I get asked a lot for suggestions for portrait session locations! Sometimes it’s hard to visualize and time consuming to look into different places. With that in mind, I wanted to create a guide of some of my favorite locations to shoot at!
I’m always up for shooting at a new spot, but I hope this gives you some inspiration!
Parvin State Park | NJ
This state park has been a hidden gem for me. Its mix of deciduous and evergreen trees means there’s greenery in the winter and colorful foliage in the fall. There’s lakes and meadows, enchanted forest trails and rustic cabins. In the late spring there’s thickets of mountain laurels in bloom. Even though I’ve done many photo sessions here over the years, none of them feel exactly alike.
I lived a mile from this park for many years before I knew it existed. You could easily drive by and miss it! The main attraction here is the peninsula ‘point’ that extends into Sunset Lake and the sandy little trails that skirt it. Although a little underwhelming to behold, I’ve done some of my best work here. 🙂 There’s a mix of pines and deciduous trees, so colorful in the fall and greenery in the winter.
Batsto Village | Hammonton, NJ
Rustic, woodsy- This is Pine Barrens country. Think blueberry bushes, grassy meadows, and of course, towering pine trees. Not only is Batsto a woodsy wonderland, but it also features preserved historic buildings, barns and rustic ruins. If you’re looking for fall foliage, there isn’t much to see here, but the evergreens and textured backdrops make it great for photos year round.
Historic Smithville Park and Smith’s Woods | Mount Holly, NJ
Between the landscaped Smithville Mansion and the wildness of the woods surrounding it, there’s a lot to love about this location. Expect vibrant foliage in the fall, a lily pad dotted lake in summer and plenty of evergreen and architectural elements in winter. This location is another perennial favorite of mine and feels a little more ‘dressed up’ than some of our other wooded locations.
Supawna Meadows Wildlife Refuge | Pennsville, NJ
This is another one of those little hidden gem county parks that you could drive by all your life and never even know what’s back there. Think marshland, meadows and country roads. Supawna Meadows has a quiet, undisturbed feel about it.
Ocean City, NJ
For those of you looking to do a beachy portrait session, Ocean City has a lot to offer. The beach is beautiful and well maintained, there’s grassy dunes, piers and jetties.. not to mention the boardwalk! Depending on what part of the island you’re on, it’s even possible to find peaceful, secluded spots. I’ve done beach portraits in every season, even winter, but late summer is my favorite.
I get a good amount of requests for photo locations that have a garden type feel to them. As far as gardens go, Longwood tops them all! From the indoor conservatory to their foundations and gardens, I could do a hundred photo sessions here and it would never get old.
Longwood also stands out as the only place I know that is sublime in every season and in all weather conditions. Three of the four sessions above were done in the winter and one was a rainy day!
Special considerations :
Tickets are $25 per person for entry, so plan on an extra $50 for your engagement session. We are also unable to do outfit changes at this location.
Philadelphia is full of beautiful, scenic locations! Cobblestone streets, brick facades.. There’s little pockets of charm around every side street and in every park. If you don’t mind the bustle of people walking by, Philly offers great a great photo backdrop in every season. The photos above were taken in the winter!
Another Philadelphia location that I’ve frequented is Fairmount Park! It’s pretty in any season, but in the early spring the cherry blossoms are out of this world.