I’ve realized over the years that the success of a photo session is really not about the location. It’s all about your subject…the people in the photos! And how you, as a photographer, connect with those people to make meaningful images.
Of course, a beautiful outdoor setting and gorgeous light don’t hurt one bit. ;)
And as a family photographer, I get asked all the time about the best locations for outdoor family portraits.
I do have a go-to list of my absolute favorite spots for photo shoots. I’ve shot lots of other places, but these are my tried-and-true…the locations I return to and suggest to clients most often.
Most of these spots are just a short drive from Rochester, Michigan (my main stomping ground). I have a fairly hefty commute during the week (#dayjob), so I like to keep things ultra-local for my photography work. A few of these spots are a little farther, but they are so good (in my humble photographer opinion) that they are worth the drive.
So without further rambling, here are my Top 5 locations for family photography, along with a few photos from each (click on each image to expand and appreciate the full awesomeness).
Bear Creek Nature Park: Oakland Township, Michigan
When I discovered this park, I felt like I uncovered a hidden gem. This park is sprawling with long trails through woods and open meadows. Bonus for the kids, there is a great playground on-site which is the perfect little reward for them after their photos are done. Bear Creek is just a couple miles north of downtown Rochester.
River Bends Park: Shelby Township, Michigan
This is another huge park that is great for family photos. There are lots of winding and wooded paths, so it’s a great spot for fall portaits! I especially love this location for early morning photo sessions…the light is so dreamy.
Sylvan Glen Lake Park: Troy, Michigan
This park is great for little kids because it’s small and there is not a ton of walking involved. There is a small lake, which is so tranquil and beautiful at sunset. I love this park because it is typically very quiet and low-key…except on the day of Troy prom or homecoming…it can be a very popular spot for prom photos. :)
Marshbank Park: West Bloomfield, Michigan
This park is a little farther than my usual destinations, but it is worth it! There is so much variety here…wooded paths, open spaces, water, docks, hills, and yes, a playground for the kiddos. This park is a new favorite of mine for photo sessions.
Independence Oaks: Clarkston, Michigan
Another favorite that is a bit of a hike for me, but well worth the drive. There is a gorgeous lake which is so nice during fall colors season!
So there you have it, ladies & gents…my absolute favorite photography locations for family and child portraits!
Of course, I am always open to location ideas. Do you have any favorites that I’m missing? Send me a message or leave a comment below…I’d love to hear your favorite photo locations.