A city as magical as Miami offers so many scenes and subjects for your Miami travel photography that you would have to visit the city many times to capture it all. For a first visit, however, start with the places in this PhotographyTalk article, so you can experience and photograph the marvelous diversity of people, places and pleasures to be found throughout Greater Miami.
The obvious attraction of Miami is the climate: warm temperatures, sea breezes, blue tropical waters and seemingly endless miles of beaches. If sun, sand and the lapping waves are your pleasure, then you have all the fun-filled images of family and/or friends relaxing and playing on the beach to fill your Miami travel photography album.
If you’re a bit more adventurous, then there are ample opportunities for diving, snorkeling and windsurfing as well as the challenge of fishing the sea. Combine your adventurous spirit and love of nature and photography by visiting Biscayne National Park, the country’s only underwater national park. Book a seat on the park’s 52-foot glass-bottom boat or the 45-foot diving and snorkeling catamaran. You’ll sail through a spectacular marine wilderness, from the mangrove creeks inshore to tropical coral reefs offshore and their abundant populations of sea life.
It’s difficult not to be mesmerized by Miami’s skyline. Those “magical hours” of photography, early morning and evening, are the best times to photograph what is considered the largest skyline in the U.S. after New York and Chicago. The tropical sun and the light it produces will give your Miami travel photography of the downtown architecture a magical quality that New York, Chicago and many other large American cities simply can’t match.
In contrast to the contemporary skyline of downtown Miami is the Art Deco Historic District of Miami Beach/South Beach. Built during the 1930s, you’ll want to include the pastel colors and tropical designs of the architecture in your Miami travel photography. The nightlife of South Beach may be legendary and an obvious attraction, but make time to visit and photograph there during the daylight, when it projects a different atmosphere.
As a first-time visitor, however, you can’t say you’ve actually experienced Miami unless you step into the glitz and glamour of South Beach at night. Bring a small compact camera (which you can rent for a day) if you’re headed into the clubs, so you can capture photos of your friends and you dancing all night. Even if clubbing isn’t your thing, wander with your camera to capture the activities in the streets and in front of the clubs. The color, excitement and the “beautiful” people will help you create wonderful images for your Miami travel photography.
The diverse Latin cultures of Miami are unmistakable contributors of the unique character of the city. Nowhere exemplifies this better than Little Havana. Immerse yourself in this colorful, vibrant community and fill your Miami travel photography with the sights of the Cuban lifestyle: its friendly people, its rich culture on display in galleries and the streets and the weekly street festival/gallery stroll known as Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays.
A primary reason Miami is the travel and vacation destination it has become is the many wealthy individuals who built magnificent mansions and estates in the area during the early part of the 20th century. Maybe, the best representation of that ostentatious lifestyle is Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, originally built by James Deering, an agricultural executive, who vacationed there from 1916 to 1925.
The estate is a National Historic Landmark and was originally influenced by Renaissance Italian architectural styles. These, and French influences are still evident in the glorious gardens throughout the 10-acre property, which are wonderful, natural subject matter for your Miami travel photography. You and your camera can visit 34 rooms in the Main House that are filled with 15th through 19th century antique furnishings and art objects. Vizcaya is a popular location for professional fashion photographers and weddings, so you know it will offer amazing views to photograph.
With these places and experiences captured in your Miami travel photography, you’ll create a remarkable portfolio of images of your first visit to the Magic City.
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