With a new season and the Garden State blooming, it’s prime time for a spring family photo shoot in NJ —so get your kids (and your best-coordinating pastels) ready for a fresh, new photo of your crew. Whether you want an easy-breezy beach setting or snaps amid blooms in lush gardens, there are plenty of outdoor photographic options that will have your family looking pretty as a picture. Our 2023 roundup includes 12 picture-perfect locations in New Jersey for a bright spring family photo shoot in NJ—cheesy smiles not included. (featured photo credit: @kateystanley)
Here are 12 outdoor locations for a spring family photo shoot in NJ:
Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossoms
Who knew Jersey was home to more cherry blossoms than Washington, DC? Branch Brook Park in Essex County has over 5,000 cherry blossom trees that ooze spring beauty. It’s the largest cherry blossom collection in the country, making it a super popular spot for springtime strolls with the fam. The canopy of fluffy pink blooms is a dreamy backdrop for any family photoshoot this time of year, but the flowers are fleeting, and it will be over by mid-April, so plan accordingly. You can find information about filming and photography here.
Park Avenue and Lake Street Newark, NJ 07104
Holland Ridge Farms
Fields filled with 8 million tulips just waiting for your littles to skip through in their spring best—Holland Ridge Farms is a springtime dream for family photos. When their Tulip Festival is almost in full bloom, the farms will explode in color, making your pictures pop with all the #springfeels. The farm says it loves professional photographers and that they’re welcome to come for snapshots in the field anytime during their open time slots. Keep in mind entrance fees vary, and the farms will open in April.
86 Rues Rd, Cream Ridge, NJ 08514
Ocean City Beaches
Although many places along the shore are pretty, the pristine white sand beaches in Ocean City, NJ, are second to none—with lots of “extras” like rock belts and beach grass along the water, adding a unique perspective to the typical beach pictures. Inlet Beach at Corson’s Inlet State Park is an idyllic place for a sunset or sunrise shoot away from the crowds. A hidden gem for a spring family photo shoot in NJ is at the end of Seaview Road—you’ll find a unique beach entrance with lots of green shrubs, dunes, and rock piles. Once you get down the walkway to the beach, there is a gorgeous open space with Longport Bridge in the background.
Ocean City, NJ 21842
New Jersey Botanical Garden
With 96 acres of specialty gardens surrounded by 1,000 acres of woodlands, it’s safe to say you’ll find a picture-perfect moment somewhere in the New Jersey Botanical Garden. With a myriad of photogenic spots—including the Annual Garden, which boasts plantings that change not only through the seasons but also from year to year; the Lilac Garden, which has over a hundred varieties peaking in mid-May; and the Azalea Garden reflecting pool, which is flanked on both sides by colorful azaleas and rhododendrons—this location is a photographer’s dream. While we think spring is a glorious season to experience the Botanical Garden, it is open daily, and admission is always free.
2 Morris Rd., Ringwood, NJ 07456
When taking family photos, you can’t go wrong at Willowwood Arboretum, with lots of green space, gardens, and meadows for photo ops. We’re partial to lilacs, which are at their blooming peak in spring. Follow the path to Long Meadow for sweeping views of the arboretum—the meadow is surrounded by spring blooms like flowering dogwoods and colorful crabapples. Bear in mind that professional photographers must obtain a permit for photo sessions from the Morris County Park Commission. Don’t forget to check out this handy garden map and weekly bloom report to plan your spring photoshoot.
14 Longview Road, Far Hills, NJ 07931
Cape May Point State Park
The perfect mix of beach, grassy dunes, freshwater ponds, and forested trails is what you will get when you take your spring family photos at Cape May Point State Park. Go for a nautical vibe and capture your family on the boardwalk or in front of the famous Cape May Point Lighthouse. Head to nature trails surrounded by tall marsh reeds and trees, giving the illusion of green tunnels that open into ponds. With over 244 acres, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for a keepsake family photo.
305 Lighthouse Ave., Cape May Point, NJ 08212
City of Hoboken
Prefer big city vibes over town and country? For a New York City feel this side of the Hudson, head to Hoboken for hip, downtown family photos this spring. Though this small city is one square mile, it is packed with urban architecture, funky storefronts, waterfront parks, and of course, that stunning New York City skyline from the Hudson. Try snapping a family photo in front of the many charming brownstones and Victorian row houses around town, or check out Castle Point Lookout on the Stevens Institute of Technology campus—it’s the highest elevation in Hoboken and offers the best views of the Big Apple.
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Grounds for Sculpture
Looking for a more artistic, whimsical family photoshoot this spring? Grounds for Sculpture is a magical place where art and nature are always at play. With more than 270 sculptures by artists—each one positioned on meticulously landscaped parkland full of thousands of exotic trees and flowers—you’ll find plenty of backdrops for a unique photo. The most famous statues might be the ones by Seward Johnson, but don’t take it from us – explore all 42 acres yourself. (You might even be photobombed by one of the many resident peacocks that roam the grounds.) Advanced timed tickets and member reservations are required. Professional photography must be approved in advance, so be sure to check their policy here.
80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619
Sayen House and Gardens
Located in the middle of historic Hamilton Square, Sayen House and Gardens offers nature’s perfect background for your family photos this spring. At the height of springtime, you will be surrounded by more than 250,000 heirloom azaleas, rhododendrons, and dogwoods. Sayen House, a bungalow-style home built in 1912, offers various appealing indoor shooting options (the house has to be booked for a photos-only permit fee). Sayen Gardens also has a pretty bridge, gazebos, walking trails, and fish ponds – a serene sanctuary setting for unique family portraits.
155 Hughes Dr., Hamilton, NJ 08690
If you are looking for beautiful, old buildings as the backdrop for your spring family shoot, the Monmouth University campus is a hidden gem you didn’t even know you were looking for. Woodrow Wilson Hall has a French neoclassical design and has been the backdrop of many ads and television commercials. In contrast, Guggenheim Mansion has a gorgeous white stucco exterior and wide archet from the buildings’ sides. You can find special occasion photography information here.
400 Cedar Ave., Long Branch, NJ 07764
Commercial and professional paid photography is not allowed at Duke Farms per their policy, but if you’re looking for less formal photo ops – maybe you’re the mom-photographer behind the lens, or you have a friend who will help take photos as a favor – Duke Farms is a picturesque place for a low-key shoot. With over 1,000 acres of private property, including charming rustic buildings, wooded areas, and gardens, Duke Farms offers plenty of natural backgrounds for your photos. The farm prides itself on maintaining natural diversity throughout its land, so remember to extend courtesy to the quality of its habitats and structures.
1112 Dukes Parkway West, Hillsborough, NJ 08844
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Spring Lake for a spring family photo shoot in NJ. Often considered the “Jewel of the Jersey Shore,” the borough of Spring Lake offers plenty of charming photo-worthy spots and a 2-mile stretch of beach and boardwalk. Head to the sparkling lake in the center of town for spring photos or the quaint downtown area with lovely Victorian homes.
Spring Lake, NJ 07762
Tell us your favorite spots for a spring family photo shoot in NJ!
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