capital Park
These evergreens and cactus are available year-round. Since my studio is in Old Sac, Downtown Capital Park is literally down the street for me. I like it and frequent it a lot because it is clean and safe. Perfect for family, engagement and any kind of photos, really. On a nice day, you can bring a blanket and lie in the grass to read books. In Sacramento Downtown Capital Park, there is also a bamboo garden, a bunch of banana trees, lots of vines and tons of varieties of trees. So it is good year round for photos.
Perfect for anytime of the year because there is always something interesting happening there. It is so large that you can’t roam the whole ground all at once:
red brick, the golden Tower Bridge, the shipping docks and the marina, may different types of train, the wooden walkway, tons of candy stores and amazing sunsets on most days. It has everything if you want that rustic feels. Be warned, there are usually lots of people all around Old Sac so it is harder to get photos in without anyone in the background. The best time to go is early in the morning or on on a weekday afternoon. Parking is free before 10am.
(Pardon the gazillion pictures since it is my stomp ground. My studio is here.)
Zinnia Flower Farm in Woodland, CA.
Open and free to the public, these zinnias are usually in bloom from May to September of each year. You are allowed to pick your own flowers to bring home. The only thing they asked is for that cut the same amount to gift an elderly person who can’t make it there.
Caution: Bring mosquito and bug repellant so your legs don’t get chewed up. It is a good idea to wear something flat or platform so your heels don’t sink into the ground.
Bywater Lavender Farm in Lincoln, CA
Private property. There is an entrance fee to use the property. Must call the owner first to reserve a time slot. Has beautiful willows by the lake to take photos, a beautiful dock, a canoe to row around and rows of lavender to take photos in. Use caution when going through the lavender because it attracts lots of bees.
Lavender are usually in bloom mid June for 2-3 weeks.
The Rose Gardens at McKinley Park and Downtown World Peace Rose Garden
Super beautiful and vibrant. The rose garden at McKinley is usually shorter than the Downtown Capital Park one so it may be easier to take photos with young children. The rows in between at McKinley Park has grass too so it is easier for sit down.
The roses are usually in bloom from mid April until mid November.
For McKinley Park, check beforehand to make sure the gardens are open for they are sometimes reserved for wedding ceremony. Since there is no shade, it is best to go early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the heat and bright sun.
Beale’s Point at Folsom Lake in Folsom, CA
Usually in March, all of the blue bonnets are blooming so it is the best time to go. However, during all time of the year, the rocks are really pretty. As always, use caution when in this area as it is wild and who knows what’s out there.
William Land’s Park
This place is pretty any time of the year but it is especially beautiful in the Spring and Fall. Good if you want that woodsy feel to your photos.
Negro Bar in Folsom, CA
Rocks, water, grass. It is the perfect backdrop for your engagement photos if you are adventurous and love the outdoor. Be warned that to get to the rocks, you’ll have to do some climbing. Best time to go is from Feb to Oct so that the grass is still green everywhere.
Perfect for engagement photos for couples who love to hike and enjoy the great outdoor. This is right by the America River and will require some hiking down a dirt path. Pack hiking shoes or flats and change when you get down below.
Sutter’s Fort & St. Francis’ Church in Midtown Sacramento
Sutter’s Fort has that rustic feel as well as lots of cactus. The bridge was very popular with the kids. St. Francis’ Church has the classic Spanish feel with all of the stones and greeneries. They are right across the street from each other so you can do casual for one and dressy for the other.
Viaggio Winery in Acampo, CA
South of Elk Grove, this winery is soooooo beautiful. It feels like Italy here but has a red Photo Booth as well as a red vintage truck. White marble stairs, all of the exotic greenery and plants. There’s even a swing there too. Great date trip to go wine tasting and taking pretty photos as well.
The Japanese Tea Garden at Mickey Grove Park in Lodi
One of my favorite places to photograph clients who live in Elk Grove or Stockton. The red bridge over the barn is sooooo pretty. The fun stones over the water makes for some fun candid photos. There is also a bamboo area that are very good for photos too.
If you go, plan beforehand since the garden only opens until 1PM (I think).
University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA
We’ve photographed a lot of weddings here but taking engagement photos is rare. I would love to be able to get more in, especially in Spring when all of the azaleas are blooming all around campus. But really, the UOP campus is good for anytime of the year for all occasions.
Okay! I think I’ve given you tons of ideas for photo locations for this year. And honestly, it doesn’t have to be for photos for you to visit these locations. If you have time, take your significant other or your family out for a fun discovery trip. Then snap away!
Let me know in the comment below if you find this type of post helpful. If you have other ideas that you’d like to me write more about, let me know below as well.
Until next time,
Two Twenty Photos
Wedding & Portrait Photographer
Based in Sacramento, CA & Available Worldwide
CONTACT ME: www.twotwentyphotos.com | 916-475-3346 | firstname.lastname@example.org