Photography in Seattle – Where to Get the Best Photos in and Around the City

photography in seattle
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(Last Updated On: February 21, 2020)

Seattle is a photographers dream.  Walking down the streets you can expect to come across a rainbow crosswalk, a scary troll, a blue bridge, magnificent views of the city skyline, Instagram worthy restaurants, amongst many other things at any given moment.  And in a city with stunning architecture ranging from the unique Space Needle to the Smith Tower, there are tons of places to photograph in Seattle.  Plus once you get out of the city and into nature and the mountains surrounding Seattle there’s no shortage of picture opportunities.  So here are the best places (indoors and out) for photography in Seattle.

 

Photography in Seattle – 15 Places Worth Photographing

1. Kerry Park

Located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, Kerry Park is a public park that overlooks downtown Seattle.  On a clear day you can even see Mount Rainier in the background.  Kerry Park is my number one stop when considering Seattle photoshoot locations because of the beauty of the skyline with the magnificence of the mountain.  The park is open every day from 6am-10pm.  While you’re in the area, make sure to check out my favorite coffee shop in Seattle – La Marzocco Cafe!

 

2. Seattle Space Needle

Originally built in 1962 for the World’s Fair, the Space Needle is now an observation tower overlooking the city.  The Space Needle is located in the Belltown neighborhood and is quite popular during the day.  My tip is to arrive early (around 6am in the summertime when the sun is rising) in order to get pictures of the Space Needle with the incredible hazy sky.  Note:  You can get shots of the Space Needle from all over Seattle!  I personally prefer an up close and personal view.

 

3.  Discovery Park

Where the Puget Sound meets land, you’ll find the incredibly beautiful Discover Park.  A public park located in the Magnolia neighborhood, Discovery Park is Seattle’s largest park.  While there are many hiking trails around for picture purposes head to the West Point Lighthouse.  To get to the lighthouse you can either stop at the visitor center and ask for directions – all parking lots are >1 mile from the lighthouse. Or if you have children or elderly there is a small parking lot much closer in which you have to buy a permit for.  Here is a good resource for parking.

 

4.  Gas Works Park

Sitting on the north shore of South Lake Union in the Wallingford neighborhood you’ll find Gas Works Park.  What was once gasification plant has now been turned into a public park with incredible views of the city.  If visiting Gas Works in the afternoon/evening I encourage you to stay and admire the seaplanes coming and going from the lake.  If you’re lucky you may also see a hot tub boat chug on by!

 

5.  The Spheres

In downtown Seattle the innovative Amazon Spheres sit in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city.  A type of oasis to get away from it all.  Although you can’t go in the spheres without an Amazon employee present (except by appointment), you can hang outside the spheres for as long as you please!

 

6.  West Seattle (Dock Outside of Marination Ma Kai)

 

One of my favorite restaurants happens to also be one of the best places to get photos of the Seattle skyline.  Head to west Seattle via ferry or by car to arrive to this small restaurant on the water serving Hawaiian Asian fusion food.  Wash down your fish tacos with a lychee margarita before heading to the dock for photos of the Seattle skyline.

 

7.  Chihuly Garden and Glass

One of the best places for photos in Seattle happens to be in a museum!  The Chihuly Garden and Glass museum is located next to the Space Needle in Belltown.  Its been open since 2012 and showcases the artwork of David Chihuly.  Not only is it an incredible spot for photos, but an incredible art museum in general.  If visiting Seattle I highly recommend to spend some time here.

 

8.  Pike Place Market

One of the most sought after tourist attractions in all of Seattle – Pike Place Market.  Pike Place Market has been around since 1907 and is the oldest continuously run farmers market in America.  Here you can grocery shop, eat at fast restaurants, you can find fine dining, hip bars, breweries, wine tastings, and so much more!  Its a one stop shop for everything iconic about Seattle and although its crowded, its definitely not to be missed.  For photos at Pike Place I recommend arriving before the market opens or plan to get tight, portrait mode photos to reduce the number of people in your pictures!

 

9.  Rainbow Corner

In Capitol Hill on the corner of Olive and Bellevue, you’ll come upon what I call “rainbow corner”.  A wall that has been painted the colors of the rainbow and the perfect stop for a quick photo or two.

 

10.  The London Plane

One of the most picturesque restaurants in Seattle, The London Plane is definitely not to be missed.  Located in Pioneer Square this restaurant is a bright and chipper space with colorful flowers and streamers decking the interior.  Not only is the restaurant beautiful, but the food is excellent as well.  If you plan to photograph The London Plane, stop for a bite to eat too.

 

11.  The Gum Wall

The Gum Wall is located under Pike Place Market in Post Alley and is filled with walls of old, sticky bubble gum!  Although its been cleaned off multiple times since its opening in 1993, the wall seems to quickly fill with people’s chewed gum.  Gross?  Or good picture?  I’ll let you decide….

 

12.  The Seattle Great Wheel

Sitting at Pier 57 on Elliott Bay, you’ll find the Seattle Great Wheel!  Although I’ve never ridden the ferris wheel myself, it makes for a nice picture using the wheel as a backdrop!  Fun fact:  When the ferris wheel began running in 2012 it was at time the the tallest ferris wheel on the west coast of the USA.

 

13.  Smith Tower

Located in Pioneer Square (near the London Plane!), Smith Tower is the oldest skyscraper in Seattle.  When it was completed in 1914 it was, at the time, the tallest skyscraper outside of New York City.  Now you can pay $25 to ride the elevator to the top for views of Seattle.  Plus there’s a cocktail lounge on the top floor.

 

14.  Lena Lake

 

Located outside of Seattle, 2.5 hours west, you’ll find the picturesque hike known as Lena Lake.  Not only is it a great place to shoot outdoor photography, but you’ll also find the oyster farm – Hama Hama Lake nearby.  Nothing like downing oysters and wine after finishing a hike and pictures.  For more information on Lena Lake and how to make a day trip of it, read this post.

 

15.  Deception Pass – West Beach

Last on the list of “places to photograph in Seattle” is Deception Pass.  An hour and a half north of the city is where you’ll find this bridge connecting Skaget Bay to Strait of Juan de Fuca.  You can head to two different beaches for pictures – north or west, but I chose to visit west beach.  Here you can still see the bridge in the background but there are dramatic rocks and ocean views to accompany your bridge shots.  You do need to have a Discover Pass to access the parking lot.  Once you’re done make it a point to stop at the Shrimp Shack for fresh seafood before hading back to Seattle!

 

So there you have it.  If you’re looking for photography in Seattle, fear not!  There are tons of places to photograph – landmarks, street corners, restaurants, and even the great outdoors.  The Seattle sights are magnificent enough to be shared, so why not share them?

 

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Kylee splits her time between being a NICU nurse and solo traveler. Spending half her time at the bedside, Kylee has been caring for premature babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for five years now. She began Passports and Preemies in 2017 to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – A vacation geared towards nurses aiming to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

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