DFW Photo Location Guide

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Introduction

Created by Steve Rainwater. Anyone is welcome to add to this list.

Every amateur photographer in the Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) area has at one time or another needed to find the perfect location for a shoot. Over time, we build up personal lists of good locations. Too often photographers feel the need to keep these lists secret out of a fear that it will spoil the uniqueness of the location if too many other photographers find out about it. This is particularly problematic with so-called professional photographers who often have bought into a very anti-free-culture mentality (these same photographers often post rants against creative commons licenses or photographers who do TFP/TFCD shoots for friends). If you're one of those photographers, stop reading right here because this guide is all about sharing information to help our friends. If you know of a good location that's not in this guide, add it! If you visit a location mentioned here and find that the description is inaccurate, fix it!

Addison

Addison Circle

Address/Map Notes
Addison Circle, Addison, TX Addison Circle is an urbanized area where residences are built on the upper levels and shops are built on the ground level along with a park, a theater among other interesting building. Most iconic of the area is the Blueprints Sculpture at Addison Circle in the middle of a round-about.
submitted by Gus Reiter

Cavanaugh Flight Museum

Address/Map Notes Sample
4572 Claire Chennault Cavanaugh Flight Museum has a large collection of historic military air vehicles from WWI, WWII, the Korean, and Vietnam eras. They have planes from around the world including Soviet block. There are examples of WWI nose art on at least two of the planes. Some are restored as static museum exhibits only but others are still fly. For $10 you can enter the museum and shoot photos of anything. With advance notice and for additional costs, you can make special arrangements for shoots of a particular plane. In some cases, you can pay to go up in one of the planes as well.
submitted by Steve Rainwater

Dallas

Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum is an arts district in Dallas. It started in 1884 as an industrial area with cotton gins, Ford Model T assembly plant, a Studebaker parts warehouse, as well as banks and fraternal orders. Today it contains residential areas, restaurants, live music venues, and many art galleries. It also contains a the highest density of art walls and graffiti walls in Dallas.

Traveling Man Sculptures

Address/Map Notes Sample
Gaston Ave and N Good Latimer Expy The Traveling Man is a collection of sculptures near the Deep Ellum DART station consisting of 3 giant metal robots and about one dozen small chrome birds that also double as chairs. The primary robot is 38' tall and weighs 35,000 lbs. The sculpture is in direct sunlight most of the day but partially shaded during early morning hours. The Dallas skyline is visible nearby and frequently photographed reflected in one of the chrome birds.
submitted by Steve Rainwater


Graffiti Walls / Art Walls

Address/Map Notes Sample
Main St at Malcolm X Blvd. Blue, Green, Turquoise music mural that covers very large brick wall and wooden gate. This wall is in direct sunlight during morning hours and in full shade during the afternoon. The wall has a very wide range of colors and shapes. If you only have time for one mural location during a shoot, this one is a good choice.
submitted by Steve Rainwater
2911 Elm St. Red, white, and blue Texas Flag at angle, interrupted by large red, yellow and green outlined windows. Full shade in morning, full to partial sun in evening. This is the side wall of the Pepe's and Mito's mexican restaurant.
submitted by Steve Rainwater
Indiana Blvd near Malcolm X St Blue with large white stars, large dark windows with white borders. partial direct sun with dappled shade from nearby trees. Flash or reflector likely needed for best results. This is the rear wall of the Pepe's and Mito's mexican restaurant.
submitted by Steve Rainwater
Indiana Blvd at N. Walton St. Dark green, solid, with black trim. Partial sun to full shade. Areas of plain brick, doorways, and electrical meters.
submitted by Steve Rainwater
3510 Commerce St Mural of undead Elvis riding a monster tractor with saw blade wheels. Elvis is in pursuit of a running pig as a tornado carries away a trailer in the background. Meanwhile, the entire scene is under ray gun attack by a fleet of flying saucers. Painted on the wall of the Double Wide bar. Direct sunlight in morning hours, full shade in evening.
submitted by Steve Rainwater
Clover St at South Hall St Multi-colored abstract covering a large wall with inset glass brick windows and an iron gated door. Wall is in full sun in the morning and full shade in evening. Side wall along Clover St includes a mural of the Continental Gin water tower over a television color bar test pattern.
submitted by Steve Rainwater
S. Walton St at Commerce St Blue/Green stripes with mural of stick man juggling ice cream cones (at least that's what it looks like to me!). Mural is painted on a large metal roll-up door inset into a brick building. The door mural is usually in full shade but there is direct sunlight nearby in the evening close enough for use with a reflector.
submitted by Steve Rainwater

Downtown

Farmers Market

Address/Map Notes Sample
S. Harwood St at Marilla St The Farmers Market area includes an outdoor market with covered produce stands, several restaurants, and several adjacent nurseries, and pottery sellers. There's a wide range of lighting conditions. Views of the downtown Dallas skyline are available from some vantage points.
submitted by Steve Rainwater

John W. Carpenter Park

Address/Map Notes Sample
N. Pearl St at Crockett St John W. Carpenter park is small, trapazoidal park split down the middle by N. Pearl St. It contains a 700 foot cor-ten steel sculpture by Robert Irwin called Portal Park Slice. The sculpture looks like a rusty wall slicing the park in half. The park is planted with pine trees and includes grassy knolls up to about 12 feet above ground level. It's possible to get views with or without the Irwin sculpture. Views that appear to be a natural area with no downtown buildings are possible, as are views with a Dallas skyline. The Sheraton hotel is nearby, overshadowing other downtown buildings. (the Sheraton is the location of A-Kon, making this an ideal location for shooting A-Kon cosplayers away from the crowds).
submitted by Steve Rainwater

Oak Cliff

Bishop Arts District

Address/Map Notes Sample
400-500 Bishop Ave The Bishop Arts District is located on the 400 and 500 blocks of N. Bishop Ave in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of S. Dallas. It is a strip of historical 1920s-era buildings that once housed various shops and business that began to die out in the 1960s. The area was revived in the 1980s and 1990s when investor Jim Lake decided to purchase all of the real estate in the area in order to preserve the historical buildings and offer a low-cost opportunity for new businesses and restaurants. Today, the Bishop Arts District is a quaint little shopping and dining area consisting of interesting, eclectic shops selling unique, often handmade items, as well as a wide variety of locally-owned restaurants. You will also find a few galleries and studios of local artists. Bishop Ave. runs east and west and is lined with several neatly-placed trees. There are also a few interesting wall murals and interesting back alleys that provide for a great place to obtain a variety of photographs.
submitted by Sarah Colgrove

Graffiti Walls / Art Walls

Address/Map Notes Sample
1316 W. 7th St., Dallas, TX 75208 Rooster Mural. There is a newly-painted, vividly-colored rooster mural on the back wall (facing W. 7th St) of an otherwise plain white building (that appears to be a small church) on W. Davis St. in Oak Cliff. It's a wonderful hidden gem that I didn't even know about until the owner of the taco shop across the street told me about it! The wall faces south. Note that the image on Google Maps does not show the mural on the wall because it had not been painted yet when the Googlemobile came through town.
submitted by Sarah Colgrove
1003 W. Davis St This area of Davis St. in Oak Cliff consists primarily of businesses, restaurants and shops catering primarily to the local Hispanic community. There are several brightly-colored buildings along Davis and its intersecting streets. It's pretty fun to just walk around and explore this area for colorful "props" and signs, interesting back alleys, and random graffiti on the historic buildings.
submitted by Sarah Colgrove
1019 W. Davis St. Royal blue and bright yellow wall. This brightly-colored building is an auto electronic shop on the 1000 block of W. Davis St. at the intersection of W. Davis and Willomet Ave. The particular part of the building shown in the sample photo is in the shade under the building's pavilion.
submitted by Sarah Colgrove



Trammel Crow Lake Park

Address/Map Notes Sample
3700 Sylvan Ave Dallas Skyline can be shot from this location with Reunion Tower on the far right. There is lake nearby that can optionally be in view.
submitted by Steve Rainwater


3700 Sylvan Ave The park includes a collection of granite cow sculptures which have been used for portrait shots. Incidentally, the cow sculptures are identical to those found in the Bluebonnet Hill Cow Sculpture park in Irving, should you wish to get photos of the same models with the same cows in a different location.
submitted by Sarah Colgrove


Uptown

Greenwood Cemetery

Address/Map Notes Sample
3020 Oak Grove Ave. Greenwood Cemetery is a scenic, very old cemetery near the Uptown area, not far from downtown Dallas. It is visually very interesting and includes many ornate tombstones. It has two other features of interest to photographers. The first is a grid of small streets with names like Hope, Peace, and Love. There is a street sign at each intersection. The second cool feature: indigenous Texas foxes live there. The foxes are semi-tame but you'll probably need a long lens to get a good shot of them.
submitted by Steve Rainwater

Irving

Bluebonnet Hill Cow Sculpture Park

Address/Map Notes Sample
114 at Riverside Dr, Irving, TX Several granite cow sculptures are arranged throughout a landscaped area with seasonal flower beds, trees, and a large wall with a rectangular opening. The site is at the top of a hill and provides views of Las Colinas buildings and Highway 114. Incidentally, the cow sculptures are identical to those found in Trammel Crow Lake Park, should you wish to get photos of the same models with the same cows in a different location.
submitted by Steve Rainwater

Las Colinas Canals

Address/Map Notes Samples
114 at Mandalay Canal, Irving, TX The Las Colinas area includes a system of canals between a variety of office, residential, and retail buildings. Scenic areas along the edges of the canal include bridges, alcoves, staircases, and tunnels. Vintage wooden power boats act as water taxis and move people along the canals. The canals connect to several small lakes with dock areas. The canal level is below street level offering a variety of vantage points to look up or down towards a subject. A small, elevated commuter train runs through the area providing a futuristic look. Almost any imaginable lighting condition can be found. Some tunnels and bridges have fluorescent lighting while others have tungsten, which can be used to get some interesting background coloring. There are plenty of areas covered shaded throughout the day and also areas in direct sunlight most of the day.

WARNING: Las Colinas is a privately owned development known for being photographer unfriendly. They prohibit any commercial photography without an expensive permit and sometimes try to chase away photographers using big DSLRs. However, I've shot there with no problem on numerous occasions with and without a model and, even if confronted by security, you can sometimes successfully argue that you're doing a non-commercial shoot.
submitted by Steve Rainwater


Rockwall

Futuro House

Address/Map Notes Sample
South side of Highway 276, east of S. Munson Rd Futuro House. This is one of less than 100 remaining Futuro Houses world wide. The Futuro House is a plastic living structure designed by architect Matti Suuronen of Finland. Originally orange, the Rockwall Futuro House has faded almost completely. All windows are broken out and graffiti covers the interior. Structure is in direct sun light during all daylight hours. The interior is usually accessible through a staircase but some visitors have reported being unable to enter. The structure is privately owned and on private property adjacent to the highway.
submitted by Steve Rainwater