Wichita is home to one of the most photographed places in Kansas: the 44-foot, 5-ton weathered steel sculpture Keeper of the Plains sitting atop a 30-foot pedestal in the middle of the Arkansas River. But Wichita has many more popular locations to photograph. Stunning skies and iconic structures for capturing frameable fine art or creative murals by local artists for the perfect backdrop for your selfie or family snapshot – here’s your guide to finding the best photography spots in Wichita.
- Botanica Wichita
- Delano Clocktower
- Exploration Place
- Great Plains Nature Center
- Kansas Aviation Museum
- Keeper of the Plains
- Oakland Street (in east Wichita near Douglas/Hillside)
- Old Cowtown Museum
- Old Town
- Riverfront Stadium
- Sedgwick County Park and other parks
- Sedgwick County Zoo
- Tanganyika Wildlife Park
- Union Station
- Wichita Art Museum
Tips from Professionals
We reached out to five professional photographers to get their thoughts on Wichita’s best photography locations and Instagrammable locations. Check out their suggestions with spectacular examples.
Darrin Hackney Photography | Darrin is known for his wedding and portrait photography as well as being active in the local photography community. Follow him on Instagram @darrinhackney. Learn more about Darrin and see more of his photography.
Don’t miss the full effect of Botanica’s rainbow entrance to its children’s garden. Late in the afternoon, when the sun is behind your subject and the structure, you’ll see the colors of the structure projected on the concrete for a cool effect.
There’s a great spot on the platform above the depot: a large concrete structure with the word “Wichita” on the south end.
Kansas Aviation Museum
There are interesting architectural details on the front of the building, around the corner from the main museum entrance, and be sure to photograph the static aircraft on the tarmac with the museum as a backdrop.
Keeper of the Plains
If you’re photographing people in front of the Keeper, shoot from the south side of the Arkansas River for the best light for your subject(s).
Make sure before you fly to know your location’s guidelines and regulations. Safety is Drone-tography’s No. 1 priority with UAV flights. Jeremy holds a Part 107 UAS pilot license and was also granted a part 107.29 night waiver. Before any flight, he uses a safety checklist and gets all flights approved and gains clearance to access airspace through LAANC system.
Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center
This building comes alive with color at night and offers a centerpiece for your Wichita skyline photography.
The placement of Exploration Place next to the water allows you to capture reflections of the Arkansas River that make for great photos.
Keeper of the Plains
For a more unique perspective, try to capture the sun rays through the headdress.
Downtown Wichita Skyline
From any outer corner of downtown, you can always get an amazing shot of downtown with sunrise or sunset.
Ricardo “Rick” Reitmeyer
ricardoreitmeyer.com & smallgroupworkshops.com | Rick is a photographer and Photoshop artist working in many niches, from aviation to travel photography, and also offers small group workshops. Follow him on Instagram @ricardoreitmeyer.
Sedgwick County Zoo
Wear something similar to what the zookeepers wear, including hats and specific colors. Check out the gift shop for what to buy. The animals may pay more attention to you if they think they recognize you. And visit toward the end of the day, after the animals had their afternoon naps. They might also be more hungry, and more active, as they watch for dinner.
Old Cowtown Museum
My favorite time to be there is when the weather is not at its best: Try a rainy summer afternoon or a cold winter day. The 'spirits' of Old Cowtown will greet you.
Swanson Park (my favorite) and Chisholm Creek Park at Great Plains Nature Center, are both filled with wildlife. Start early, before the people activity and heat of the day sends the animals into hiding. Make an extra effort to go when it’s snowing. Each animal leaves a nice set of footprints to follow with your camera.
Leopard at the Sedgwick County Zoo - Rick Reitmeyer
Amur Tiger at the Sedgwick County Zoo - Rick Reitmeyer
Mickey Shannon Fine Art Photography | Mickey is a fine art nature and landscape photographer based in Wichita who published the "Kansas is Beautiful" coffee table book in 2023. Follow him on Instagram @mickeyshannonphotography.
Keeper of the Plains
I cut my teeth on landscape photography at the Keeper of the Plains. It’s great for both beginners and experienced photographers, and worth visiting in all four seasons. You’ll find ice, snow and fog in the winter; flowers and other growth in the foreground during spring; wild sunflowers for a short period in June; and grasses and trees for warmer tones in the fall. It's also a great place to photograph storms rolling in from spring through summer.
No matter what season, make sure to shoot different angles. One of my go-to spots is on the north bank of the river, using the small waterfall/rapids as a foreground. Shooting from the south bank in summer can be good as the sun sets farther north. When the river and wind are calm, the area above the waterfall can be a great place for a good reflection of the Keeper. Also, getting closer up to the Keeper or the bow-and-arrow inspired bridges can give unique perspectives. Sunrise, in particular, can be awesome from up on the bridges.
Sunrise fog at the Keeper of the Plains was shot in March when spring was just arriving in Kansas. The bush makes an awesome foreground as the foggy sunrise gave the background a unique color. - Mickey Shannon
River bend near Wichita Art Museum
For years, I scouted this spot to use my drone and it just never quite caught the fall colors and a good sunrise at the same time until this capture in 2021. If the wind isn't too bad, you can get a great shot of the sunrise reflected in the river bend with the Wichita skyline in the background.
Klausmeyer Sunflower Farm
Catching a sunflower field in bloom is all about timing (generally ranging late-July to September). Keep an eye on the Klausmeyer Sunflower Farm Facebook page for information on when their fields will be in bloom. I also update this article on my blog when sunflower season begins for fields near Wichita.
Friends University Davis Administration Building
This building is a work of art when it comes to architecture and history. Every year, they light the clocktower for the season just after Thanksgiving and it makes a great subject; give it a try in any season.