Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

June 18, 2018

My Favorite Type of Place to Shoot Blog Photos At.

     Hello and happy Monday! I am fresh off of a great weekend overnight trip to the nearby beautiful city of Richmond, which I can't wait to share more about with you soon! I'm so excited as I was able to shoot a lot of new blog content in both Charlottesville and Richmond last week, and I can't wait to start blogging everything! I absolutely love today's casual but chic spring look, and I'm also chatting in today's post about why parking decks are my favorite place to take blog pictures at. Today's post is SUPER photo-heavy, but I'm sharing some old favorite blog post memories!

Feminine Chic Jeans Look

Pink Madewell Top Preppy Looks

Pink on Pink Top Purse

Hair Scarf Brunette Curls

Southern Belle in Training // Virginia Blogger

Parking Deck Photoshoot

Photography by Meredith Sledge

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     First things first as always: outfit talk! Madewell is actually a store that I don't usually shop at. While they do have some great classic basic pieces, I think their prices are very expensive for what they sell, and I think I can often find similar items for their signature pieces at other stores on sale for a fraction of the price. (Just being honest!) Anyways, I happened to stop by the Charlottesville store a couple weekends ago when my friend Ciera was visiting, and I'm so glad I did! They had a great sale on some spring tops, and I just loved this pink striped wrap top. Best of all- it was originally $72, marked down to $20, and that day in-store there was an additional discount so I purchased it for just $10!! What a savings, especially from a store like Madewell! Surprise sales like this are exactly why I still love browsing the clearance racks from time to time. I tried to go for some "Gal Meets Glam" vibes with this outfit, by adding in my favorite embroidered mules and a hair scarf. Do y'all think I channeled a little Julia Engel at all? 😊

     So this shoot was the first time that I've done parking deck pictures in Charlottesville! These were taken at the Water Street Garage, which is right by Downtown Mall if you know Charlottesville at all. (Essentially the biggest and main parking garage for the downtown area.) If you've followed me for awhile, you know that parking decks have been my favorite places to shoot at for years now! The obsession started my sophomore year of college in Charlotte.

     Here's something funny- one of my Charlottesville photographers, Meredith, (who I did today's photos with), and I actually met years ago! We had mutual friends through a Christian online ministry group called Delight & Be, and when my friend Shara (another Delight friend, who is from Maine!) came to visit me in Charlotte back in 2014, Meredith came down from Virginia to meet us and spend a few days hanging out with us in Charlotte. The three of us actually did some parking deck pictures way back then (you can check out one of those blog posts way in my archives here!), and that's kind of when my obsession with taking photos on parking decks began! I kept exploring decks all over Uptown Charlotte and beyond throughout my college years- although the Midtown Target parking deck of course was my favorite, and I frequently took blog photos there for a few years. Burlington Vermont wasn't really a "hot spot" for parking decks as it isn't a large city, but I did do a couple sets of blog photos during my year there on the Cherry Street parking deck downtown!

     So why do I like the tops of parking decks so much for photos? First and foremost, the views! They provide such a cool and unique look out over a city. Second, the top floor of a parking deck is generally speaking a more private and secluded place to shoot, especially on weekends if it's a deck that's mostly used during the workweek! Even if there is weekend traffic, generally speaking the cars usually stick to lower levels. Third, you can find beautiful lighting on them! With that being said... lighting can be finicky at certain times of day. It can be tough to shoot on some parking decks in the middle of the afternoon, depending on the positioning of the sun. But in the early mornings, evenings, and on cloudy days, you should be good to go, and light should be great!

     One thing to keep in mind is that not all parking decks are public or city owned. One of my close friends and I actually almost got in trouble for trespassing once for going to the top of the CPCC (community college) parking deck near Uptown Charlotte! The crazy thing was we weren't even there for blog photos or anything to do with my blog! It was one night in the winter during one semester of college, and we actually just wanted to watch the stars and the Charlotte skyline from a parking deck. (Literally the most innocent thing!) A security guard ended up finding our car up there while doing rounds and almost called the cops on us- it was kind of scary. And a lesson to me for using parking decks for my blog in the future to try and stick to the public ones!

     Here are a few favorite parking deck photos from North Carolina and Vermont throughout the years- these were taken in Charlotte and Greensboro NC, and Burlington, VT! I'm excited to hopefully discover more parking decks here in Charlottesville, and beyond in Virginia.

     And finally- a few blog memories from my favorite parking deck of all (and one of my favorite places in the whole wide world!) - the Midtown Target parking deck in Charlotte.

      Fellow blogger friends- do you also have a favorite spot that you keep returning to for blog photos?

      God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese 


  1. I loveeee all the pictures you've gotten in parking decks, haha you make it look pretty! I'd have to say I love taking pictures in front of pretty houses or flowers!

  2. Beautiful photos! And thanks for the parking decks tip. The pink wrap top is very cute!

  3. I've been blogging for years and never thought about shooting at a parking deck! Such a good idea! I also love the fact that it's secluded - I hate when people are around when I shoot lol.


  4. Lovely pics, Annaliese!!! Richmond has so many fun places to explore! We lived at Fort Lee a couple years ago, and I used to run and bike around the Petersburg National Battlefield. It was a great place to get out and stretch your legs :)

  5. I love the drama and lighting a roof top location can give a photo! Absolutely beautiful!

  6. Roof top photos are so cute! Love them! Also, I really want that hair scarf!

  7. I love rooftop photos! Looks like you've done quite a few over the years!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  8. Your photos are so cute! Love your pink purse.

  9. I haven't shot on a rooftop in so long but loved doing that in the fall. I love your pink top girl :)

    -xo, Azanique |

  10. First, all of your looks are amazing! So adorable! What a great idea to use the roof of parking decks -- such pretty cityscape views. Wonderful idea!

  11. Can we just take a moment to appreciate your little pink bag?! So cute!
    I love the idea of shooting on a rooftop - there's always a pretty background and the lighting would be beautiful. Since I'm not rich enough to own a rooftop myself, I just always thought that these types photos weren't going to happen for me. I never even thought of shooting on a parking lot deck! So clever! x

  12. lol i've always thought about the fact that you shoot on so many roofs! Makes so much sense they are parking decks haha! So smart!

  13. you are right, the view in these photos is stunning and so you are!

  14. What a great photo taking hack! I'm definitely trying this next time I need to set up a shoot! Parking garages...who knew?!


  15. hahahhaa definitely a good reason for taking photos are a parking lot :) the views are usually worth it for sure haha

  16. I've never considered a garage or parking structure but each of these shots are so great! I love how it gives a glimpse of the city as well...

  17. I never thought of shooting on a parking deck but such a cool idea! i usually go for places with flowers or street art!

  18. Oh my goodness, this is such a great idea! I've been thinking about where I can do blog photos and I have been down some side streets in London, but the thing is, there's always so many people walking past and I get a bit anxious when I'm being stared at!

  19. In love with your blog! So inspiring...the showcased outfits look awesome! Love it!
    Kisses and hug,
    Lina from

  20. I love all your roof top photos! They always look so beautiful!

    The Classic Brunette


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