The Top 4 Locations in Des Moines for Photo Shoots (that you never thought of)

As much as I love shooting at our wonderful Iowa parks, Des Moines has some pretty great city options as well.  Personally, I feel like you should choose your photo shoot location based on the interior styling of your home. If you love clean lines and modern interior colors, a cityscape family photo could be the perfect piece of statement art to hang above your fireplace.  

Des Moines has beautiful options for urban locations. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Riverwalk

The Des Moines River runs right through the heart of downtown, separating the business district from the East Village.  I love shooting on the riverwalk for family sessions because you can get such a great variety of backdrops. Turn one way and you have some tall grasses.  Turn around and you are shooting with the river. You can even incorporate some of the beautiful stone work into your shots. Really, this location is an amazing spot!  (Plus, you really don’t even have to worry about a lot of foot traffic!)

The Des Moines Capitol Complex

We have one of the prettiest capitol buildings around (in my humble opinion).  And it is perfectly situated at the top of a hill, overlooking downtown Des Moines.  The view is outstanding. Not to mention, the landscape is always perfectly manicured and picture-ready!  While I don’t shoot here a ton, I always fall in love with this location each time I visit!

Valley Junction

Valley Junction is a quirky little spot, filled with interesting backdrops.  For folks that love a distinctly rustic or vintage-y vibe, this area is spot on.  I personally have fallen in love with the aluminum-sided wall!

Cowles Commons

This newly renovated area is fast becoming one of my most favorites.  You get a perfect mix of city vibes and awesome landscaping that provides a park-ish feel.  It’s like two-looks in one location! The only bummer about this spot is that it is often used for art installations, parties, etc so it isn’t always available for a session.  

Court Ave, East Village and West Des Moines all have great little spots for family photos as well.  But downtown Des Moines seems to have the most versatility. I love heading downtown for a photo shoot.  Not only do I get to have fun shooting in these awesome locations, but I usually stop by Horizon Line for one of my favorite vanilla lattes on the way!