Broemmelsiek Park in Defiance offers great fall color.Photo courtesy Jonica Weiler Photography.
In fall, Mother Nature creates spectacular Midwestern landscapes, painting them with various hues of vibrant reds, golds, yellows and oranges. It's a great time of year to use nature's artwork as the backdrop for a perfect family photo. We asked several local photographers for their favorite outdoor spots for family photos, and this is what they told us.
Bailey Mohr | Beautiful Mess Photography "Tower Grove Park is great for many reasons. One is it is close to home for me. Two: easy parking. It never seems overcrowded. Three: lots of different settings with architectural options, landscapes, bridges and of course beautiful trees. For a more urban setting, I really love the look of Citygarden. It has a great 'let kids be kids' atmosphere. The beautiful, old architecture surrounding the park will leak into your backgrounds, and inside the park there are lots of things for kids to climb on and engage with."
Mike McCarty | McCarty Photography "Our favorite place to do family images is Faust Park on Olive in Chesterfield. We like the pond and color of the foliage when it turns in autumn. Also the old town buildings are great to do some casual groupings. Another is Des Peres Park in Des Peres at Ballas and Manchester Roads. The park is spacious with many trees and a rolling hillside along with the lake views. Look out for the duck poop! The other option is wherever the family likes — someplace that means something to them or is close to their home."
Jonica Weiler | Jonica Weiler Photography "One of my favorite spots is Towne Park in Wentzville, which is easily accessible from Highway 61. There are several opportunities here to include a variety of textures and lighting into one session, and my favorite feature of this location is the nature-based play area. After we've played in open fields and created memorable images amidst the fall color or along one of the ponds, we can end in this unique play area and capture even more wonderful moments. It's a win for kids and parents alike! One thing to note is that this park, and any other St. Charles County Park, does require a permit to photograph there, so planning ahead is essential. Another favorite area in the fall (or any time of the year) is Main Street in St. Charles. This area tends to become crowded very quickly, especially on the weekends, so I suggest planning an early morning, before the shops open, or a weeknight evening. I enjoy this area, because you get the rustic texture of the historic brick buildings and iron fences mixed with beautiful containers of fall flowers, but it's also just a short walk to Frontier Park to include a more natural setting of changing leaves and the Missouri River. Broemmelsiek Park in Defiance offers a few great spots for fall family photos. I like it for the variety of backdrops found there, including lots of that coveted fall color! One of my most-requested locations for fall photos is Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville. This park boasts a variety of colors and pretty lighting no matter what time of day you are visiting. The most photographed area is definitely the walking trail around the lake, which is encompassed in color this time of year. It’s a relatively easy walk that keeps the kids interested while providing beautiful photo opportunities -- playing in the leaves in front of the large wooden gazebo, running across the rustic iron bridge, and meandering down the few hidden trails tucked into the woods. But don’t be discouraged if the trail is crowded when you go. There are numerous spots to capture great fall photos throughout the park -- in fact, some of my favorite places to take families are found in the meadow at the back of the park. I love that the meadow provides a large area for the kids to be themselves and play, but with those coveted fall colors all around them. My best suggestion is to get out and explore the park ahead of time."
Emily Lucarz | Emily Lucarz Photography "I love to shoot at Babler State Park in Wildwood. It's a fabulous place to take large and small groups. In the fall, lots of families are looking for large family photos before the holidays. Not all locations are meant for huge groups. I have found that at Babler State Park, you have large open areas with plenty of shade for shooting purposes. Whether you like to shoot into the sun with lots of backlighting, or have the sun just peeking through onto your clients, you can find it all at Babler. Take a drive around to find locations with hidden light. There are some 'gem' spots in there if you take some time to explore! Plus, the changing colors at Babler are incredible."
Bryon Raterman | Fricke Studio "My favorite place to do outdoor photography is the Washington Park [also known as Lions Lake]. It is close to my studio and is a nicely laid out area with a lake. The features include a bridge that allows you to walk over a small area of the lake with a gazebo close by. The area is nicely landscaped with flowers, bushes and large rocks that make it a nice area to photograph individuals and groups. There are also large trees that supply ample shade. Also close to the park is an old barn and brick building that allow you many more photographic options."
Brea McAnally | Brea Photography "Parking is always easy at the flood wall by the Gateway Arch and you can choose between the railroad tracks, colorful street or the riverfront. Also, August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles is a gorgeous area with walking trails, ponds and docks, and there is plenty of space to explore."
Editorial Assistant Tyne Benesek contributed to this article.
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