As the leaves turn colours and the weather changes to feel more like fall, it’s time to think about gorgeous family photos. We have many amazing family photographers in the Ottawa area, but if you’re hoping to grab some impromptu photos for the fall or want to save some money by having a DIY fall photo session, there are many places across the city to take those snapshots that offer up picturesque settings for your background.
Just remember to choose a safe location when taking your photos, and keep in mind that some of these popular areas may be busy (especially on the weekends) so you’ll have to be a bit patient to gather everyone up and set the camera timer!
Located at the Experimental Farm, the Dominion Arboretum and their 35 acres of trees can be a beautiful place to take family photos. The entire area around the Experimental Farm offers a variety of options for the perfect photo, and at certain spots, you can see views of Dow’s Lake and the Rideau River.
Photo credit: Ottawa Tourism
With multiple potential locations as potential photo backdrops, Gatineau Park needs to be on your fall foliage list. It’s about 15 minutes away from Downtown Ottawa and is a very popular spot for people wanting to see the leaves (this also means you may find it rather busy and tricky to park at certain times on the weekend). The Fall Rhapsody encourages visitors to enjoy the park and the magnificent views, as well as take in special events.
In Ottawa’ East End, the Mer Bleue Boardwalk runs through wetlands and a stunning ecosystem. There are 20 kms of trails to enjoy, or you can stroll the 1-km boardwalk and snap your photos. The rare plant and bird life at Mer Bleue is just another reason to visit and to have your camera handy.
Not only will you enjoy the drive on your way to Wakefield (about 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa) because of the colourful trees along the way, but when you arrive in Wakefield, we know you’ll fall in love with this town set on the Gatineau River. Head over to the covered bridge area or snap some photos near the water at the train station. With the Gatineau River and Gatineau Park as a backdrop, this is a destination you’ll want to make plans to see.
Photo credit: ncc-ccn.gc.ca
With picturesque waterfalls, rocks, and trees lining your photos, it’s no wonder so many people like to go to Hog’s Back during this time of year. The park is open until December (weather permitting) and there is parking available. You can scout out several locations in the area, set on the picturesque Rideau River and the Hog’s Back Falls are always a delight to see.
If you have been walking along Major’s Hill Park near Parliament Hill, or have eaten at Tavern on the Hill, you know just how amazing the view from the park is overlooking the Ottawa River. You’ll get to see pieces of downtown Ottawa, the river, and brightly coloured trees for miles and miles. Enjoy a brisk walk through the park to find your perfect location.
The beach may not feel like your traditional setting for fall photos, but Petrie Island and the surrounding trees may make for a beautiful setting. Set along the Ottawa River with 7 kms of trails to explore, Petrie Island may be just the place to take your photos. Petrie Island is located in Ottawa’s East end and parking is available.
Photo credit: ncc-ccn.gc.ca
At MacKenzie King Estate, access to the gardens, ruins, and trails are always open at no charge (however, there is a charge for parking) and you’ll enjoy exploring the trails and ruins before finding the best location for your photos. This historic estate feels like you are stepping back in time and offers a very original and unique setting for your family fall photos.
Parc Omega is open year-round, but there is something stunning about driving through the grounds and seeing the trees as they change colour (while feeding the animals). Take a walk through the different paths and capture unique fall photos that you won’t soon forget. (Note: There is a cost for admission into Parc Omega).
Chances are, you are going to be trekking out to a local pumpkin patch at some point in the fall which can double as an impromptu family or child photoshoot area with piles of pumpkins in the background. Plus, as an added bonus, there are usually many fun family activities happening at the pumpkin patch locations too!
Feature photo: Mer Bleu, via ncc-ccn.gc.ca