Say Cheese: 10 Locations for Great Memphis Photo Shoots
Updated June 2020
It’s easy to take good pictures in Memphis. All you need is your camera, some friends and this list of Memphis’ most photogenic places. To check out ten more places for great photo ops in Memphis, click here.
1. Elmwood Cemetery (824 S. Dudley Street, Memphis, TN 38104)
It might seem a little morbid, but Elmwood is one of the most photogenic places in Memphis. The grave markers are unique, there are plenty of sculptures, and the grounds are huge. It’s open year-round, but it’s especially lovely in the fall.
2. Shelby Farms Park (500 North Pine Lake Drive, Memphis, TN 38134)
Shelby Farms is a great photography venue because of its variety. You want photos on a playground? They’ve got an amazing one. Are you more into woods, open fields, yurts, giant T-Rexes or lakes? Shelby farms has them. They’ve also got a huge herd of live bison that you can get fairly close to.
3. South Main Arts District (South Main St. and G.E. Patterson)
If you’re looking for an urban setting, the South Main Arts District makes for some excellent unique-to-Memphis photo ops. Head upstairs at Earnestine and Hazel’s for juke joint portraits, into Central Station to make it look like you’re going places, or shoot the area’s public art pieces and old-school architecture.
4. Martyr’s Park (Channel 3 Dr., Memphis, Tenn. 38103)
Martyrs Park is sort of hidden downtown. To find it, get directions to the Channel 3 Studios – it’s right next door. Once you’re there, you’ll find a small park with great magnolias, sculptures commemorating Memphis’ yellow fever epidemic, and a stunning, unadulterated view of the Mississippi River and both bridges.
5. Wolf River Greenway (Humphreys Blvd. between Walnut Grove and Shady Grove)
The Wolf River Greenway is a trail that runs alongside the Wolf River in East Memphis. You can park behind the Chick-fil-a on Germantown Parkway or in the small lot off of Humphreys Blvd. If you’re looking for good nature photos, this is the place – the Wolf River is one of the most scenic natural areas in Shelby County.
6. Just about any rooftop (Downtown Memphis, Tenn.)
For impressive aerial views, head downtown to one of the city’s open-to-the-public rooftops. The Peabody Hotel is a popular spot – the rooftop is massive, the views are great and it’s the only place in Memphis to see a duck palace. For more up-high views, try the roof of the Hu Hotel. For amazing river views, check out the deck at the River Inn on Mud Island.
7. Metal Museum (374 Metal Museum Drive, Memphis, Tenn.)
The National Ornamental Metal Museum’s grounds are high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, just south of the Old Bridge, at the site of an old military hospital. It’s free to enter the grounds when the museum is open, but if you are wanting to take professional photography, there is a fee (go here for details). Also, check out the hilly green Chickasaw mounds across the street from the Museum.
8. Summer Ave. (Runs from East Parkway to Germantown)
If you’re after unique urban shots, Summer Ave. is a one-stop shop. It’s one of Memphis’ older streets, and you can see great vintage signage, a drive-in theater, mini-golf, antique and thrift stores and quirky restaurants.
9. Overton Park (Midtown Memphis, between Poplar, North Parkway and East Parkway)
Here are just a few of the things you can aim your lens at in Overton park: a giant, shell-shaped ampitheatre, an old growth forest, the Memphis Zoo, the Brooks Museum of Art, the quirky mid-century Memphis College of Art building, and a giant open field with tons of people playing soccer, chasing dogs and having drum circles.
10. Mud Island River Park (125 North Front Street)
If you can’t decide between river views and city views, then Mud Island is perfect for you. More peninsula than island, it sits between the Mississippi and Wolf rivers. On one side, there’s a stunning view of the Memphis skyline. On the other, there’s the huge, wide river. In the park, there’s a scale model of the Mississippi, paddle boats, an amphitheater and a pavilion that once housed the Memphis Belle.
Looking for even more places for great photos in Memphis? click here.