Working as a commercial amenities photographer allows for some fun travel opportunities. In 2022, we were lucky to have the opportunity to adventure around various spots in North East Ohio to take photos of dozens of businesses and recreational locations. Here are some of our favorite places we visited:
10. Downtown Amherst, Ohio
When we showed up in Amherst for amenities photos, we were delighted to find that there was a car show going on downtown. Afterward, we stopped by Ziggy’s, a busy but friendly pub where the staff was friendly and helpful, and we were allowed to take photos of their classy upstairs lounge. Next, we visited Sugar Buzz Candy Store. The owners were so welcoming and even gave us each a free scoop of ice cream! We couldn’t resist and ended up buying some delicious freeze-dried candy to take home with us. Puffer’s Floral was a visual delight that lured us in with a pink store facade. The store was filled with beautiful floral arrangements and accessories, and the manager told us about how their sister store in Elyria does floral arrangements in addition to having a boutique space. Old Towne Pizza was another stop on our tour of Amherst. The exterior of the building is adorned with a beautiful mural, and we were able to get a great photo to showcase this large piece of art. The owner there was very accommodating, and she brought out fresh food for us to photograph! Overall, our visit to Amherst was a memorable and enjoyable experience. We can’t wait to return and photograph more of this charming city in the future!
9. Fathead’s Brewery – Canton, Ohio
Every once in a while, one of our real estate photography clients sends us a little farther out of our service area than we are used to. This was the case when we photographed a house near the airport in Canton, Ohio. After getting FAA approval to take drone photos and finishing up our work, we decided to grab a bite to eat. Fatheads Brewery seemed like a great option to get a hearty meal and a cold beer, and we got exactly that. We chatted about being a small business owner with a gentleman at the bar for a bit and left, thinking we had seen the last of Fatheads Brewery. A few weeks later, our commercial amenities client called, dispatching us to the Akron/Canton, Ohio area, and Fatheads Brewery was on our list of local points of interest for restaurant photography. We were all too happy to stop in for some photos before moving on to our next assignment, and we will certainly be back the next time we are in the area
8. Middlefield, Ohio
Middlefield, Ohio is the home of the world’s Fourth largest Amish settlement, and that’s reflected in the local charm and character of this adorable village. We stopped into bakeries that smelled amazing, stores with friendly staff, and even one bar located in an 1840s inn! One could easily spend a day or weekend exploring all the local offerings and cute parks in the area. This little town southeast of Cleveland was a unique and memorable place to visit, and we hope to come back for the Maple Syrup Festival in the spring!
7. Hartville, Ohio
Hartville, Ohio is a small town located in Stark County, Ohio about halfway between Akron and Canton. The town is home to several popular tourist attractions; including the Hartville Hardware Store, a massive home improvement merchant; the Hartville Kitchen, offering baked goods and meals from scratch; and the Hartville Flea Market, with tons of local crafts and antiques. Our client wanted all of these local points of interest covered, as well as the local schools. The shops, restaurants, and flea markets were delightful. However, what really made the day for us was seeing the Goodyear Blimp as we were flying the drone over the football field! Despite my wish for closer composition, I think it adds to the specialness of this photo and makes it unique to the northeastern part of Ohio.
6. Wingfoot Lake State Park
Speaking of the Goodyear Blimp, another place we visited in the Akron area was the picturesque and serene Wingfoot Lake State Park. Wingfoot Lake State Park has a fascinating history. The lake was once the water supply for the Goodyear Airship Plant, which produced non-rigid balloon-powered airships for the US Navy to use in WW1 as well as trained over 600 naval cadets to operate them. In the 1960s, The Goodyear Corporation began to build pavilions, tennis courts, playgrounds, and boating facilities on the lake for corporate retreats and employee outings. In 2009, the State of Ohio purchased the land and designated it as Wingfoot Lake State Park. Today, the Goodyear Blimp that is seen hovering around North Eastern Ohio on summer days, and above many national sports events, has its home in a hangar on the lake, across from the state park. The park amenities themselves are lovely. They have expanded to include an archery range, disc golf, a Storybook Trail, and hunting grounds nestled under majestic mature trees with large crowns.
5. Perry Township Park
Perry Township Park may have been the farthest we traveled from Mansfield all summer, but the sunset was worth it. Located right along Lake Erie, the park faces northwest and has lots of benches along the shoreline to enjoy the view. We planned this spot as our last shoot of the day, so after working hard all day covering the Northeastern Ohio area, we were able to relax and watch a beautiful summer sunset over Lake Erie. Honestly, this was one of my favorite moments of the summer, and Perry Township Park will always hold a special place in my heart because of that.
4. Jack Casino
Our stay at Jack Casino was truly an oasis in the heat of downtown Cleveland this summer. The location made it a relatively safe and central spot for parking, a garage roof ideal for launching drones, and air conditioning in the afternoon when the heat became unbearable. When it came time to take interior photos, we sat down at some slot machines, since prior to our visit we read that photography was allowed in that section of the casino only. We each put $20 in and played different games for a bit as we looked for interesting shots. Several pulls later, I won $20 playing slots! I was shocked! Using the digital roulette wheel, I slowly raised and lowered the amount in $5 increments for about 30 minutes after that. With that $20 that I won, I actually walked out of the casino with more money in my pocket than I had when I entered! My partner, however, was not so lucky with her $20, so all in all we broke even. Still, it was a fun time and a great way to beat the heat while we waited for the sun to get into position in the late afternoon for the rest of our locations.
3. Punderson Lake State Park
Punderson Lake is Ohio’s largest and deepest naturally occurring kettle lake. It was formed by retreating glaciers approximately 14,000 years ago. The absolute serenity of this area is hard to explain- entering the state park was like stepping into another world; one filled with singing birds, stunning trees, and a stately English Tudor-style manor that serves as a lodge and conference center. The park also includes a golf course, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, a beach for swimming, disc golf, an archery range, a lighted sledding hill, and trails for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding, making use of its location in Ohio’s “snow belt”. This is absolutely a place I will be returning to for many more adventures.
2. Downtown Cleveland
What is there to say, except “Cleveland Rocks!”? Cleveland has long been one of my favorite cities; the whole town has a very sincere, honest feel to it. The people here are tough as nails yet with hearts of gold. Also, of course, Cleveland is the birthplace of Rock and Roll. We did a LOT of shooting in the downtown area this summer and had some incredible opportunities because of that. Aside from almost losing my drone (click here to read more about that), we got to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Great Lakes Science Center, The Chocolate Bar inside of the historic Arcade building. However, for me, the best moment was getting to listen to a DIY generator-powered punk show on an abandoned bridge across the river. Allow me to explain: There we were, on the Jack Casino parking garage rooftop flying the drone to get aerial shots of Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse and The Flats around sunset. Off in the distance, we could hear, over the noise of the city, a melodic cacophony. At first, I took little notice, as I was completely engaged in watching for birds and trying to get my shots before sunset or my battery died. Eventually, I had my shots and was returning my aircraft home when it dawned upon me that what I was hearing was, in fact, live music. After looking a little closer, we were able to identify the source of the music as coming from across the river on a bridge. We flew the drone in to take a look and discovered a generator-powered DIY punk show! After we brought the drone back, we sat and listened to the music a while longer, took a selfie, and watched the sunset over the city before heading out for the day. This magical moment felt like a parting gift from the city of Cleveland for all our hard work documenting it the previous few days and was a wonderful end cap to our time spent there last year.
1. Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park
Our commercial amenities photography season usually lasts from spring through fall; there are no set dates. Of course, you want the trees to have some foliage on them when shooting. That’s why we were surprised when we were asked to shoot amenities in Geauga County, Ohio, and Portage County, Ohio at the end of October’s “peak” leaf season; however, being pros, we went ahead and shot what was there. Our final location was to be Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, however, since it was so late in the season, we were unable to gain access to the park. We decided instead to explore nearby Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park and boy am I glad that we did! Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park is known for its “ledges”, massive outcroppings of sandstone rock that formed over millennia as the result of erosion. Between these glacial behemoths are hiking trails galore, and some of the most beautiful forests I’ve ever hiked through. Some of the trees in this Beech-Maple forest cling to the crevices in the rocks and create curtains of hanging roots that dangle above the lower trails, giving the trees a sense of towering that you don’t feel on the higher trails. This area of the state demarcates the border between the Lake Erie and Ohio River watersheds, as well as the continental divide between the Saint Laurence and Great Lakes basins. The surreal beauty, unique geology, and amount of fun we had exploring the park all make Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park my number one favorite place I visited this summer.
Thank you so much for coming on this little adventure with us, and consider Prima Visual Media’s commercial amenities photography services next time you want to market an area or as an add-on to our real estate photography services!