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Best Photo Session Locations in Charlottesville


Families, Portraits

Charlottesville and the surrounding Central Virginia area is a beautiful place! There is truly no shortage of amazing photo session locations in Charlottesville.

If you’re a current client of mine, I may have sent you this link to view some location options for your session. These are all great locations that I have been to before. It just depends on what you want your backdrop to be!

Best Photo Session Locations in Charlottesville

Ivy Creek Nature Preserve

This is a hidden gem in Northern Charlottesville. It’s beautiful in all seasons, really but especially summer and fall.

expecting mom in sunlight and sitting with her family on a blanket in front of a barn


Chris Greene Lake Park

This is a particular favorite of mine in fall. The lake reflects the beautiful fall leaf colors, like the photo below. There’s also a dock and a field, giving this location lots of variety. It’s all walkable and very kid friendly too.

Family standing in front of pond | photo session locations in Charlottesville

family in grass with kids and dog | photo session location in Charlottesville


Raven’s Roost Overlook

Technically, this location isn’t actually in Charlottesville but it’s definitely worth the drive for the views! It’s about 45 minutes outside of Charlottesville and is one of the most popular overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway and for a good reason.

family standing on mountainside in fall clothes

couple standing close together on mountaintop

It’s perfect for families and couples alike (see a full engagement session there over here!).

It gets very crowded during peak leaf peeping season in the fall (think late Sept to mid October). Parking is super limited. But even with it being a popular spot, I’ve never had a problem having a great session here.


Saunders-Monticello Trail

I love this easy access, walkable location on the south side of Charlottesville. This location is an unpaved walking trail lined with trees that are beautiful bright colors in the fall! There’s a few benches on the way to sit on, a lake, a cool foot bridge, and a super big hollow tree stump that kids just love to play on.

This is a great spot to bring your dog along too!

King Family Vineyards

One of my favorite spot to go in the area is King Family Vineyards. I love their Crosé wine and to watch a polo matches here in the summer!  However, it’s also a great photo spot in Crozet, just a little bit outside of Charlottesville. They do charge a small fee to use the grounds for professional photo sessions, but all my clients have found it definitely worth the little bit extra!

Below you can see the difference between the same spot in summer and then again in fall. Both beautiful options!

Family standing on gravel road | photo session locations in charlottesville

Family standing on gravel road in fall | photo sessoin locations in Charlottesville

Boar’s Head Resort

This location in south Charlottesville is a versatile option for families and engagements. There is no fee last I checked either, which is nice for a spot like this. There is a pond, cool buildings part of the hotel, and lots of variety for such a quaint location.

Girl running through the grass

Mom and baby sitting on bench in fall


Personal Location Options

Your Home

Alright, some people really freak out when I suggest this one, but hear me out. I promise you do not need a Pinterest-perfect decorated-to-the-nines home to have a photo session there. Sometimes home is just more comfortable. It’s where you live every day, are going to raise your kids, and everyone in your family is already comfortable there!

It’s also a great option in winter when it’s too cold to go outside, especially with small children.

mom and dad sitting on couch holding new baby | Charlottesville Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Family of five on bed together

I promise your home doesn’t have to be decorated like a Pottery Barn catalog to have a great session there. Therefore, it’s as personal as it gets to have a session in the place you call home.

Your Private Property 

Virginia has lots of beautiful land! Some of my clients have their own private property. There’s nothing better than having a session in the privacy of your own yard!

Family standing in field at sunset | photo session locations in charlottesville

So, if you have some land, I’d be more than down to have your session at a place unique to you.

My Studio

While there’s plenty of great outdoor options, sometimes outdoors just doesn’t work! In fact, I offer a full service in-home studio in Charlottesville for newborns, children, & headshots.

Woman Sitting on Couch | Photo Session Locations in Charlottesville

photo session locations in charlottesville | Melissa Sheridan Photography

For more information about my studio work for newborns and children, see here. Headshots and branding photos are also available in the studio.

Charlottesville Family Photography

If you’re ready to have a picture perfect session at one of these amazing locations in Charlottesville, let’s do it! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me today for a family or engagement session!

xo Melissa

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  1. Leanne Haskins says:

    These are great recommendations! And gorgeous photos.

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