It’s mid-February, but here at Rowlands Photography in Suffolk, Virginia, we are eagerly awaiting spring’s arrival. To prepare for our spring sessions, we thought it would be a good idea to throw together a blog post highlighting our the best spring photoshoot locations in Hampton Roads. These are all locations that are particularly beautiful in March, April and May due to their lush greenery and/or pink or white apple blossom or dogwood trees. Some locations are hidden gems while others are frequented often by other photographers and families. Choosing what location is best for your session will depend on the needs of your family as well as what vibe you’re going for. Pinterest can be great for session inspiration, but you want to find a real location in Hampton Roads that can make all those ideas come to life. Here are our favorites – enjoy!
1.) Fort Monroe – Hampton, VA
Fort Monroe has been one of our favorite locations for sessions for a long time. We’ve shot there many times over the years for our past couples and absolutely love visiting in the spring. All the greenery and the pink apple blossom tree are reason enough to visit this historical fort, but they also have a view of the water that allows for beach photos if desired. Pro tip: schedule your session here for early on a Sunday morning to enjoy the peace and quiet that this beautiful former military base has to offer.
2.) Lake Meade Park | Suffolk, VA
One of our personal favorite spots to shoot is Lake Meade Park in Suffolk, Virginia. We frequent this park as a family, but we’ve had two of our own family sessions photographed here as well. Lots of greenery, beautiful walking trails and a view of Lake Cahoon, this is the perfect spot for those desiring a quieter location with not too much foot traffic.
3.) Windsor Castle Park – Smithfield, VA
One of the most popular locations we’ve shot over the years is Windsor Castle Park. We have photographed a session here in every season and it is always beautiful. Come in the morning or at sunset and you’re sure to get beautiful images during your session. Spacious and never overcrowded, Windsor Castle is a great spot for your spring session. Note: Windsor Castle does book weddings now, so you will want to check their calendar ahead of your session to verify they do not have the park closed to photographers.
4.) Pagoda Gardens in Downtown Ghent – Norfolk, VA
We love to visit Pagoda Gardens in the late spring and summer time when the trees are alive with color and the pink dogwood trees are blooming. In the heart of the downtown area, Pagoda Gardens is a not-so-hidden gem and well visited by photographers and patrons alike. Note: this location does get busy and it is not large, so I would personally recommend a morning session to avoid foot traffic, runners and curious eyes.
5.) Pleasure House Point – Virginia Beach, VA
Perhaps the most popular spot for sessions in the Hampton Roads area, Pleasure House Point by the Brock Environmental Center has a vibe that is all its own. With tall grasses, lush green trees and water access, it is a favorite for many for engagement, anniversary and family sessions. Note: you will run into several other photographers and families at this location and parking is very limited, so plan to arrive early to your session to find parking and your actual hired photographer. Also, if you plan to bring your dog or if your kids get easily distracted by other people, this location might pose a few challenges as it is always very busy through the spring, summer and early fall.
6.) Norfolk Botanical Gardens | Norfolk, VA
With beautiful blooms year round, Norfolk Botanical Gardens this is a great choice for your maternity or family session with us. It’s expansive and has many different looks within walking distance. NBG does charge a photography fee for non-members, but if you are a member of NBG you get one free photography session per year. Norfolk Botanical Gardens is another location that can get quite busy depending on the time of day or time of year, so I would personally recommend a morning session over an afternoon to reduce the number of onlookers or accidental photo bombers you’ll have for your session.
7.) Red Wing Park – Virginia Beach, VA
As a bonus favorite location for spring, we’ve added Red Wing Park to our list. Lined with cherry blossom trees, if you can catch this during peak bloom, it is a truly beautiful location. As you can imagine, lots of people come to see these beautiful trees, so expect it to be busy during your session time. Pro tip: schedule a morning session here right as the park opens for the best chance of avoiding other people in the background of your photos.
We hope you enjoyed browsing through our favorite spring photoshoot locations in Hampton Roads, VA. If this blog was helpful to you in planning your session with us or another photographer, please let us know! We plan to put together a summer photoshoot location blog, but if you’re planning a fall session, click here.
Michael & Chelsea
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