15 Outdoor Family Session Locations in Charlottesville & Richmond



One of the main questions I get when planning family sessions  is “where?” Rightfully so…there are many options to choose from. And, as an extra layer of precaution, I’m scheduling sessions outdoors, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite locations for family photos in Central Virginia!


1. Your Home!

I’ll never tire of at-home sessions. It’s the place everyone feels most comfortable. Even if we stick outdoors, there’s plenty of amazing photos to be created in your outdoor spaces! (And don’t be afraid to have fun with it…we can start with your porch, explore the gardens, or even take a dip in the pool!)

mom twirling with baby son and kissing dad

2. Waterperry Farm
— just outside of Charlottesville, VA

A short drive outside of Charlottesville. This property has endless gardens that each have their unique feel. It’s stunning in every season and has endless variety for your session! (contact for fees)

3. UVA Grounds & Gardens — Charlottesville, VA

Of course UVA is going to be on the list because it’s one of the most beautiful places in town and many families have ties to this beautiful school.
The grounds are beautiful in any season. It’s also my favorite sunrise and morning spot in town, as the light is wonderful in the morning without being too harsh!

4. Chiles Peach Orchard — Crozet, VA

Beautiful trees and blooms throughout most of the year, with a fun activity included for everyone.
Strawberries in the spring, peaches in the summer, apples and pumpkins in the fall! (contact for fee)

5. Carter Mountain
— Charlottesville, VA

An old favorite in Charlottesville for good reason. The orchards are gorgeous and the views are simply breathtaking! But, don’t try to head there on a weekend. This location is best on a weekday evening.

6. The Market at Grelen — just outside of Charlottesville, VA

The Market at Grelen not only has beautiful mountain views, but an awesome greenhouse and beautiful gardens as well. You can have such great variety all in one place! This spot is best on weekday afternoon and evenings, or Saturday morning, as the venue is a popular wedding venue with some limited availability. (contact for fees)


7. Monticello Trail — Charlottesville, VA

This option is one of the few locations without a fee if that’s a concern. But don’t let that deter you. There are plenty of beautiful spots, and it’s right down the road from Carter Mountain. Summer and fall are my favorite times of year here.


8. Early Mountain — Madison, VA

This gorgeous venue is about 35 minutes outside of Charlottesville. With a beautiful mountain view, vineyards, rolling hills and a beautiful rustic barn frame, it’s a favorite for the spring, summer & fall! (contact for fees)


9. James Monroe Highland — Charlottesville, VA

A historical site & property with beautiful mountain views just outside of Charlottesville! There is a small location fee, and this spot is great through all seasons, especially in the fall when the sun sets earlier, as sessions are scheduled within property hours. (contact for fee)


10. Raven’s Roost & Blue Ridge Parkway — Afton, VA

An iconic spot on the parkway with an amazing overlook, beautiful stone and a lovely lone tree to add interest to the frame!

11. Local Parks

Remember, it’s not just about the location. As long as we can have a simple backdrop and your beautiful family, we can make amazing photos. Local parks like Walnut Creek, Ivy Creek and Chris Greene Lake are great choices!

12.  King Family Vineyard — Crozet, VA

Tucked within the beauty of Crozet, this vineyard is stunning and a favorite for so many. With the amazing mountain views and some lovely fields, your options are practically endless here. This spot is best on weekday evenings about 1.5 hrs before sunset, as they are usually booked on weekends for weddings.  The light is amazing closest to sunset since the field is wide open!

13. Observatory Hill — Charlottesville, VA

A tucked away spot near UVA with a more rustic and outdoor feel. Lovely light throughout all seasons!


14. Maymont Park — Richmond, VA 

A classic Richmond, VA attraction and property. This spot can be super popular, so I always recommend weekday sessions, as weekends are packed! The light in the gardens is best within a couple hours of sunrise & sunset, so summer sessions occur later in the evening. If you have little ones, fall and winter may be best with the earlier sunset.


15. Historic Tuckahoe  — Richmond, VA

This venue is on the west side of Richmond, so it’s a short drive from Charlottesville. It features stunning gardens and landscaping throughout the entire property and is perfect in every season! (contact for fee)


Of course, new places are always becoming new favorites, so I’ll keep this post updated as I fall in love with locations…and I’d love to hear some of your favorites as well!


Amy Nicole Photography has been documenting stories of life and love for 10 years. Amy is a family & baby photographer based in Charlottesville, VA. She strives to create timeless, genuine and effortless photos for you and your family to enjoy for years to come. 

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I take a limited number of sessions each month (plus, I’m a bit of a planner and always account for possible weather and sick days!) I’d love to set up a time to chat with you, hear your vision and answer any questions! 

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