Best Locations for Portraits In and Around New Orleans

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It is that time of year when many families are planning their fall portraits and holiday photo sessions. Living in the greater New Orleans area, we have a plethora of unique and gorgeous locations to choose to capture these special family memories. Whether you are behind the camera yourself or hiring a professional, these are the best spots for taking family pictures that the greater New Orleans area has to offer.

{If you’re looking for a photographer, be sure to check out our Guide to Greater New Orleans Photographers!} 

New Orleans

City Park (Mid-City)

I am pretty sure that nearly everyone from our area is familiar with City Park and all that it has to offer. The park is large, and there is lots of room everywhere for photographs. The Peristyle/Playground area is popular, but if you are looking for something a little more natural, you can drive throughout the park and find many green, neutral areas as well. The Besthoff Sculpture Garden and Botanical Gardens are all also great locations for photos as well. If you have a toddler or older child, the promise of playground time or beignets at Cafe Du Monde might entice them to give better smiles.

Please note: Make sure to check the City Park Photo Policy for permit requirements before making plans for photos in the park. If you are booking professional portraits at City Park, please make sure to clarify this with your photographer.

Photo credit: Amy Milam Photography

Audubon Park

To the right of the Audubon Golf Clubhouse, there is a great lagoon area, bandstand, and lots of beautiful oak trees that provide beautiful light for family and children’s portraits. There are also lots of ducks and squirrels, which can be very entertaining for little ones.

Photo credit: iPhone selfie

French Quarter

The bright colors and scenery of the French Quarter make the perfect backdrop for any photo shoot. Keep in mind that children may do better in the French Quarter during the very early morning hours because it gets so busy down there after 9 or 10 am. A great area in the French Quarter for kids is behind the French Market where there are some fun statues and fountains and it’s not as busy.

Photo credit: Kyla Madden Photography

Holy Cross School

A school campus may seem like an odd spot for a photo session, but Holy Cross’ picturesque campus had gorgeous scenery for portraits. At the front of the campus that faces Paris Ave. there is a large fountain with lush gardens and the stately red brick administration building behind it. The heart of the campus has grand oak trees, a gazebo, and a grotto. During the holidays, the campus is beautifully decorated. Obviously, weekends and school holidays would be the best time to plan your session. Please contact the school office to let them know you are coming (504) 942-3100.

Photo credit: Crystal Renee Photography

Longue Vue House & Gardens

Near the Jefferson/Orleans Parish Line, Longue Vue House & Gardens boasts acres of many beautiful trees, perennials and other natural elements, along with a historic home for portraits. There is a fee for professional photographers to shoot portraits there, but moms with cameras are welcome at this beautiful local treasure with an admission fee. Or you can join for $75 annually.

Photo credit: Laura Flannery Photography

Jefferson Parish/Metairie 

Lafreniere Park 

The largest park in Jefferson Parish, Lafreniere is home to a bird sanctuary and an abundance of  ducks, egrets, herons and other fowl. The wooden deck over the lagoon, as well as lots of shady trees and benches, provide great light and fun activities for portraits. There is also a carousel, play ground, and sno ball stand to reward the kiddos for cooperating.

Photo credit: Mom

Kenner Rivertown Heritage Park

If you like whimsy and a vintage inspired location, this park is right for you.  Kenner Heritage Park, in the heart of Rivertown, is home to a mini village of fun antique setups that are great for some fun pictures of your kiddos. Equipped with a mini-chapel, general store, old time gas station, and even a stable,  there are lots of fun picture opportunities. Also in Rivertown there are several fun museums for kids you can check out! You may want to call or check the website for events before planning your trip.

Photo credit: Jen Amato Photography

St. Bernard Parish 

St. Bernard State Park

If you are looking for a beautiful setting in nature, the woodlands meets wetlands scenery in St. Bernard State Park are perfect for you. The peaceful park contains lagoons, fields of wildflowers, and nature trails for various photo opportunities. There is a small entrance fee.

Photo credit: Alicia Claire Portraiture

Los Islenos Museum & Village

If you are looking for a rustic setting, Los Islenos is the place for you. A Creole cottage houses the museum, and there several other buildings on the property with porches perfect for posing your little ones. Or you could pose them in the field on bales of hay. Make sure to check business hours and contact before arriving to take pictures. They allow professional photographers to shoot on the grounds as well.

Photo credit: Lindsey Tassin Photography

Northshore

Fountainbleau State Park

One of Louisiana’s many beautiful state parks, Fountainbleau is not only a beautiful place to go camping or have a picnic, but it is also great for taking portraits! There are oodles of hundred year old oaks draped in Spanish moss, a very unique beach laced with cypress trees, and even a fun pier overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. There is a small entrance fee per person.

Photo credit: Just Be Photography

Fairview Riverside State Park

A smaller state park nestled on Highway 22 in Madisonville, Fairview Riverside is also a nice location for capturing some great family portraits. There is a beautiful old home, lots of cypress and oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, and a fun playground for the kids. A small entrance fee is charged per person.

Photo credit: Annie Whitaker Photographer

Mandeville Lakefront

All along Lakefront Drive in Mandeville, you have amazing views of Lake Ponchartrain, beautiful ages-old oak trees and lots of benches for classic family and kids’ portraits.

Camp Salmen

The 130 acre park in Slidell offers an array of floral and fauna that sets the perfect stage for family pictures. Pack a picnic to enjoy after you take pictures. There are many hiking trails and a playground to explore while you are there.

Photo credit: Angelle Fitzmorris

Destrehan

Ormond Plantation

One of two historic antebellum homes on the River Road in Destrehan, Ormond Plantation is another great location to capture some great images of your family or little ones. On Saturdays, Ormond Plantation is also home to the German Coast Farmers Market where you can grab a snack or two after taking photos.  There are lots of beautiful old oaks, a classic plantation veranda, and lots of open grass for some fun pictures.

Tip: Be sure to call first to make sure gates and property is open for photos.

If you’re looking for a photographer, be sure to check out our Guide to Greater New Orleans Photographers!! 

Amanda Blaum
Amanda is a ride or die Metairie resident. Proud MCA and LSU alum, she moved right back home after college where she met and fell in love with her husband Jason. She left career life behind her to raise her two sweet and energetic sons, Benjamin and Zachary. She is passionate about her family and friends (old and new). When she's not volunteering at school or cheering on her kids at the ballpark, you can find her working out, shopping, or watching Bravo.

51 COMMENTS

  1. We have used many of these great locations, including downtown Covington as another mom commented! I can’t wait to have some pictures taken at Rivertown… love the idea!

  2. Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions. I think I’m gonna make my poor husband drive me around to take family photos and photos of our baby next weekend. Baby boy just made a year old. I’ve always loved Audubon Zoo and City Park.

  3. We took newborn/family pics at Fairview in Madisonville. It is one of my favorite locations for pictures. Thanks for all the other great ideas and locations!

  4. I love all the suggestions. I seem to snap the greatest photos of our baby at home but I really want to get some outdoors photos. I love every suggestion and really want to see if I can talk the husband into going to City Park and a few of the other spots mentioned. Sorry if I’ve posted twice. I would love to have someone else photograph us than be bothered with a tripod 🙂

  5. Love the Rivertown idea! Would like to steal that one. We’ve done most of ours just in our backyard which has lots of greenery and it’s been a easy and simple backdrop for our twin infants. But now that they’re getting older I can’t wait to venture out into New Orleans more. Would love to try the French Quarter too – but that seems intimidating!

  6. Andie, this was such a wonderful post!!! Jane’s 12 month session is coming up, and I think we are going to do early morning at Audubon Park. We’ve done her others in her nursery, and now I can’t wait to add a little New Orleans flare to her photo collection.

  7. In front of our shiny black Yamaha piano, sitting on a old low oak branch, on the stage or bridge at audubon park, (where we got married) are all good spots for a family photo! Lovely photos, thanks for sharing!

  8. headed home in October to take family pics (and visit family)…can’t wait to take my daughter’s photo in city park and jackson square!

  9. Love all of these ideas!! I want to take Addison’s pictures in a pile of leaves this fall. If we can’t do it in our own yard, I’m going to keep some of these places in mind.

  10. Amy does beautiful work! I love children/family photos at city park and storyland. My daughter is 7 months and I look forward to using those venues for her pictures!

  11. Would love to try out some of these wonderful places to get my husband and daughter’s pictures taken this year.Every year since she’s been born we take turns doing a photo shoot with her.This year is his year and I’ve been trying to cone up with an idea.You just gave me a bunch.Thanks!

  12. Nice post! I did a mini shoot with my daughter at Audubon and City Park this summer to get some ideas for later photos. While in the sculpture garden, I snapped a great picture of our little one in front of the LOVE sculpture. Perfect for my husband’s desk at work! Tip – take toys or balls that you dont mind having in the picture. It worked out beautifully to roll her a ball and snap her delight as she stopped it.

  13. I’ve been searching all over google for good places to have photo session in the N.O. area and i’m so glad i came across this. will be visiting all of these locations ( some already visited, but still great) thanks so much for sharing some secrets!!

  14. City Park is such a gorgeous place for pictures, but so is downtown in the quarter. The architecture down there is gorgeous!

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