I hope this blog post is helpful to anyone looking to take family pictures, anniversary portraits, or 'just because' pictures! I will clarify that these are MY top ten places (so far), and I know there are a whole lot more out there that are beautiful! I'll list a few more at the bottom that I know of, but these are definitely my favorite.
Sometimes the biggest hurdle when booking a session is deciding WHERE to take your pictures! It's hard to decide what places are the best for your family, while still being great for lighting and photography. At the same time, you don't want to just go to all the same places you've been to before.
I'm sure I'll update and expand this list as I go, but for now I'm limiting it to the ten best places I've found for pictures (in no particular order) - and examples from each! Hopefully this will be helpful to you as you decide where to go! And if you would love to book a session at one of these or another Hampton Roads location, click here to contact me!
1) Regent University (Virginia Beach) - the perfect place for an elegant, classic engagement sessions with tons of good architecture and a gorgeous fountain right in the middle! Be prepared to dress up for an engagement or anniversary session here.
2) Windsor Castle Park (Smithfield) - from red barns, to open fields, to a forest/wooded area and a pier over a beautiful lake to top it all off, you just can't go wrong. The ONLY downside is that this is almost everyone's favorite place - so be prepared to share your space with others!
3) Colonial Williamsburg - with small gardens, beautiful architecture, and an amazing historic feel that can't be found anywhere else, the colonial area of Williamsburg is truly a special location - even at sunrise!
4) Fort Monroe - there are so many different options here, but my personal favorites are the tall trees and a beautiful large field with an amazing building behind it for an extra touch of elegance. This area is perfect for engagement AND family portraits.
5) Lion's Bridge (Newport News) - this is another great multi-purpose area, with a bridge, woods, and even an open field by the water. It has gorgeous light at sunrise and sunset especially, and is great for engagement and couple's portraits.
6) Mariner's Museum/Noland Trail (Newport News) - this is technically right next to Lion's Bridge, but it has a totally different feel. There are leaves everywhere, and gorgeous water. The space is a little tight, so it's best for small families or couples.
7) Downtown Norfolk - the perfect location for trendy, modern couples and families, there are tons of great options. From amazing architecture and waterside views to the cobblestone streets around Cure Coffeehouse, Norfolk creates a unique look for anyone wanting to be just a little bit different.
8) First Landing State Park (Virginia Beach) - from tall trees to Spanish moss to a gorgeous beach just across the way, this park has the perfect scenery for any mood and any style bride or family. And the light is just beautiful!
9) Norfolk Botanical Gardens - with a huge variety of plants, trees, and flowers, these gardens are gorgeous during every season. The bridges, lakes, and gorgeous scenery made this quickly become one of my favorite venues. Members even get one free session per year included in their dues!
10) Christopher Newport University (Newport News) - not just a special portrait location for alumni, the architecture is absolutely unmatched (except maybe at Regent University!). This area is gorgeous and provides a ton of variety for someone wanting a few different looks for their session. It's also littered with flowers during cherry blossom season!
Honorable mentions include Yorktown Beach, Downtown Hampton, Oak Grove Lake Park, and Pleasure House Point among others. What are your favorite locations? Did this help you decide where your family or couple portraits will be?