Nov 28, 2012

Where to shoot - Cedar Hill State Park / Penn Farm

First - a quick disclaimer.  The photos for this post were iPhone snapshots from a family camping trip, not examples of decent photography :)

I will update this "Where to shoot" series of posts from time to time when I find  a spot to share.  To that end I have also started a flickr group for area photo locations.  Feel free to come add to it.  If it grows over time, it could be a good source for shooting spots when you run out of ideas.

Cedar Hill State Park Penn Farm-1736

A few weeks ago we packed up and headed to Cedar Hill State Park for a quick camping adventure.  I intentionally left all photo gear at home except my iPhone and the camera above.  It was not to be a photo safari, but a family fun time.  As we left the house, Renee said that I should be bringing more camera, and, as usual she was right.

Any state park will offer a multitude of natural backgrounds and potentially great portrait spots.  Cedar Hill gives that and more.
Cedar Hill State Park Penn Farm-1732

There are a few unique spots like the "perch pond" for kid fishing above, a short hike back to a natural pond, some well maintained hiking trails, and great views of Joe Pool Lake.

The real gold mine here, though, is the historic Penn Farm within the grounds of the park.
Cedar Hill State Park Penn Farm-1805

There is a short walk from the parking area back into the farm (with restrooms near the entrance), but the dirt road pathways and trails are good enough for strollers or wheelchairs.  A variety of old farm equipment is scattered around the grounds, and old wood fences are in abundance.
Cedar Hill State Park Penn Farm-1790

An old windmill can be a great prop.  Unless the person volunteering to take your photo puts it right on your wife's head.
Cedar Hill State Park Penn Farm-1795

For my money, the best features are the old barn and house buildings.
Cedar Hill State Park Penn Farm-1798

Wood and stone features are everywhere, with lots of big shady spots to find good light any time of day.
Cedar Hill State Park Penn Farm-1817

There are also some wide open fields available, although it seemed to be a popular place for people to let their dogs romp around.
Cedar Hill State Park Penn Farm-1819

There were several photographers out doing the work on a beautiful but cold Saturday morning, and I see why.

Entry to the park is $7 for adults, free for kids under 12.  Park hours are 6  a.m. - 10 p.m., but the website lists Penn Farm as closing at 5 p.m.

It is a beautiful spot within an easy drive of the general D/FW area.  Enjoy!

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