Updated: May 3, 2020
I was first introduced to Sweetwater Creek State Park through a maternity session booking. The mother-to-be was looking for a nice park that had beautiful water features and green spaces.
The park is located in the Lithia Springs area, 15 miles outside of Atlanta pass Six Flags amusement park on I-20W. The location is great if your client is looking for a secluded forest full of all nature's glory. It offers nice water features; you have the creek with cascading rocks and you also have a nice big lake. The park also has the remains of what used to be an old textile mill that I was believe was burned down during the Civil War; you can reach it by hiking on one of the many trails the park has to offer. See photos below to view the creek and the old mill ruins.
Address: 1750 Mount Vernon Road; Lithia Springs, GA 30122 Hours of Operation: 7am - until it gets dark
Entrance Fee: FREE
Parking: $5; this is a flat rate and allows you to park anywhere within the park once passing the entrance gate.
Public or Private Property: Public - it's a state park
Location Versatility: You are pretty limited on getting different looks. You either have woods or water. While you can change areas within the two, there's not a lot of room for you/your client to have multiple looks within their gallery.
Lighting: Offers great natural light photo opportunities (the best light). The trails offer nice even light and the creek and lake are fully lit from the sun. So if you are taking photos around the creek or lake be aware of the direct light and proceed accordingly.
Access to Location: It depends on where you are trying to shoot. See below for a breakdown.
Forest: very easy to get to, you can reach the forest woodsy area that has a nice cleared path as soon as you enter the trails which are right off the side of the welcome center.
Creek: bit of a hike to get there. You can follow the red trail and it will take you right to it. It will take about 7-10 minutes into the trail before you will be able to see the cascading rocks like you see in the photo above you will and the old mill is there as well. It's also a bit adventurous to get to the rocks in creek you/your client need to be comfortable with being active to get this look.
Old Mill Ruins: same as the creek as far as the hike to get there. Its also surrounded by a wire fence so you won't be able to get any photos in front of it unless you want the ugly black fence in the photo as well.
Safety: You have to be aware of your surroundings. You are literally in the woods walking to a creek au naturale. So you need to look out for critters like snakes and whatever else that will scare you that lives in the woods and you just need to pay attention to people around as well because you never know, this location is very secluded and not very out in the open.
All and all, this location is great depending on the purpose of your session. It all matters on if you have the energy to get to the places you want to shoot. This location would be great for portrait sessions where you/your client are comfortable possibly breaking a sweat to get the perfect shot or for a nice young family. However I would not recommend this for anything fancy so if you are going to wear heels or have on a nice dress. This is NOT the location for you. Also be aware of you/your clients physical abilities. There is a hike to get to most places so if you/your client don't want to feel like exercising to take photos I would not recommend this location.
For more information visit: https://gastateparks.org/SweetwaterCreek