Hampton Roads Virginia Fall Photoshoot Locations

Living in Hampton Roads Virginia has it’s many upsides throughout the year, but one of the downsides is that it can be difficult to find a beautiful fall photoshoot location. Because the seven cities (Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton & Newport News) are all so close to the Atlantic Ocean, we don’t often see much tree color other than green in the area. The further west you get into Virginia, the more likely you are to see those beautiful reds, oranges and yellows that autumn-lovers seek, though there are a few spots in Hampton Roads that we feel shine in the fall months. Below are our top 6 Hampton Roads Virginia fall photoshoot locations.


Mariner’s Museum – Newport News, VA

One of our favorite places to catch a beautiful sunset is the Mariner’s Museum Park in Newport News, VA. There are few other places in Hampton Roads that have such a gorgeous display of light during golden hour. From the giant tree near the water that allows glowing light through the branches, to the view of the autumn trees over Lake Maury, to the stunning view of the sunset over James River, Mariner’s Museum sets itself apart on a beautiful autumn day.

While we frequent Mariner’s Museum any time of the year, it’s especially beautiful in the fall due to it’s array of tree color all over the park. There’s just something about an autumn sunset that stands out above other seasons. Though we haven’t ventured back there ourselves, we’ve heard that another great place to catch pretty leaves is back on the Noland Trail.

Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
No fee to visit. No photography permit required.


Great Bridge Lock Park – Chesapeake, VA

One of our favorite “hidden gems” of Hampton Roads is Great Bridge Lock Park in Chesapeake, VA. Tucked alongside the Intercoastal Waterway just off Battlefield Blvd, Great Bridge Lock Park provide a beautiful view of the sunset over the Elizabeth River, a tall wooded area year round and a short hiking trail along the north shore line.

Though this park may not stand out as the ideal photoshoot location to most, we have enjoyed holding sessions at this small Chesapeake park for a few reasons. Great Bridge Lock Park provides tall pine trees, sweeping sunset views over the Elizabeth River and golden yellow light that comes through the trees in the late afternoon. Not to mention, because most people don’t frequent this park unless they are boaters, you almost never run into other photographers, which is a huge plus!

Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
No fee to visit. No photography permit required.

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Lone Star Lakes Park – Suffolk, VA

We visited Lone Star Lakes Park for the first time last month for Cristen & CJ’s engagement session and we’re so happy we did! We had no idea about this beautiful park tucked away in the Chuckatuck area of Northern Suffolk, VA. The park provides many lakes and docks for fishing, but as photographers, we had our eyes on the beautiful autumn trees that lined the lakes and the gravel roads leading through the park. Although Cristen & CJ said that the park can get quite busy at times, it was nearly deserted as we drove through the park and stopped every mile or so to photograph them. Needless to say, we will definitely be frequenting this park again for engagement and family sessions in Suffolk.

Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
No fee to visit. No photography permit required.

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lone star lakes engagement suffolk virginia wedding photographer
lone star lakes engagement suffolk virginia wedding photographer

Regent University – Virginia Beach, VA

If you’re looking for Hampton Roads Virginia photoshoot location that is beautiful year round, look no further than Regent University. Tucked alongside Indian River Road in Virginia Beach, VA, Regent University sits on 70 acres of immaculately maintained grounds that complement the Georgian architecture of its buildings. On any day of the year, you can walk along the brick paved pathway and photograph a couple or family with one of the beautiful educational buildings as the perfect backdrop. If brick architecture is not your clients style, there are beautiful trees all over the campus and a stunning marble fountain in the very center of the campus that lights up beautifully when the sun peaks through the trees. If you’re session is about an hour before sunset, you’ll be able to capture the sun over the lawn right before it drops below the library building.

Open 24/7.
No fee to visit. No photography permit required.

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virginia beach couples session at regent university

Lee Hall Mansion – Newport News, VA

Another location that we have only visited once before is Lee Hall Mansion in Newport News, VA. Our bride, Katie, found this beautiful location while researching autumn photoshoot locations in Newport News. Though we had already had plans to visit the Mariner’s Museum, she wanted to start their engagement session here at Lee Hall Mansion and we’re so glad we did! The beautiful trees in all their autumn glory were so bright and cheerful that we didn’t want to leave. We also loved the white fence that surrounded the property and the steps of the mansion for photo locations.

Hour of operation vary based on the time of year and arrangements must be made ahead of time to hold a photoshoot here, but there is no fee or permit required for photographers.


Windsor Castle Park – Smithfield, VA

Though Smithfield is not technically one of the seven cities that comprise Hampton Roads, it is considered to be part of the South Hampton Roads subregion. Nestled between Suffolk, Isle of Wight and Newport News, Smithfield provides an old town feel that warms our heart every time we pass through. And Windsor Castle Park is one of Smithfield’s known treasures.

Windsor Castle Park is a beautiful, 208 acre riverside park that we frequent year round because of it’s beautiful landscapes. In fact, of all the parks in Hampton Roads, Windsor Castle Park is our most frequented park for engagement sessions – we’ve photographed 8 different couples there for sessions that have taken place at all times of the year. We love the trees, the dirt walking paths, the view of the water from the boat dock, the wooden bridge leading to the river overlook and more. There’s so much to find and photograph throughout this expansive Smithfield park.

Note to photographers: Due to it’s size, you will want to visit Windsor Castle Park before your client arrives so that you have an idea where you want to shoot. Though some of our favorite spots are within walking distance of each other, we do have our clients follow us in cars from place to place.

Open 24/7.
No fee to visit. No photography permit required.


We hope you enjoyed this Hampton Roads Virginia fall photoshoot locations blog! Whether you’re a photographer or a client, we hope this is helpful for planning your next fall photoshoot in Hampton Roads!

Have any other locations in Hampton Roads that you love during the autumn months? Leave some more ideas in the comments!

Blessings,
Michael & Chelsea

rowlandsphotography.com
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