April 13, 2020 update: I’ve revamped this post with new details, locations and brand new photos! Enjoy!
There are two questions on every mama’s mind when she schedules any session, but particularly for maternity and family photos: what to wear and where to photograph the session.
Sometimes location is more important than wardrobe, like when couples want to make these special memories at a sentimental place. More often, though, mamas just want to look incredible and meet in a quiet, beautiful spot to celebrate their babies and families. I send clients a questionnaire to help determine the perfect location for them.
There are a few things I consider when making location suggestions. Most importantly, I want to ensure we’re meeting at a peaceful location without a lot of crowds. I want clients to feel comfortable and enjoy their time together without lots of people around. This makes for a more relaxed session where we can take our time celebrating baby or your family!
I also look for places that have a variety of backgrounds. While you, hubby and the baby bump (or kiddos) are the most important part of any photo, having a gorgeous background adds to how much you’ll love your photos! I deliver photo galleries with lots of variety so that you can decorate all the walls in your home with these sweet memories.
Today I’m sharing some of my most favorite spots for incredible maternity and family photos in and around The Woodlands, TX.
The Houston, TX White House
When I’m looking for a spot for a mama who wants a quiet place to celebrate her family, this is the first place I suggest! It’s gorgeous and peaceful, making it perfect for maternity, family and even outdoor newborn sessions (when the weather is suitable for tiny babies). No matter what time of year it is, the landscape is stunning and green, with flowers often in bloom, too.
A dominant feature here is an old, beautiful building that photographs like a dream. It boasts a wide front porch, romantic balconies and a carefully tended garden out front that includes knock-out roses and other bright flowers year-round. There is also a pond nearby, along with lots of trees. I’ve never met a mama or family that didn’t fall in love with this location right away. A gorgeous wooden bridge is a two-minute walk away, which photographs beautifully at sunset.
I love that this place offers green areas for littles to run and play, as well as other areas that are perfectly suited for a romantic couples session.
Mercer Arboretum (both the east & west side!)
This is my absolute favorite place for maternity sessions! Mercer Arboretum is a botanical garden with endless amazing places to photograph. I could schedule a different session here every weekend for a year and never get sick of it. Mercer works equally well for couples and families; it’s rare to be there without other photographers working with their clients. If possible, I suggest clients schedule their sessions on a weekday for a more private, enjoyable experience.
It’s stunning here during every season – yes, even when it’s cold! – and especially when it’s overcast. That’s a huge reason why I love it so much – it works for practically every kind of mama and her idea of the perfect maternity photos.
In fact, I’ve photographed clients on both sides of the arboretum. The east side is more well-known, with its bright flower beds and paved walkways. On the west side, you’ll get a more natural vibe; the pathways are still paved, but the trees and other vegetation isn’t perfectly trimmed and maintained. You’ll find more greens and browns on this side, as opposed to pops of color on the other side.
Woodlands area parks
There are so many breathtaking spots for photos in the many parks in The Woodlands!
These locations featured above are wonderful because are so many places to shoot within easy walking distance. Parking is usually also simple, and there is an added benefit of bathrooms at most spots, too!
My favorite parks include Alden Bridge Park and Creekside Park. Both places can get busier in the spring and summer when more people are out and about.
The Oak Atelier
The Oak Atelier is a studio in The Woodlands, TX, just off FM 1488. There are three gorgoeus rooms for rent inside the studio, along with a clear glass greenhouse out back that is one of the most in-demand venues in this area.
The studio is beautiful, peaceful and clean. I love this option for clients who don’t want to use their homes for photos, or for mamas who want a break from the heat during the summer. The spaces often book up quickly, and reservations are required.
Endless options for lovely photos and memories
A key part of designing a beautiful maternity or family photos for my clients is the session questionnaire I send to everyone. This is your opportunity to tell me about your vision for your maternity or family session. Are you dreaming of a sprawling botanical garden filled with beautiful flowers, trees, shrubs and other lovely features? Or, do you have a gown in mind where The Houston White House’s huge front porch is a perfect fit to celebrate your baby?
No matter what you’re looking for, there is definitely a gorgeous location in our area that will be a perfect fit! I love working with clients to identify an ideal spot for a dreamy session that turns into happy memories for her family. Clients are primarily concerned with meeting in a pretty place, but I’m also thinking about how much walking they’ll have to do there, if parking is relatively close to the venue and easy to find. I also tend to suggest places with quick access to restrooms, which is great for changing outfits and breaks for littles during family photography sessions.
You don’t have to stick with well-known places for your maternity or family photo session, though. When you’re making plans for special photos, sometimes the best place is a spot that has sentimental value to you. Where is that place that brings a smile to your face when you think about it? It could even be your home! Can’t you just imagine precious photos in your baby’s nursery, seated in that glider where you’ll nurse your little one to sleep? We can make a magical photo session happen together anywhere!
Which of these spots is perfect for you and your family?