When you decide to book a family photo session in Raleigh, there are many beautiful locations to choose from. I want to make the location choice as easy as possible for my clients, so I am compiling a list of my favorites so you can learn about them and see examples of what they look like!
I’m all about nature, so all of my favorites are going to be outdoors. However, sometimes the very best location is in your own home (where I always love to photograph families) so definitely consider an at home session as well!
The park at the NC Museum of Art is an extremely popular photo location, and for good reason. The park is spacious, has plenty of parking & accessible restrooms, is conveniently located, and has absolutely gorgeous natural light near sunset.
I love this spot year-round, as the grasses are beautiful and green in the Spring/Summer and then fade to this lovely warm brown for Fall/Winter. There are also wildflowers there in the Summer and there is lots of space to move around and play with young kiddos! It does get quite busy in the Fall, but since my sessions are generally on a weekday I’ve never had any issues finding ample space for photos
It is also pet friendly, so feel free to bring your pup!
Dorothea Dix Park is another beautiful, large park in Raleigh which offers lots of different backgrounds for photos. My favorite area is pictured below, and also offers gorgeous lighting at sunset. This park is also pet friendly and usually very quiet. If you don’t like having a lot of people around when you’re having your photo taken then this might be a great option for you!
I think that Annie Wilkerson Nature Preserve is one of my favorite Raleigh family photo locations because it is just so stunning and tranquil. This hidden gem is located in North Raleigh off of Falls of Neuse Road and offers parking, bathrooms, and hiking trails. Dogs are welcome here on a leash! I believe it has some of the best Fall color on this list so a great choice if you want those beautiful warm autumn tones.
There are a variety of open fields with walking paths through them, and it has plenty of shade if you need to schedule at a time other than sunset! I love this location pretty much year round. Annie Wilkerson Nature Preserve also has a really cute natural play area in the woods if you’re looking for great places to take kids for free (or as a treat for doing a great job during their photo session).
This park is another lovely option in Raleigh because it is beautifully maintained, has lovely sunset lighting, and a great variety of backdrops. You can stick to the pecan grove for all nature, or walk around the historic farm buildings! If you arrive before the park closes they have goats in a large pen that are really cute and fun to watch.
This location does require a permit (which is free) but I’ll be happy to take care of the permitting for you! The park grounds are available for photos even after the buildings close at 5pm.
Historic Oak View Park is another great location choice year-round, but my favorite time there is Summer-Fall.
As a Raleigh native, Pullen Park will always be a special place. I remember going there as a kid and have loved taking my own boys there!
Pullen Park has a gorgeous pond with paved trails and wooden arched bridges that are just lovely. It is bright and green in the Spring/Summer and has gorgeous foliage in the Fall. I also really enjoy the lighting there at sunset.
If you have kids and haven’t been there yet you have to check it out! It has a vintage carousel and mini train. Entrance is free to the park and playground, but the rids (train, carousel, etc.) do require tickets.
This park does get quite busy on weekends and in nice weather, so best to stick with a weekday for photos at Pullen. If you’re lucky, you might get photobombed by the resident geese!
I consider Lake Crabtree park a bit of a hidden gem as well. It is right near the airport off of I-40 which is convenient if you live in Cary or West Raleigh.
My favorite thing about this location is the water! In warmer months I absolutely love to have clients play in or near the water for photos. This park is pet friendly, has beautiful wildlife, a great playground, hiking trails, and boat rentals!
This great family photo location does not require a permit and is open (and beautiful) year round!
For families in central/downtown Raleigh, the rose garden is a stunning option for Spring or Summer. This is a unique spot in Raleigh connected to Raleigh Little Theatre near NC State University. The gardens are beautifully landscaped and offer an array of pastel florals along with open green space. This location does offer a good amount of shade, so can work well for session that need to take place outside of golden hour. Leashed dogs are welcome here!
I feel so fortunate as a Raleigh family photographer to have all of these beautiful locations (and many more not listed) to choose from. If you are interested in setting up a family photo session with me please visit my page below for easy online booking, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!