Choosing a location for your photoshoot can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be! 🙂 This list should help you to get an idea of which location is in your area and also may tell you a bit about what to expect. Please keep in mind that there are restrictions on some of these locations (operating hours, permits, etc.).
If you booked a custom petite (mini) session (Family, Child, Maternity, or Petite Bump to Baby) – a 10-mile radius restriction applies to your location choice. I will specifically mark those locations that you can choose from. You can always pay and add in extra mileage ($5 per extra mile), if you want me to do the calculation for you, please reach out and I will happily give you a quote.
I will also star (***) the ones that I have shot at over and over again and therefore work great for the best light and result in beautiful images.
As mentioned in your contract, you are responsible for any parking fees, admissions costs, etc. incurred for both yourself as well as the photographer/assistant.
A few more things to keep in mind, the beach is great – but the beach could be windy, or it could be buggy. A lot of times we will not know that until we get there, so you have to be prepared. Sometimes it is so bad that we have to reschedule for another day because the bugs might be vicious that night, or the wind is so crazy that your hair will go wild. Another thing about the beach is, the sun does not set over the water in Connecticut! BOO, I know. So to have the water in the background will not always be possible at every beach as we need to shoot with the sun behind you for the best images and light. Just one thing to keep in mind, so you are not surprised or upset when we get down to the beach. On another note though, we always get great images anyway, unless it is super windy or buggy. 🙂
I am adding one more thing to keep in mind if you have multiple kids under 5 you want to choose a location with the least amount of distractions! It might be easy to distract one kid from open water or interesting sights, but as soon as there are two ore more kids, it will be impossible to wrangle them and prevent them from running towards the water, falling into the mud, or from getting upset because they cannot dive into the ocean!
Disclaimer: Ute-Christin Photography has no responsibility for the content of other websites and is not liable for any damages or injuries occurring from the use of these other websites.
The campus of Fairfield University – Dogwood trees, behind the beautiful stone building (Bellarmine Hall at Fairfield University).
Penfield Beach – Penfield Beach is free and open to the public, however, from Memorial Day Saturday to Labor Day a beach sticker is required to park in the lot. Vehicles without a beach sticker may pay a daily fee of $20.00 on weekdays and $50.00 on Weekends & Holidays at the gate.
Jennings Beach – Jennings Beach is free and open to the public, however from Memorial Day Saturday to Labor Day a beach sticker is required to park in the lot. From 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM, vehicles without a beach sticker must pay a daily parking fee of $20.00 on weekdays and $50.00 on Weekends & Holidays at the gate.
South Pine Creek Beach – South Pine Creek Beach is free and open to the public, however from Memorial Day Saturday to Labor Day only residents with a beach sticker are permitted to park in the lot. There are no daily fees.
Greenwich Point (Tod’s Point) – Fees for the park from Memorial Day-Labor Day Fees for Greenwich Parks. During the period from May 1 through October 31, prior to 7:00 am and after 5:00 pm (6:00 am on weekends and holidays), vehicle fees for visitors will be required, no per-person fees will be charged. Seasonal or single-entry park pass and vehicle permit/parking pass are required between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm. A vehicle entering the park with an occupant who has a current Resident Seasonal Park Pass needs no additional parking pass. A vehicle entering the park without state plates, or a vehicle not taxed in the Town of Greenwich, with an occupant who has a current Resident Seasonal Park Pass, must also have a Resident Vehicle Permit, (only if the car belongs to a resident seasonal pass holder) or a Single Entry Parking Pass.
Edgerton Park – Park is open year-round Sunrise to Sunset.
The Conservatory is open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for major holidays.
- The Carriage House and its horticulture library are open Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.
- To arrange a tour of the Sarah Crosby Conservatory call 203-624-8941.
Brooksvale Park– Farm/park with barns, a small lake, fences, a big open field, etc.
Elizabeth Park – a Large open park with gardens, trees, flowers, etc.
Bauer Park – Lush green grounds, white farmhouse., open sunrise to sunset.
***Hammonasset State Park – Beautiful beaches, marshes, and green open fields. State park is free for CT license plates.
Check out the following blog posts from this location: Family Session
Red Bridge in S. Meriden – Beautiful Fall Foliage spot
Hubbard Park – Round Stone tower, open green fields, pond with fountains.
Wadsworth Falls – Take a leisurely 1.5-mile hike or park nearby to view scenic Wadsworth Falls as it cascades over a twenty-foot drop on the Coginchaug River. General information: The park is open daily from 8 a.m. until sunset. Park regulations are posted at the main entrance. Pets must be on a leash and under control at all times. Pets are prohibited from the beach area. There is a parking fee on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Access: The main park entrance is located on Route 157 in Middletown, near the Middlefield line. Additional parking is available for the Big Falls on Cherry Hill Road off Route 157.
Wadsworth Mansion – Mansion is open daily for events. In the event there is an event going on it is asked that you stay away from the event for the privacy of the event. The Parklands are open daily from sunrise until sunset for passive recreation. The terrain is mostly flat, but the Perimeter Trail does climb to the top of Long Hill. There is parking near the building and a larger parking area is located behind the building.
Middletown has a lot of old brick buildings on the main street for a more urban look
Milford – MINI SESSION ELIGIBLE
***Ocean Ave Beach – Private Beach, wonderful beach to shoot during low tide. Cannot shoot there at high tide. If you are interested in this special beach, reach out and I will look at the tide chart for you. Click on the link provided to see a session that took place at this location. No dogs allowed. This beach is NOT a good beach for kids under 5 unless you only have one child that can be held up. Little kids will run towards the water, run in the mud, and will get upset when you try to hold them back. Trust me, I have seen it a few times. 🙂 This is a beautiful location for either Maternity, older Kids or one kid that can be easily managed, or better yet – does not walk yet! hahaha
***Beach at the Audubon Society – This is where most if not all my sessions take place. It has a unique look to it and I just love the privacy of this space, there is never anyone around. NO DOGS are allowed as it is a bird sanctuary. This is one of those locations where you are at the beach, but you might never see the water. This is GREAT for little kids, because no one tries to run into the ocean!
*** Mondo Pond – great for dogs, small location but has a lot of hidden gems. Lots of fun big rocks, keep in mind for smaller children, but nice trails and some water.
***Silver Sands Beach – There is no fee for parking and no dogs are allowed. There are always a lot of people around, as it gets very busy during the summer nights, so you must be ok with that.
***Walnut Beach – Resident Sticker May be required, no dogs allowed. This will also work best at low tide, as you don’t have a lot of beach to work with otherwise. This beach also gets very crowded, so if you prefer that look, Ocean Ave might be better for you!
***Eisenhower Park – Has a nice creek with a little trail alongside and also an open field that is used for flying model airplanes. Open Mon-Sun dawn to dusk. No parking fee or permit is needed. Dogs welcome. This is one of my favorite spots to shoot at! It has sooo much variety and yet is great for little kids as no distracting elements are around!
Check out the following blog posts from this location: Family Session, Fall Family Sessions, Family Session, Maternity Session, Maternity Session in Creek, Winter Maternity Sessions
Wolfe Park – Has a sandy beach and foliage. Open Daily from 7 am- sunset. Permit required.
***The pond at Mead Park – Mead Park contains lit and unlit baseball fields and tennis courts, picnic areas, baseball batting cages, a large pond, playground area, and ice skating in the winter. I shoot my Spring minis there and they have wonderful cherry blossoms in early May. The location will only work around that time, nothing else is in bloom, and not pretty during the rest of the year.
***Waveny Park – Great Park is great for full sessions, lots of variety, and space.
***Irwin Park – Has trails and foliage and beautiful daffodils during the season (April).
Check out the following blog posts from this location: Maternity Session
Edgerton Park – Open green grass, foliage, and flowers. Open to the public. Sundays are very busy.
Yale University Campus – Gorgeous architecture (gates, walls, ivy) open daily.
Lighthouse Point Park – Open 7 am-sunset, Season from April 1 to November. Parking fees for the summer season, non-residents $20 a day. Lighthouse, Carousel (.50 cents fee to ride) and beach area. Photo fee for use of specific area resident $50, non-resident- $100
Fairfield Hills Campus – With lots of architecture, open grass, no info on parking or permits
***The Mansion at Cranbury Park – Has a great lawn and mansion, and offers wooded trails, a dog park, a pavilion, and a regulation disc golf course.
Putnam State Park – Beautiful wooded park, historical park with monuments, battle reenactments, guardhouse, Philips cave, officers quarters, museum, cemetery, stone damn, and pond. Pets on leashes are only permitted in the picnic areas. Fees are listed here.
Topstone Park – Open for swimming from May 25-27, only open on weekends at 10am-7pm. Fees are as follows: Residents $5, Guest $6, Non-residents $10.
Downtown – For an Urban Location.
Sasco Beach – Sasco Beach is free and open to the public, however from Memorial Day Saturday to Labor Day only residents with a beach sticker are permitted to park in the lot. There are no daily parking fees. Check out the following blog posts from this location: Petite Family Session
Arboretum – The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is open to the public every day of the year. The grounds are open from 9:00 am until dusk. Admission is free to members and $6.00 per adult. Children under the age of 12 are free and Wednesdays are free to all.
Cove Island Park – Sticker required through the month of September, $20 per car, can be bought there on weekends.
Stratford – MINI SESSION ELIGIBLE
***Booth Memorial Park – Rose garden once a year. Free and open year-round. It has some fun interesting buildings making for a unique look that will stand out!
Quinnipiac River Marsh – 900 acres of tidal marsh. Located near North Haven, New Haven, and Hamden.
Gouveia Vineyards – Beautiful sunset & fall foliage. Hours of Operation November 1- Memorial Day; Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday 11 am- 9 pm, Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday 11am-6pm. Hours of operation Memorial Day-October 31st; Mon-Thurs 11am-8pm, Friday 11am-9pm, Saturday11am-8pm, Sunday 11am-6am, Closed Easter. Panoramic views of woodlands open fields and 32 acres of pristine wineries.
Harkness Memorial State Park – Mansion Tours, Formal Gardens, picnicking, fishing. There are separate weekend/holiday and weekday parking fees at Harkness Memorial State Park from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day from 8:00 a.m to 6:30 p.m. The parking fee will be in effect on weekends from April 21 through May 20, and again on weekends from September 8 through September 16, 2012, at the weekday rate. The gates at Harkness Memorial State Park open at 8:00 am and close at sunset, all year. The Verkades gate is closed all year and is walk-in access only. Fees are listed here.
Westmoor Park – Farm, wildflowers meadows, perennial gardens, wooded trails, and ponds. Open to the public daily.
Elizabeth Park – Beautiful gardens of all types of flowers and gardens. Open from dusk to dawn, free admission.
Compo Road by Winslow Dog Park –Wild Flowers and good for sessions with dogs. Large open spaces.
***Sherwood Island State Park – Has beach and sand, state park fees may apply. State park free for CT license plates. I love shooting at this park because you have greenery and a beach and combine the two. Great for deluxe sessions.
Compo Beach – 29-acre sandy beach along Long Island Sound. Open year-round, with daily fees from May 1-Sept 30 from 4 am-10 pm. The daily fee is $30 on weekdays and $50 on weekends and holidays.
West Haven – MINI SESSION ELIGIBLE
Bradley Point – Includes a small sandy beach and a developed walkway parallel to Long Island Sound.
***Ambler Farm – Open from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. Parking is next to the Ambler Farm soccer field lot. Has a 1.2-acre garden, Carriage Barn, Red Barn, Yellow House, and outhouses. Contact (203) 834-1143 for info on shooting permits and fees. Click on the link to see a session shot at this park.