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: parking cost $3 per vehicle
Summer/Fall 2018 at Endicott Park
Weekdays all summer long, by appointment, Tuesday to Friday
Saturdays by appointment, July 14, July 28, August 11, August 25, September 15, September 29
(we're happy to go other dates/times subject to availability, so please inquire)
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.

Forest River Park -- Pros & Cons
HIGHLIGHTS: plenty of trees, ample shade, waterfront breeze, grass, rocks
PROS: great for working families & can be booked after hours, dogs welcome
CONS: weekends are for residents only, and construction projects underway in summer of 2018 which could limit parking
Summer/Fall 2018 at Forest River Park
Weekdays all summer long, by appointment, Tuesday to Friday
Weekends after Labor Day, subject to availability

Note: Construction is taking place in 2018 to rebuild the parking lot and there may be minor disruptions to parking.

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 as 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.

Winter Island -- Pros & Cons
HIGHLIGHTS: seagrass, rocks, water, lighthouse, colorful stone beach
PROS: great for working families & can be booked after hours, dogs welcome
CONS: best in the evening, which may be too late in evening for babies, toddlers
Winter Island -- Ideal Dates for Family Beach Portraits -- Summer 2018
(on select evenings, near sunset at mid to low tide)

Tuesday June 12, Wednesday June 13, Thursday June 14
Tuesday July 10, Wednesday July 11, Thursday July 12
Tuesday July 24, Wednesday July 25, Thursday July 26
Tuesday August 7, Wednesday August 8, Thursday August 9
Tuesday August 21, Wednesday August 22, Thursday August 23

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

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 be crowded. For that reason, I often plan to go there only at the very end of the day, and preferably 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. Besides, after Labor Day, you are able to bring a dog.

HIGHLIGHTS: sandy beach, shade near the wide smooth rocks
PROS: good at low or high tide, free parking after 5pm
CONS: can be extremely crowded beach in high season
Summer/Fall 2018 at Wingaersheek Beach
Weekday afternoons (after 5pm) on Wednesdays, Thursdays
Friday September 14th, early evening sessions

5. Moraine Farm, Beverly, MA

fall family portraits north of Boston

Every 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. Dogs are welcome here.

HIGHLIGHTS: fall foliage, stone walls, rural setting
PROS: great all day long, wonderful for all ages, dogs permitted (leashed), helps a charity
CONS: certificates and/or other offers cannot be combined with this fundraiser event
2018 Fall Foliage Fundraiser event dates!
Saturday October 13
Tuesday October 16
Wednesday October 17
Thursday October 18
Saturday October 20
fall portrait
fall family portraits north of Boston
fall foliage family photo

6. Your Favorite 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 plan 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.

outdoor family photographer marblehead massachusetts

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

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