Every family is unique and full of personality. Where you photograph your family portraits speaks to who your family is and where memories have been made. Choosing a location that reflects your story and that is meaningful to you is incredibly important.
We have been photographing families in the greater Seattle area for ten years and want to share some of our favorite locations with you.
Confluence Park – This is the perfect spot for families on the east side with a good variety of options for settings like the river, bridge, grass, variety of trees, red barn picnic area, and fences. The park is conveniently located across the street from the historic railroad tracks, which provides another wonderful portrait setting. We have had great success with our sessions here!
Issaquah Highlands – This is a great location for families looking for urban and woodsy photos all in the same session. This location gives some diverse options with very little travel time needed between shots, making it possible to keep the portrait session within two hours. There are lots of parks and beautiful grassy open areas as well as secluded, more private woodsy spots. It’s also fun to shoot near the shops and walkway areas!
Downtown Issaquah – The possibilities here are endless! Some of our favorites sessions have been in the historic sites of Issaquah, such as at the train depot and on the train tracks, the old Shell Station and Feed Store, at the salmon hatchery and park, as well as at Pickering Barn. Issaquah has a hometown charm that is special to many of us who live in the area.
Lake Sammamish State Park – This spot is a special treasure. The tall grassy trails behind the lake are beautiful at all times of the year! The beach at the lake makes a great opportunity for many different types of portraits.
Sammamish Commons – This is a perfect spot for any family who lives on the plateau. Talk about close to home! This is another ideal location for those looking for both an urban “look” and a woodsy “look”. The commons have lots of concrete stairs and the City Hall building as well as grassy and wooded spots with natural views. The landscaping outside of the YCMA is perfect for some beautiful shots as well.
Pine Lake Park – This Sammamish park is perfect for anyone looking to get in the water. The water access is easy and clean and the dock is laid out such that we can shoot in many directions. The park also has a baseball field, covered areas, trails through the woods, and private areas. We’ve had a lot of fun capturing families at this park!
Big Rock Park – This is a great location for families who might prefer a little more privacy. This location provides trails, open groomed grass and tall grass, bridges, some fun rocky areas and a sunny playground for lots of portrait variety. It’s the perfect spot to let the kids run around a bit while being away from the road and get some candid and traditional portraits of your family.
Jean Johnson Productions – Come and make your portraits on our private property! We are beyond lucky to have a private home studio with a great variety of looks for lifestyle portraits. Our large wooded lot includes an old grown over “farm” fence, large lawn, some tall grasses, ferns, tall evergreen trees, a unique rock wall staircase, a gravel road, and blooming flowers and fall colors depending on the season. We have a basement studio where we built a graffiti wall to represent an outdoor mural for anyone wanting to add an artsy look to their session. This is a perfect location for those who want privacy and the option to nurse and change babies. We always make cookies for anyone who comes to our studio, which is always a plus!
Snoqualmie Point Park – We love this park! The view of Mount Si is beyond amazing and the open fields provide some epic shot possibilities. There are fun spots with tall grasses to pose in, trails and trees as well as some gnarly logs. Also, if it’s a rainy day (which is common in the Pacific Northwest), there is a covered picnic area which provides cover and the ability to still shoot the view.
Snoqualmie Train Depot & Downtown Area – The trains, the train track, the historic depot are all wonderful and fun backdrops for portraits. The town gazebo is located nearby and is iconic. There are river views nearby and on a clear day, it is possible to see Mt. Si beyond.
Snoqualmie River – At the lower parking lot to Snoqualmie Falls, there is access to the river, with a very short walk. This river area has some wonderful rocks, sandy river beach, big logs, grasses and trees that provide great portrait settings.
Reinig Road Bridge – This bridge is now a walking trail connecting to the Snoqualmie trail system. We love how quiet the bridge and trails are next to the river for portraits. The tall trees make a beautiful background and you can see a great view of Mount Si from the bridge. We recommend this location to anyone who calls Mount Si or the Snoqualmie Valley their home.
Volunteer Park – This park is in Capitol Hill! The park is beautiful and has a lot of opportunity for different kinds of portraits. There’s a conservatory, landscaped grounds, amphitheater, Art Deco art museum, a large pond, and an old brick tower.
Alki Beach – Seattle beaches are beautiful and so much fun. The access to the water is easy and it’s a beautiful place to see the sunset, watch the ferry crossings and have a Seattle cityscape background.
Lincoln Park – This park is located in West Seattle and is very peaceful. There are trails in the woods that provide a wonderful “Pacific Northwest” atmosphere, with all of the green color and overgrown trees. The lower areas of the park are rocky beach with a lot of driftwood. You can see the Fauntleroy Ferry coming and going to the islands from here. Sunsets can be fantastic here and it is a wonderful place for late in the day “golden hour” portraits.
Discovery Park – If your family has personal attachment or special memories related to the beach, this is your location! The beach views are gorgeous and the lighthouse is a great spot for portraits. We have had lots of fun playing by the water and posing in the rocky sand for casual and summery portraits. This location is best for summer evenings when it is possible to park close to the water.
Are you overwhelmed or unsure of what location might best for you? Do you have a location that is special to you not listed here? We’d love to help you decide what location is just right for your portrait experience and will brainstorm with you at your consultation and/or at the time you book your session. Portrait sessions are a perfect way to celebrate your family and create memories that are literally frozen in time. Our purpose is to serve you with a special experience, to capture your family as it is right now and to create heirloom art pieces that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come.
JEAN JOHNSON PRODUCTIONS
LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER | PERSONAL ARTIST | FAMILY HISTORIAN