1. Waterfront Park
The Waterfront Park is a popular destination for tourists and is one of the most visited and most photographed places in Charleston. The park offers beautiful views of the Charleston harbor, especially on its famous pier. While it’s difficult to find the pier completely empty, choosing an off-time of day will help you avoid the majority of the tourists.
Best time to photograph: Sunrise when the least amount of people are on the pier.
2. Magnolia Plantation
Famous for its appearance in The Notebook, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is one of the top spots in Charleston for nature photography. With its spectacular blooms, Spanish moss-covered oaks, and a variety of birds, alligators, and other wildlife, Magnolia Plantation has earned its spot on every Lowcountry photographer’s bucket list.
Best time to photograph: Any time of day. In the spring, Magnolia is open daily from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
3. Morris Island Lighthouse
The Morris Island Lighthouse is a beautiful location for stock photography that captures the history and spirit of Charleston. The original tower, which was built in 1767, was destroyed in the Civil War. It wasn’t until 1876 that the existing lighthouse was constructed. The lighthouse is visible from Folly Beach and James Island.
Best time to photograph: Sunrise or sunset.
4. Rainbow Row
Can you even say you’ve been to Charleston if you haven’t walked past this colorful row of historic houses at least once? Rainbow Row is located in the heart of downtown Charleston on East Bay Street. Although beautiful, the famous houses can be tricky to photograph. Oftentimes, cars are parked out front and there are always lots of people on the sidewalks which can interfere with a shoot.
Best time to photograph: Try to avoid the crowds by photographing at twilight (pictured below) or at sunrise.
5. The Pineapple Fountain
The Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park is an icon of Charleston and a symbol of Southern hospitality. Wherever you travel in Charleston, you’ll see the ubiquitous pineapple emblem on homes, in stores, and many other places. Visit Charleston’s most famous pineapple and photograph the fountain from an angle on land or over the water.
Best time to photograph: Any time of day.
6. The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
Another iconic spot in Charleston, the Ravenel Bridge offers spectacular views of the Cooper River, the skyline, and the peninsula. The bridge was commissioned by retired U.S. Congressman Arthur Ravenel, Jr. to replace the old, dangerous bridge that connected downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. Since its opening in 2005, the Ravenel Bridge has become one of the Holy City’s most popular emblems.
Best time to photograph: Sunrise, midday, sunset, and nighttime are popular times for a shoot.
What are some of your favorite places in Charleston for photography? Let us know in the comments below! If you’re interested in hiring us for stock, real estate, aerial, or interior design photography, give us a call at (843) 732-6111 or request a quote here.