Okay, Dayton locals, this one’s for you! If you’re looking for a unique photoshoot location in Dayton that isn’t Cox Arboretum or Wegerzyn Gardens, I’ve got your back! I’ve lived in the Dayton area since 2003, and have been exploring for years—from the back roads of Cedarville to the hidden alleys in downtown Dayton. My Google Map is covered in pins, so whether you want rustic and nature or urban and industrial, I know a spot for you. Ready to dive in? Here are my top photoshoot locations in the Dayton area.
Twin Creek Metropark
My favorite field photoshoot location is Twin Creek Metropark in Germantown, specifically High View Park. There aren’t many big hills or great views in Dayton, but I think this one qualifies. The park is incredibly easy to find, and has acres and acres of tall grasses and simple trails.
Lost Creek Reserve
Lost Creek Reserve & Knoop Agricultural Heritage Center is a hidden gem in the Dayton area. Located north of Dayton in the city of Troy, this gorgeous wooded field is well worth the drive. No matter the time of day, there are softly shaded spots, tall grasses, and low-hanging branches to create a sweet, summery ambiance.
Bill Yeck Park
Bill Yeck Park is located off Wilmington Pike in Centerville, fairly close to I-675 for easy access. While this park also has wooded trails, a historic home, fallen trees, a mini-covered bridge, and river access, it also has a large field at the bottom of the hill that makes for perfect sunset photos!
Oakes Quarry Park
This Fairborn park is a photography hot spot, and for good reason. The terrain looks unlike anything else located in the area, with western vibes, big rocks, and open fields. If you want a little bit of everything (water, tall grass, evergreens, climbing rocks), then Oakes Quarry Park is your spot. While it is not traditionally beautiful to the naked eye, it does make for a stunning backdrop unlike any other in Dayton.
Additional Field Locations:
-Carriage Hill Metropark in Vandalia
-Phillips Park in Beavercreek
Aullwood Garden Metropark
This is one of the sweetest, hidden spots in Dayton—and one of my favorites, too! Aullwood Garden Metropark has some wonderful river access, with dry rocks along the riverbank that make it easy to walk out to the low hanging tree. Plus, there are sweet wildflower trails just across the road.
The Miami River
There’s no official title for this location, but there really should be. Located in downtown Dayton on the Miami River, a walkway stretches across the river, used exclusively by fishermen (or wild photographers)! This mix of nature and city creates a fresh backdrop, plus it’s so fun to explore together!
Oakes Quarry Park
Sure, I already mentioned it, but I think it bears repeating! In addition to those big rocks, Oakes Quarry Park has a small lake as well. It makes an incredible background of deep blues.
Additional Water Locations:
-Jacoby Road Canoe Launch
Antioch College in Yellow Springs
This is literally a hidden gem in the Dayton area, and not many people know it’s tucked away in Yellow Springs! The old brick buildings and rusty stairwells are surrounded by towering trees, mini meadows, and other urban elements. This location is great during all four seasons!
St. Anne’s Hill
This charming neighborhood in downtown Dayton boasts several adorable locations—from old brick churches and historic homes, to long white walls and gardens growing over iron fences. Let’s park our car and explore St. Anne’s Hill together, documenting your love the entire way!
The Oregon District
This is my neighborhood, so it holds a special place in my heart! There are a myriad of fabulous backdrops in the neighborhood, ranging from churches and brick walls, to murals and hidden alley ways. The Oregon District never disappoints in terms of character and color!
Additional Urban Locations:
-Grafton Hill Neighborhood
Daniel’s Peace Memorial Park
This Germantown park is a hidden gem in the Dayton area. Long lines of pines create a stunning and dramatic backdrop, and if you want to walk into the park, you’ll find a tiny chapel set against a field of tall grass.
Island Metropark has a lot to offer. From an old blue band shell with white steps, to willow trees sweeping along the river. During the summer, flower beds are in bloom, and there are benches scattered throughout the park.
Patterson Homestead in Dayton
Situated just across the street from the University of Dayton, Patterson Homestead is truly a hidden gem. The white historic home sits atop the hill, just beyond a sweet path lined with trees. There is a large open field, and a thriving flower garden during the summer and fall.
Elizabeth Gardens in Oakwood
This hidden gem is buried inside an Oakwood neighborhood, with only a few parking spots, but plenty of gorgeous light and charm. Elizabeth Gardens has little hiking trails that lead down to a stream, fallen logs, and summer blooms. The brick road is quiet, and with low hanging trees, makes for another great backdrop for your session.
Huffman Metropark is another of my go-to locations, no matter the season. With a lake, and an unused winding road that leads to the water’s edge, there are a dozen great backdrops within easy walking distance of the parking lot. Plus, a little golden sunlight, and pow! This location really pops!
Additional Wooded Locations:
-Russ Nature Preserve
-Charleston Falls Preserve