Preserving memories through a camera has been a travelers best friend for a long time. Today, with cameras in our pockets, we have the opportunity to take so many photos, including the now ubiquitous “selfie.” Milwaukee is the place to do it.
Here are a few top Instagrammeable spots in Milwaukee:
Milwaukee Art Museum
This architectural marvel not only houses beautiful artworks but is an artwork itself. The museum’s sweeping, wing-like brise soleil, or sunshade, provides an iconic photo backdrop.
Historic Third Ward
The Historic Third Ward district is full of character, with the Milwaukee River and renovated Cream City Brick warehouses as its backdrop. The Milwaukee Public Market is also in this area, offering numerous indoor and outdoor photo opportunities – and some delicious treats too.
Why not take a moment and book time on a InstaMKE Photo Walk offered by Milwaukee Food & City Tours? Whether you’re a local looking to show off this city to friends and family, or a tourist passing through and wanting photographic evidence to answer your friends’ question of “Why Milwaukee?,” the InstaMKE tour is a great way to explore the city through a new lens! Engaging historic commentary will be accompanied by pro photo tips to help you be confident that your photos are not just beautiful, but Instagram-worthy. Our tour guides are professional photographers ready to give tips on photography composition and also ready to treat you to a little sweet treat along the way.
One of the many highlights of the tour is Wisconsin Avenue, which boasts a stunning then-and-now view of Downtown Milwaukee, and the largest contemporary urban art exhibition in the world known as SculptureMKE. This tour concludes at the Milwaukee lakefront, with the dramatic backdrop of the architecturally innovative Milwaukee Art Museum, its accompanying scenic gardens, and the I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-an-ocean view of Lake Michigan.
Milwaukee’s Lakefront and Lake Michigan
Take advantage of Milwaukee’s location on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The city’s lakefront, including areas like Bradford Beach, on a Milwaukee Kayak Company paddle, or on a Duffy Boat for a great for sunrise, sunset, and anytime in-between photos.
The Bronze Fonz
Happy Days is a big part of Wisconsin’s history and Fonzie is famous throughout the country, so snap a selfie with the Bronze Fonz along the Milwaukee riverfront. He doesn’t mind if you throw a pair of sunglasses on him either! Two thumbs up and say, “Ayyyyyyyy!”
Even if you’re not a motorcycle enthusiast, the industrial vibe of this museum and the surrounding grounds can make for great photos. The Harley-Davidson Museum is also a spectacular place to explore with lighting for the budding photographer- indoor exhibits feature opportunities to photograph in a range of light levels, making it a great place to practice advanced photo skills!
The Domes (Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory)
Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory is a fantastic place for horticultural close-ups! Each of the three domes has a different theme – tropical, desert, and floral. These themes offer unique environments for a range of photo styles.
The Milwaukee RiverWalk spans several neighborhoods and has many distinct sections, including some adorned with murals and sculptures. It’s an excellent place for a variety of urban shots.
North Point Lighthouse
This historic lighthouse is in Lake Park and offers a lovely lake view – perfect for photos. It is also an often-used wedding photo location for many of the wedding parties that rent our bus through Milwaukee Bus Rentals to capture their special day!
Black Cat Alley
This is a one-block alleyway that houses a collection of impressive murals done by various artists. It’s a colorful, urban backdrop for photos. Located in a private alley on the East Side of Milwaukee, Black Cat Alley consists of 21 murals by 24 artists from all over the globe.
Fiserv Forum & Deer District
The ornate and historical architecture of these buildings offer a grand backdrop for photos. Explore the grounds outside for lots of sculptures that provide a great selfie opportunity. There are also more murals on the walls of the buildings in the Deer District with colors that really pop.
Taking captivating social media photos can take some practice. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Lighting: Good lighting is crucial for high-quality photos. Natural light is often the best. If you’re shooting indoors, try to do it near a window during daylight hours. If you’re outdoors, the golden hours (shortly after sunrise and before sunset) often provide the most flattering light.
- Composition: Use techniques such as the rule of thirds (imagine your frame divided into nine equal parts and place your subject at the intersections of these lines) to create balanced and interesting compositions. Also consider leading lines, symmetry, patterns, and framing to draw the viewer’s attention to your subject.
- Angles: Experiment with different angles. Instead of always shooting from eye level, try shooting from high above, down at ground level, from the side, from the back, etc.
- Background: Pay attention to what’s behind your subject. A busy or cluttered background can distract from your subject. Sometimes a simple or minimalistic background is best.
- Focus: Make sure your subject is in sharp focus, particularly if it’s a person. If your camera has portrait mode, this can help create a blurry background (bokeh), which can make the subject stand out more.
- Editing: Don’t be afraid to use editing tools to enhance your photos, but avoid overdoing it. Tools like Snapseed, Lightroom, and VSCO can help you adjust lighting, contrast, saturation, and other aspects of your photos.
- Storytelling: Good photos often tell a story. Think about what you’re trying to convey with your photo, and compose it in a way that helps tell that story.
- Consistency: If you’re aiming to create an aesthetically pleasing social media feed, try to maintain consistency in your editing style, color palette, or theme.
- Practice: Like any skill, the more you practice photography, the better you’ll get. Take photos regularly, experiment with different techniques and settings, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them.
- Authenticity: Finally, make sure your photos represent you and what you want to communicate. Authenticity can create a more compelling and relatable image.