Having lived in the Kansas City area for over 20 years, I’ve come to find some amazing (and not so amazing) places that are well worth the visit, whether you’re a photographer or not. It all comes down to what/who you’re photographing obviously, but I will try to mix it up a little..
5. Swope Park
Swope Park is beautiful with its mountain bike trail, great stone-built sign at the front, and open land to work with. You will need to check Kansas City’s requirements for photographing in a park. I’m not sure if they’ve gone the way of Overland Park or not.
4. Country Club Plaza
The country club plaza is a gorgeous shopping-driven area within Kansas City that provides beautiful architecture that can make for fantastic scenery. I will say that the lighter your setup, the better. They have security patrolling the area of the Plaza fairly frequently, and if you’re impeding traffic on the sidewalks, they will most likely ask you to politely move it along. If you move quickly and aren’t afraid of a little risk, you can pull off some great shots in this area.
3. Union Station
Union Station is a unique place that you wouldn’t think to use as a location for your photography. The windows and beautiful interior of this building makes for some very original backdrops whether you’re capturing some couples photos, portraits, or band photography. You will need to call ahead to get permission, but it is fairly easy to do and they are welcoming to photographers depending on the day and time.
2. The Scout KC
The scout is one of the most unique vantage points over Kansas City. You can see downtown along with the horizon. It provides some seriously beautiful opportunities to capture images. I’ve seen people capture engagement photos here, family portraits, and you can see I captured this band promo portrait of Dillon DeVoe from Mime Game there as well. It makes for some great scenery.
1. West Bottoms
My favorite place to photograph in Kansas City has to be the West Bottoms. The beaten path of the city, which left amazing, modern backgrounds in the aftermath. I have photographed several clients in different locations in ‘the bottoms’ and have not had an issue keeping them looking fresh and original in each shoot. I really recommend checking this area out whether or not you’re a photographer reading this, just to see the interesting scenery provided. There’s also some hipster-ish shops around the area during the weekends that may interest you as well.
Well that’s it! My top 5 locations I like to use when photographing clients in Kansas City. Being a documentary and portrait photographer based in Kansas City, working with many clients ranging from musicians all the way to seniors in high school needing their photos, I’ve found my preferred backgrounds. I always recommend you explore on your own as well, and if you like somewhere I didn’t list, leave a comment so I can check it out myself!