The Bay Area has so much beauty to offer, and for the Palo Alto photographer, there are many ideal locations all in one town. Palo Alto natives love to showcase the beauty of their hometown in their family photos, and who can blame them with all that it has to offer! It’s also a convenient location for families throughout the bay to travel to for photos. There is something for everyone here!
When choosing a location for your family photos in Palo Alto, think about what kind of scenery you prefer.
Trendy succulents? Got that. The Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford is perfect for that.
Classic greens and florals? Check. Look no further than Gamble Gardens, where seasonal flowers bloom year-round!
Golden grasses and rolling hills? But of course! Arastradero Preserve is popular for photographers, hikers and cyclists! (These hills turn green in the winter for a different kind of beauty too.)
In neighboring Los Altos, there is also a beautiful redwood preserve.
When advising my clients on which location is best for their Palo Alto family photo session, there are a number of things to consider. First, it’s simply a matter of what appeals to each client. After that, we discuss their home decor, session timing, and even accessibility and amenities.
For clients who plan to hang their portraits in their home, we take a look at their style and colors. Focusing on what will look good on their walls really helps us narrow down the location and even their outfits.
Clients with small children often prefer to have their sessions earlier in the evening. There are some locations that work better than others for earlier sessions. For example, a session in the wide open Arastradero preserve works better closer to sunset.
Parking and bathrooms are always something to consider. For families who are driving to Palo Alto for their session or for those with potty training children, these are especially important!
The Los Altos Redwood Preserve and Arastradero Preserve both have bathrooms. The ones at the Stanford Cactus garden may be harder to find, and Gamble Garden does not have one available to photographers and their clients.
As for parking, the redwood preserve and Gamble Garden both have the easiest, most accessible parking lots. The cactus garden has paid parking and the walk will be longer. At Arastradero Preserve, be prepared to wait a few minutes for parking. All locations have good pathways for strollers and wheelchairs, although the hills at Arastradero will present a challenge.
A reminder for every parent: No matter which Palo Alto photography location you choose, I fully expect your child to act their age at your photo session! Playful sessions make for happier children, so I aim for our session together to be playful and fun! Click to see more of my family photography work.