In the past few years I’ve photographed lots of brides and engaged couples at Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas. Obviously I can’t share all the photos from these shoots, but I wanted to show off some of the variety of photographs that are possible when shooting at Zilker.
The park has to be one of the most popular places for photography of any kind in Austin. Not only is it a huge repository for plant life centered in Travis County (which is why people are drawn to it) but it’s also one of Austin’s little jewels that’s been around for many years. I’m pretty sure that the creators of Zilker never intended it to be one of the foremost popular venues for photography around Austin, but that’s what it’s become.
ZBG features many different plant species and specific garden areas that are dedicated to a particular theme or cultural plant cultivation, if you will. For example, one of the popular areas of Zilker is the Japanese Garden, which features Koi-filled fish ponds, stone trails leading around bamboo gardens and a structure made of stone and bamboo that only could fit into a Japanese garden . The entire area is shaded by trees and feels like being in another world.
Zilker also features a beautiful rose garden where weddings frequently occur. Colorful roses line the concrete paths that wind down the hill from the main entrance of the park. The Rose Garden area is very open, located at the edge of the tree line bordering the Japanese Garden. It also features a red and white gazebo next to fish ponds and a historic brick structure in the shape of a keyhole that has been apparently transplanted from historic downtown Austin.
Other areas featured at ZBG are the Prehistoric Gardens further down the hill from the main office, which feature “old world” plants, pools and even a beautiful, natural-looking water fall. Toward the front of the park is an area that contains historic Central Texas pioneer homes and work areas made of wood.
Ultimately there are many, many different areas of the Garden that offer photography opportunities for brides or couples. After visiting and photographing friends and family there for years I’ve grown to love and appreciate Zilker for the beautiful part of Austin that it has always been and hopefully will always be!
Things you’ll need to bring if you photograph a bride or couple at Zilker:
– Payment for photographing someone at ZBG
– Bug/Mosquito repellant
– Sun block
-Comfortable walking shoes (ZBG has lots of trails)
– Patience. If the park is busy, you may have to wait for that perfect shot! 🙂
Hints/Tips: Arrive early and check park closure times (which change with daylight savings time). Park staff require visitors to leave 30 minutes prior to gate closure.
Martin Whitton is a passionate wedding photojournalist who lives and works in Austin, Texas. Email your questions to him at email@example.com.