Nottingham offers a huge amount of potential for photographers both professional and amateur. If you look up you’ll see that the city is full of extraordinary architecture, from the magnificent dome of the Council House to the gothic grandeur of the Prudential Assurance Building, whilst on the ground there are curious alleyways and boutique arcades galore which can make for some truly stunning snaps if you know where to look. Visit Notts caught up with Lamar Francois, one of Nottingham’s top photographers, who gave us his advice on how to get some great photos of our beautiful city.

I'm Lamar Francois, a photographer who has grown up and lived in Nottingham and one of the aspects I specialise in is photographing the built environment and urban landscape.

I'm sharing with you a preview of my Calendar which features 12 scenes across the city, along with photographic tips to help you get the most out of your visit to Nottingham. The Calendar is now available for purchase at selected retailers across the city including the Nottingham Tourism Centre on Smithy Row.

The grounds of Nottingham Castle, due to reopen in 2021 following a £30m regeneration, have a couple of fascinating vantage points offering views across the south of the city and Nottingham Station from the top level of Castle Rock looking towards Nottingham railway. Behind the bandstand itself, there are some vantage points overlooking the Brewhouse Yard framed by trees.

From the details in a statue to a wider overview of the Castle Grounds near the main entrance, it's worth trying different lenses within the grounds to be able to see at different levels of detail.  

The focal point of Nottingham city centre, Old Market Square has some fascinating things to take a look at and do with various events held here all year round - and the Left Lion itself proves a popular landmark for people to meet up, while under the arches of the Council House people hang out and  meet.

Tip: It's worth looking out from under the arches of the Council House itself back across the square. Experiment with wide angle lenses to be able to use one or several arches to frame the view across the square towards the water feature.

The Hockley district of the city centre offers a vibrant atmosphere with many independent retailers and interesting architecture to take a look at - while being quite compact, allowing you to see and experience a lot of things in a day.

There are plenty of areas of interest within Hockley, from the work of local graffiti artists to historic architecture by Watson Fothergill along Stoney Street.

Tip: Look up between the buildings along Broadway itself near to St Mary's Church and notice the curves in the frontages of the buildings as the street snakes between two sets of former lace warehouses - and contrast this with the straight forms of buildings along Stoney Street.

The final spot I'd like to feature is the Nottingham-Beeston Canal running between Beeston, in the western edge of the city - right towards where it joins the Trent along Meadow Lane near to both of the city's football teams, Nottingham Forest and Notts County. In this photograph you can see some of the former warehouses, which have now been converted into entertainment venues, but used to store supplies when the canal was used for trade.

There are plenty of things to see along the canal - but one thing which might be worth taking advantage of is using the water's surface as a mirror to be able to capture the reflection of moored boats as well as nearby buildings and bridges. Use a wider lens to be able to take in as much of the reflections in the water in the foreground as you can.

The Nottingham Calendar 2021 is available to purchase online here or at the Nottingham Tourism Centre.


Nottingham Castle
Nottingham Castle - Visit Nottinghamshire.

Opening in Spring 2021, Nottingham Castle promises the best day out for all, from history seekers to families wanting an action-packed adventure. Discover more and plan your perfect visit today.

The Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard
The Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard

Please note: The Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard is closed until 2020 while a fantastic £29.8m Heritage Lottery Funded redevelopment takes place.

Old Market Square
Historic Site
Old Market Square
The Left Lion
Credit VisitEngland

Beloved by locals as a famous ‘meeting place’, Nottingham’s Left Lion is one of two stone lions situated either side of the steps leading to the front entrance of the Council House.

St Mary's Church Nottingham City Centre
Church / Chapel
St Mary's Church Nottingham City Centre

t Mary’s Church – Grade 1 Listed and the largest medieval building in the city of Nottingham - is an iconic example of Nottingham’s prosperity during the 15th century. Its magnificent architecture - massive tower, slender columns, huge windows and alabaster monuments – testifies to the wealth poured into its construction by the guilds, merchants, and gentry of Nottingham society.

Nottingham Tourism Centre
Nottingham Tourism Centre

The award-winning Nottingham Tourism Centre is centrally located on Smithy Row, just off the Old Market Square.



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