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Great (Free) Places in Knoxville, TN to Have Your Next Photo Session: An Ongoing List

ⒸKailey Tucker Photography is a Family & Lifestyle oriented photography business, based out of Knoxville, TN. We have specialized in "Life Photography" for over 14 years--working with clients of all ages, from their first photo to their last. We have done all sorts of milestone sessions, from newborns, to graduations, to birthdays, maternity sessions, and more.


I am there are already several lists of photoshoot locations in Knoxville; and I would be willing to bet a lot of these places are on those lists. But as our little big city continues to grow and change, so do the places I have photographed over the past decade or more. This is just my personal ongoing list of Go-To options in our little neck of the woods and surrounding areas; but just like the city, this list will also continue to grow and be added onto.



Gay St. / Market Square

When I first started photographing, Downtown Knoxville was my #1 go-to for photoshoots. That was my friends' and my stomping grounds, so I knew all the cute alleyways, doorways, bridges, etc. Naturally, after a couple of years, I avoided it like the plague, thinking I had seen all it had to offer. Several years later and a lot more experience, I am beginning to venture back into the area more. My "eye" has completely changed, as has some of the scenery; and there are so many things I neglected to see the potential in, back then. I, now, tend to shy away from places that I know every other photographer in Knoxville goes to; but something about this area of Knoxville actually seems to work out in the photographer's favor. So many venders and frequent visitors in downtown seem to be used to the idea of photographers, at this point, and almost embrace it. More times than I can count, I have had people go out of their way to avoid getting in a shot I was working on, while simultaneously complimenting my client on how nice they looked. The atmosphere is just amazingly photographer friendly. It is definitely worth exploring, if you haven't already.


Market Sq. Mall, Knoxville, Tennessee


Suggested Sessions: Graduation/senior sessions, any individual person session, modeling, headshots, and young adults

Time of Day: There is enough shade to get by with early day; but I prefer 5pm or later, depending on what time of year it is and when golden hour is. All the hanging lights are on at this time, as well, allowing for great bokeh shots.




Adair Park

I love, love, love, this place! I can't say it enough. Adair Park is sort of an all inclusive and versatile location, especially when you aren't sure where to go or what the weather will be like. If your kids let you get past the playground area, there is a wooded area and wide open field just past it, that feels like a secret getaway. The wooded area gives the perfect amount of shade, on sunny days; and the field is perfect for overcast days. So, either way, it is a win-win. Photographers can even rent gazebo space, if they plan to do minis or large groups--or just to guarantee you have a covered area to escape to, on days where rain is a possibility. If you explore a little further, you will soon find a large, unique and photogenic tree, plenty of walking trail, and a quaint, little bridge. There is a restroom available--although, I do suggest bringing toilet paper and soap along, as they are often out. Parking is nearby, as well. There are just so many great reasons to visit, especially for photographs.


Suggested Sessions: Literally anything.

Time of Day: There is enough shade to get by with early day; but I prefer 5pm or later, depending on what time of year it is and when golden hour is. All the hanging lights are on at this time, as well, allowing for great bokeh shots.



1807 Adair Drive

Knoxville, TN 37918

865-215-4311

Directions: Take Broadway exit off of I-40 and go north; turn left on Adair Drive and go about three-quarters of a mile; park is on right.


For park rules, contact information, to make reservations, or to make a donation to Adair Park, visit: https://www.knoxvilletn.gov/government/city_departments_offices/parks_and_recreation/parks/adair_park


Loves Creek Greenway

Love Creek is a special little place I remember from my childhood, that I love even more, now, as an adult. This is my personal favorite place to take my daughter's photographs. It is like a little fairytale, especially when you catch it at the right time. It has fabulous, old trees, that the earth child in me feels like they hug whoever stands under them. If crawdads or little creek snails freak you out, be sure to wear some water shoes--otherwise, you have the perfect spot, here. Aside from a little bit of traffic on the roadside of the creek, this is a very quiet and somewhat hidden area to do your next outdoor session. The natural spring water even stays pretty cold during the hottest parts of summer, which is a huge plus for those late summer sessions.


Suggested Sessions: Kid sessions! I have done family sessions, as well; but it gives something extra special, when you are working with children. I have even done a newborn session here, which was magical.

Time of Day: My favorite shots I have taken here were taken on bright, but cloudy days. The way the light hits the trees from above, when you are in the creek is *chef's kiss*


5201 Parker Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37924

Directions: From I-40, take the Rutledge Pike exit 392; merge onto Rutledge Pike headed north; turn left onto Loves Creek Rd.; take first right onto Parker Dr.


For park rules, contact information, to make reservations, or to make a donation to Loves Creek, visit:

https://www.knoxvilletn.gov/government/city_departments_offices/parks_and_recreation/greenways_trails/loves_creek_greenway


Knoxville Botanical Gardens & Arboretum

I am never disappointed by this beautiful place. It doesn't matter what time of year, you are likely to find the perfect spot for a great shot. In all the years I have been visiting this garden, I still have not photographed all it has to offer. The love and handwork that is poured into this place is very evident, given there is something new to see every time I visit. I do suggest checking their website and paying attention to events that are going on; because they often have something going on in the gardens, be it a wedding or a garden event. Although there is often another area of the garden that isn't being used, I like to have a backup plan, just in case traffic is too heavy. It seems to get more popular every year, so I do suggest (and try) to space out my visits, to avoid adding too much foot traffic. If you find yourself going multiple times, like I did, the first few years I used it for sessions, I highly suggest making a donation, to help with the upkeep of the park--or even if you go a handful of times, it is definitely a small gesture to thank them for making it such an amazing place to visit. When they make a certain size donation, photographers also get a nametag/lanyard to carry, when doing sessions at the park. I have never been approached or asked for my lanyard, but either way, it is a great way to help this place continue to grow and evolve.


2743 Wimpole Ave.

Knoxville, TN 37914


Suggested Sessions: Kids, families, engagement, large groups.

Time of Day: Any


Directions from I-40: Take Exit 390 to Cherry Street. Follow Cherry Street for 0.5 miles. Turn left onto Magnolia Avenue. After 0.6 miles, turn right onto N. Castle Street. At the top of the hill, turn right onto Wimpole Avenue. The Visitors Center will be on your right after 0.5 miles.


Directions from Downtown: Take Summit Hill Drive, east from downtown and cross over James White Parkway. Follow Summit Hill until it becomes Dandridge Avenue, which becomes Brooks Avenue at Wilder Place. Follow Brooks Avenue, turn left on Biddle Street, turn right on Boyd’s Bridge Pike, turn left onto Parish Street, and then left onto Wimpole Avenue.


For park rules, contact information, to make reservations, or to make a donation to Knoxville Botanical, visit:



The Side of the Road/Pull-Offs/Parking Lots

If you are open to an unconventional location, your photographer can suggest a place that would work for your session.


Yes, you read that correctly. No, I am not pulling your leg. Just keep your eyes peeled, next time you are driving around, or check out your photographer's favorite pit stop locations. Knoxville has a ton of random spots to grab a photo! Even if it is a quick one-look photoshoot with a friend, you can find an endless amount of random shots, if you learn how to find them. The shots above are random places I have taken my daughters or clients who have known me long enough to just blindly follow me wherever I go. In some cases, it was simply a yard I liked and asked permission from the owners, a backroad I took by accident, a random field with tall wheat-like grass. Obviously, you want to follow a few simple rules, when doing this. Always ask permission, when possible--even if they are nice about it, you don't want to police showing up to ask you to leave. Keep an eye out for any posted signage about trespassing or private property. Also, try to avoid using bulky props or too much equipment, when using little pull-offs--in the event that you do need to pack up and leave quickly, you don't want to have camp set up when you do so. All in all, just use common sense and be safe!


Happy hunting!


Suggested Sessions: Clients that you are familiar with--avoid new clients, especially if it is the first time you are doing a session there.

Time of Day: During business hours, during low traffic times


Your own yard

*The 1st and 3rd photo shown here were taken in your photographer's yard*

Even if you don't realize it, you probably have a little bit of magic if your own back (or front) yard. You don't need much! Depending on the type of session, you can get away with just about any location, if you or your photographer know the best way to shoot/pose the shot. Take a few quit shots of your yard and send them to your photographer, to see if they see the potential. Especially giving the current economic climate, why use the gas to go somewhere, when you already have something NO ONE else will have, right?


Suggested Sessions: Any, depending on the yard and goal of the session

Time of Day: This will also depend on the yard and goal of the session. Have your client keep an eye on what part of the yard has the most light, at different times of the day. If you want to use a specific area of the yard, of course, just time it for when the sun hits that area just right.



Melton Hill Park

Address: 3230 Williams Bend Rd, Knoxville, TN 37932


Hours: Tuesday7AM–8PMWednesday7AM–8PMThursday7AM–8PMFriday7AM–8PMSaturday7AM–8PMSunday7AM–8PMMonday7AM–8PM Suggest new hours


Suggested Sessions: Family, engagement, groups, seniors, maternity

Time of Day: Golden Hour, Sunset




Holston River Park



YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER SEES POTENTIAL AT THIS LOCATION, BUT HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO USE IT, YET. BOOK THIS LOCATION AND GET $25 OFF YOUR SESSION.


Address: 3300 Holston Hills Rd, Knoxville, TN 37914

Hours: Wednesday8AM–6PMThursday8AM–6PMFriday8AM–6PMSaturday8AM–6PMSunday8AM–6PMMonday8AM–6PMTuesday8AM–6PM Suggest new hours




MARKET ST & CHURCH ST


Address: Market St & W Church Ave Knoxville, TN 37902




HENLEY STREET PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE


Address: Henley St,Knoxville, TN 37902

Hours: Open 24 Hours



SWING ABOVE THE CITY - HIGH GROUND PARK

Image by: Logan Mahan


YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER SEES POTENTIAL AT THIS LOCATION, BUT HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO USE IT, YET. BOOK THIS LOCATION AND GET $25 OFF YOUR SESSION.

THIS LOCATION REQUIRES SOME WALKING TO GET TO THE LOCATION

Address: 1000 Cherokee Trail, Knoxville, TN 37920 For sunset photos at the famous swing, park in the dirt lot at 1121 Cherokee Trail and follow the trail as it winds its way into the River Bluff Wildlife Area. Hang a right at the first fork, and take your pick at the second fork


Hours: Wednesday7AM–9PMThursday7AM–9PMFriday7AM–9PMSaturday7AM–9PMSunday7AM–9PMMonday7AM–9PMTuesday7AM–9PM


MEAD'S QUARRY LAKE






LAKESHORE PARK


Lake & mountain views from the paths of this park with ball fields, trails, lawns & a playground. Address: 6410 S Northshore Dr, Knoxville, TN 37919

Hours: Wednesday6AM–10PMThursday6AM–10PMFriday6AM–10PMSaturday6AM–10PMSunday6AM–10PMMonday6AM–10PMTuesday6AM–10PM Suggest new hours



HOUSE MOUNTAIN STATE NATURAL AREA

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER SEES POTENTIAL AT THIS LOCATION, BUT HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO USE IT, YET. BOOK THIS LOCATION AND GET $25 OFF YOUR SESSION.



WILLIAM HASTIE NATURAL AREA

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER SEES POTENTIAL AT THIS LOCATION, BUT HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO USE IT, YET. BOOK THIS LOCATION AND GET $25 OFF YOUR SESSION.



WORLD'S FAIR PARK

Address: 525 Henley St, Knoxville, TN 37902

Hours: Wednesday6AM–12AMThursday6AM–12AMFriday6AM–12AMSaturday6AM–12AMSunday6AM–12AMMonday6AM–12AMTuesday6AM–12AM Suggest new hours













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