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Kid-Friendly Locations Near Pittsburgh For Family Photos: Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve

A family of three is walking together in Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve.

As a family photographer in Pittsburgh, PA and a mother of two young girls, finding outdoor photography locations that are great for kids and have many different things to offer is key. One of the best locations north of Pittsburgh that I've found in the past few years is Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve. I first began taking my daughters to Beechwood Farms during the day to walk and run through the extensive trails, but its beautiful trails is not all that Beechwood Farms offers! There's also a small play area, a pond, and plenty of open space for your kids to run free - which is important for the unposed, lifestyle photos I document with my family clients. Beyond being an excellent location for a family hike or afternoon outing, it's one of my favorite kid-friendly locations near Pittsburgh for family photos.

I started to use Beechwood Farms as a photography location last year, and it quickly became one of my favorite locations. It's particularly great for my family photography clients because all of the open space and trails really lends itself to emphasizing the beauty of unposed moments that truly capture the genuine emotions and connections within a family. This means the location needs to have room for kids to roam and be themselves. Beechwood Farms is perfect for this because there is so much variety and beautiful backdrops.

Choosing the Right Location for Family Photography

There are several aspects that make a location great for a kid-friendly family photography session. Since I focus on the unposed moments and connection, I look for locations that are easy to get to and have plenty of room to run and play. Second, locations that have varied scenery are great because it allows for diversity in gallery photos. Third, the right location will have the above aspects and be safe for young kids to run and be themselves.

Why Beechwood Farms is a Great Kid-Friendly Location for Family Photos

Beechwood Farms is a great location in any season. It's one of the largest private nature reserves in the Pittsburgh area. There are five miles of trails and it sits on 134 acres of sanctuary. Beechwood Farms is expansive, which is particularly useful on busy nights when multiple photographers are at the same location. It's easy to avoid the crowds at Beechwood Farms because there are many different areas at this location. What's also nice is there's scenic trails, a beautiful pond, and even some structures that can be incorporated in a family photo session. Also, the location is expansive, so even if it's a more popular time of day or time of year (hello that perfect fall golden hour!) you won't feel crowded by others because there's plenty of room. Its scenic trails, lush landscapes, and distinctive features make it a haven for families seeking an authentic, unposed documentation of their emotional connections.

How to Prepare for your Family Session at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve

The best way you can mentally prepare for your family session at Beechwood Farms is to embrace the spontaneity that comes with capturing authentic moments. My sessions are always active and fun. Families play games and there's lots of laughing during your photo session.

Practically prepare for your photo session at Beechwood Farms by arriving ten minutes early and dressing appropriately. Family sessions are not the time to wear stilettos or tight clothes that barely fit, because the discomfort will show in your face, and ultimately in your photos. Additionally, as Beechwood Farms is an outdoor park with tall grass and wooded areas, it's a good idea to wear bug spray and check for ticks after your session.

As you consider the location for your next family session, think about using Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve. The safe trails and open spaces are perfect for your young kids and documenting authentic moments of your family. Contact me to book your family session and capture your family just as they are.


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