By: Samantha Hamilton
March 1, 2023
When it comes to choosing a location for your next photo session there are a lot of factors that can be considered. If you don’t have a place immediately in mind, your photographer will have locations they have scouted and can provide suggestions based on the type of session you are booking.
Things to consider when choosing a location:
Working closely with your photographer you will be able to find the perfect location for your shoot. They will be able to help you determine a location that will provide the best quality photos that match the vision you may have had in mind.
Only a few minutes from downtown Keene, Ashuelot River Park is much more than meets the eye. At first, it looks like most other city parks but the warmer months provide some vibrant colors throughout the entrance.
Not far beyond the main entrance lies a bridge that goes over a small river and leads to a dam. The bridge provides for some great walking or distance shots, while the dam offers a nice backdrop for posed photos so long as they’re taken from the right angle.
Beyond the bridge, there is a trail through the woods that begins alongside the river. While a cloudy day could provide for some ideal lighting to reduce harsh tree shadows, the trail allows for beautiful candids at a bench or on an adventure through nature.
Don’t let the location fool you, this hidden gem with semi-steep hills provides for a vibrant photo op.
If you’re a history buff, there are a few areas around the park that pay tribute to John Stark such as the statue of the war hero on a horse, some cannons pointing to the horizon, and a cemetery at the bottom of the hill.
Additionally, there are plenty of places to set up shop for a photo session. The large areas of grass and many trees throughout are perfect for outdoor sessions such as portraits (even with studio lighting to compensate for the shadows). Off to one side, a beautiful gazebo exists as well. Although, you may want to be aware of events that may take over the gazebo space.
Tucked away behind the town’s library, a small park exists that boasts some beautiful man-made scenery in a rather small area.
Just beyond the small parking lot, there is an archway perfect for framing couples and families. And for nature lovers, to the right, there is a small clearing with birdhouses filled with tenants frequently coming and going.
Down a short path, there is a white vinyl bridge that leads to a gazebo. Throughout the year, that gazebo may be decorated depending on the season. We caught it on July 4th covered with festive decorations.
Not far beyond that area leads a gravel path over a small bridge and up to a small pond. It’s a great area for some walking shots and reflections of families exploring the wildlife on the edge of the pond.
Overall, you could hold nearly any type of session here from headshots to elopements.
New Hampshire is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including moose, black bears, and bald eagles. If you’re an animal lover or wildlife photographer, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to capture these majestic creatures in their natural habitats.
If you’re looking for a nature walk not too far from everything, Livingston is a truly great option. Located near the center of the city, the more than one-mile loop around a pond gives plenty of nature to explore.
If you’re a bit more of a history buff or would prefer to swap a nature walk for architecture and religion, Saint Anselm College is the place for you. To start, Alumni Hall is one of the most beautiful backdrops on campus and given the flow of walking traffic, it’s incredibly easy to get photos without others walking through the background.
Beyond Alumni Hall, there is also the Abbey Church which is beautiful inside and out. Additionally, there are several other buildings and scenic pathways, but there is another area that offers a bit more privacy most days. Just behind the athletic complexes, there are some fields, one of which looks out to an old barn and house owned by the College. This has been perfect for several types of shoots and avoids attention from bystanders (unless athletics has a game on the fields nearby).
Tucked away in suburban Bedford is a park with rolling hills and more space than you’ll ever need for a photoshoot. Benedictine Park has been a go-to for many of our past sessions as it gives the perfect, natural backdrop year-round. The most beneficial aspect of it is, no matter how many other people or photographers might be there, there is always another area to take photos semi-privately.
Throughout there are plenty of areas to walk, have a picnic, sit and relax, or even hang out on a stone wall. While it’s not often talked about, Benedictine Park will always be one of our personal favorites for outdoor sessions.
Out of the many parks throughout central Manchester, “Pretty” Park is often one of the most vibrant. Often flourishing with various types of flowers and greenery, it makes the perfect backdrop for any photo session without traveling too far. Be sure to scope this one out in advance though! While it can be beautiful when the flowers are not maintained or in season, it can be a bit more difficult to work with.
Rindge has always held a special place in our hearts, but it has the backdrops to prove it’s more than just a small town in southwestern New Hampshire.
The Franklin Pierce University campus boasts some of the most stunning scenery in the area. Pearly Lake and the campus waterfront can give you a completely different sight every night of the year. Looking out over the lake, and above the mountains in the distance, you can often see the sky lit up with fantastic colors second only to the northern lights.
If you travel further onto campus, Peterson Manor lawn offers rolling hills leading directly to Pearly Lake. Going towards the center of campus, you’ll be able to see Mount Monadnock (the second-most-hiked mountain in the world – just behind Mount Fuji) unless there is cloud coverage. In addition to these, there are countless trails around campus leading to hidden photo locations.
Just into Franconia Notch lies one of the most iconic photo locations. Artists Bluff lies just across from Canon Mountain at the end of a moderate hiking trail. The trailhead is actually located in the Canon Mountain overflow parking lot. At the end of the trail, you’ll find several openings to rock ledges and clearings that overlook the Basin, a small lake surrounded by mountains. On an average day, it’s gorgeous and it changes constantly with the weather. As you get into the fall and foliage becomes increasingly visible, you’ll get some of the most vibrant shots available throughout the Fall season. You may need to be strategic to avoid the crowds during leaf-peeping season, but it’ll be worth every second!
One of the best small towns in New Hampshire is Littleton without a doubt. From the breweries, to the world’s longest candy counter, countless shops, and even the old-fashioned diner food, Littleton is booming with reasons to stop in. It also offers a handful of hidden gem photo locations. A pathway covered with umbrellas leading up to the main streat offers a colorful backdrop for urban photography. Just beyond lies a long, well-maintained covered bridge that overlooks a river and leads to a trail on the opposite side.
We’ve been going here for years and while it may not be an area abundant with locations, it’s perfect for shorter sessions or even headshots.
Easily one of the most talked about locations throughout the summer months in New Hampshire is the Lupine Fields. It’s simply a photographer’s dream and offers near perfection located just beyond a small church. A vast field of purple flowers makes for a dreamy backdrop, good for nearly any type of session.
Plan Your Route: With so many beautiful locations to choose from, it’s important to plan your route ahead of time. Make a list of the places you want to visit and prioritize them based on their proximity to each other.
Dress for the Weather: New Hampshire’s weather can be unpredictable, so make sure you dress in layers and bring appropriate gear. If you’re planning to do outdoor photography in the winter, be sure to bring warm clothing and waterproof boots.
Time Your Visit: Depending on the season, the lighting and weather conditions can greatly affect the outcome of your photos. For example, fall foliage is at its peak in late September to early October, while the winter months provide opportunities for snowy landscapes.
Get off the Beaten Path: While popular locations like the White Mountains and Portsmouth are beautiful, there are plenty of lesser-known spots that are equally stunning. Do some research and explore some of the state’s hidden gems.
New Hampshire is a photographer’s dream destination, offering a wide variety of natural and man-made beauty throughout the state. Whether you’re a landscape, street, or wildlife photographer, there’s something for everyone in New Hampshire. By planning your route, dressing for the weather, timing your visit, and exploring off the beaten path, you’ll be sure to capture some truly breathtaking photos on your next photography session in New Hampshire.