Ann Arbor Photographer – { The Peony Garden Sessions}

As a photographer in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area I always get asked questions on location.  What are some of the best locations for a family session?  Do you have any recommendations for where we should go?  What are your favorite places to shoot family photos?  It’s officially family portrait season and the locations are plenty.


When clients think about their family photo shoot they are usually under the pressure of picking the BEST location.  Some families want the most beautiful, picturesque place while others want unique and cool.  The great thing about living in the metro Detroit area is that there are plenty of options to choose from.  The secret here will surprise you…  It’s to choose a location that you and your family feel comfortable in, a location that is true to who you are.


One question I always ask my clients is, What’s the “feel” you are going for?  Is it a city scape?  If it is then you’re in luck because Detroit, Royal Oak & Ann Arbor offer a bunch of exciting locations for an urban feel.  If you are going for an outdoor style with different elements then there’s plenty of beautiful public parks in Oakland & Wayne county that have beautiful wide open spaces with interesting natural elements.


The season is important too so think outside the box and have some fun!  The session highlighted below was just this past weekend at the vibrant and colorful Peony Garden @ The Arb in Ann Arbor Michigan.  It’s a gorgeous space but only in full flower bloom for two weeks in June.   The time of the day was perfect for that summer sun so we just walked around having fun and letting the kids run around the park.

In situations like these, I like to guide the family ever so slightly but allow them to interact & be a bit authentic.  In all honesty, everyone would prefer to see people having fun, than standing stiff & staring right into the camera.   Posed pictures have their place and something you should definitely get as part of your gallery but the fun ones are the ones that will tug at the heartstrings for years and years to come.

When all else fails or you want something really unique, think about a lifestyle session in a spot you frequent or a family tradition.  A local farmers market or carnival will make for a really UNIQUE and FUN setting and remember, it doesn’t take much as long as you come looking good and feeling great!


Genevieve DeVres is an on-site, natural light photographer.  Based in Plymouth, Michigan, I serve southeast Michigan and the greater Wayne County, Washtenaw County and Oakland County areas, including Plymouth, Canton, Livonia, Westland, Northville, Novi, Farmington/Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Belleville, Whitmore Lake, Saline, Dexter, Salem, South Lyon, Wayne, Garden City, New Hudson, Wixom, Walled Lake, Brighton, Milford, Southfield, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, and beyond.