Denver offers a diverse and plentiful range of scenic and interesting photo shoot locations
for whatever your tastes may be.
So Many Beautiful Locations to Choose From
Fall is the most popular season for outdoor family photo shoots, but we have great locations for any season of the year. While Denver is most known for its beautiful outdoor landscapes, we also have some great urban options as well. Here is a list of some of the best Denver outdoor family photo shoot locations and things to think about for each spot:
1) City Park
This is one of my top places to photograph families. City Park has several lakes, lots of trees for shade and color, and many walking paths that lend itself to interesting visual elements combined with a peaceful outdoor setting. City Park is my go-to spot for family fall photo shoots as you can get a variety of backgrounds in a small area where kids or older adults don’t have to do a lot of walking, and you have the colorful changing leaves. It is also ideal for shooting any time of day in spring, summer and fall because of all the shade you can get from the many trees in the park. Behind the Denver Museum of Nature & Science at the park is a great spot to get the cityscape and sun setting behind the city and mountains. This is one of the best spots in the city with a mountain sunset view. No permit needed. Free parking.
2) RiNo Art District
This is one of my favorite spots to shoot in Denver. I used to live there so I did a lot of shoots in RiNo. It used to be an industrial, less-visited section of the city but has now become a trendy hip neighborhood filled with colorful murals, street art
and interesting lines to utilize in photos.
The photo options are so plentiful and varied here, you won’t run out of visually stimulating backgrounds. It’s a great place for senior shoots or families who want that urban feel in their photos. The best time to do a photo shoot here is mornings when it is less crowded and the sun hasn’t come up too far yet, or evenings about an hour before sunset. Because of the tall buildings, you won’t get a lot of sunset background options so not ideal if you are looking for that. Street parking can usually be found for free.
3) Majestic View Park
Located in Arvada, northwest of Denver, this is an awesome location for sunset as there are spectacular mountain views and a walking path with the sun setting behind it. This park has a good variety of backdrops in a smaller area so it is great for families with young kids or members who have limited mobility. This is also a great spot for fall photo shoots because of the density of trees and changing leaves.
Free parking lot not far from the best photo spots.
4) Mt. Falcon Park
Another favorite spot for me, Mt Falcon Park is a short drive from Denver into the mountains. This park offers hiking trails, large rocks and stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains. This is a great spot for kids as you don’t have to walk too far to get to a good variety of backgrounds. Excellent sunset location for that mountain sunset view many Denver families want. Permit required, $25/day or $100/year but your photographer will most likely provide this. Free parking lot not far from the best photo spots.
5) Commons Park/Millenium Bridge
Also known as Riverfront Park, this LoHi downtown location has an abundance of great spots for a photo shoot. There’s a walking path that winds around the Platte River, concrete areas for a more urban feel, grassy areas and a fun area for kids to play where there is a water feature and graphic tall red poles. It ends at the Millenium Bridge where you can get fun portraits on this unique bridge. Best early morning when not crowded, no permit needed if under 5 people. Lots of variety but will have to do some walking so keep that in mind if you have young kids. Paid street parking.
6) Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
This world-famous outdoor amphitheater is known for its stunning red rock formations that make for awesome photography. This location also offers breathtaking views of the mountains and the city. Because of the popularity of Red Rocks, it can get very crowded here, so go early. No permit needed. Not ideal for family members who have limited mobility. This spot is best early mornings when it’s not very crowded and light is soft and in the evenings when the sun is lower in the sky. Free parking but will have to do a little bit of uphill walking to get to the park.
7) Roxborough Park
This park is similar to Red Rocks but is not as crowded. The beautiful red rock formations and walking trails lend it to some amazing photo opportunities. It is a bit of a drive from Denver, about 30 minutes south, but worth it for the scenery and great for families who live in south Denver. This park is best for photo shoots before the sun comes up too high in the sky as there is not much shade cover. It is also good about an hour hour before sunset. A permit is required and needs to be requested at least a week in advance. Your photographer will usually obtain this. There is also a $10 entrance fee to the park.
Parking included in fee.
8) Belmar Park
This park has a lake with a walking path that loops around it so you can meander around the lake hitting your favorite spots to stop for photos. This beautiful scenic spot in Lakewood offers lots of variety including a few covered wooden bridges, benches for sitting and an island in the middle of the lake. Best early morning or before sunset for views of the foothills. Good for small kids or elderly family members as you can park fairly close and still get a lot of photo opportunities without having to walk all the way around the lake. Most of my favorite spots are to the right not too far in and not too far from the free parking lot. No permit needed.
To conclude, Denver has a geat variety of family photo shoot locations that it may be hard to choose. Remember to consider the time of day and lighting conditions when planning your photo shoot. Also, be aware of any permit requirements for specific locations. If you're planning a professional shoot, the photographer will most likely have the permits already. Wherever you do plan to do your photo shoot, make sure it is walkable for everyone in the group and always respect the environment and any rules set at the location. For more tips on how to prepare for a Denver family photo shoot, you can check out my blog post, How to Prepare for a Family Portrait Session.
And if you'd like to book a session with me directly, just go here to set up a time and place.