Families often ask the best places to take photos when planning to have family portraits on location in Philadelphia, South Jersey, Bucks County and the surrounding area. Don’t worry! We created a list of our top Twenty-Two favorite spots. Make sure to pay attention to travel fees or permit requirements. Each location has its charm and brings something special, it’s only a matter of your taste.
Check out the options below:
1. Delaware Canal State Park
DE Canal state park is a smaller park, but has a lot to offer – creek/pond with a fountain, gazebo, bridge, and greenery. Across the street, there is an old clock tower which is quite picturesque as well. There is a field with beautiful sunset views, which is perfect! At the time of this post, we are not aware of any permit fees for this location.
2. Tyler Gardens
Tyler Gardens is on the premises of the Bucks County Community College. It features gorgeous stairs leading up to the garden, filled with flowers and shrubs, well-maintained landscaping, an elegant gazebo, fountain, and a historic mansion in the background. There is a photography permit in place (LINK). Currently, we have a membership that covers the entrance fee (so you don’t have to pay any). However, an advance reservation to block the date and time is still required.
3. Core Creek State Park
It’s a gorgeous park with a beautiful lake, open fields, and lots of fresh air. In warmer months we usually get a chance to get some incredible sky photos. There is a gazebo, boat docks, cute pathways, and lots of greenery. There is a photography permit to be obtained with a fee (please check the state park info for most current pricing, in 2020 it was $50).
4. Bristol Warf
Bristol Warf is another picturesque park situated on the Delaware River. It offers lots of greenery and water views, along a quaint path. As far as we know there are no photography fees associated with that spot.
5. Playwicki Farm Park
Playwicki Farm Park is a very charming location in Feasterville, PA, and would be perfect if you wish to skip the larger, possibly more crowded parks like Core Creek. Playwicki has a beautiful alley of tall pine trees, open fields, lots of greenery, and a cute rustic Farmhouse. No permit fees required
6. Tyler State Park
Tyler State Park is one of the iconic Bucks County Parks, and is a very popular location for photography. It is beautiful any time of the year, but especially in the fall. There are plenty of fields and greenery, access to the creek, and one small boat dock. A photography permit is required and must be obtained ahead of time. Contact the park’s management for current fee information and application – LINK.
7. Graeme Park
Graeme Park (pronounced GRAM) is a 42-acre historic park, featuring the Keith House, nature trails, and lush woodsy areas. The mansion has remained virtually intact since the late 18th century!
8. Glen Foerd on Delaware
Glen Foerd is a historic mansion and estate located in the Torresdale neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, overlooking the Delaware River near the mouth of Poquessing Creek. The grounds offer the perfect backdrop.
9. Maple Acres Farm
This location has a charm of its own and includes beautiful Rows of Flowers, a Courtyard with a Rod Iron bench, and wrap around Front Porch.
10. Pennypack Park (Entrance by Friends of Fox Chase Farm)
Pennypack Park includes about 1,600 acres of woodlands, wooden bridge, meadows and wetlands.
11. Washington Crossing
Located in Washington Crossing village, the Historic Park on the Delaware river offers more than 500 acres of American history, natural beauty and family fun. Please contact Film in PA for a permit.
12. Sayen Gardens
Sayen Park Botanical Garden, also known as Sayen House and Gardens, is a municipal park and botanical garden located at 155 Hughes Drive, Hamilton Square, an area within Hamilton Township, New Jersey. There are some gorgeous spots to include a covered bridge, fence, stone, and lush greenery.
13. Morris Arboretum (2 hr minimum)
Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania looks spectacular at any time of year. 92 acres of lush, romantic gardens, bubbling fountains, and historic features. Reserve Tickets for entry here
14. Grounds for Sculpture (2 hr minimum)
Grounds For Sculpture is a 42-acre sculpture park and museum located in Hamilton, New Jersey. Tickets are required and they are closed Tues and Weds.
15. Pedlers Village
Full of charm, this village offers a quaint backdrop and nostalgic feel.
16. Longwood Gardens (2 hour minimum)
This botanical garden consists of over 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Must purchase general admission tickets. Outfit Changes are not permitted.
17. Center City (2 hrs minimum)
With a museum, gazebo overlooking the river, rocks, and rows of trees, this is the perfect spot to get a mix of nature in the city.
18. Princeton University
The campus is the perfect backdrop if you wish to have a mix of historic brick pathways, architecture, trees, and stone buildings.
19. Penn State Abington Campus
This campus offers a fountain waterscape, pathways, trees, and beautiful stone buildings.
20. Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust
The highlights of this 20-acre location include whispy fields, a rustic fence, and a beautiful tree line forest.
21. Valley Forge Park (travel fee)
From monuments to bridges and log cabins, this location has a ton of variety.
22. Seaside Heights Park, NJ (travel fee)
The Jersey Shore makes a fun backdrop for a family session with the beach, attractions, and boardwalk.
We hope this guide helps you choose the perfect spot for your family and milestone portraits. Please keep in mind, it is the responsibility of the client to secure any permits ahead of time. Can’t wait to capture your memories!!
Photography: ProPhoto by MK Studio