Where to Take Spring Family Photographs in Rochester and Monroe County, NY
By Honey DeLapa, DeLapa Photography, Hilton, NY
It is easy to find beautiful places to take your family for photographs in the greater Rochester area! Gardens abound, both public and private.
If your garden isn’t the perfect spot for your children’s portraits, try some of the parks in our area. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but here are some of my favorites.
Beautiful Highland Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (who designed Central Park in New York City), is famous for its Lilac Festival in mid-May. 500 different varieties of lilacs cover about 20 acres of the park. The park also has pansies in a wonderful bed along Highland Avenue, azaleas, cherry blossoms, forsythias, rhododendrons and more! There is a beautiful patch of tulips at the corner of South Avenue and Reservoir Road. The magnolia trees are magnificent, too...all in all, a wonderful backdrop for photos in the spring.
Hidden away just off Reservoir Road, across from the Lamberton Conservatory, is a beautiful little spot called the Poet’s Garden. It has steps and benches that can be used as posing places, and pathways under the trees that wind their way through delicate displays of flowers. It has a different feel from the rest of the park, which is more open. I enjoy the using this quiet spot for portraits.
Durand Eastman Park
Located in the northeastern part of Monroe County in Irondequoit, Durand Eastman Park is on Lake Ontario. Because of the cooler Spring weather, the blossoms come slightly later here than in the city or in the southern part of the county. If you see daffodils wilting everywhere else but want some great family photos, head to Durand Eastman Park.
Most people know this park for its beach, but it also has an amazing variety of flowers and trees. The park includes an arboretum and a field of naturalized daffodils. The dogwood, magnolia, redbud, and flowering cherry are scattered all throughout the park and make a great backgrounds for portraits. Using the daffodils as a portrait spot has become an annual event for DeLapa Photography, and has introduced many to the beauty of a park they may have overlooked.
Monroe County is also lucky to have several beautiful beaches. Although it's a little cooler by Lake Ontario in spring, it's a wonderful place to take the kids and presents many photo opportunities. Action throwing stones, digging in the sand and running along the beach make great memories. The beach at Durand Eastman Park, Charlotte (Ontario Park Beach), and Hamlin Beach have long expanses of beach which won't be crowded until the hot weather starts. Make sure to bring along a coat or sweater!
Maplewood Park is another of Rochester's city parks, and it was also designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. This park is known for its roses, which bloom first in June and again in September. There are rows and rows of rose hedges and bushes, with roses in every variety and color you can imagine. The park also has a gazebo and a fountain with benches surrounding it. I love the variety of images I can get in this beautiful spot.
In June, at the height of rose season, Rochester hosts the Maplewood Rose Festival.
Eastman House Gardens
Two of the gardens at the George Eastman House are open to the public without admission charge. The West Garden and the Rock Garden are both wonderful places for photos.