10 Locations in Carroll County, Maryland for Your Next Photo Shoot

Personal Branding Photos and Corporate Portraits & Headshots can basically be hosted ANYWHERE, as long as the location resonates with your brand. What is fun about personal branding or say… a small business or solo entrepreneur… is that you can use your own office, your home office, your kitchen, or even your backyard for photos. But if you feel those locations are getting a bit stale, there are many a cool location nestled in beautiful Carroll County, Maryland. Let’s touch on just ten that can re-inspire your drive for new photographs to highlight your business!

Now before we start, it is ALWAYS a good idea, and highly recommended that you ask permission to use any of public or private space in the planning stage of your photo shoot. Some locations are private, while others are not. But sometimes a venue does charge a site fee or require a photographer’s pass to use their venue or grounds. So be sure to respect each locations individual rules.

1. Carroll Community College in Westminster, MD

1601 Washington Road, Westminster, MD | carrollcc.edu

I’ve been to Carroll Community College as a student, an adjunct faculty member, and for well over 35 photo shoots contracted by their marketing department. I’ve also been on campus to photograph a few local business peeps. The campus has a few striking elements that are well worth pointing out.

As you enter the college, the first thing that stands out is the courtyard. The architecture is really fun and unique, allowing for tons of flexible backdrops and corners.

Marketing Photos by Kelly Heck Photography Carroll Community College Westminster Maryland

Marketing Photos by Kelly Heck Photography Carroll Community College Westminster Maryland

And then you walk through the main entrance (Building A)…

The back of the campus faces Rt. 27 – and if you walk through the “Great Hall” down the steps and outside, that back-facade has an incredible multi-story tall glass face that photographs beautifully as a background on days that are near sunset or overcast. It reflects beautiful hues of blue, in contrast to the vibrant brick, resulting in rich color tones.

If your company has anything to do with theatrics, performance, or speaking, the Scott Theater (Building T), though simple, is a very nicely designed space, with balcony.

I am very fond of the K-Building, which hosts many community business events, and within is Room K100, a large meeting space where I have often attended networking events, presentations, and other community gatherings. If you walk past this space, down the hall through the cafeteria, and all the way to the end, you keep discovering down-right cool spaces and lots of open light.

You can find a lot of other good spots around the grounds, and the glass Sky-Walk between Buildings K & T is quite unique too, and on the K-end is another open space and balcony to look down at the entrance to Room K100.

Be sure to contact the college ahead of time, for permission, if you are interested in using their space for photographs or other purposes.

For a full map of the CCC Campus, visit https://www.carrollcc.edu/About/Maps-and-Directions/Campus-and-Parking-Map/.


2. McDaniel College in Westminster, MD

2 College Hill, Westminster, MD | mcdaniel.edu

I have also photographed at McDaniel College a number of times, for businesses and consumers. McDaniel College has a wonderful mix of beautiful grounds, outdoor courtyards, historic architecture, and modern architecture.


Marketing Photos by Kelly Heck Photography Carroll Community College Westminster MarylandThere is far too much to share about McDaniel, starting at the Ward Arch, surrounded by knock-out roses.

The gorgeous Little Baker Chapel, where many a wedding happen.

The water feature in front of Memorial Baker Chapel, plus the architecture of that building with its soaring white columns. And directly across is a tree line that overlooks downtown Westminster, Maryland.

The deep concrete courtyard seating in the center of campus. A walkway loaded with Canna Lillies.

The beautiful landscaping that leads to the Klitzberg Pavilion, with a full glass facade that reflects beautiful hues of blue and turquoise.

Be sure to contact the college ahead of time, for permission, if you are interested in using their space for photographs or other purposes.

For a full map of the McDaniel College campus, visit https://www.mcdaniel.edu/media/798.


3. Hashawha & Bear Branch Center in Westminster, MD

300 John Owings Rd, Westminster, MD | ccgovernment.carr.org/ccg/recpark/hashawha

Elisa Koehler - Trumpeter & Conductor | Professor of Music & Assistant Director of the Center for Dance, Music, & Theatre at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland | Kelly Heck Photography
Elisa Koehler – Trumpeter & Conductor

Hashawha is a GREAT destination: a 320-acre park with over 5 miles of trails. Enjoy a pond, wildlife, trails, trickling streams, pine forests, and more! Hick up the hill to Bear Branch Center for more trails, a beautiful overlook towards the sunset, and fields released to nature.

Elisa Koehler - Trumpeter & Conductor
Elisa Koehler – Trumpeter & Conductor

For a full map of the Hashawha & Bear Branch Trails, visit carrollcountymd.gov/services/gis-maps/gis-map-gallery/trails/hashawha-and-bear-branch.


4. Downtown Sykesville, MD

There are several fun aspects to downtown Sykesville, which is oozing with small town charm! Beautiful shop fronts, cute dining options, a railroad stop and stationary trains (get permission guys!! it is illegal to photograph on train-tracks whether they are active or not)…


5. Downtown Westminster, MD

Westminster also features some amazing gems to

The Armory…

The Winchester Exchange parking garage rooftop… (rooftops are my FAVE… but they are usually private property… so GET PERMISSION!!!)

More parking garages! There are multiple in Westminster, you just have to find them! 🙂

The Carroll County Historic Courthouse and active courthouses, and the community that surrounds…

Michelle O. Campbell, Esquire Attorney at Law | Personal Branding Portraits by Kelly Heck Photography
Michelle O. Campbell, Esquire Attorney at Law

City Hall, on Emerald Hill Lane, which backs up to a small garden.
The courtyard across from the Westminster Public Library.
Beautiful alleyways and cut-throughs.

Senior Portraits with Elizabeth Strack in downtown Westminster Maryland with Photographer Kelly Heck


6. Belle Grove Square in Westminster, MD

I would have never appreciated Belle Grove Square if not for a four-season photo-documentary project I conducted for the City of Westminster. I was asked to capture the little downtown park block’s beauty throughout one glorious year, and what a great spot it is. Not only is the park itself just lovely, the buildings that surround it are as well… including two churches and several charming homes. Out of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter… Spring is my favorite time at Belle Grove Square. But the other three seasons are close behind.

You can reserve the park for special events, and even book the Westminster Municipal Band!

Doogwood Flowers at Belle Grove Square in downtown Westminster, Maryland | Photograph


7. Piney Run Park in Eldersburg, MD

30 Martz Rd, Sykesville, MD | ccgovernment.carr.org/ccg/recpark/pineyrun

Piney Run Park features a 300-acre lake, with boat rentals, multiple pavilions, and surrounded by walking trails.

This is the first location with a cost – just $5.00 to park.

For a full map of the park trails, visit carrollcountymd.gov/services/gis-maps/gis-map-gallery/trails/piney-run-park.


8. Morgan Run in Westminster, MD

Benrose Ln, Sykesville, MD | dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/morganrun.aspx

Located in Carroll County, the Morgan Run Natural Environment Area is comprised of approximately 2,000 acres of natural area. Hiking and equestrian trails are popular. The Morgan Run is a catch and release trout stream. A wheelchair accessible platform for fly fishing is available to anglers. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.

For a full map of the park trails, visit carrollcountymd.gov/services/gis-maps/gis-map-gallery/trails/morgan-run.


9. Union Mills Homestead in Westminster, MD

3311 Littlestown Pike, Westminster, MD | unionmills.org

Union Mills Homestead is a 1790s estate with a historic buildings and is most well know for its working mill.

Union Mills Homestead does not currently require a fee to photograph on their property, but donations are welcomed.


10. Rent a Space:

There are so many cool spaces in Carroll County that could offer more of an architectural setting. Think about venues that either offer a lot of flexibility, like the college campuses, which each have amazing architecture indoors and outdoors, as well as beautiful grounds and landscaping. As a business owner, you could also look into wedding venues, which often provide settings with impeccable design. Below featured is from a Personal Branding Portrait Session held at Best Western Westminster Hotel.

Alternatively, brainstorm locations that support the story behind your photos, or enhance your brand story.

For example…

Are you an event planner?

Wedding venues such as The Tannery Barn, Antrim 1844, or Westminster Riding Club would be perfect for you!

Kelly Heck Photography | Antrim 1844 Taneytown, Maryland

Do you offer nutrition coaching?

A local cafe that values seasonal ingredients such as JeannieBird, or a farm market, can highlight your values.

Local Homestead Products Farm & Market in New Windsor, MD | httpwww.lhp.farm/ | Farm To Table Dinner July 2019

Are you a personal trainer?

Scout local gyms to see if any would welcome you using their space.

Personal Branding Photography with Health and Fitness Coach Mike Gibble of Gibble Enterprises Holdings by Kelly Heck Westminster Maryland

Are you a writer?

The courtyard in-front of the Westminster Public Library, or a cozy couch at your favorite Coffee Shop such as Birdie’s might do the trick.

Dublin Roasters Coffee of Frederick, Maryland | Photography by Kelly Heck

Do you travel a lot for work?

Book a modern hotel room at the Westminster Best Western or at a charming Bed & Breakfast, such as Georges On York.

Taneytown Maryland Main Street Shopping and Dining | George's On York Bed & Breakfast

Are you a creative?

Grab some of your every day tools and we can hit the streets!

Adam Stultz - Videographer, Video Editor, Motion Designer, Animator - Central Maryland


Personal Branding Photo planning is truly simple. I usually recommend that a business owner write out what a Fly-On-The-Wall might see on your ideal day. Then, we take those ideas and figure out how to stage them!

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