10 Unique Locations for your Michigan Family Photos

When families plan for their upcoming Michigan photo session, they often think of the usual city, lake, or trees as their backdrop. Of course those are incredible options, but a lot of people want something unique, personal, or “outside the box” for their photos. Check out the following ideas for your next photo shoot in Michigan!


Michigan is home to numerous lakes and lake houses. If you do not own a lake house, you could use a friend, a family member’s, or rent one on Airbnb. A cute house and the lake itself are incredible backdrops to capture your family, particularly during morning and sunset hours.

Camper or Van

If you love camping and the great outdoors, why not document that with your family? Imagine capturing your family as you roast your hot dogs over a fire, hike on a nature trail, or play a game in your camper or van? We don’t have to go far for your session…beautiful nature local locations are easy to come by in Michigan!

family sitting around a fire eating smore's


Often, the most outstanding photos are taken in the simplest of environments. If your backyard has a fence, trees, and grass, you’re good to go! Anything else (such as playsets, swings, gardens, and pools) are a bonus that will add visual interest and make your photos personal to your family.

Your home

We all love our safe, comfy homes. Does your family like to cook or bake? Kitchens make fantastic locations to shoot. How about play games? Let’s photograph your family room. Love to garden? Let’s shoot in your garden and backyard! Do your kids love to read, do puzzles, art, or play with toys in their room? We can take a few shots of them doing what they love most. Photos taken throughout your home are the easiest and most special way to document your family at this exact stage of life.

mother feeding newborn baby in the nursery


You can never run short of photo locations if you simply look around while you’re driving. A patch of field, long grass, or trees by the roadside can transform into a dream shooting location. Ensure it is a safe place to park and walk around without trespassing on private property.

family playing and laughing in a green field

Quiet road

For fantastic portraits, consider quiet roads in your neighborhood or local parks for your family photos. Michigan has an abundance of tree-lined streets and charming dirt roads surrounded by trees. These make excellent shooting locations!

mother lifting and laughing baby on a dirt road lined with trees


Michigan (downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor in particular) is famous for its local mural art by accomplished artists. This visual art provides a fun, colorful, and unique background for great photo sessions. Detroit locations such as Eastern Market, Z Alley, and Dequindre Cut are just a few great locations.


Because our great state of Michigan is lined by great lakes and has thousands of lakes scattered throughout, we have plenty of beach locations to choose from. We don’t need a huge beach area to work in, just a patch of beach and water behind it! Most metroparks and state parks have beaches within them and there are several to choose from in the metro Detroit area. Check out Kensington Metropark, Island Lake State Park, and Stony Creek Metropark!

mother and two daughters sitting quietly on a beach


Do you know someone who owns a farm? The many types of scenery on a farm are gorgeous for photos. If you love a soft, rurul, rustic vibe, then the open fields, tall grass, fences, and barns are calling your name.

Christmas Tree Farm

Most people don’t think of late fall or winter as a time for their next photo shoot. Have you been to one of Michigan’s MANY Christmas tree farms? The rows of pines lined up, snow on the ground (if we’re lucky), cute hats and scarves, and hot chocolate makes for awesome photos! Of course we would first need permission from the farm to take photos (and a fee might apply), but a few options are Westman’s Tree Farm, Candy Cane Christmas Tree Farm, and Broadview Tree Farm.

Orchard or Cider Mill

Another location that requires permission to photograph, but orchards and cider mills are one of Michigan’s greatest summer and fall traditions! These are full of color, fields, lined apple trees, and grass, and make for the cutest shooting locations! Blossoming trees in the spring are a bonus, as well as the cider and donuts at the end of your shoot! We love any and all orchards but some of our favorites are Spicer Orchards in Fenton, Erwin Orchards in South Lyon, and Three Cedars Farm in Northville.

Let’s do this

Which location above spoke to you for your own family? Or maybe you have another excellent idea? Reach out to us at www.smithandco.photo or hello@smithandco.photo! We would love to hear your ideas and work with you!