I’m often asked what locations I recommend for photography in Pickens County. This blog will highlight a few of my favorite locations including the pros and cons and other things you should know before choosing to take pictures at that location. Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment with any questions or to include information I might have inadvertently left out!
Hagood Mill is located north of the city limits of Pickens at 138 Hagood Mill Rd, Pickens, SC 29671
Hagood Mill is a gorgeous spot for photos. Its main feature is an 1845 grist mill with a working waterwheel. In addition to the mill, Hagood Mill has several old log cabins that have been relocated from homesteads, nature trails, a creek, bridges, and an open field.
Tons of variety. With in a short walking distance you can get a lot of different backgrounds creating a diverse photoshoot.
Lots of opportunity for shade. If you’re not shooting during golden hour, shade is a photographer’s best friend. Since Hagood Mill is tucked in among some really tall trees, no matter what time of day you take photos there, you have ample opportunity for perfectly developed portraits.
It's pretty centrally located and easily accessible for those coming from anywhere within the county
If you are NOT a professional photographer, it is free to visit and take photos here.
Things to Keep in Mind:
1. On the third Saturday of every month, there is a festival here. The festivals are amazing and I would mark your calendars to attend one, but I would not try to take your family portraits on those days, as they are heavily attended.
2. If you are professional photographer, or you are having your portraits taken by a professional photographer, there is a site fee. Hagood Mill charges an annual photo pass fee of $75 or a one-time use fee of $25. I do not have an annual pass; clients who choose Hagood Mill as their location will incur a $25 site fee.
Table Rock State Park is located northeast of Pickens city off Highway 11. The physical address of the park is 158 E Ellison Ln, Pickens, SC 29671. While the park is best known for its unique mountain featuring a large rock outcropping, Table Rock State Park offers a lot more than just a mountain.
Variety: Within the park you can utilize the lake, mountain views, creek, waterfalls, and bridges.
Table Rock State Park is not overly busy. While there are areas of the park that are busier than others, it is easy to find quiet spots for your photoshoot.
Things to Consider:
Cost. If you have a South Carolina State Park Pass, then entrance into the park is free. Otherwise, you will pay per person. $5 adults; $3.25 SC seniors (age 65 & older); $3 children ages 6-15; ages 5 and under, free.
Remoteness. For many people, the remote location of Table Rock is a bit out of the way.
Long Shoals is located off Highway 11 north of Pickens city - a few miles east of Keowee-Toxaway.
This ten acre park is absolutely stunning! It features a lot of rock formations along the Little Eastatoe River. While it does not offer as much variety as other locations in the area, it offers enough. There are so many unique rock formations that feature gorgeous colors. In addition, there is a small sandy beach, a pool of water that makes for nice reflection shots, and nature trails.
Unless you’re visiting on a hot Saturday in the summer at noon, it is not a very crowded park. Since the park does feature a natural rock slide, on hot summer days, you will find a lot of families using the rock slide. After the heat of the day subsides, the park is fairly empty.
Things to Consider:
The river must be accessed by a pretty steep trail. I would not recommend this location for anyone who has balance issues or is physically unable to make the trek. While it is not a long trail, it does get the heart rate up.
The rocks, rock slide, and water can make for a dangerous combination. I do not recommend this location for families with small children. It is important to exercise caution when at this location, especially on wet rocks.
Located on the border of Pickens and Oconee County at 105 Sikes Hall, Clemson, SC 29634 , Clemson University’s campus is a beautiful location for portraits.
There is so much variety here. From the gorgeous columned architecture of the admissions building, to the lawn in front of Tillman Hall, to the landscaped areas near Death Valley, there is an endless supply of locations.
Things to Consider:
Clemson can be CRAZY busy. It is important to keep in mind things like….construction on campus, classes, events at LittleJohn, and home games. With that being said, even when it is crazy busy, it can be done. These senior photos were taken the week before graduation. The campus was hopping and there were tons of seniors out and about having their photos taken. As you can see, with patience and a good angle, it can look like you have the place to yourself.
Death Valley…In order to have access to the stadium, you need a connection. There are so many wonderful places on campus to use - so don’t discount Clemson if you don’t have a connection - but it’s important to understand the limitations as well.
The South Carolina Botanical Gardens is located on Clemson’s campus at 150 Discovery Ln, Clemson, SC 29634.
Variety. There are so many cool areas! There are some really neat bridge structures, a pond, a stone arch, gardens galore (even a cactus garden), a train caboose, a log cabin, and a historical home. Too be honest - there is so much variety here that it can be used over and over again and never look the same.
Despite being a popular location, the garden is so large, you can always find a quiet area for your shoot.
Things to consider:
On Clemson home game days, I would allow for more travel time.
The garden is very large. It is important to think about which areas you’d like to utilize when planning your shoot - especially if your group includes small children or those with physical restrictions.
Check their hours and special events when planning your shoot.
In addition to these listed above, there are other wonderful locations in Pickens County to consider, including downtown historic Easley or Pickens, the new Doodle Trail park in Pickens city, the Hagood-Mauldin house, The Reserve at Lake Keowee, and even my own small, private horse farm.
What did I miss? Is there another great location that I left out?