Where to go for your family outdoor portraits!

Tips from a pro… best outdoor family portraits north of Boston

The warm weather in Massachusetts doesn't last long... and you want to plan ahead to find the perfect place and time for an outdoor family photography session! You aren't sure where to start or where to go and how you're going to wrangle your family members together to make the family photos happen. On this page, I thought it best to pull together a simple guide on where to plan your outdoor family photos north of Boston and let you know a few key dates when I will be scheduling sessions.

Of course, there is always the option to plan a portrait at your special place, backyard or nearby vacation home. If you want a special place, let's chat and find a date and time that works.

The following are a few of my favorite locations that I know well. They are places that I know will make ideal locations for a family portrait in the summer or fall. To help you plan, I am publishing a list of dates that I have set aside for each location. (Dates are subject to change and are scheduled in advance.)

1. Endicott Park, Danvers, MA

children's photographer danvers ma

Endicott Park is ideal for families of all ages, for many reasons! It is so wonderful any time of day, which is great if we are working around a young toddler's napping schedule, or can only get the family together during a morning. We have plenty of shade to avoid squinting eyes, and there are so many pretty spots around the park. The pond area is my favorite, which makes a gorgeous background for portraits. The birch trees are light and airy and add a beautiful design element to your family's portrait. The park is very well maintained and is operated by the Town of Danvers. Dogs are welcome here.

HIGHLIGHTS: pond, birches, plenty of shade
PROS: great all day long, wonderful for all ages, has bathroom facilities, farmyard & playground
CONS: not much! only a minor parking charge $3 per vehicle
Summer/Fall 2019 at Endicott Park
Weekdays all summer long, by appointment, Tuesday to Friday
Saturdays by appointment, July 20, August 17, September 28
(we're happy to go other dates/times, subject to availability, so please inquire!)
Endicott Park sounds great!

Let’s Do This

children's photographer endicott park
Endicott Park in Danvers has some lovely spots by the pond.
Outdoor fall family portraits at Endicott Park

2. Forest River Park, Salem MA

outdoor family photography

Forest River is a beautiful waterfront park in Salem, close by and down the road from Salem State. This location is great for getting water views of Salem harbor, and has the benefit of large leafy green trees all around you to provide shade and relief from the hot sun! I love this location because you do not have to wait til sunset to get great family portraits. For that reason, it is ideal for babies and younger children who would not be at their best for a sunset session since it is too close to their bedtime. The shade allows us to avoid squinty eyes caused by direct sunlight and allows us to have cooler conditions for your summer portraits under the canopy. Dogs are welcome here.

HIGHLIGHTS: plenty of trees, ample shade, backdrops with the water, grass & rocks
PROS: great for all ages & all times of day, dogs welcome too
CONS: weekends are for residents only in July & August
Summer/Fall 2019 at Forest River Park
Weekdays all summer long, by appointment, Tuesday to Friday
Weekends after Labor Day, subject to availability
Forest River Park sounds great!

Let’s Do This

3. Winter Island, Salem MA

beach portrait near salem ma
Summer beach portrait with family and the dogs, Winter Island, Salem MA

Winter Island is a favorite beach location around the north shore in summertime. It is best at the end of the day on a weekday evening, close to sunset, when the light is beautiful and there are no crowds. I always recommend scheduling this location at the end of the day because it is out of the direct sun and the sun is lower on the horizon. This can be a lovely place for portraits, but keep in mind, these sessions are limited by the nature of the tides and sunset. We can only get the seagrass at mid to low tide. And we prefer to only go to this beach at the end of the day, around 6pm or 7pm, depending on the sunset.

HIGHLIGHTS: gorgeous variety of backgrounds with seagrass, rocks, water, and lighthouse
PROS: great for working families & can be booked after hours in the summertime, dogs welcome
CONS: not great for small children due to the time of day & dates are limited due to the tides
Winter Island -- Ideal Dates for Family Beach Portraits -- Summer 2019
(on select evenings, near sunset at mid to low tide)

Tuesday June 4, Wednesday June 5, Thursday June 7
Friday June 14
Monday June 17, Tuesday June 18, Wednesday June 19
Tuesday July 2, Wednesday July 3
Tuesday July 16, Wednesday July 17
Monday July 29, Tuesday July 30
Wednesday August 14, Thursday August 15
Tuesday August 20, Wednesday August 21
Monday August 26, Tuesday August 28
Tuesday September 10, Wednesday September 11

(due to the tides and sunset, these truly are the best dates to choose from!)

Winter Island sounds great!

Let’s Do This

beach photos near salem ma
family photographer near salem ma

4. Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester, MA

Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester is beautiful! It is also very very popular in the summer... and can get crowded. For that reason, I often plan to go to this location only at the very end of the day, and/or at the end of the season, when we are likely to run into fewer crowds. We want your portraits to look as if you are the only ones there, without having to be concerned with who might be in the background of your ocean front backdrop. Also, after Labor Day, you are able to bring a dog.

HIGHLIGHTS: backgrounds include... beautiful wide smooth rock formations, soft sand, shallow water's edge
PROS: great conditions at either low or high tide, plus free parking after 5pm, dogs welcome after Labor Day
CONS: not ideal for very young children due to the time of day (after 5pm), can be extremely crowded beach in high season
Summer/Fall 2019 at Wingaersheek Beach
I have set aside a week in August to be available at Wingaersheek this year.
Weekday early evenings (after 5pm) during the week of August 5th
August 5, 6, 7 & 8th 2019
After Labor Day, when the crowds subside in September, inquire about availability.

(we're happy to go other dates/times subject to availability, so please inquire. this location is good at all tides)

Wingaersheek Beach sounds great!

Let’s Do This

5. Moraine Farm, Beverly, MA

fall family portraits north of Boston

For a LIMITED TIME, only on select dates in OCTOBER, we host a fundraiser for the Friends of the Olmsted Landscape at Moraine Farm. The sessions are shorter, only 30-45 minutes each, so we can accommodate many families during the peak foliage. This is a beautiful historic location and is quintessential New England. And we have been granted exclusive access to this property -- no other photographers have permission. Since it is a fundraiser for our host location, we are unable to accommodate clients who might have previously acquired certificates from other fundraisers or special promotions. Well-behaved dogs are welcome here.

HIGHLIGHTS: fall foliage, stone walls, rural setting, unpaved road, large leafy maple trees
PROS: great all day long, wonderful for all ages, dogs permitted (leashed), helps a cause
CONS: certificates and/or other offers cannot be combined with this fundraiser event
2019 Fall Foliage Fundraiser event dates!
Saturday October 12
Tuesday October 15
Wednesday October 16
Thursday October 17
Saturday October 19

For more information about the Fall Foliage event.

learn more about the October event

fall portrait
fall family portraits north of Boston
fall foliage family photo

6. Your Special Location 

So, I've shared my favorite locations around the North Shore of Massachusetts, close to Salem. But let's talk about your special location and consider planning a session where you are. If you choose an outdoor location that is special for you and your family, you will be certain to create a more meaningful portrait. Perhaps it's a summer home, or your own backyard or a favorite park. Or maybe there is a special date you have in mind when you are taking time off from work to spend with your family. Let's plan ahead for what works for you.

I know a perfect spot.

Let’s Do This

outdoor family photographer marblehead massachusetts

Your Children Grow Up Fast!

Call us today at 978-744-6918 to book your outdoor portraits.

Let’s Do This!