Being born and raised in the Carolinas, it took me a while to realize how lucky I was. The
Carolinas are a truly magical place, from the coast to the mountains. You can get almost any
style of photos you could ask for in these states. Hunter and I have done beach sessions,
mountain sessions, country/farm sessions, and even sessions at the Biltmore, which feels like you
are getting your photos taken in Europe! The Carolinas are unique, because you can do your
engagement photos in the mountains, your bridals at a stunning house like The Biltmore or
Boone Hall, and then have your wedding at the beach. You could even squeeze a farm in there if
you wanted more of a rustic country feel. The range in these states is incredible, and we feel
lucky to cater to our Carolina couples! Here are our top 7 locations for a Carolina photoshoot.
Top Cities in the Carolinas for photoshoots:
Wilmington is a town on the coast of North Carolina. Wilmington is known for its
beautiful coast and charming downtown area. Wilmington has stunning spring and summer
blooms that make almost any spot picture worthy. One of Wilmington’s coolest features is the
boardwalk. The boardwalk stretches along the river and it makes a great scenic walking path.
Wilmington also has a number of wedding venues in the downtown area and nearby.
Also, much like Charleston, Wilmington is a place where you can have a nice weekend
getaway. Might as well get a bonus trip out of a photo shoot if you do not live in the area, but are
looking for that coastal vibe for your photos! And of course, we cannot forget about the amazing
seafood! Carolina photographers love having Wilmington as one of our options for some
gorgeous beach shots!
Okay, so since I talked about Clemson I have to talk about The University of South
Carolina. While Columbia might not be the most picturesque place when you first drive through,
the downtown area actually has some stunning spots! Columbia definitely has more of an urban
feel to it, but it has some stunning parks all around the USC campus and beyond.
One of our favorite spots we have taken photos in Columbia is The Lace House at
Arsenal Hill. This is a stunning spot in the heart of Columbia that has gorgeous iron gates and an
absolutely incredible garden! The garden weaves around this historical home, and one of the ceremony spots available requires you to take a walk through the blooms before you get there.
Hunter and I loved photographing here, and we hope to shoot there again in the future!
Another favorite spot in Columbia is the Horseshoe on the USC campus. This gorgeous,
historical park has beautiful oak trees all around. There are also brick pathways that make for
some artistic photos! We shot my friends graduation photos here, and we were amazed at how
stunning the campus was!
Raleigh is a great place to get an urban city feel for your photos. Raleigh has a great
downtown, trendy restaurants, and some gorgeous parks if you want a nice blend of urban and
nature! One of my favorite wedding venues also resides in Raleigh. All Saint’s Chapel is a quaint
chapel that has been converted into a wedding venue. It gives you that stunning church
architecture, but you can use the space for your ceremony and reception. We had a blast
photographing a wedding here, and we thought it was such a unique place!
Raleigh is also home to some beautiful parks. We recently did an engagement shoot at
Yates Mill Park, and it was such a peaceful nature park so close to the city. Yates Mill has a
boardwalk on a pond that is a great spot for walking photos and photos with water in the
background. There are also a variety of docks for photos, as well as the mill itself. The mill has a
few large rocks in the river that couples can jump on for some beautiful photos. We even had our
bride go barefoot because it was easier for her to walk, and it made for some cute photos of her
and her fiancé just having a good time together!
We love getting to explore Raleigh and see all it has to offer. Raleigh is also a special
place because we can easily meet up with the rest of the Reg and Kala team which is always a
Greenville is my second favorite place in South Carolina. Greenville has a quaint
downtown, but also has a small city feel to it. Greenville has the beautiful Reedy River Park and
a gorgeous downtown to walk around and explore! Plus, Greenville has the Peace Center which
is always showing Broadway shows!
Lucky for Hunter and I, my sister and her husband are moving to Greenville, which
means we will have lots of opportunities to explore this beautiful place! Our current favorite
place to take photos in Greenville is Reedy River Park. It not only has gorgeous views, but it has
a naturey feel to it in the heart of downtown. Greenville is the perfect blend of urban and nature.
Not only that, but Greenville has stunning blooms in the spring!
Greenville is also not too far from Clemson. As a Gamecock fan, it hurts to say this, but
Clemson has a beautiful campus. We did an engagement session for a couple at Clemson once, and we had a blast wandering around the campus with them. If you are a Clemson Alumna,
maybe consider getting your engagement photos on your old stomping grounds!
Boone resides close to Asheville, but the two places are still very different. Boone has
some incredible, breathtaking mountain views, but also a few small town areas and parks for
photos. One of our favorite Boone locations is Thunder Hill Overlook. This overlook is right off
the Blue Ridge Parkway and does involve having to jump a small fence, but it is worth it. In the
fall, there is beautiful golden rod all around that makes for rustic looking photos. There is also a
fence that helps with the rustic vibe, and of course, there are the stunning mountain views. We
did a family shoot on a foggy day there once and you could barely see the mountains, but
eventually, they started peeking out through the clouds and it was incredible!
In addition to the mountain view areas, there is also Moses H. Cone Memorial Park.
Moses Cone has tons of land for photos, including a fire tower. Moses Cone also has an old
manor with a beautiful wrap around white porch for some classy, romantic photos. We love
coming here for engagement shoots, because it is a fun park to walk around and explore with our
couples, and it has many scenic spots! It is also very close to Thunder Hill Overlook, so it is easy
to knock out both spots in one session.
We may currently live in North Carolina, but Hunter and I were both born and raised in
Charleston, SC. Charleston is one of those places where you tell people you are from there, and
they look at you like you’re crazy for moving away. Yes, we get it, Charleston is incredible, but
Hunter and I are adventurers at heart and had to branch out to new places! Luckily, Asheville is
not too far from our hometown and we are still able to photograph in Charleston a good bit.
Charleston has no shortage of photo spots. There are gorgeous plots of land with oak
trees, stunning houses, and of course, the beach! But our favorite place to photograph in
Charleston has to be Downtown. Downtown Charleston is one of the most beautiful places. I
might be a little bias, since I went to college there and the peninsula became my home for a
while, but also, it has so many places to explore. No matter how many photo sessions we have
done in Downtown Charleston, we are constantly finding new nooks to explore.
Another perk of Charleston is you can book a photo session there with a Carolina
photographer and make a weekend getaway out of it! Charleston has INCREDIBLE restaurants.
You truly cannot beat this culinary hub if you want classic low country cooking. Magnolia’s,
Poogan’s Porch, Virginia’s on King, and 82 Queen are just a few of my favorite spots for
Charleston cooking, but honestly, anywhere you go will be incredible! On top of that, King
Street has the most amazing donut shop called Glazed. Get there early to get the best selection,
because I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Anyway, I clearly went on a tangent. This is not a food blog, but man, I could write a
whole essay on Charleston food. I need to visit again soon! Through this, I hope you can see that
Charleston is a special place. You truly cannot go wrong with getting photos taken here, or
simply visiting and appreciating all the low country and all it has to offer.
Last, but not least, we have Asheville. Asheville is where Hunter and I have called home
for the past three years. Having moved here right at the beginning of 2020, one could say it has
been quite the journey. It took a while to feel like home, but now, it is hard to imagine living
Asheville is one of the most unique places in the world. The people are friendly, and it is
a nice blend of southern charm with a small city feel. Asheville is also surrounded by the
gorgeous Appalachian Mountains. Every year, watching the seasons change is one of my favorite
things. In the spring, we slowly see the flowers bloom and trees get their color back. Summer is
lush and green with so many activities to take part in. Then we have fall, which is my personal
favorite, where the leaves slowly turn from green to orange, yellow and red, and you have the
most gorgeous views ever. But even the winter deserves some love! Winter in Asheville usually
gets at least one good snowfall, but it doesn’t stick around too long. On top of that, even though
the trees die and lose their color, the mountains look purple to me in the winter and it adds a new
kind of beauty. While this article is not my love letter to Asheville, I must give credit where
credit is due.
Asheville is also a haven for photographers. There are endless trails to take photos on,
there is the Arboretum, the Botanical Gardens, and of course, the crown jewel of it all, the
Biltmore. Hunter and I got season passes because we photograph there so often, and honestly, it
never gets old. We love going to the Biltmore and exploring the gardens and taking artistic
photos with the architecture of the house. We have shot proposals, engagement photos, and even
just our friends at the Biltmore, and each session has been a blast. We have also gotten the
opportunity to shoot there every season. It’s true what they say: the Biltmore at Christmas time is
amazing! Speaking of Biltmore at Christmas, there will be a new Christmas movie coming out
soon that is being filmed there, which is pretty cool!
Besides the Biltmore and the nature side of Asheville, Downtown Asheville also has a
unique urban vibe to it. We took a couple downtown once to get photos, and we went on a
rooftop and had them sit at a coffee shop, and there is an old theater that made a cool backdrop.
We had a great time just exploring with them and being creative with all of the photo
opportunities! The Foundry Hotel is also a great place for photos, with its aesthetically pleasing
brick walls and cool architecture. Downtown Asheville is full of opportunities just waiting to be
Asheville is another location on this list that deserves a weekend getaway. You could
spend two days alone checking out the hundreds of breweries scattered all around the city!
Wherever you turn in Asheville, you will find a unique brewery with delicious beer. Seriously, I
have never had a bad beer in Asheville, and I didn’t even like beer before I moved here! (Go
check out Dssolvr! You won’t be disappointed!) Aside from beer, Asheville also has other
unique restaurants. It is home to Chai Pani which was recently rated one of the top restaurants in
the US, and it is also home to Double D’s which is the coffee shop that resides in a double
decker bus! Also, if you journey to South Asheville, you will find a small, hole-in-the-wall pizza
joint called Asheville Pizza. Not only does Asheville Pizza have phenomenal pizzas and unique
creations like their Hawaiian pizza with a coconut crust, but they also have an amazing beer
selection of local beers from all around the city! And if you can’t decide which ones to try, the
staff is very helpful and will help you make some great selections!
So, yes, I might have shown a little bit of bias in this article, but what I can say is that the
Carolinas are truly unique and full of endless possibilities for all people. Carolina photographers
can easily find a spot anywhere in these two states to get beautiful photos for their couples.
Whether you are newly engaged, have been married for years, or just want solo photos, these
states are special and I feel lucky to be a part of this corner of the world. Any person you meet
who was born and raised in the Carolinas will agree that there is something about it that calls you
home, even if you move away. You will never find that sweet, southern charm like you do here
anywhere else! So next time you are in the Southeast, stop in the Carolinas. Get some boiled
peanuts, eat some coastal seafood, go on a hike, go white water rafting, forage for mushrooms in
the Appalachian Mountains, or go to a college football game, but whatever you do, I warn you,
you will fall in love!
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