One of my favorite places to shoot fashion bloggers in Richmond is the neighborhood, Carytown. Carytown is located west of downtown RVA. Cary Street, the main street in Carytown, is lined with local shops and restaurants. Many of the buildings are brightly colored with painted walls. Because this is a popular area of Richmond, I suggest shooting early in the morning around 8:00 or 9:00am. Depending on the time of the year, the sun is still low and not many people are out yet.
I also suggest finding a parking spot and walking around Carytown. Parking can be a pain, especially if there is an event going on. The best places to shoot are usually down the side streets or behind some of the buildings on Cary Street. Don't be afraid to explore.
2. Church Hill
Church Hill is a historical neighborhood of RVA. Well known for the church that Patrick Henry gave his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, Church Hill provides historical charm unique to Richmond. From brick sidewalks to old southern houses, this neighborhood is packed with Insta-worthy locations. I suggest driving around the neighborhoods in the car and jumping out when you find a spot.
My favorite time to photograph Church Hill is in the spring. There are flowers blooming everywhere and it is absolutely beautiful.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is another great location for taking photos. There are many locations within this big outdoor space. When locals think of the VMFA, they picture the red Chihuly glass by the outdoor deck. This can be a nice modern background, while the building behind the VMFA can provide more of a traditional look. If you go by the parking garage, there is a metal textured wall that provides an interesting background too. On the south side of the VMFA there is a small church. It has a nice white scalloped background and a dark aqua door.
The VMFA is a great spot to shoot multiple outfits because they have a bathroom to change in. It also has its own parking garage for easy parking. The VMFA is a busy place, especially on Friday evenings in the summer. I would highly suggest getting there early to avoid people in your pictures.
Downtown RVA is growing and new businesses are coming into Richmond. The downtown landscape seems to be rapidly changing. I prefer to shoot downtown on the weekend, when it is less crowded. One of my favorite spots to shoot downtown is on the side of this parking garage. Its modern siding provides a great neutral background for photo shoots. It's a very clean and crisp look.
Downtown RVA has many locations. You can go down by the canal walk or walk to Brown's Island. The canal walk and Brown's Island have both nature background and urban background options. If you want to try something creative, go to the top of a parking garage. They usually have great views of the city and can make really cool backgrounds.
5. Shockoe Bottom
When I first came to Richmond I spent most of my time in Shockoe Bottom. This area is located to the southeast of Church Hill and to the east of downtown, but still north of the river. Shockoe Bottom can look a little rough around the edges, but has so many cute spots to photograph. The first spot is the path underneath the raised train tracks that runs through the capital trail. In the early spring there is some tall grass that, when shot correctly, can look like you are in an open field.
The first two images are of Tori in a parking lot off of Cary and (I think) 22nd Street. You can see the train tracks above the bike path. This is a great view of the downtown buildings too. It is important to note that you should never, I mean never, go on train tracks during photoshoots. People die all of the times from this. TBH, the photos are super lame anyway. Please stop.
The second image is by the River Loft apartments. This has lots of little coves to go into and take photos. Brick sidewalks and cute lamp posts are definitely a plus. I took the rest of the photos just walking around different streets of the neighborhood.
The Richmond train station is also located in Shockoe Bottom. This building is beautiful. However it tends to photograph a little more orange than I usually like my photos to be, but there are plenty of spots that don't hold this brick. Since the train station has become a popular place for photography, they are getting more strict on their photography policy rules. Technically you need to pay the photography fee in order to shoot there. I have been kicked out, but you can still take photos outside by the steps.... or try until you get kicked out like me.
If you are going to Shockoe Bottom to shoot, bring you laptop and go to Whisk after to edit. Whisk is my absolute favorite coffee shop in Richmond. Also, it's adorable and a great location to shoot. If you are looking to do a coffee shop shoot this is your spot. There is also a pink wall with a mural on its west side.
6. The Fan District
The Fan District is located to the west of downtown, but to the east of Carytown and the Museum District. The Fan houses Richmond's VCU campus and is full of unique locations. One of my favorite spots in the Fan is on Main Street, just west of the campus. Along this street multiple colored brick houses are right next to each other. One is peach, one is blue, another is yellow. The doors on each of the buildings are also very colorful.
This spot is great for a lot of color backgrounds all within a block of each other. When you are driving down Main Street, you can't miss it.
And the list goes on...
Richmond's diverse neighborhoods and landscapes make it one of the top photo blogger locations to live in. I only touched on a few of my favorite spots, but there are so many more (Libby Hill, Scotts Addition, Jackson Ward, the pedestrian bridge off of Brown's Island, Shockoe Slip just to name a few). Whether you just want to go on a photo adventure with a friend or are trying to start your own fashion blog, the possibilities are pretty endless here. Please comment and share your favorite RVA locations.
All images were taken by me, Rachel Dwyer of Rachel Dwyer Photography.
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