Miami Beach

If you didn’t post an Instagram photo of a South Beach lifeguard stand or an antique car on Ocean Drive, did you really even travel to Miami?

Miami and the Beaches are full of vibrant photo opportunities, especially in the spring, when it’s the best time of year to get outdoors and capture the scenic backdrops of our turquoise blue waters and picturesque palm trees.

We turned to Miami photographer Curt Rosner for his favorite spots in Miami and asked him for his expert advice on how to snap the perfect Instagram photo when you’re here. Curt and his wife Tracy share their travel adventures on the popular Instagram account @travelswithtracy while showcasing some of Miami’s most show-stopping scenery.

Whip out your camera, and get ready to explore. Here are eight Instagram-worthy spots in Miami you must visit this spring.

1. Lifeguard Stands on South Beach

South Beach Lifeguard Stand

Photo by Curt Rosner // Travels with Tracy

Walking down the beach from Loews Miami Beach Hotel on 16th Street, there are numerous lifeguard stands in all shapes, sizes and colors. I like to photograph these stands just after sunrise. The light at this time of morning casts a wonderful warm glow on the stands, and the colors are beautiful. I like to photograph using the light from the sun as backlighting or side lighting.

2. South Pointe Park and Pier

South Pointe Park Jetty

Photo by Curt Rosner // Travels with Tracy

The jetty at the end of the South Pointe walkway is one of my favorite places to photograph on Miami Beach. The rock formations add much interest to the image, and shooting the jetty on an angle can create a great leading line into the water. The best time of the day to photograph this area is sunrise, as there is usually spectacular color in the sky that spreads onto the rocks. Get up early, and take advantage of this opportunity! At night or pre-dawn, photographing the colorful lights along the walkway of South Pointe also makes for a terrific composition due to the pattern of the lights fading in the distance. Facing west when photographing will allow you to include Government Cut in the picture, which is the inlet where cruise ships pass through as they’re leaving PortMiami.

3. Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive Car

Photo by Curt Rosner // Travels with Tracy

Photographing along Ocean Drive on South Beach is not to be missed. There are a myriad of great photo opportunities, night or day, including Art Deco buildings, interesting people, old automobiles, and street activities. Just stay south of 10th street, walk on either side of Ocean Drive, and keep photographing!

4. Wynwood

Photo by Curt Rosner // Travels with Tracy

Visit Wynwood, and you’ll think you’ve discovered a photographer’s paradise. Just north of downtown Miami, the neighborhood has a “hip” vibe and is filled with art galleries and restaurants. The most unique aspect of Wynwood is its creative and colorful wall art on numerous building facades throughout the area. Artists are commissioned to paint the walls, and since the walls are re-painted regularly, there is always something new to photograph whenever you return. The Wynwood Walls are also a must to photograph because of the diversity of the enclosed area’s wall art. There are always lots of interesting people there who will be more than happy to pose for you if you want to add interest to your photo of the walls.

5. Domino Park

Calle Ocho

Photo by Curt Rosner // Travels with Tracy

Calle Ocho, which literally means 8th Street in Spanish, runs through the heart of Little Havana. The area is filled with Cuban culture, food, music, cigar shops, and more. Domino Park, in particular, offers great photo opportunities. At any time of the day, one finds dozens of domino games being played by members of the Hispanic community, both young and old. And, don’t limit yourself to just the park. There are endless photo-worthy sights that can be found simply by walking up and down Calle Ocho. With a little creativity, you will be able to capture the vibrant Hispanic culture in your images.

6. Deering Estate

Deering Estate

Photo by Curt Rosner // Travels with Tracy

The Charles Deering Estate is located in the southern part of Miami off of Old Cutler Road. Ideal photos opps are in the back of the property at the boat basin, which looks out over Biscayne Bay. The view is spectacular. There are two palm tree-lined pieces of land that jut out into the water from the basin, which provides for wonderfully symmetrical photos. Just focusing on one of the peninsulas at a time can also produce stunning images because of the nice curve of the landscape. Late afternoon is a great time of day to photograph, as the sun setting behind you can produce some nice color in the sky. The ideal time to photograph is sunrise, but this must be pre-arranged. Once a month, Miami-Dade Parks provides for a sunrise shoot, but it must be reserved and paid in advance. Note that space for these shoots is limited to the first 20 people to sign up. There are always lots of Instagrammers at these sunrise shoots.

7. Long Pine Lake in Everglades National Park

Everglades

Photo by Curt Rosner // Travels with Tracy

Everglades National Park offers endless images to capture of prairies, wildlife and unique tropical landscapes. One of my favorite photo spots is Long Pine Lake, which is a few miles from the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. The location includes a lake with an island of palm trees in the center, as well as rocks along the shoreline and tall grass, which make for a nice foreground. If you’re lucky, the alligator that resides in the lake may be bathing near the shoreline for a bonus. Colors can be spectacular at sunrise or sunset.

8. Key Biscayne Lighthouse

Cape Florida Lighthouse

Photo by Curt Rosner // Travels with Tracy

Located at the very end of Key Biscayne is the lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. What I enjoy most about this place is that there are so many different ways to photograph the lighthouse; one could spend an entire day shooting and still not exhaust all of the opportunities. I like shooting the lighthouse from the north side of the beach, where the shoreline creates a nice leading line and the lighthouse is depicted in a grand sort of way. The other unique thing about photographing here is that no matter what the sky is like, you’re going to get a great image. Dark clouds or bright blue sky, both create great pictures and give a different feel.