Tallahassee is a beautiful city and is blessed with many different locations that make a great backdrop for your family photos. Ultimately there are two factors that will most influence the final look of your pictures: your outfits and location.
If your session will be taking place in your home (newborn and some baby plan sessions), and you’re concerned about it being “photo ready,” I’ve written a post about that as well.
I’ll be discussing outfit selections in another post, but in the meantime, I’ve created a pinterest board to give ideas and suggestions for family outfits. The outfits you select are the component that will most effects your final photos aesthetic. In general, I always advise picking mom’s outfit first. It should be something you are comfortable and confident in and is flattering to your figure.
My photography style focuses most on the connection between family members and relies less heavily on the location where we shoot, but having a beautiful space to create your photos is a part of the overall final result so it is an important factor. I’m including some photos here of locations around Tallahassee that are “can’t go wrong” spaces that will always work well. I am always open to your ideas or desired location as well. I love finding new spaces. I’m giving a thorough breakdown of these locations and things to consider when selecting them.
Dorothy B. Oven Park
- Location: Thomasville Road just south of I-10
- Entry Fee: FREE
- Blooms in spring but photographs well all year round
- Photographs best in the mornings
- This is one of my favorite locations in town.
- From November through the end of December, there are Christmas lights on display throughout the park. This is a lot of fun for kids to visit at night (they host an “elf night” each December), but is restrictive for photographs.
- Best Session Types: A great location for baby sessions, maternity, and families with small children because there are a lot of vignettes within a small walking area.
Maclay Gardens State Park
- Location: Northeast Tallahassee, Maclay Road just north of I-10
- Entry Fee: $6 per vehicle + $6/$3 (Adults/children) Gardens Entry during blooming months (January-April) + $20 photography fee (this is a new charge for using their park for professional photography). See entry fee information HERE.
- The gardens are in bloom from January through April.
- This location is beautiful in the fall as well but is a much “warmer” backdrop with richer colors (see photos).
- Photographs well during all times of day at varying locations.
- A classic southern garden vibe. This is the location with the iconic brick walkway and moss covered trees.
- If you want to photograph all that this beautiful park has to offer, just know that we’ll be walking a bit to get to those spots. It’s definitely worth the walk if your family is up for it, though it can be a lot for small children, or when carrying a baby.
- Best Session Types: Maclay is a great location for all session types. I avoid this location in summer and early fall when the weather is hot and humid because you will get hot walking. I only suggest maternity sessions here if mom is early enough along that she can walk a good bit without feeling sore or hot.
Alford Park Greenway
- Location: East Tallahassee, Bucklake area at the end of Pedrick Road
- Entry Fee: FREE
- greenway field, tall grasses, treetop walking bridge about one mile down a walking trail.
- Photographs beautifully in the fall and winter. Fall colors in general are richer and warmer.
- Best for late afternoon and evening sessions but early morning sessions can be done here as well.
- I would say this location changes the most throughout the year because of the green grasses. In the fall and winter it has much less green as seen in the photos below.
- Best Session Types: Families, graduation, maternity, baby. I don’t suggest the treetop bridge hike for baby sessions or young families because of the risk of distraction and dirt along the walkway.
Goodwood Museum and Gardens
- Location: Midtown Tallahassee on Miccosukee Road near Tallahassee Memorial Hospital
- Entry Fee: Covered by me as a Goodwood membership photographer
- Goodwood is beautiful and photographs well all year round.
- A great combination of building structures, green spaces, moss covered oak trees, and “Old Florida.” This location sums up Tallahassee.
- Best Session Types: great location for baby sessions, families with small children, and maternity because there are a lot of vignettes within a small walking area. You cannot go wrong with this location. (Can you tell it’s a favorite of mine).
Chain of Parks
- Location: Downtown Tallahassee on Park Avenue
- Entry Fee: Parking meters along the street during certain hours. Plan to have $1 in quarters to feed the meter
- Small space, beautiful oak trees overhang the brick walkway.
- This location also gives us access to downtown Tallahassee for a city vibe.
- Because it is downtown, there is traffic and people in the surrounding areas that cannot always be avoided.
- Best Session Types: great for quick sessions, baby plans, headshots, and maternity. If you have a toddler or young child who is a “runner,” this would not be a great location for you.
- The Chain of Parks Art Festival happens once a year in the spring and can be a fun outing.
Railroad Square Art Park
- Location: off Gaines Street, near FSU and FAMU
- Entry Fee: FREE
- Railroad Square is my old high school stomping grounds. This location has the new urban artsy vibe that people love if they want an in town, city, colorful location.
- There are fewer people and cars here during the morning time, so I advise sessions take place at this location then.
- Best Session Types: Great for all session types. It can be a lot of fun.
- Location: Midtown Tallahassee, on Thomasville Road
- Entry Fee: FREE though I advise adopting a beautiful plant to bring home. Founded in 1938, Tallahassee Nurseries is a longstanding Tallahassee business and they are gracious in allowing me to photograph there.
- Plants galore! I love it! Tallahassee Nurseries is a new favorite of mine.
- Greenhouse, pots, small pond, benches and greenery abound.
- Because it is a private business, we will need to yield to their shopping clients and be courteous to work around them. I haven’t ever had a problem doing so, as we will move quickly in each location on their property so as to not linger in one area too long.
- If you have an active, curious toddler, I would not advise this location as they have merchandise outside that we will be working near.
- Best Session Types: great for family sessions, couples, maternity, standing babies (9 or 12 month baby plan sessions).
I’ll be updating this list as I discover new favorites as well. What favorite spots did I leave out? Is there a location you love that is worthy of including on this list? If so, I want to hear about it!
Sarah Gray Photography is a natural, lifestyle photographer specializing in maternity, newborn, baby, motherhood, and family photography. To inquire about booking your next portrait session, please contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah provides lifestyle photography services in Tallahassee and along the Florida panhandle from St. Marks to Destin, as well as throughout south Georgia, and everywhere else in between.