Top 5 Places to Take Family Pictures in Wilmington NC

When you think of a photo session for your family, what do you envision? Rolling in the grass with your giggling toddlers? Prancing down trails surrounded by lush gardens? Digging your toes in the sand as the ocean chases you along the shoreline?  These picturesque locations provide the perfect backdrop for your custom family photo session–and best of all, they’re all right here in the Wilmington area! I delight in helping families select a location for their custom family photo session with me and look forward to helping you decide which environment will be authentic to your family’s unique dynamic. Once we select the location, we will find just the right spaces to bring out your natural joy and beauty. Here is my list of top 5 places to take family pictures in Wilmington, NC.

1. Greenfield Lake Park, Wilmington NC

Collage of Greenfield Lake Park Family Photography location

Greenfield Lake Park is home to a vast 250 acres of green gardens with winding trails alongside Greenfield Lake. The park features a four mile walking and biking path, a playground, a lake popular for fishing, canoe and paddle boat rentals and more. In the spring, the flowers are in bloom and really pop in portraits as you can see from the image above. Even outside of spring this park photographs beautifully! Parking is easy, too. Just a couple of miles from Historic Downtown Wilmington, this natural landscape portrays your innate love for all things outdoors while still being within city limits. Here is a map to Greenfield Lake Park.

2. Wrightsville Beach, NC

South End of Wrightsville Beach NC Family Pictures playing on the sand

An island escape to Wrightsville Beach will alleviate your daily stresses and draw you in with those cool ocean breezes. Warm sunshine and soft sand make for a splendid day of capturing delightful memories. I especially like the South End with it’s grassy dunes and beautiful sunsets. There is metered parking just outside the entrance to the beach. It can get very windy, but that can be very nice at the peak of a southern summer heat wave.  I recommend this location for late summer and fall sessions. Here is a map to the South End of Wrightsville Beach, NC.

3. New Hanover Arboretum in Wilmington, NC

Mommy & Me Session at Wilmington Arboretum

New Hanover County Arboretum’s lovely water garden will provide a sense of quiet leisure. Paved walkways will entice you to stroll throughout the fragrant Rose Garden and alluring Japanese Garden as you share this invigorating occasion. A zen garden and koi pond will put any camera anxiety you have to rest, and allow you to simply enjoy the moment with your family. With plenty of room to run around and a little play house for them to explore, the kids will love it too! Because these are kept gardens, this location is great year-round. Here is a map of the New Hanover County Arboretum.

4. Historic Downtown Wilmington, NC

Family Pictures on Wilmington NC Riverwalk

In Historic Downtown Wilmington you will revel at the half century old buildings as you wander along brick and cobblestone pavement. The urban setting will provide a splash of charm with its beautifully revitalized ambiance. The Cape Fear River makes a gorgeous backdrop, especially when coupled with a sunset. Plus, with all the great shops, restaurants and nightlife, you may want to stay after your photo session to enjoy in all this area has to offer. I suggest arriving early at this location as parking can be limited depending on the day of the week and season. Here is a map of Historic Downtown Wilmington. starting from Riverfront Park.

5. Hugh MacRae Park, Wilmington, NC

Big playground for kids, trails and gardens Hugh MacRae Park is a wonderful location for family pictures in Wilmington NC

Hugh MacRae Park will welcome you with it’s refreshing and lush atmosphere. The trees are tall and create a fun forest-like background for beautiful family pictures. There is also a pond, gazebo area, 1.5 mile trail, and an amusement filled playground. A new splash pad is scheduled to open in April 2017! This park ensures a photo session with plenty of background variety and lot of fun activities for the little ones.  Ample parking lots within the park make it very accessible. Here is a map of Hugh MacRae Park in Wilmington, NC.

However you envision the photographs you desire, we will find the location that makes your family feel at home. Contact me to schedule your custom photo session so I can help you preserve your most cherished moments.

I'm Erika and I am a maternity, newborn, and family photographer based near Wilmington, NC. I'm also a mom to two cutie boys, lover of backyard gardening, candles, chocolate and Amazon Prime.

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Benefits of tummy-time according to American Academy of Pediatrics as shared on theBump.com:⁠
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-Practice for milestones like rolling over, sitting upright and crawling⁠
-Strengthens gross motor skills⁠
-Engages lesser-used muscle groups⁠
-Prevents plagiocephaly (aka flat head syndrome)⁠
-Helps baby master head control⁠
-Alleviates gas pain⁠
-Exposes baby to a different environment⁠
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Some babies love it and others not so much. Either way, it's good for them! How's it going for your baby or how did your babes like it? ⁠
“Erika was great with our kids and overall it was a laidback experience. Although both the weather and our small kids were somewhat uncooperative, Erika took some beautiful pictures which made a great use of the beach landscape and light. Highly recommended.” - Emily R.⁠
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I’m blushing! It’s comments like this one that keep me going, and few things make me happier or motivate me more than happy clients. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read them on my more challenging days. And, Emily, the feeling is mutual—you were a dream to work with!⁠
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Thinking about booking a family photography session? You can find out more on my website! All the info you need is in the link in bio!⁠
Oh, how I'd love to go back to those first weeks and months. I was ever-present, yet never really there at all.⁠
My head was elsewhere, caught up in all the shoulds, in the baby books, the apps, the impossible schedules; all the perceived perfections of motherhood that felt so at odds with what you were telling me you needed.⁠
I followed my heart every single time. But never with conviction. Always apologetically as though I were somehow giving in. Not doing it right.⁠
I fought it. Like a quiet war. It was exhausting.⁠
I'd love to go back and mother that version of you, but as this version of me; the mum I am today. ⁠
More relaxed, more rested, more sure, no longer seeking approval, embracing the fact that I will be happily rocking my boy to sleep until he doesn't need it anymore.⁠
It's not just our babies that grow.⁠
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Words by: Mother Truths ( @mymothertruths)
I'm enjoying getting personal with y'all. Hope you don't mind!⁠
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Five years ago, I would not be able to imagine that I would be living the life I am now. There have been twists and turns for sure, and some of the challenges have been grueling to say the least, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I'm talking illness, surgery, major lifestyle changes, major personal life changes. The kind of stuff that makes you look back and not even recognize who you were. ⁠
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I have come so far and now have the clarity of mind to see how everything that has happened in my life has made me the person I am today. And I truly love who I have become through it all. What’s something positive or seemingly negative that happened in your personal life in the past five years that you didn’t see coming and that has built you up to be the badass you are today?⁠
Whenever I’m feeling stuck, I write in a journal—just a stream of consciousness, whatever crosses my mind goes on the page. Almost every time, I notice the same pattern: fear of judgment. My inner critic is telling me that no one will like what I do.⁠
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When that happens, I try to remind myself to play my own greatest hits. I make a list of the times when I did work I was proud of, made a client happy, or got positive feedback—anything that contradicts the judgmental  voice in my head. It helps me to move forward without fear. We all have that voice in our heads. The trick is to recognize it, not believe it, and put that imposter syndrome back in its place.
I am so grateful that I can do what I love as my job. Thank you to all of my clients for the ongoing love and support. I am lucky to have each and every one of you! 🥰

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