Best Outdoor Photography Scenery

Over the years I’ve found amazing locations for some of the best outdoor photography scenery Iowa has to offer. This post is to share them with you so you can explore the type of scenery you might like for your next session and what time of the year you should be looking to schedule it!

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Spring Blooms

The blooming crab apple trees in the spring are incredibly beautiful to photograph with. What makes them so special is the limited time they are available; so you don’t want to miss them! They typically bloom in late April and early May.

Willow Trees

Willow trees have a magical and dreamy feeling about them. They are photo ready starting in the spring through the fall.


Wildflowers add the perfect pop of color to your images. You’ll find fields full of flowers that bloom and change throughout the year. They typically are present from July until as late as October!

Tall Grassy Fields

Tall grassy fields are a total go-to for most of my clients. You literally can’t go wrong with a beautiful open field whether flat or filled with rolling hills. This scenery really draws the focus to be on the subjects being photographed. With an open field, there’s endless room to play and move around! Another huge perk is that it’s a great backdrop to choose all year round; changing from green in the spring and summer to golden brown in the fall/winter. There’s so many unique and beautiful tall grassy fields to choose from around the Des Moines area!


Sunflower fields are another gorgeous wonder that is only available for a short period of time. Badger Creek State Park has 2 sunflower fields there and they are my absolute favorite to photograph in! Bloom time varies but is generally around mid-late July through early August.

Beaches & Water

Sandy beaches, rocky shores or bodies of water always add a beautiful touch to images. Sandy beaches are great to kick off your shoes, play and maybe even build some sand castles with the kiddos! Rocky shores are a great place to explore, take in the scenery and throw rocks in the water! You can’t go wrong with beaches or bodies of water for any season.

Fall Foliage

Easily the most sought after scenery is Iowa’s colorful fall foliage. The reds, oranges and yellows offer a stunning color palette. Most trees peak at around mid October and you can usually find fall colors until as late as early November! We can thank the maple trees for that!

Tall Pine Trees

One of the main reasons Jester Park is such a popular photography destination is it’s tall pine trees. This location makes you feel like you’re hiking along a trail in the western mountain ranges and looks great year round! There’s a trail that goes through the tall trees, roads to walk on as the trees shine in the setting sun and there’s even a pond with a doc and sandy area. SO many great spots to give you variety and it looks great all year round!

Evergreen Trees

Evergreens provide a great backdrop for those looking for scenery that has more of a holiday feel to it. Many clients love choosing evergreens as backdrops for their Christmas card photos! But of course, they look great to use all year round as well.

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