As fall approaches, with its mercifully cooler weather, a little home-grown wanderlust takes hold for people in the New Orleans area. The annual Twirl Photography Best Locations for New Orleans Family Photography Guide has all the familiar highlights, and a few new ones as well. Fall invites us back outside after a long, hot summer and hurricane season. This is a perfect opportunity to celebrate our unique Louisiana landscapes with family photos. Check out my list below.
What spots around and near New Orleans make the list? Well, I have a formula. A location must be easy to get to, not too crowded, easy to park, safe for kids to run around, and distinctively New Orleans. We have no shortage of gorgeous local backdrops for a New Orleans photo shoot.
It’s also good to think about your location when you choose your attire. Urban versus park settings can stand out more with the right wardrobe. And you don’t want to clash with Commander’s Palace blue in the Garden District or the pastel shutters of the French Quarter.
Take some time to mull over the many locations we have at our fingertips. Every day I feel grateful to be a New Orleans family photographer. This is a fabulous place for unforgettable images of family!
The Vieux Carré is filled with culture and vibrant colors that are emblems of the architecture and historic core of New Orleans. Early morning sessions are best in the quieter residential side of the quarter. Look at the photographic possibilities HERE.
This ancient, natural body of water is the only bayou that flows through a fully developed New Orleans neighborhood. It defines the Faubourg St. John neighborhood and provides an oasis of serenity in the middle of the city. The green space and the striking houses provide a magical backdrop for a New Orleans family photographer to showcase your family. See bayou photos HERE.
Lower Garden District
This neighborhood is often overlooked for New Orleans family photos. The unique architecture spreads across beautiful tree-lined streets that capture the spirit of New Orleans. Cornstalk fences, weathered walls and those Commander’s Palace awnings are just a few favorites. We can also jump into the cemeteries for something really unique. Take a visual tour: HERE
Let’s just start with the Marigny Opera House: What a backdrop! Each street in this neighborhood is a mix of traditional New Orleans and urban cool. Walking a block or two can reveal a unique setting that appeals to the the inner artist in all of us. Take a look for yourself: HERE
Breathtaking views of the New Orleans cityscape, St. Louis Cathedral and the Mississippi River are one thing, but this quaint New Orleans neighborhood filled with brightly colored houses offers a wonderful location to play and run around with your kids for family photos. It’s just a quick trip over the bridge and we might even be able to take a ferry ride.
Curved benches, beautiful fountain, large oaks and a stunning garden of wild flowers surrounding the entrance are just a few reasons this little area of Audubon Park is one of my favorites. It gets beautiful light in both the early morning and late afternoon. Plus, you are right next to the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, so we might get a streetcar going by.
This 1,300-acre urban park is one of the oldest parks in the country. The beauty here speaks for itself. It’s got ancient, haunting oaks, as well as vast green spaces and bucolic bodies of water to serve as photographic backdrops. Permit required. Take a look HERE.
It’s such a lovely place to wander with your family, let your kids run in the long green lawns and explore the little secret gardens. They have limited hours and permit fee of $50 is required.
This is a 20-acre urban park stretches along the Mississippi River in the Bywater neighborhood. It has breathtaking views of the city and plenty of safe spaces for kids to run around! The foliage-lined bike path is complimented by the clean, urban and modern landscape architecture. Take a look at the family photo possibilities HERE.
Tall grass, winding paths and big open fields perfect for those sunset pictures. This once well-groomed golf course is now scarcely mowed and offers a sense of the great outdoors nestled in the big city. The only catch: Bring bug spray. Check it out Here.
The former entrance to Audubon Zoo is now a historic relic with columns of oaks and a charming fountain. It’s a wonderful corner of Audubon Park to get inspired New Orleans family photos.
No less than four swings hang from oaks in this rarely used park nestled near the New Orleans lakefront. Perfect for your wild child. And an easy location for chasing after little ones. The boats make for a great photo background, too. This is the place to let your kids chase Dad. Take a look HERE.
One of the largest oaks in New Orleans, this tree is perfect for climbing. From this field opposite the giraffes in Audubon Zoo, you can sometimes spot pointy ears over the fence. During the fall, the mystical tree’s leaves turn and drop, adding to its beauty. Take a peek HERE.
This historic location was formerly a fort (ruins still visible) and later an amusement park with restaurants, dance halls and rides. Today it’s a quiet, forgotten part of the city with large oaks, a porch swing, and the levee where Bayou St. John meets Lake Pontchartrain, making it a great spot for a family photo shoot. See some favorite moments: HERE
Nestled in New Orleans City Park, a long rust bridge leads into winding paths with picturesque vistas. This is perfect for an adventurous family to capture family photos.
Historic Homes – Permit Required
This is one of the most interesting venues in the city and every corner makes for a stunning backdrop for family photos. Dress up and have fun, this is a wonderful place to wear something fancy. This is a venue that is open only on weekdays and has a photo permit fee.
Nestled in the French Quarter, this restored 19th century home has a gorgeous courtyard for family photos. Lined with satsuma trees, the courtyard is surrounded by large brick buildings, blue-gray shutters and lush foliage. Not too mention that stunning yellow staircase. You definitely want to visit this spot with a New Orleans lifestyle photographer.
Green shutters, wrap-around porch, butterfly garden and that fabulous wood fence. An original French Colonial house on the banks of Bayou St. John. It was home to one of the early New Orleans mayors. Permit required and limited hours. See for yourself HERE.
This is a beautiful historic estate located at the edge of Old Metairie. This house sits on eight acres of beautifully landscaped gardens dotted with fountains and brimming with Louisiana plant life. Permit required. Get a look HERE.
The manicured side garden of The Beauregard-Keyes House is truly a secret gem. It’s a great place to be part of the French Quarter without having to pose for pictures in the middle of a street with other people walking around. Permit required. Preview this setting HERE.
Off the Beaten Path
If you grew up in New Orleans chances are you have special memories of the zoo. From the elephant fountain, Monkey Hill and the whimsical carousel, the zoo offers many different spots for a family photographer to capture kids just being kids.
What an amazing city to grow up in, and nothing speaks to that experience more than a ride on a New Orleans streetcar. Mornings are best for a short ride for a few blocks on St. Charles Avenue or Canal Street. See more: HERE
This former Catholic church has been renovated as a performing arts center nestled in the Bywater. It can be rented by the hour for family photos and offers a unique backdrop. This is best with older kids as the winding staircase can be a little tricky.
Long wood fishing docks, endless views of Lake Pontchartrain, rocks to climb and a large hill to run down. The Metairie lakefront access is easy to get to, easy to park and fun to explore—especially at sunset.
Travel to the North Shore to this beautiful state park where you have cypress trees and a beach within a few feet of each other. Late afternoon and sunsets are gorgeous for family photography.
White sandy beaches with soft-colored sunsets are a quick 45-minute drive from New Orleans and offer a different approach to the New Orleans locations. Beach sessions require a little more planning, but can be so rewarding as a family trip, ending with splashing in the waves and searching for shells with your little ones.
This newly built area in a once-undeveloped section of the Jefferson Parish lakefront now offers a 1,000-foot boardwalk with marsh and lake vista points. It’s the perfect location for a beautiful sunset walk with your family.
About an hour outside of New Orleans in Picayune, Miss., is a lovely sunflower farm that makes a stunning photo backdrop when it’s in full bloom. If you bring your own bucket, you can fill up on as many blooms as you can take home for your small entrance fee. The only downside are the bees and limited dates.
The Most Unique
In your own home. No place is more unique to you than your home. Photographing children in the house where they’re growing up is priceless. It’s a comfortable and intimate space for the entire family. Some of the greatest memories happen naturally within your home. See some examples HERE.