2014 – Denman Estate for Photography Portrait Sessions – I love little surprises like this. I’ve been living and photographing San Antonio for the past 10 years. I thought I knew all the picturesque locations in the city and Hill Country. Every now and then, I stumble on a new one. I was scheduled for a portrait shoot for the Gephart family’s upcoming Quinceañera. They told me they wanted to do it at the Denman Estate. I had never been there. It’s near Interstate 10 and Callahan Rd. The Estate is controlled by the University of the Incarnate Word. The estate has a huge colonial style mansion built in 1937 with majestic white columns. It is surrounded by huge oak trees, and features a large mill pond, and a Korean gazebo.
The outside areas are maintained by the San Antonio Parks department. It is my understanding that no photography permit is needed to take portraits outside. To book the mansion for an event or do indoor portraits, there is a fee. http://sites.uiw.edu/skyroom/denman-estate/
There are only a few negatives that I found when I did my portrait shoot there this past May 2014. Although it’s not one of the most popular locations for portraits like the Japanese Tea Garden, there were 4-5 other photographers there on the Sunday evening when I was shooting. You may have to wait your turn to take the shot you want. It’s big enough that this is not a great problem. The other problem are the ducks and geese. I love looking at ducks and geese… but it’s a different matter when they are marching around in my shot. Geese and I don’t have a wonderful relationship. I’m more of a dog-guy. Maybe the geese know I don’t like them. Maybe it’s because I don’t have anything to feed them. For whatever reason, geese seem to want to charge at me, flapping their wings like they are saying “Go Away!”.
The one thing that might keep some people away is the fact that there are no public restroom facilities at this location. If you want to change your outfit, you’ll have to do it in your car. If you gotta go, you better be able to hold it. The nearest restroom is the 7-11 at I-10 and Callahan. This location is very popular for Bridal Portraits, Quinceanera Portraits, and Senior Portraits.