Heya Everyone – especially those of you who are still looking for JUST THE RIGHT SPOT to hold your photo session. First, happy freakin’ new year!! I’m so very happy that you’re here visiting our blog – we’re honored to connect with you!
This post will be the second installation of my “Popular Photo Locations” blogs. It’s a series of posts about the most requested photo-locations in San Antonio and surrounding areas. The first one was on Gruene – (see it HERE). And today’s post is about The Pearl District of Downtown San Antonio.
Quick disclaimer : this series of blog posts are not so much for me to write tons of descriptive terms about the property (…I’m self-aware enough to know that I’m neither talented nor interesting enough of a writer to pull that off!) But, I can point out some of our favorite areas at The Pearl and show off a bunch of pretty pictures we’ve taken there…and hopefully, you can get a good idea of whether or not it’s the right spot for you!
First, much like Gruene, the style range that you can accomplish at this location is very wide. It’s got fun, youthful energy…it’s contemporary, industrial, somehow busy and peaceful at the same time. By the river it’s quiet, serene – could even be romantic if that fits the shoot! But meander around the shops and restaurants and you’ll find noise, textures, structures, people walking their animals, doing yoga, playing in fountains and sipping espresso.
For M&M photo-sessions, we almost always meet our clients in front of La Gloria – it’s a central spot and it’s got a big, free parking lot connected to it. Then from there we’ll choose which direction to head (depending on how we designed the session.)
The easiest way (for me) to design a session at The Pearl is to break up the sections of the area…and, (again – in my mind), it makes sense to break it up into 3 areas – #1. The River. #2. The Venues (The Studio building, The Stable building by the train, and Hotel Emma). And # 3 The Streets (basically everything else). It’s not necessarily an “even” division of the area…but it works for our purposes today. 🙂
The River –
San Antonio’s newest section of the River Walk is located only 20ish yards away from La Gloria. Either down a flight of stairs, or a grass hill. This area feels…well…newer than all of the rest of the River Walk. It’s very well maintained, clean, vibrant and has a “road less traveled” feel to it. If you’re looking for some greenery, floral, water but not wanting any sort of a “rustic” look about it, than this is a great spot for you.
There’s a bridge that crosses above the river that you should try to visit during your session and see what fun ideas you come up with!
Oh, and on your way down to the river, stop by the bathrooms…seriously…it’s a cool spot to frame a pose! 🙂
The Venues –
The Pearl Studio, The Pearl Stable, and Hotel Emma are 3 beautiful and unique event venues available. Unless you contact the venue coordinators beforehand, don’t plan on taking pictures *IN* these venues. But, the immediate surroundings have tons of opportunities to play with!
The Stable ~
…has several large, ornate doors, and the texture on the brick provides a clean backdrop. Also, right outside of the venue is the train, some picnic tables and small fountains.
The Studio ~
…is located in an office complex built with metal, which gives it a cool, industrial feel. But it’s super-obvious that aesthetics were kept in mind during the design of this complex. There are clean walls, multiple stair cases, small-metal picnic tables, dark windows (for reflections, or playing with the light)…even the ceiling has large fans with long metal blades that just seem…I don’t know – COOL! (**Side Note : I realize “cool” isn’t a great descriptive term…stop being so damn judgy, Mr Thesaurus.**)
Hotel Emma ~
…is the latest addition to The Pearl district’s event venues. And with this high-end hotel has come a TON of new businesses and development. I was worried that the area would start feeling “stuffy” or too commercial. But, I am so thankful that the “communal” feel has not at all been lost by the arrival of all of these businesses…in fact, it seems to have been greatly encouraged. There are more people, families, yoga classes, food trucks, pets, kids playing in fountains…EVERYTHING you can think of that shows a familial side to San Antonio. And I include this information in the Hotel Emma section because, despite being one of San Antonio’s more exclusive hotels, they have worked to add value to the area and to what makes The Pearl special…and I appreciate that. 🙂
Almost every building and structure up and down the streets of The Pearl seem to have been designed and placed for aesthetic reasons (I’m sure they do practical things in those buildings too 🙂 But, that’s not important, right?)
This is one of those locations that I’d feel safe recommending to anyone unsure of their specific style/design expectations. We’ve shots weddings, bridals, engagements, maternity, senior portraits, quince’s, headshots, modeling sessions – ALL on the streets of The Pearl. And the beauty of this location is it seems to bring out a special energy and unique product for everyone. I think the vibe is so free-spirited there, that everyone sincerely feels ok being themselves and you can shoot portraits that offer sincere emotion special to each individual.
The Pearl is an attractive area to spend time with family, go on a date, exercise, meditate, meet friends, study…there are SO many activities and restaurants and places to sit and relax. Which is exactly why it’s a great spot for a photo session. Our goal at Moments & Milestones is to capture our clients in their own element, when they are most natural, when they are actually feeling something. So photographing in a location that you would visit on your own for fun allows you to relax and engage and focus less on posing in front of a camera!
OK folks..I think that’s all I’ve got for you. I sincerely hope you found a couple of ideas or areas thatl you like. Honestly, there are so many more spots at The Pearl that are popular and fun to photograph with – there are just too many to include every single one! But, this should give you a pretty solid idea whether you can envision your own photo-session there…or not 🙂
Thanks for taking the time out to read through this blog post. CONTACT US any time with questions! Or, feel free to leave them in the comments of this blog. I promise, we’ll get right back to you! Until next time ~