Favorite Parks for Dog Photography from Atlanta to Athens, GA

If you’re thinking of having an outdoor pet photography session for your dog, there are some great ideas here for choosing the best location to get the natural images you’re hoping for at our session. I’m sharing my favorite parks for dog photography below!

As a photographer, I am always scouting for locations to use for dog photography as I visit parks from Atlanta to Athens. I’ve compiled a few of my favorite parks for dog photography in this post and added why I love them. 

Learn why a sunrise session might be perfect for your dog with Atlanta pet photographer CM Bryson
A must have image from your pet photography session - a photo of your dogs together.
You'll definitely want to get images of your dog showing off their best tricks during your pet photography session.

Ben Burton Park

Ben Burton Park in Athens, Georgia is one of my favorite parks for dog photography. As a 32-acre wildlife preserve located off Mitchell Bridge Road, Ben Burton has a lot of variety including pretty pathways, open fields, big mature trees for diffusing light, and a rocky creek.
This park has beautiful light in both morning and evening. The morning light is much softer and generally the park is pretty empty early in the morning. Evenings at Ben Burton are a little busier with people taking advantage of walking along the shaded pathway. Luckily, in my experience most people do a good job of keeping their dogs on leash while walking at the park.
The creek can be a bit challenging to use as in the warmer months college students from nearby University of Georgia use the smooth rocks as lounging spots. There is also a bit of a slippery descent into the creek area.
Because the park is relatively flat with a paved slope leading to the field, Ben Burton is ideal for pets with limited mobility and it can even accommodate a wagon or cart for your dog.
Best for:

  • Most Dogs including nervous dogs who like a quieter location & older dogs with limited mobility.

Best on:

Indian Creek Park

I almost didn’t include Indian Creek Park in Madison, GA on this list of favorite parks for dog photography. Why? Well, Indian Creek Park feels like a hidden gem of a location and I kinda want to keep it that way, so this is just between us ok?

Located less than 3 miles from historic Rutledge, Georgia (and just minutes from my farmhouse) the 60 acres of Indian Creek Park sits on a hill surrounded by trees. Their website claims they are best known for their competition disc golf course, but honestly other than me and my clients, I have NEVER seen another soul at the park which makes Indian Creek Park perfect for dogs that are reactive or anxious with lots of activity.

Indian Creek Park has open fields, gorgeous evening light, and if we hike down the steep hill there’s a beautiful grove of mature trees that feels a bit like an enchanted forest.

Best for:

  • Most Dogs including nervous dogs who like a quieter location. If we stick to the top of the park, there is very little walking necessary for dogs & people with limited mobility.

Best on:

  • Evening light is the best here.
Atlanta pet photograph visits Ponce City Market in downtown Atlanta for an early morning pet photography session.

McDaniel Farm Park

As we move closer towards the Atlanta area, my next favorite park for dog photography is McDaniel Farm Park in Duluth, Georgia. McDaniel Farm was originally a cotton farm in the 1820’s and is situated on 134 acres near Gwinnett Place Mall.

McDaniel Farm Park has a few open grassy areas, a historic barn, and a gorgeous old white farmhouse. Many of the areas I prefer to photograph near are located along the paved trail making access easy for everyone.

If you’d like to have your session at McDaniel Farm Park, we’ll need to plan for a sunrise session. As the sun rises in the east it crests the hill at McDaniel Farm Park and perfectly illuminates the trees creating a gorgeously diffused backlight scenario (my personal favorite type of lighting) that lights up all the edges of your dog’s coat.

Not only is the light best for sunrise sessions at McDaniel Farm, it’s also one of the only times the park isn’t teeming with people. It’s central location, paved trails, dog parks, and playgrounds makes McDaniel Farm one of the busiest locations I use.

Best for:

  • Most dogs, but it can be busy with pedestrians and other leashed dogs.

Best on:

  • This location is only suitable on weekday mornings.
Natural light pet photography in Duluth, GA offers a natural look to dog portraits.
Pet photography is possible even with senior pets and dogs who need to stay on leash.
A must have image from your pet photography session - a photo of your dogs together.

Sims Lake Park

Sims Lake Park is located in Suwanee, Georgia putting us northwest of Atlanta. Sims Lake covers 62 acres and includes a 7 acre pond, 2 acres of meadow, and a paved trail that is just over a mile long.

Sims Lake is a busy park with lots of people and leashed dogs at most times of the day, but mornings are slightly less busy. Unfortunately, you can’t access the lake for swimming, but they do have a very neat landscaped “creek bed” if your dog enjoys splashing a bit.

Best for:

  • Most dogs, but it can be busy with pedestrians and other leashed dogs.

Best on:

  • Best on weekday mornings or afternoons not during the summer or school holidays.

Stone Mountain Park

Even though I now call my rural Rutledge farmhouse home, Stone Mountain Park has always felt like my home park. Growing up you could see the famous granite outcropping from the street just in front of my parent’s home.

Stone Mountain Park covers 3,200 acres and is Georgia’s most visited attraction, which means it can be very busy, especially on weekends. The best place to photograph dogs at Stone Mountain Park is by the Gristmill – especially in the fall. The Gristmill area features an old grist mill (surprise) & waterwheel, stone pathways, stairs, & short walls, a small stream for splashing, and a short tree lined walkway. Stairs are required to get from the parking area to the areas we photograph in.

Stone Mountain Park does require a photography permit for us to use their space, so several weeks notice is required to book.

Best for:

  • Most dogs, but there are usually additional people and children around.

Best on:

  • Best on weekday mornings with a required permit.
Atlanta pet photograph visits Ponce City Market in downtown Atlanta for an early morning pet photography session.

Piedmont Park

You can’t talk about photography in Atlanta without talking about Piedmont Park. 189 acres of beautiful park nestled right in the city limits of Atlanta, Piedmont Park is iconic and ideal if you want to have some of the Atlanta skyline in the background of your photos.

Piedmont Park features lots of grassy areas, mature trees, a pond with a fountain & gazebo, and gorgeous stone steps & walls.

Piedmont Park is an urban park, and it’s always busy with people and other dogs. There are cars traveling along the streets outside the park, bicyclists, joggers, scooters, sports, and more all happening which can be overwhelming for dogs not used to the bustle of the city.

Best for:

  • Most dogs, but it is an urban area that is busy with pedestrians and other leashed dogs.

Best on:

  • Best on weekday mornings or winter afternoons.
A labradoodle standing in Piedmont Park with the Atlanta Skyline in the distance.
Labrdoodle sits in her dad's lap while they share a moment of connection.
A labradoodle poses in Atlanta , Georgia's Piedmont Park showing off her warm brown eyes.
Ok, I have to know.

Which ones are your favorite parks for dog photography?

This blog is a part of a blog circle with pet photographers from across the globe! This week we’re sharing our favorite times of the day to create beautiful images of your pets. Next up Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography shares her newfound favorite dog-friendly hike, and photo shoot location, on Grapevine Lake in the Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex.

Be sure to keep clicking the link at the bottom to complete the circle until you wind up back here!

What to read next?


  1. Nicole

    Gorgeous images!!

  2. nancy

    I love how you broke them down on when the best times are.

  3. Tracy Allard

    I have to say, not only are your images gorgeous, but your blog posts themselves are so pretty!


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