Deciding on a location for your family photoshoot can feel impossible. With the exception of winter, our local parks here in Connecticut are beautiful. Spring and Summer bring the most beautiful greens. Then in the Fall, we get beautiful golden grass and all the colors that come with the leaves changing. But then there is the beach and who can turn that down, especially with a beautiful sunset?
In all honesty, you can’t go wrong with any of the locations we have to choose from in Fairfield County. I tend to do most sessions at Waveny Park in New Cannan or Sherwood Island State Park (both the park side and beachside) in Westport. In this post, I am going to share why I love each location and how to determine which is best for your family.
Keep in mind that your photos will look slightly different depending on the season, time of day, weather, and location.
Waveny Park in New Cannan, CT
Waveny is one of the parks that is pretty in Spring, Summer, and Fall. The big trees offer a lot of foliage, shade, and photograph beautifully. And despite sunset or “golden hour” being the preferred time to do photoshoots, I actually prefer afternoon light at Waveny. It’s crisp and clean and overall, it works better with my photography style. We can usually start about 3 hours prior to sunset and that generally works really well for families with little ones.
Waveny does tend to be more crowded on the weekend, is about a 5-8 minute walk out to our shooting location, and because of the trees and tall grass, you will need to be mindful of ticks. It’s often windy but the trees help with that. However, the colors here and the tall grass (as long as it’s not cut down) is always worth it!
To see more from Waveny Park, check out each of these blog posts:
Sherwood Island State Park – Park Side
I love what I call the park side of Sherwood Island, especially in the morning! The morning light there is perfect and allows little ones to play without having to worry about the direction too much. There are big trees- denser than those at Waveny but I love the green tones there! We can also do sessions in the afternoon and evening here, really making this side of the park an option almost any time of the day.
Sherwood Island is easy to access, close to the I95 and parking is also easy. To get to what I call the park side of Sherwood Island, you’ll exit to the right shortly after entering the gates. There is a grass parking area where I’ll meet you. It’s really close to where do sessions, which can be ideal for little ones, maternity sessions where walking may be more limited, or if you have elderly family members joining you. This past year, we have even done quite a few newborn sessions at Sherwood Island.
One of my favorite parts about the park side is the logs. It gives the little ones something to do without being a big distraction. I do like to tell clients, please be aware of the geese. They tend to leave the ground a little messy!
Sherwood Island State Park – Park + Beach
Sherwood Island really offers a lot of variety. You can choose park only, beach only or do a mix of both. If you want a mix of both or just the beach, we will go to East Beach. It’s also easy to access, open free to all CT residents. Note that NY plates are required to pay a small fee. At East Beach, we get a 2-mile span of beach, paths along the dunes with green grass, and a lot more space to work with if it’s crowded.
If we’re going to do both a field and beach, there is a small field right across from the beach area. We’ll start at the field then head to the beach closer to sunset. Clients will sometimes ask if their images will look cohesive and the answer is yes (as shown below), largely in part because of the greenery in the dunes and along the paths to the beach that we will often use.
Doing both will provide more variety within your family’s gallery. However, it’s not the right choice for every family. Sometimes sticking to one place and not having to move in the middle of a session is better. We’ll talk about this when planning for your session.
Time is an important factor with beach sessions. We will start one hour prior to sunset, which means in the summer months we are not starting until 7 pm. This can be a challenge for little ones sometimes. Some can push it for a night and others can’t. You know your kids and I ask you to be cognizant of that and let me know so that we set your family up for success!
Kristin Wood Photography, LLC specializes in Newborn, Maternity and Family Photography serving Fairfield County and surrounding areas including Greenwich, Westport, New Canaan, Ridgefield, Stamford, Fairfield, New Haven, Manhattan, and Westchester County. If you are interested in booking a session, please contact me here.
I would love to begin planning a portrait session for you. Whether you want an outdoor beach or field setting or a cozy in-studio or in-home setting, we will design the perfect session to suit your family. I provide a luxury photography experience with a full client closet, personalized wardrobe styling, hair and makeup artists, and custom album and wall art designs for your home.
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