If you’re on the search for the best places to take pictures in Portland, you’ve probably searched through a ton of lists. While my very first suggestion would be to ask your photographer for a location that photographs well with their style (seriously, we spend a LOT of our time scouting the best locations!), I wanted to compile a list of my favorite outdoor photoshoot locations near Portland. These locations are all excellent for family or maternity photoshoots. They’re easily accessible and quiet, with room for families to explore. My work thrives in wide open, natural areas, so that’s where I photograph most often and what you’ll see here! Over my last ten years in business, I’ve learned what locations not only photograph well, but are a great experience for my clients to visit. Read on for my favorite outdoor photoshoot locations for family pictures near Portland, Oregon.
The Complete List of Top Outdoor Photoshoot Locations Near Portland, Oregon
My favorite outdoor photoshoot locations near Portland aren’t the beautifully manicured parks. While I love a day at the playground with my kids, the best family photo locations are generally a little more natural. Think: tall fields in neutral colors and old oak trees arching over your family to frame your new favorite photo. Not to mention, natural areas offer more room to explore and have a calmer family photo session, which can help kids (and parents!) relax in front of the camera.
Champoeg State Park
It’s no secret that Champoeg State Park is one of my favorite places to take family pictures. See here, here and here as proof. I love that it’s huge, so there is plenty of room to spread out even on crowded park days. There are also a ton of different backdrops that change throughout the season, so even though I photograph several families here throughout the year, no two sessions look the same. It’s also one of the natural areas around Portland that allows dogs in most of the park, which means it’s one of the best places to take family pictures with your dog!
Lake Oswego Natural Area
This natural area has beautiful rolling hills and is actually really close to Portland, making it a great option for families in Portland looking for a wide open field for their family photo location. As a Lake Oswego Park, your photographer needs a Lake Oswego Photography Permit (I have one!) so make sure that’s all in order before photographing here. See more from this location here.
Cooper Mountain Nature Park
I’ve loved this park since it opened! It is a great spot for pictures on the westside of Portland. Cooper Mountain Nature Park has both a field with a view of the Chehalem hills, and a forest. Their trail system does get busy on nicer days, so it’s not the best option if you have kids who are easily distracted by people passing by, or if you’re looking for a more private setting. Since it’s a protected natural area, we’ll have to stay on trails, and dogs aren’t allowed, so keep that in mind as you choose your family photo location.
Wilsonville Nature Park
I love this park for its tall field and oak tree. It’s one of the best places for a maternity photoshoot near Portland because of the neutral color tones and soft grasses that will give your family or maternity photos a beautiful, organic look. It’s also easy to get to from Portland, just off of I-5, so it’s really convenient for a country look while still being close to Portland.
Gardens Family Photo Locations near Portland
Gardens have a more manicured look than most of what you see in my portfolio, but they’re an especially great option in springtime when everything is in bloom.
Luscher Farm Gardens in Lake Oswego
Luscher Farms is a conveniently located garden in Lake Oswego. It’s lovely all year round, but especially shines in the late spring and summer when everything is in bloom. A Lake Oswego photography permit is required, so make sure your photographer has this before shooting at Luscher Farms (I do!).
Botanical Garden at Beaverton’s Jenkins Estate
Jenkins Estate in Beaverton is a longtime favorite outdoor family photo location near Portland! I think it’s one of the best places to take fall pictures near Portland because of its tall, tree-lined path that changes color in the fall. It also has a wide open field, a forest, and a pretty botanical garden that’s lovely in all seasons.
Deepwood Estate in Salem
While most of my favorite locations are a little more natural, there’s something so beautiful about the traditional garden at Deepwood Estate in Salem. Set around a beautiful white Queen Anne style home, the garden is a lovely place to wander. I have all the details about garden family pictures at Deepwood Estate here.
Cherry Blossoms at the Capitol Building in Salem
Cherry blossom family photos? Yes, please! If we time it right, you can take family pictures at the cherry blossoms in Salem. Learn all about taking pictures at the Salem Capitol Cherry Blossoms in a post I wrote about it here!
Portland Farms for Outdoor Photoshoots
If I had to choose a favorite family activity in the summertime, u-pick farms would be right up at the top of my list. Some of our favorite memories together as a family are berry picking or roaming an apple orchard, so it makes sense to have family photo sessions at farms. The Willamette Valley is blessed with a wide range of farms that are open to the public, and I have a list of my favorites that get great light.
There’s nothing more beautiful about July in Oregon than lavender season! Many lavender farms in the Willamette Valley are available for family photos. If you’d like outdoor family photos at a lavender farm, reach out to your photographer around May. Farms book up early for photos during the limited lavender season. I offer Lavender Farm Mini Sessions each summer to make sure my clients get a chance at lavender farm photos.
Check out my Ultimate Guide to Lavender Farm Sessions here for everything you need to know to prepare for your lavender farm family photos.
Sunflowers are always my favorite reminder that fall is on its way soon! We’re lucky to have some beautiful flower farms in the Portland area, and sunflower fields are my favorite to visit. If you’re looking for a sunflower field in Portland, check West Union Gardens in Hillsboro.
I did a little roundup of my favorite farms for apple picking with kids, and I’m not going to lie, I love apple picking for the photos we take there! If you don’t have a favorite apple orchard that allows photos, there are often smaller orchards tucked away at parks, which are great for all-season apple orchard photo locations. My favorite smaller orchards are at Jenkins Estate and Champoeg State Park, while I love to visit Sherwood Orchards during apple picking season!
Barn at Champoeg State Park
Champoeg State Park has a rustic pioneer barn near its visitor’s center that is the perfect location for fall family photos. In the fall, they’ll sometimes have hay bales out in front of it, which makes for great fall pictures near Portland, especially for active kids who love to climb!
Champoeg State Park is located in St. Paul, just west of Wilsonville.
Mountain View Outdoor Photoshoot Locations Near Portland, Oregon
Nothing says PNW more than a view of the mountains off in the distance. Epic views are a given when we have your family pictures out in the Columbia River Gorge, and it’s always, always worth the hour-ish drive. I have a few specific locations I love to photograph at, that get plenty of warm light and incredible views.
Columbia River Gorge Field
Columbia River Gorge Views
This location is a bit more of a drive, but it gets the most incredible wildflower bloom in the late spring. Learn more about family photos at the Columbia River Gorge here!
Outdoor Photoshoot Locations near Portland: The Beach!
Make a daytrip out of your family photo session, and have it at the Oregon coast! While Cannon Beach is a popular tourist destination, I’ve scouted quieter beaches from Lincoln City to Seaside that will photograph well and be a great family memory. If you’re interested in a beach session, get in touch at least two months in advance, as my travel dates book out early.
Looking for more beautiful locations in Oregon? Check out my roundup of the best Oregon country wedding venues. If you’re looking for new places to explore with kids, hop into a family adventure with a Wanderlust Wednesday spot!
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PS, I’ve been sharing some favorite blog posts from friends these last few weeks, and this week I’m so excited to share Jasmyn’s guide to Phoenix Birthing Centers. Her newborn work is so beautiful and shared within the post too–worth checking out!
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I love how dreamy the Colombia river gorge views is! I would love to have family photos there!
The views at the Gorge are incredible! We’re doing our own family photos there, I love it so much! Definitely a favorite spot.
These are beautiful locations! There’s so much variety in the locations too.
We’re so lucky to have these options in the PNW!
Samantha, this is such a wonderful guide for family photos! I love the Deepwood Estate in Salem location! The greenery is gorgeous!
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