Five Twin Cities locations to photograph this winter

Thursday, November 09, 2017

For photographers and models alike, the winter can be considered a time where your creativity is tested to the max. Unless you are lucky enough to have a studio, many photographers resort to finding locations that will keep both the client and photographer warm during their photo shoot. Here are a couple of ideas of where to shoot this winter in the Twin Cities. Keep in mind, every location has different rules when it comes to photography. Before you start shooting at your desired venue, be sure to check out the dos-and-donts for photographers. Some locations will even have special photography hours so make sure you don't have any security guards getting mad at you during your perfect shot.

#1) Minnesota State Capital

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Photo Taken by Joe Mamer
This is one of my personal favorites and I cannot wait to shoot here this winter. The capital is open to the public throughout the week from 8:30 am- 5pm and offers a variety of architecture and lighting for any photographer to get giddy about. The building was newly refurbished this past summer and contains paintings that will make any model look like royalty.  My personal favorite location of the building? The basement offers unique architecture and lighting that would create stellar black-and-white photographs.

#2) Minnesota History Center
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Just walk down the street and you'll be able to find your next location in St.Paul. Though the museum itself has great sights the building itself is one to be marveled at as well. The center allows for a great backdrop of the capital along with natural lighting and pillars that would make for the perfect backdrop in any photo. This is a one-of-a-kind unique space like no other, and though it might cost you a few dollars to enter in, is definitely worth the investment.

#3) Shopping Mall

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The Mall of America might be known as the largest mall in America, but it offers a unique space for photographers. If you are creative enough during your concept of shooting, this mall could be a photographers playground for potential shoots. Just think about it: the mall offers bright space, playful settings like Nickelodeon Universe, and even allows for models to change up their look at a drop of a hat with the over 50+ retailers. Shooting at the Mall of America will require prior notification from the PR team. You might not want to bring a client out here, but this is a great place to snap pictures from your phone for security purposes. Local Malls (including Rosedale or the Galleria) are a bit more lax on their photography rules and are great ideas for shooting.

#4) Minneapolis Institue of Arts

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Where else should one get inspired than at an art gallery? If you aren't shooting for professional or commercial purposes and have signed a form, this oasis is a perfect place to shoot. Not only does it provide inspiration with its grand tableaus, but you also have the possibility to shoot in one of the grandest buildings in the Twin Cities. The museum is fairly large and requires no entry fee so make sure you have a plan of attack when shooting here or you just might become lost in a maze of perfection. My personal favorite area for taking pictures? Target Corporate has dedicated a wing. Not only does this area provide great lighting, it also has a modern and fresh feel compared to the rest of the building; allowing for a great contrast in your shots. 

#5) The University of Minnesota (or any college campus)

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One of my little secrets when shooting is finding locations that no one would imagine shooting at. College campuses, as much as we hate sometimes going into them, offer unique and creative places for shooting photography while keeping you warm. Think of the University of Minnesota, one of the largest campuses in the United States, and how much its architecture varies from building to building. There are so many different directions that you can go shooting on campus that hasn't been used as promotional material. Current rates for non-students are $100 per hour with an addition $25 sign up fee. 

Honorable mentions

- Favorite restaurant or bar (during off hours)
-Movie Theaters
- The Gutherie Theater
- Event Centers (during off hours)
-Como Park Conservatory (see website for photography hours). 

This post was updated on 11/16/17 with updated photography rules. 

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