Local Places to Take Family Pictures This Fall
Good photos are made better with a great backdrop.
As fall sets in, the range of colors in West Michigan creates a spectacular background that enhances fall photos.
A survey of our readers revealed the top fall picture places near Grand Rapids.
So grab your favorite photographer or your own camera and check out these amazing places to capture your family on camera!
Fall Picture Tips
Capture the Best Fall Family Pictures
- Hire a professional. Mom or Dad can’t be in the photos and take them at the same time (at least easily). Trust me, your kids will want to see YOU in the family photos in years to come.
- Visit your proposed location a couple of weeks before the big day, at the same time of day you will take pics, if it’s new to you or the photographer. Get ideas for where you’d like to take fall pictures, see how busy the location is, and take note of any challenges this location could face (is there water your toddler will be obsessed with and not want to sit for photos? Are there lots of hikers along the paths you’d like to stop on?)
- Do an outfit assessment. Choose solid colors that go well together, and avoid busy shirts. Make sure outfits are comfortable for children, and don’t need to be constantly smoothed down or tucked in.
- Practice with kids ahead of time. Some kids are naturals on camera. Others need to be coached – or coaxed. If your child isn’t used to participating in photo sessions, practice in the weeks leading up, offering candy or whatever bribery you feel like.
Local Fall Picture Places, Listed
Here are the spots families, brides and seniors love to visit for amazing backdrops.
Ah Nab Awen Park
220 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Known for it’s great skyline photos at dusk, Ah Nab Awen Park, in front of the Gerald R Ford Museum also offers a beautiful river backdrop, colorful fall foliage, and even a big red button for kids to sit on for a pic!
100 Fitzgerald Park Dr, Grand Ledge, MI 48837
This might just be my most favorite of all picture places!
Located east of Grand Rapids toward Lansing, Fitzgerald Park is a stunning spot for photographs.
Find gorgeous fall color through open woods, a soaring train trestle bridge and their most infamous attraction – massive sedimentary rock formations full of texture and shadows and light.
48 Courtland St, Rockford, MI 49341
While the downtown area is picturesque in itself, fall pictures will really shine at the Rockford dam. Keep on walking north past the dam and you’ll find spots on the paved White Pine Trail that weaves through a colorful forest.
1124 Fallasburg Road, Lowell, MI 49331
Fallasburg is the quintessential fall pictures spot.
There’s the historic covered bridge, lots of grassy shores along a winding creek, the wider Flat River that flows between a riot of colorful trees each fall, and lots and lots of paths, sitting spots and more, where families can gather for the perfect fall family pictures.
3991 Fillmore St, Jenison MI 49428
Grand Ravines has a beautiful suspension bridge and lots of paved and unpaved trails to choose from. But it’s famous “big red barn” that makes it easy to spot from the road may be Grand Ravine’s most unique fall backdrop.
2900 4 Mile Rd, Grand Rapids Township, MI 49525
Pronounced pro-vin, Provin Trails is a stately white pine forest bragging some mini sand dunes and little tree houses made with fallen branches.
Frederik Meijer Gardens
1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
A destination marrying world-renowned sculpture and horticultural landscapes, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s indoor and outdoor gardens and sculpture galleries hold something for the whole family to enjoy.”
(Be sure to follow their photography guidelines.)
Blandford Nature Center
1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
“Blandford Nature Center’s 143 acre of natural beauty provides the amazing fall pictures backdrop for every visit!”
(Be sure to follow their photographer guidelines and policies.)
Ada Covered Bridge
7356 Rix St SE, Ada, MI 49301
Looking for picture places with historic charm?
Consider the Ada Covered Bridge: “Prior to 1930 the covered bridge was the main thoroughfare across the Thornapple River. The Covered Bridge is a reconstruction of the original bridge that was destroyed by fire in 1979.” — Ada Township
Newaygo State Park & Downtown Newaygo
2793 Beech St, Newaygo, MI 49337 & Downtown Newaygo
According to the Michigan DNR, “Newaygo State Park is a 99-site rustic campground and day use area sitting atop 20-foot embankments overlooking the Hardy Dam Pond, a six-mile flooding of the Muskegon River…With fall comes the beautiful color season, enhanced by spectacular views overlooking the Muskegon River.”
Downtown Newaygo also has a lot of photographic draw with old buildings, fantastic old doors, the river, train bridge, fish statues, Penoyer Creek Falls, and more.
Spring Grove Park
1800 Greenly St, Grandville, MI 49418
Spring Grove Park boasts 16 acres of towering trees, a flowing spring and an outdoor trellis designed specifically for weddings or other ceremonies.
Warren Townsend Park
8280 6 Mile Road, Cannonsburg, MI 49317
Picture places to choose from here include a pine plantation, a 100-year old stone pavillion, or a babbling brook.
“Townsend Park is a scenic and easy-to-reach destination for Grand Rapids area visitors. In the park’s north section, a hiking trail winds through a large pine plantation.
The Cannon Township Trail also links to the park from the north, featuring a boardwalk over natural wetlands.” — Kent County Parks and Trails
2120 76th Street, Byron Center, MI 49315
Whistestop Park has a large fishing pond set against a stunning fall backdrop. Also find a paved hiking trail and lots of wide open spaces, making this one of the stunning picture places in the area.
Wittenbach Wege Center
11715 Vergennes St SE, Lowell, MI 49331
At Wittenbach Wege Center, find a pond, trails and an adorable little cabin in the woods for fall family pictures. Oh, and you may spot some farm animals, too!
Calvin College Seminary Pond & Bridge
3201 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
This expansive forest is a delight to hike any time of year, but especially gorgeous in autumn. Families love taking fall pictures at the wooden bridge.
If you have even more places that you love to take photos, let us know in the comments! Let’s make this a fantastic resource for great photo locations!
Photographers for Hire
Would you like to hire a pro to capture your family’s fall photos? We’re compiling a list of photographers offering this service in West Michigan.