With fall just around the corner, I know there a lot of you out there planning fall portrait sessions! Whether you’re the photographer or the one being photographed, one decision you’ll have to make it location! And you know what they say- LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!! Hampton Roads is full is so much variety when it comes to locations for photos! Beach, woods, historical buildings, gardens, etc. So there is a lot to choose from!
So I thought I’d put together a little list of some of my favorite photo locations in the Hampton Roads area! These spots are my favorite not only because of the beautiful setting they provide, but also because of the LIGHT! Honestly, I may even say that the light is the more important factor when picking these favorites. This is where turning to your photographer for advice on picking a location is going to be important. Sometimes places that are pretty to look at don’t necessarily photograph well because of the light! So these spots are my favorite because they are beautiful year round AND they provide great light for the entire session!
First up is one of my oldest go-to spots, Yorktown Beach! This is where I did so many of my sessions when I was just starting out! But more specifically the historical area! Even though I grew up in Yorktown, I have never explored the historical area until I started photography! I know, so bad! But the historical area offers so much variety in scenery- old buildings, battlefields, gardens, fences and more!
Emily & Frank
Kylee & Sam
And it looks great all season long! Astrid and Luis’ session was in December!
And you can always pop down to the beach to catch the sunset!
Next up is probably my all-time favorite- Colonial Williamsburg! The main drag of Duke of Gloucester takes you back in time to the Colonial days, but it’s just off the beaten path where the hidden gems are for photos! Cute backyards and gardens for days!! The great thing about them being behind the main buildings is that even on a crowded day, these spots are always empty! There’s almost too many cute spots to choose from! And the light is golden and beautiful throughout the whole session!
And it looks great in any season! Here’s the same spot at 3 different times of the year! Erin & Kienan, Katie & Ryan, Hillary & Chris
And the beautiful campus of William & Mary is right down the street!
This next favorite sot is a combo. When I have clients that want beach and woodsy, I always suggest this combination of locations. First Landing State Park offers the perfect woodsy setting. The woods are not too dense so it still has great light. And you might even get lucky and find some Spanish moss! Then you can chase the sun down to the 89th street beach for sunset! I love this beach because it has these beautiful hills of tall grass that get this amazing golden light as the sun goes down. Then when the sun goes all the way down, you have a great big beach to work with!
Next up is a spot that definitely excels in the variety category. You can pretty much find any type of location you’re looking for at Fort Monroe. Old buildings, fields, tall grass, cool trees, beach, etc. And just like the rest of these locations, it has great light everywhere!
This little neighborhood in Downtown Norfolk makes me feel like I’m in Charleston! Huge gorgeous southern-style homes, iron fences, cobblestone streets and more! It’s great if you’re looking for a charming urban setting. And it looks great all year long!
Another of my favorite Norfolk spots is the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. This massive property boasts the most gorgeous set of gardens!! And they all have different looks and themes. And there’s always something in bloom every season! So it’s not just pretty in the spring! There is a fee to shoot here, but it’s totally worth it!
We’ll call this one an honorable mention as it may be considered just outside of Hampton Roads. But it’s still worth mentioning! Berkeley Plantation is a massive historical plantation where you could shoot for hours! You’ll definitely get all your steps in here as you’ll want to explore every inch of the property! They also have the most massive boxwoods I’ve ever seen!