40 Best Locations for Photo Sessions in Pittsburgh for Photographers

Here is a list of the best outdoor locations for a family photoshoot in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas!

“Where’s the perfect location for a family photo session around Pittsburgh?”

I often get asked this question so I created this list that can be used for choosing a location for a family photo session, an engagement session, a senior session, wedding photos, etc..

After photographing hundreds of families in the greater Pittsburgh area for the last fourteen years, I’ve shot at dozens of places and I’m always happy to share these locations with other photographers.

This is not even close to being a complete list but I’ll continue to add to it as I think of more places. I’ve included Google Map links to all of the locations as well as photos of most of them. I also added blog links to the places that I have a blog post for, so click on the links to see more images!

Please feel free to send me a message to ask me about any specific details about any of these locations, I’m happy to help!

If you’re interested in a Family photo session with me, here are the details, I’d love to plan a session with you and help you pick the perfect location for your family!
Just shoot me a message!

Mary Beth Miller Photography was chosen as one of the best Pittsburgh Family Photographers and best Pittsburgh Newborn Photographers!


Pittsburgh | Allegheny County

1. Schenley Plaza | Oakland

Google Maps
Here you can hang out on the grassy lawn, ride the whimsical carousel with the animals, go over and visit Dippy the Diplodocus by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and hang out by the Mary Schenley Memorial fountain. Check out my blog post from a family session there, and here’s another one!

2. Mellon Institute Columns | Oakland

Google Maps
The stone columns here are a popular spot for wedding photographers and a great spot for a rainy day!

3. Phipps Conservatory | Oakland

Google Maps
You are allowed to photograph outside of Phipps, but not inside the gated outdoor garden areas. You must ask permission and pay a fee to photograph there and inside.

Check out this blog post that shares much more details about this location!

Check out my family photoshoot from there and this one! Please note the ponds/fountains do not always have water in them in the off season.

brother and sister twins holding hands at fountain pond outside of Phipps Conservatory location ideas for photo sessions in pittsburgh

4. Schenley Park Visitor Center and Cafe | Oakland

Google Maps
Just across the street from Phipps is a brick building, the Schenley Visitor Center. Just behind that is a beautiful cobblestone path with a black metal railing that leads to a stone archway below. You can use the street parking all along Schenley Drive, just remember to pay the meters (except on Sundays!)

Check out this detailed blog post that tells much more about photo sessions at this location!

5. Flagstaff Hill – Oakland

Google Maps
While you are at Phipps and the cobblestone path, just across from Phipps is Flagstaff Hill. There you will find stone walls and stairs and a lot of lovely trees that are covered in colorful foliage in the fall.

Check out this detailed blog post that tells much more about photo sessions at this location!

6. Westinghouse Memorial | Schenley Park Oakland

Google Maps
And before you leave Oakland, take a short walk down Schenley Drive to the Westinghouse Memorial. There you will find a nice little pond/fountain and a walking path behind it. There’s gorgeous fall foliage here in the fall.

7. Schenley Park | Oakland/Squirrel Hill

Google Maps
Schenley Park is large with playgrounds and paths into the woods where you can find beautiful stone walking bridges and if you head up on the hill you can catch a view of the city from the Park Overlook.
Be sure to check out Panther Hollow and the Westinghouse Memorial.

8. The Bowling Green area of Frick Park | Point Breeze

Google Maps
Here you will find trails leading into the woods of Frick Park and a beautiful stone archway that is a popular spot for photo sessions at the Reynolds Street Gatehouse. Here is a Maternity session, and another maternity/family session. Walk towards the Bowling Green area to see another curved stone wall with stone steps behind it.

location ideas photo sessions Pittsburgh maternity Photographers | Mary Beth Miller Photography | frick park pittsburgh

9. Frick Park and Frick Environmental Center

This is a huge park with many locations to choose from! I suggest taking a day to explore before planning a session here. It is mostly wooded with miles of trails throughout. There is a brand new building at Frick Environmental Center. You can also find this stone entry building and lots of flowers in the summer!

10. Point State Park | Downtown Pittsburgh

Google Maps
There is a gorgeous grassy lawn, walkways and trees that are full of blossoms in the Spring. It is right next to the rivers (take caution with small children), views of the stadiums, bridges, the cityscape and don’t forget the iconic fountain on the Point! Here is a post from one of my sessions there and this one.

family photo session at sunset at point state park under the tunnel with fountain

11. Mt. Washington

An iconic location to see a gorgeous view of the city from the overlooks! There are a few platforms to see the views, here is the Grandview Overlook.

12. West End Overlook Park

Google Maps
Just a short distance from Mt. Washington, it’s another great place to get a view of Pittsburgh! Here’s a blog post from a family session there!

family with pittsburgh cityscape west end overlook photo session

13. South Side

Take some time to explore the South Side to scout great spots for photo sessions! Start at one end down by the Three Rivers Heritage Park and check out the Hot Metal Bridge! Walk over to the South Shore Riverfront Park to get close to the river and see the boats on the docks and continue onto the Three Rivers Heritage trail to find the Color Park, a unique and fun spot for photos! Be sure to find the brightly painted building nearby!

Head down Carson Street with all the shops, bars, and restaurants to find something that catches your eye. Then you can head down to Station Square for a view of the city and go a little further down to ride the Duquesne Incline up to Mt. Washington.

14. Mellon Park and walled garden | Shadyside

This is a gorgeous park with a variety of architectural features and beautiful gardens! During the summer there is also a working fountain. Here are a few blog posts from there: This one, this one, and another one and a beautiful Mother-Daughter Session and a mother-son session! There is free parking here on Beechwood Blvd. and a paid parking right next to the walled garden.

Here is a more detailed blog post about Mellon Park and the Walled Gardens.

Please note that this is a hot spot for photo sessions! Expect to see quite a few other photographers there with their clients, especially on weekend evenings before sunset.

Mini photo sessions in pittsburgh

15. North Shore trail by PNC Park

The North Shore trail is a riverfront walkway that goes right by the stadiums with a view of the city across the river! You’ll pass under the Clemente, the Warhol, and the Carson Street bridges. Check out the photos in this blog post from a family session there! You can find street parking on or near Isabella Street or find a nearby parking lot. During Pirate games, they sometimes close the Clemente Bridge to cars and open it for pedestrians to walk on the road! This is a great opportunity to get photos on the bridge!

mom dad son on steps at PNC north shore for a family photo session with city and Clemente bridge in the background

16. Allegheny Commons Park | North

Google Maps
Located next to the National Aviary, you will find this beautiful park where you can find Lake Elizabeth with a bridge as well as cherry blossoms in the Spring! Perfect for a photo session!

17. RandyLand | North Shore

Google Maps
Please call ahead to make reservations for a photo session, there is a photographer’s session fee. Here’s one blog post and another. Parking can be a little difficult but just drive around Randyland and the Mexican War Streets until you find a spot.

photo session at randlyland with toddler on painted stairs

18. The Pittsburgh Zoo | Highland Park

Google Maps
Please be sure to ask permission first and purchase a ticket for entry. Here’s one of my sessions from the zoo!

location ideas photo sessions pittsburgh girl on carousel for photoshoot with pittsburgh family photographer Mary Beth Miller

19. Highland Park

Google Maps
This park has a large fountain with maintained flower gardens in the summer and early fall as well as a stone arch bridge with a path under it.

20. Aspinwall Riverfront Park

Google Maps
This small park is right on the river and has a winding path through a maintained park. There is also an open but covered area which is great if it rains.

21. Riverview Park | North Side

Google Maps
This is a large park with a winding road throughout. Here is a Mother and daughter session I photographed there.

location ideas photo sessions pittsburgh pittsburgh baby photographer mary beth miller photography photo session at Riverview park

23. Hartwood Acres Mansion | North

Google Maps

This is a hot spot for photographers but for a good reason, the mansion is beautiful and there is a beautiful fenced-in flower garden next to it. Take caution as it will have lots of photo sessions going on most weekends. You are also not permitted around the mansion if there is a wedding or event taking place. You may want to call ahead to make sure.

Here is a more detailed blog post about Hartwood Acres Mansion and a recent session there in the flower garden next to the mansion!

Here’s a family session, another one, and a maternity session in the winter.

23. Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve | North

Google Maps
I love shooting here! There is this wood deck overlook, a pond, a small boardwalk, trails, fields, an old barn, etc! During the late Spring/early Summer, you may be lucky to find wildflowers just below the barn! Check out this post, and this one and another one in the fall, oh, and one more!

24. North Park | Wexford

Google Maps
This park is huge and has a lake and a boathouse. You will find pretty white blossoming trees by the boathouse in the Spring! There are so many spots to choose from! I suggest taking a drive through the park to find a perfect spot for your session! (according to the employees, you are not supposed to shoot in/around the Latodami Nature Center. they are known to ask people to leave)

25. Falls Run Park | Glenshaw

Google Maps
This park has a nice trail with bridges that cross over and next to a creek leading to a tall waterfall. Caution, it can be muddy here, especially in the Spring.

location ideas photo sessions pittsburgh boys in front of waterfall for  family photo session at Falls Run park Mary Beth Miller photography

26. O’Hara Township Community Park | Fox Chapel

Google Maps
This park has a pond, playground and a creek. Here is a fun family session from there.

location ideas photo sessions pittsburgh squaw valley park fox chapel

27. Washington’s Landing / Herr’s Island

Google Maps

There is a lot to explore in this area! There are two ends of the island that you can visit. They are within walking distance and there is a path leading from one end to the next, but you might want to drive to the other side! The google maps link above will take you to the tennis court and park area. Here you can find a set of stone steps that are great for photos.

At the other end of the island, you may want to drive over and park in this parking lot. From there, you cross the street and walk the ramp up onto the Herr’s Island Bridge. You can see the city from here and take pictures on the old bridge.

28. Seldom Seen Greenway | Beechview

Google Maps

29. Boyce Mayview Park |South Hills

Google Maps
Head over to the nature area for photos. Here is a summer family session and a maternity/family session from there.

location ideas photo sessions pittsburgh Boyce Mayview park family photo session pittsburgh

30. South Park | South Hills

This is a huge park with many locations to choose from! There is a great spot with a pond and the Maple Springs Gazebo. You can also ask permission and pay a donation to shoot at the Oliver Miller Homestead! Here is a session by the gazebo and pond. I suggest taking a drive through the park to find your perfect location.

location ideas photo sessions pittsburgh family photographer photo session South Park at Oliver miller homestead

31. Morrow Pontefract Park | Sewickley

Google Maps
This cute little park is just past Sewickley by the Giant Eagle. It has a bridge, trees, a creek and a bench or two. Parking is limited so you may want to park at Giant Eagle. Check out this blog post from a family session there.

brother and sister sewickley park on bridge  photo session at morrow pontefract park Mary Beth Miller photography

32. Fern Hollow Nature Park | Sewickley

Google Maps
This beautiful park has tall grasses with mowed paths, trees, fields, all the things a photographer could want. Check out this session from there, and this family session. Please be courteous if there is an event taking place.

mom dad and three daughters sitting on a log smiling at the baby with fall foliage in the background at fern hollow for a family photo session

33. Sewickley

Downtown Sewickley is a cute little town that could be perfect for a photo session! In addition to Fen Hollow Nature Center (listed above), be sure to check out the Mary Roberts Rinehart Nature Park!

34. Pittsburgh Botanic Garden | North Fayette

Google Maps
This is a large and beautifully maintained park however, there is an entrance fee and you must pay a photography session fee to shoot here. Here is a Maternity session that I did there. The dogwoods and the bridge were my favorites!

maternity photo session on bridge at Pittsburgh botanic gardens by Mary Beth Miller photography

35. Settlers Cabin Park | Robinson

Google Maps
There are a few spots in this park great for photos, especially for fall foliage. It is mostly pavilions and a couple of playgrounds. People often ask about the waterfall at Settlers Cabin Park, just know that there’s a not so easy downhill hike and it is a very small waterfall and can be disappointing, especially in the summer.

family photo session with toddler boy on mothers shoulders and little girl on dad's shoulders outside in the woods at settler cabin park Mary Beth Miller

36. Moon Park | Moon Township

Google Maps
This little community park has a nice pond and tall trees and a path

family holding hands walking on path at moon park for a family photo session

37. Robin Hill Park – Coraopolis

Google Maps
This park has a beautiful brick building with decorative arches on the side, a gazebo, and a small garden. Definitely worth checking out! You will need to call ahead to make sure there is not a wedding or other event taking place.

38. Monroeville Park (West)

Google Maps
This park is mostly known for the recreation fields, however, there is a gazebo area with maintained flower gardens, a dry rock river, and a small wooded area just across the street in the middle of the park.

Sitting together on large rocks of dry riverbed for a photo session at Monroeville Park

39. Boyce Park – Plum

There are plenty of spots in this large park, including an old log cabin and a skatepark. I suggest driving through the park prior to a session to find a good spot!

40. White Oak Park | White Oak

Google Maps
This park is large with a lot of wooded areas, pavilions and playgrounds. You can also check out the nearby Angora Gardens.

Although this post is for locations for photo sessions in Pittsburgh, I am including some places in the surrounding counties.

Beaver County

Here is a separate post for 11 of the best locations for a photo session in Beaver County.

Washington County

Peters Lake Park | Canonsburg
Google Maps
Large lake with trails into the woods and a boat dock.

Mother and father and father son crouching down in the woods with ferns and trees and sunlight behind them pittsburgh portrait photographer mary beth miller photography family photo session at Peters lake park Washington Canonsburg

-Mingo Creek Park
Google Maps to the covered Bridge
This large park has two iconic covered bridges and a shallow creek and wooded areas throughout the park. A hotspot for photo sessions. Please note cell service can be spotty in this park.

Westmoreland County

-Townsend Park | Murrysville
Google Maps
This small park has some trees, a gazebo and a pond.
Check out this fall foliage session!

Brother and sister holding hands running through a grassy field with fall foliage trees in the background Pittsburgh Family Photographer | Mary Beth Miller Photography | Murrysville family photo session Townsend park

-BY Park | Trafford
Google Maps
This small park has woods and a pond with a willow tree.

Butler County

-Succop Nature Park | Butler
Google Maps
Please call ahead to get permission as you are not permitted there if there is a wedding or other event. Goose poop has been a problem around the pond. There is also an old barn on the property.

Mother and father and daughter holding hands mom holding baby walking alongside of a pond for a gibsonia family photographer mary beth miller photography family session at Succop Nature park

-Blueberry Hill Park | Cranberry Township
Google Maps
This park has a few small areas that are good for photos, including this spot by a historic cabin.

mom dad holding baby girl that is smiling very big with fall foliage in the background for photo session at blueberry hill park cranberry township

-Moraine State Park
Google Maps for parking by the North Shore beach area where there is also a nice tall grassy hill for sunset photos. This is a large park with wooded areas and a large lake. You can also find boat docks by the beach and marina areas.

-McConnells Mill
This park is known for the red covered Harris bridge, old mill, and the Slippery Rock Creek and large rock features. Please take caution by all rock ledges and stay back from the water when it is running high as many people have fallen in and drowned or needed to be rescued. Please do not take children close to the edge of the creek.

girl sitting by slippery creek and Harris covered bridge at McConnells mill park for a senior photo session

There is also Hell’s Hollow waterfall which is a one-mile easy hike from the parking area. FYI, cell service is very spotty throughout the park.

hells hollow waterfall at McConnells mill state park for a photo session Mary Beth Miller

I hope that my fellow Pittsburgh photographers found this list of locations for photo sessions in the greater Pittsburgh area helpful and useful!

Here are some other blog posts that you might find helpful!

Let’s connect on Instagram!

~All images by Mary Beth Miller Photography ~

Mary Beth Miller Photography specializes in lifestyle and documentary family, newborn and Fresh 48 photography in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and many of the surrounding areas. Mary Beth has over ten years of experience photographing families, newborns and babies in the South Hills, South Park, Bethel Park, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, Greentree, Point Breeze and Highland Park.  Her style is very relaxed and natural and your family session will feel like a stress free Sunday afternoon with your family!  

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  • kathryne

    These are all such beautiful locations!!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey

    Wow so many great locations throughout Pittsburgh and the surrounding area! Thank you for putting it together! Beautiful photos as well!ReplyCancel

Mary Beth Miller Photography


Established in 2009
Family & Newborn Photographer serving the greater Pittsburgh area; Wexford, Mars, Cranberry Twp., and also serving Boardman, Poland, and Canfield, Ohio.

Mary Beth Miller Photography

best newborn photographers in Pittsburgh Expertise logo award

Established in 2009
Family & Newborn Photographer serving the greater Pittsburgh area; Wexford, Mars, Cranberry Twp., and also serving Boardman, Poland, and Canfield, Ohio.