New Orleans is a city full of charm and character – we’re sure if you have visited ‘NOLA’, that you would agree! With its vibrant culture, rich history, unique architecture, and beautiful natural landscapes, there are plenty of photography spots and subjects in New Orleans to explore. To make the most of your travels, and explore the city through your own photography, we’ve highlighted ten of the best photography spots, each offering a different perspective on the beauty of New Orleans and why they are worth capturing through a lens.
1. Jackson Square
Located on Decatur Street and in the heart of the French Quarter, Jackson Square is a historic park that offers a perfect view of St. Louis Cathedral. The cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in New Orleans and makes for an excellent subject for photography. The park itself not only boasts beautiful greenery, but also has plenty of other interesting features, including an open-air artist colony in which artists display their work on the outside of the Square’s iron fence.
2. City Park
Over 170 years old, City Park is a massive urban park that spans over 1,300 acres, making it one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Within the park, there are several beautiful gardens, including the Botanical Garden and the Sculpture Garden. Both of these gardens offer a wide variety of plant life, sculptures, and other features that make them an excellent spot for photography. Not only that, the park is also home to mature live oak trees with some trees being over 800 years old.
3. Magazine Street
A bustling shopping district, Magazine Street stretches for six miles through several neighborhoods in New Orleans. The street is lined with colorful buildings, unique storefronts, and plenty of street art, making it an excellent spot for capturing vibrant street photography. If you happen to be in New Orleans during Mardi Gras season, many parades are known to start at Magazine Street and Jefferson Avenue, making it a great place to photograph the festivities as well!
4. Frenchmen Street
If you’re looking to capture the lively music scene in New Orleans, Frenchmen Street is the place to be! With jazz, reggae and blues music flowing out of the clubs and into the streets, Frenchmen Street has a vibrant atmosphere. With live music venues and street performers, this makes a great spot to capture candid shots of musicians and the vibrant energy of the city’s nightlife.If you visit during the day, Frenchmen street is steeped in history, with architecture that is distinct from the rest of New Orleans.
5. The Garden District
As picturesque as it sounds, the Garden District is a neighborhood full of beautiful historic homes and gardens. Nestled amongst oak trees, you will see the stunning architecture of the homes, and well-maintained gardens as well as quirky businesses – all of which make for great subjects for photography. The neighborhood also has several iconic spots, such as the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, which is a beautiful cemetery with above-ground tombs.
6. The Mississippi Riverfront
A major part of the city’s landscape, the Mississippi Riverfront is an excellent spot for capturing images of the river and the city skyline. There are several vantage points along the riverfront that offer fantastic views, and the area is also home to several historic landmarks, such as the Steamboat Natchez. With beaches, public art and events by the water as well, the Riverfront will offer you plenty of places to enjoy, find inspiration and photograph.
7. Bourbon Street
We’re sure everyone has heard of Bourbon Street! One of the most famous streets in New Orleans, Bourbon Street is known for its neon lights, music, and lively atmosphere. While it can be a bit chaotic, it also offers a unique opportunity to capture candid shots of people enjoying themselves in the city. If street or people photography isn’t your thing, Bourbon Street is filled with historic venues and iconic landmark buildings that you can also photograph.
8. The French Quarter at Sunrise
Also known as the ‘Crown Jewel of New Orleans’, the French Quarter is known for its lively atmosphere and neon lights, and a mixture of the new and old. If you want to opt for a different viewpoint of The French Quarter, it also has a peaceful side that can be captured at sunrise. The quiet streets and beautiful architecture are bathed in soft light during the early morning hours, creating a stunning contrast to the bustling energy of the neighborhood at night.
9. Audubon Park
Audubon Park is a beautiful green space in New Orleans that is home to several unique features, including a lagoon, a golf course, riding stables, rookery and the Audubon Zoo. The park also has several walking paths and benches, making it an excellent spot for capturing candid shots of people enjoying the outdoors or for you to photograph landscapes and the green spaces. If you prefer to photograph wildlife, the east side of the park is a well known prime birding spot as well, attracting many different kinds of birds.
10. The New Orleans Streetcars
The New Orleans Streetcar is a historic streetcar system that travels through several of the city’s iconic neighborhoods, including the Garden District and the French Quarter. Riding the streetcar offers a unique opportunity to capture images of the city from a different perspective and is a great way to explore the city while taking photographs. There are four different lines that you can ride, and depending on which line you choose, you can see iconic mansions, historic cemeteries, or the New Orleans Museum of Art, and other districts with plenty to sightsee.
From the iconic Jackson Square to the serene beauty of Audubon Park, the best photography spots in the city offer a diverse range of subjects to capture. Exploring these locations can be a great way to develop your skills and discover the unique beauty of New Orleans. So grab your camera next time you’re headed to NOLA, because there is something for everyone to experience and photograph!