outdoor family photography | north of boston | family photos in massachusetts

Outdoor family portraits this summer north of Boston

It’s summer in Massachusetts and you want to find a date 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. This year, I thought I would pull together a quick guide on where to plan your summer family photos north of Boston and let you know a few key dates where I will be scheduling sessions.

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

beach portrait near salem ma

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

Where to go for your family outdoor portraits!

Here are a few of my favorite locations that I know well and will make ideal locations for a family portrait this 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. Winter Island, Salem MA

Winter Island is my 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. Dogs are welcome here.

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

Ideal dates for Family Beach Portraits at Winter Island (evenings near sunset)

Tuesday July 25
Wednesday July 26
Tuesday August 8
Wednesday August 9
Thursday August 10
Tuesday August 22
Wednesday August 23
Thursday August 24
Wednesday September 6
Thursday September 7

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

Portrait by the water, at Winter Island, Salem MA

beach photos near salem ma

Beach photo in early evening at Winter Island Park, Salem MA

family photographer near salem ma

Deep colors of the sea grass background at Winter Island, Salem MA

Early evening at the beach, Winter Island Salem MA

2. Forest River Park, Salem, MA

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: water views, rocks, plenty of shade, tall canopy of trees
pros: has water views, great for all ages, free non-resident parking on weekdays

Late afternoon dates we’ve set aside for Forest River Park

Tuesday August 1
Wednesday August 2
Thursday August 3
Tuesday August 15
Wednesday August 16

(we’re happy to go other dates/times, so please inquire)

outdoor family photography

Outdoor family portrait by the waterfront at Forest River Park, Salem MA

Outdoor family portrait at Forest River Park, Salem MA

Family beach photos at Forest River Park, Salem MA

Waterfront family photo on the rocks at Forest River Park, Salem MA

3. Endicott Park, Danvers, MA

Endicott Park is ideal for young children for many reasons! It is so wonderful any time of day, which is great if we are working around a child’s napping schedule. 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 child’s portrait. This year, we’ve set aside two dates to be on-site, but we are happy to make plans to go there for you on an alternate date, too. 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: only a minor $3 parking charge

Dates we’ve set aside for Endicott Park

Saturday September 23
Saturday September 30

(we’re happy to go other dates/times, so please inquire)

children's photographer danvers ma

Little girl, September at Endicott Park, Danvers MA

children's photographer endicott park

Brother and sister in summertime at Endicott Park, Danvers MA


Family portrait by the pond at Endicott Park, Danvers 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 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.

highlights: sandy beach, shade near the wide smooth rocks
pros: good at low or high tide, free parking after 5pm
con:  can be a very crowded beach in high season

Date on the calendar for Wingaersheek Beach

Friday September 15, evening sessions

On the large rocks at Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester MA

Near the water on the rocks, Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester MA

5. Moraine Farm, Beverly, MA

Every October, we host a fundraiser for the Friends of the Olmsted Landscape at Moraine Farm. The sessions are shorter, only 30 minutes each, so we can accommodate many families during the peak foliage. This is a beautiful historic location and is quintessential New England. 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

Dates we’ve set aside for the fall foliage fundraiser

Saturday October 14
Tuesday October 17
Wednesday October 18
Thursday October 19
Saturday October 21

Beautiful little girl last year at the fall foliage fundraiser.


6. Your Favorite Location

So, I’ve shared my favorite locations near 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 what works for you!

Your Children Grow Up Fast! 

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

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