On our recent visit to Miami I made a special trip to see the Wynwood Art District. I, like many of you, had been hearing and seeing the buzz about the Wynwood Walls and had to see for myself what was happening there. I was truly unprepared for how amazing it would be. What was once a struggling part of the community has been transformed into an explosion of art, and culture. Galleries, restaurants, and shops are popping up everywhere you look and suddenly Wynwood is where everyone wants to be. We could have easily spent the entire day photographing all the amazing murals which surprised and delighted us around every corner we turned. Although our visit was short, we managed to capture several of the walls.
1. Give Yourself Time
Our visit to Miami was for business so we didn’t have a lot of time to stop through Wynwood. If we had done it right we would have dedicated at the very least two to four hours to explore. There are over 200 murals in this district so if you want time to contemplate or (let’s be honest) shoot a million selfies, you are going to have to plan for it.
2. Where to Park
You can take your chances and try to park at local business lots, but your options are going to be limited. If I were you I wold go ahead and download the Pay by Phone app so you can take advantage of street parking. Look for the Pay by Phone signs for easy parking options. The app is meant to be seamless like Uber. Estimate how much time you will be there, pay in advance on your phone and leave when you are done. Need more time? You can add more time from where you are with your mobile using the app, no need to run to a meter from several streets away.
3. What to See
There are several helpful options to help you plan your trip.
Wing it like we did and just wander around spontaneously.
Do your research and look up specific murals you want to see online using Wynwood’s website.
Lead your own tour using the Wynwood Tour Guide App. I haven’t used this one but it’s certainly worth trying. You can also grab a map of murals, restaurants, and businesses a the Wynwood Business Improvement District office for a self guided experience. (310 NW 26th St. Miami, FL 33127)
4. What to Wear
In a world consumed by Instagram, it’s hard to imagine a visitor swinging by the Miami art district without photos on the mind. By now you might have guessed that bright solid colors stand out best against the kaleidoscope of saturated hues in Wynwood. Do yourself a favor and avoid patterns and plan to wear something that blends in or contrasts well against the murals you plan to visit. It also goes without saying that in Miami’s tropic heat, you might want to wear something that’s not going to wither under a little perspiration, as you will be strolling around quite a bit if you want to see it all.
5. Photo Tips
Avoid Noon. Shooting against the walls when the sun is directly overhead will not be flattering for you, nor will it show the murals in their best light. Aim for earlier in the morning or sometime in the afternoon. The goal being to have constant light on the wall and your subject. We actually shot later than I intended. It was nearly eleven, but we were able to find several walls where the light was still good, and one or two that were actually covered.
Consider your cropping. If you are shooting with a DSLR choose a lens with a wide angle. If you are shooting with a phone turn that baby sideways.
Stop leaning on the wall. You will be in much better focus if you stand off the wall about three to four feet. This allows some depth in the image.
Have fun. Stop being so serious folks. Get active, laugh, and show your personality. These murals are incredibly creative. Let’s see what you have up your sleeve!
If you are headed to the Wynwood Walls and found this blog helpful be sure to tag me in your images! Also, I’d love a shout out online or in my comments below. I welcome any other tips you might have that will make a visit more inspiring. Next time we’ll talk food.