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Tips for Photographing Local Parks


Parks are wonderful places to capture fantastic, unique photos. Besides the obvious fauna and flowers, you will often also find people interacting with each other and the environment. All of which can lead to some great photos, to highlight another point of interest at a destination.

Here are some simple tips to try out next time you are heading to a local park:

Check the Rules

Often you will find that local parks (e.g. parks in cities) have guidelines regarding photography. The majority of the time if you do not intend to use the photos for commercial purposes (i.e. they are just for yourself) you will be fine and should have no problem. But, be on the lookout for signs in the park which indicate otherwise. However, if you are intending to sell the images you should check the guidelines and rules that apply. For example some of the Royal parks in London allow photography for editorial use but not commercial. This means the photo can be used when in context to a story, or feature about the park or London, but not advertising something – so make sure you check the rules before selling your images.

Be Selective with Your Photos

One of the great things about parks is the wealth of things you can photograph. Flowers, wildlife, trees, lakes, animals, statues and even people, all offer great opportunities for photos. But instead of trying to photograph everything, think about what the park represents, and is famous for, and focus on a few subjects that will bring it to life. This will mean you end up with a few great photos that really highlight the best attributes rather than a hundred that end up being repetitive.


One of the most iconic things about Hyde Park in London is the Peter Pan statue.

Look for Details

It is often tempting to take photographs that capture everything but sometimes the photos that really stand out are of the details that most people miss. Instead of standing away, move in and get close, and really capture the details of the tree, leaves, flowers or statues. Not only will you end up with wonderfully abstract photos, but they could also end up being great sellers in stock libraries.


Get close to things and completely fill the frame. It provides wonderful abstract results.

Capture Moments

The moment that the couple kiss. The moment the guy playing soccer scores a goal. The moment the birds fly away. These moments are what can make your photos unique and really highlight something different about the park. So be on the lookout for people interacting with each other, nature, and even animals.


The combination of people, nature and wildlife mean there will be ample opportunities to capture those unique moments.


A different prospective of the park showing a completely different story.

Planning is Key

As with any form of travel photography, often you have to be willing to be patient and wait for the right moment to capture your shot. So if you spot a scene where you think it could be improved or the light isn’t right; either sit and wait, or be prepared to come back later in the day. The key is not to cram too much into your shot list for each day so that you enough “waiting” time.


This scene would have been pretty dull without the boy running. But I had to wait for it to happen.

Parks are a great place to practice any form of photography you are interested in. Most often they are easily accessible and with the plethora of subjects on offer to photograph, it means it is easy to hone your skills. Just do your research before hand, and if time permits even scout the park out.

Now it’s your turn. Share your photos, thoughts and tips below.

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Kav Dadfar
Kav Dadfar

is a professional travel photographer, writer and photo tour leader based in the UK. His images are represented by stock agencies such as 4Corners Images and Robert Harding World Imagery and they have been used by clients such as Condé Nast, National Geographic, Lonely Planet, and many others. Kav is also the co-founder of That Wild Idea, a company specializing in photography workshops and tours both in the UK and around the world. Find out more at That Wild Idea.

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