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My TOP 5 PARKS in and around Jacksonville, Florida for Family Photography Sessions

I moved back to the Jacksonville & St Augustine, Florida area in 2016. Prior to this, I had been to a few parks and preserves in the area, but definitely not all.


Though, I still haven't been to all of them (if you know of a gem of park PLEASE tell me!) I have been to many all over the area so, I can share with you my Top FIVE park for Family Photography sessions!



family walks together down wooden boardwalk at sunset in the marsh for family photos

1) TIDEVIEWS PRESERVE in Atlantic Beach, Florida


My first time at this park I didn't even know or appreciate all it had to offer. (which makes me sad) Even my second time there I didn't utilize all of it...but my third session there....MAGIC. I explored all it had to offer and it made me wonder why I had not done more sessions there!


Tall sea grass and trees? Check.

Wooden walkways surrounded by trees? Check

Wooden walkways surrounded by beautiful grassy marsh? Check.


Whether at sunrise or sunset this park is definitely one I recommend to any family willing to head to Atlantic Beach.



baby girl smiles at family photographer while dad holds her on wooden boardwalk during family photoshoot

2) RAVINE GARDENS State Park in Palatka, Florida


To say this is a hidden gem is an understatement.

The flowers, the ravine with bridges, ponds, clear streams, it is definitely worth the drive.


Especially for a family with active little ones. This park will let them splash, climb steps, look for gators (yes, I've seen one there) and enjoy themselves.



family stands on wooden bridge over a pone surrounded by trees during family photoshoot

family walks through clear creek in a tree filled ravine for family photos

3) FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY at WILLIAM SHEFFIELD park in north Jacksonville, Florida


I have to thank one of my amazing families for showing me this park (which is now a fave to recommend to my clients living in north Jacksonville).


The paved walkways, beautiful light over the lake in the morning or through the trees in the evening, plus the large grassy area and of course the areas near the lake to explore, I have loved every session I have done here so far.



mother cuddles baby boy while dad looks on during a park family photography session

parents sit on white blanket in a grassy park with three active boys during a family photoshoot

4) WASHINGTON OAKS GARDENS near Palm Coast, Florida


This gorgeous park is highly requested for family photoshoots as you can't google it without seeing BEAUTIFUL images of these amazing gardens. It is always worth the drive and has a variety of backgrounds just from walking through the park.


Even if you don't go for photos, I would take the family for a day trip here just for fun. (and I have)



family together looking at each other in front of the river during a sunset family photography session

parents kneel down to love on their kids in front of large moss covered oak trees during a family photoshoot

5) ALPINE GROVES PARK in Fruit Cove, Florida


So, this park is VERY well known for photos of all kinds. From Family to high school homecoming, but when I have a family with active kiddos who can't drive too far this is definitely my TOP choice.


Why? Because I've done entire sessions with kids walking on trees, exploring the flower bed, running through the grass and looking for fish off the dock. It's an easy place to let them explore and still get great family photos.


(yes all three are from the same session, BUT it's one I knew we danced, ran, jumped and played)



mom gives a kiss to her oldest daughter while dad holds their youngest sitting on historic steps for family photoshoot

young sisters sitting on a wooden box in sunset light with big sister whispering in little sister's ear during fall family photos

little girls dancing on a wooden boardwalk in green dresses during a family photography session


Are there MANY more parks to choose from? Absolutely. If you don't see a park here you love then just ask, as I have more suggestions for sure.


Ready to book a 2024 Family Photoshoot? CLICK HERE to grab my guide!


~Melody





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