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You’re Going to Want to Get your Pics Taken Here, Pronto

Ready, set, smile!

Nothing makes a good photo even better like a great backdrop. As fall sets in, the range of colors in West Michigan create a spectacular background that will enhance any family portrait.

A survey of our readers revealed the top places to get great fall family photos in West Michigan. So grab your favorite photographer or your own camera and check out these amazing places to capture your family on film!

Grand Rapids family photo locations

Ada Covered Bridge


If You Want a Little Help with those Photos

Sometimes wrangling the kids and getting a good shot isn’t something we can do alone. Or maybe you have a certain look or style you’d like for your family photos. Hiring a professional is a good option in these cases.

We invite you to check out our West Michigan Photography Guide to start your search.

14 Favorite Fall Photo Locations Around West Michigan

ADA COVERED BRIDGE | 7356 Rix St SE | Ada MI 49301

“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

BLANDFORD NATURE CENTER | 1715 Hillburn Ave NW | Grand Rapids MI

“Blandford Nature Center’s 143 acre of natural beauty provides the amazing backdrop for every visit!” (Be sure to follow their photographer guidelines and policies.)

CALVIN COLLEGE SEMINARY POND & BRIDGE | 3201 Burton St SE | Grand Rapids MI 49546


“Rockford’s downtown shopping district is a wonderful step back in time … The streetscapes are meticulously designed and lamp posts, clocks, sidewalks and benches join together to make your visit special.” — Rockford Chamber of Commerce

FALLASBURG PARK | 1124 Fallasburg Road | Lowell MI 49331

“With its scenic river frontage and historic character, Fallasburg Park is a favorite location for picnics, group activities, weddings, community events and other recreational pursuits. The park features a covered bridge across the Flat River, an iconic shelterhouse, picturesque picnic areas and a disc golf course.  Hiking trails are also available through the park’s expansive natural areas, including a segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail.” — Kent County Parks and Trails

(Our feature image is of Fallasburg Park!)

FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK | 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.)

GRAND RAVINES | 3991 Fillmore St | Jenison MI 49428

NEWAYGO STATE PARK | 2793 Beech Street | Newaygo MI 49337, and 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.

PROVIN TRAILS | 2900 4 Mile Rd | Grand Rapids Township MI 49525

Photo Credit: Kate Morrow Photography

SKYLINE AT GERALD R FORD MUSEUM AT DUSK | 303 Pearl St NW | Grand Rapids MI 49504

SPRING GROVE PARK | 1800 Greenly Street | Grandville MI 49418

“With 16 acres of towering trees, this park is a great place for a family picnic … A flowing spring and small natural area with beautiful spring wildflowers adds to the charm of this park. A trellis constructed in 2000 is specially designed for outdoor weddings and other ceremonies.” — Ottawa County Parks and Rec

WARREN TOWNSEND PARK  | 8280 6 Mile Road | Cannonsburg MI 49317

“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

WHISTLE STOP PARK | 2120 – 76th Street | Byron Center MI 49315

WITTENBACH WEGE CENTER | 11715 Vergennes St SE | Lowell MI 49331

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!

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By |2018-09-06T13:33:44+00:00September 6th, 2018|Categories: Fall, Guides|26 Comments

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  1. kyra October 7, 2018 at 1:08 am - Reply

    the photo by kate morrow… where was that taken?

  2. Melanie August 27, 2018 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Where was the last picture taken? The one of the family in the woods with the pine trees lined up behind them.

    • Caitlin Malski
      Caitlin Malski September 6, 2018 at 9:25 am - Reply

      I believe that’s at the Wittenbach Wege Center in Lowell!

  3. Bonnie October 9, 2015 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    In order to shoot at Blandford you need to purchase a photographer’s membership. There is information about it on their website.

  4. Betsy Emmert via Facebook October 1, 2015 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Lisa Wierenga VanHaitsma

  5. Jodie Burns via Facebook September 30, 2015 at 7:41 am - Reply

    Markay Kamps

  6. Kara Vigneron via Facebook September 30, 2015 at 6:58 am - Reply

    Liz Scott Fershee

  7. Kim Betten via Facebook September 30, 2015 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Fillmore street barn is no longer.. They are moving it to a new location and last I saw it was half tore down.

    • Liz October 12, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      I was there for pictures last month and I think they are just restoring the barn (maybe making it safer?)!! I believe they are actually making it more into a park with the work they are doing to it.

      • Heather November 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm - Reply

        It’s definitely still there. They just moved it to the right about 10 feet and repainted it.

  8. Krystal Rozema-Meier via Facebook September 16, 2014 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Chris Rozema

  9. Jackie Stone via Facebook September 15, 2014 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Mackenzie Frederick

  10. Holly Shea via Facebook September 15, 2014 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Danielle Marie Lanciaux 🙂

  11. Andrea Koopman via Facebook September 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Sarah Rose Photography just in case you need ideas 😉

  12. Annette Roorda via Facebook September 15, 2014 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Lara Ritterby Raymond check this out.

  13. Marta Malviya via Facebook September 15, 2014 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    I’ve been wanting pictures there forever- let’s do it!

  14. Desiree September 15, 2014 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    ~The Rockford Dam- They have it beautifully landscaped all the time and for each season!
    ~The Richmond Park Swimming pool building is awesome! The bricks are all different, makes for a great back ground!
    ~The Algoma Sports Park- They have a spot hidden with pretty flowers and a long row of different types of pine trees. And a little board walk next to trees.
    ~In a Christmas tree farm- Set up lights and a couple ornaments and lay down a blanket!
    ~On a lake shore
    ~Near a light house
    So many great places 🙂

  15. Jen Lange Doyle via Facebook September 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Marta Malviya 🙂

  16. Leslie Glenn Kupcek via Facebook September 15, 2014 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Love it!!! We really need to finish our conversation! lol

  17. Laura Ropes Smith via Facebook September 15, 2014 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Leslie Glenn Kupcek some ideas for our fall pics!

  18. Amanda Stratton via Facebook September 15, 2014 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Denise Herman 🙂 🙂 🙂

  19. Tamara Abboud November 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Another suggestion: old downtown buildings … like in Lowell, great brick buildings and river nearby for some good photography too 🙂

  20. Amy Hartman November 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Just an FYI that Meijer Gardens does allow family (and other) portraits to be taken on their grounds… but for a $300 fee.

    • Melody V
      Melody V November 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      I’ve heard about that, but doesn’t it apply only if you’re using a tripod or professional equipment? I’ve never had a problem snapping a photo of my family myself…

    • April November 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Amy! It’s a good tidbit to put on here, since some readers may be investing in the services of a professional photographer.

      I shot my sister’s Senior Photos there a few years ago (sans tripod) and didn’t have any trouble. 🙂

    • Melody V
      Melody V November 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      Just for reference, the official photography policy of Meijer Gardens can be found here:

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