Choosing a location for your session can seem daunting, but I've shot a lot of sessions in a lot of places, and I have experience on what can work well! So here are some of my most popular session locations - from Charlottesville, VA to Washington D.C. to Richmond, VA!
Reminder that this is definitely not an exhaustive list - I'm always happy to try out new locations or make additional suggestions if these don't feel right for you!
Charlottesville, VA area
Raven's Roost on the Blue Ridge Parkway
If you've been to Charlottesville, you know we love our mountains! Raven's Roost is about a 20-25 minute drive from Charlottesville, on the Blue Ridge Parkway and provides sweeping mountain vistas. This location has an iconic tree that provides unique posing opportunities, as well as a little woodsy area, some gorgeous rock formations, and overlooks (yes, I'll probably ask you to stand on a cliff edge at some point!)
Note: Free to enter, but can be crowded during sunset - it's a popular photography location. Also it may close during the winter if road conditions are bad.
massanutten creek - the barn at luray
This wedding venue is a GORGEOUS spot in Luray VA which offers sweeping mountain views, wide open fields, two rustic barns, a beautiful old house, and even a stream. This venue is about 75 minutes from Charlottesville, (and two hours from DC) but well worth the drive!
Note: No venue fee to shoot here, but must schedule in advance with the owners
Your Favorite winery!
Who doesn't love wine? And love? And a combination?? Just the best! Virginia is home to dozens of wineries, most of which have absolutely stunning views! Many wineries allow photography (some with a fee, some without)! Make sure to call ahead to coordinate and ask about any fees or specific policies!
Note: almost every single winery has a different policy, so be sure to call in advance or look online to see their policies, fees, and schedule!
Swannanoa is a stunning property in Afton, VA. This property does require a reservation and venue fee, but is one of the most unique and beautiful places in the Blue Ridge Parkway area!
Note: This venue does require a reservation and fee (rates available at the link above)
Ready to schedule a Session in the charlottesville area?
Washington D.C. & Northern Virginia area
old town Alexandria
Downtown Alexandria has to be one of my favorite locations in the DC area - it has such variety in scenery: waterfront, old town streets, hidden gardens, you name it!
shenandoah national park
Just about an hour from DC, Shenandoah National Park offers STUNNING mountain views and incomparable sunsets! With nearly 70 overlooks, there is an abundance of spots! Jewell Hollow happens to be one of my personal favorites!
Note: $30 entrance fee per car to SNP
Georgetown Waterfront is popular, but for good reason! The views of the Potomac and Kennedy center are simply stunning! If you're looking for a bit more privacy during your session, we can always take a step back into the old town neighborhoods a few blocks back from the waterfront!
There are so many places on and around the National Mall to take photos. A few of my favorites: Lincoln Memorial, Constitution Gardens, American Pharmacist's Association. A great way to incorporate some classic DC vibes into your session!
Ready to schedule a Session in DC/Northern VA?
Richmond, VA area
Maymont is a garden paradise right inside the city of Richmond! With multiple gardens and gazebos, Maymont boasts a large variety of backdrops! The Italian garden is one of my favorites - it features a stunning pergola and dozens of colorful flowers (seasonally of course) as well as a west-facing overlook (perfect for backlit sunset photos!!).
Notes: $5 suggested donation per person
Richmond City Parks
Richmond is home to dozens of parks and public outdoor community spaces and some of them are absolutely perfect backdrops for sessions! A few notable ones from my experience: Libby Hill Park, Chimborazo Park, and Pump House Park! Definitely excited to explore more!
historic polegreen church
Historic Polegreen Church is an open-air church building located in Mechanicsville VA. It's about 20 minutes from central Richmond, but definitely worth the little drive! This location features the cool architecture of an open-air church as well as some beautiful open field space!