Cox Arboretum Metro Park – Photography Locations

Jenne Jenkins - Cox Arboretum

Maternity shoot at Cox Arboretum

This week I’m starting a series that will cover a few places in Ohio that Zac and I have used as locations for our engagement and wedding photography.  The first stop on the tour is literally right around the corner from the Green Couch Photography office: Cox Arboretum Metro Park.  We have used this Arboretum many times since we started and have learned a lot through its vast array of picturesque photo opportunities.  Even though this place is often overcrowded and busy during the peak summer and fall seasons, it is a great location for shooting families, seniors, weddings, and engagements because it offers so many unique looks in such a small geographic walking area.  In this short post, I’d like to highlight a couple of the awesome qualities that a place like Cox Arboretum offers to photographers near Dayton and Cincinnati Ohio.


50th anniversary - Cox Arboretum

50th anniversary – Cox Arboretum

A variety of looks in one location

For those of us who have to take pictures on a time frame, finding a location that can offer a variety of looks is essential to the job.  Even if you aren’t on a limited time constraint, having the flexibility to change backgrounds, foregrounds, lighting conditions, etc. in a few footsteps is only going to save you time and ultimately money.  In my honest opinion, this is what makes Cox Arboretum such a great place to shoot at.  There are buildings with glass windows, tree lined paths, a scenic and landscaped creek, wooden structures galore, dozens of types of trees, open fields…pretty much you name it for an outdoor location idea, you should be able to find it on the grounds.  And to top it all off, it is a Metro Park and they do a pretty nice job of keeping it clean and manicured.  The less garbage I have to lasso/healing tool out in Lightroom, the better.  All in all, even through its not the absolutely stunning scenery you might find in a national park or similar, it’s too great not to check out if you are near it while shooting outdoor portraits in the Dayton area.

Location, cost, and parking are all great 

The first thing you’re probably thinking is why is parking important?  Let’s just say I have shot my fair share of downtown/city weddings and parking really does become a concern when you least expect it.  Getting a wedding party to the same location offsite on the wedding day is no guaranteed success, and the last thing you need is parking problems.  The parking is free and abundant at Cox Arboretum, and it will definitely save you some unnecessary hassle.  Secondly, the location is really nice, especially if you are shooting in the Dayton Metro or surrounding areas.  It’s easy to find, and very quick to get from your car to taking your first shots.  And lastly, it is free.  Very rarely will you have to pay to get into an outdoor location, but it is still good to know…that way your not digging for nickels and dimes trying to get access at the last minute.  On a related note, Zac and I were shooting on top of a really tall hotel in downtown Cincinnati a few years ago and needed to borrow money from the groom to get to the top level…and even though it was only like $5 and we paid him right back, it was a good reminder to carry some cash…we won’t make that mistake again.  So, if you haven’t heard about Cox Arboretum or you were thinking about checking it out, I’d definitely recommend giving it a try sometime.

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