If I had to pick one season, fall would be my favorite! The crisp air, cooler temperatures are perfect for sweaters, layers and boots that crunch the leaves that have fallen. While it’s my favorite season for these and many other reasons, it’s also a favorite time of year for many to get photos taken. We’re often looking to the not so distant horizon of Christmas season and the desire to get a photo of the entire family for that Christmas card.
I wanted to share my top 10 favorite locations for a fall session. It was easy to come up with a list, but a whole other idea when trying to rank this list. So instead of suffering through that, I decided to list them from city out. You’ll find locations in St. Louis City first followed by those that radiate from Downtown.
1. Lafayette Square/Park
Lafayette Square is home to brilliant rows of Painted Ladies (their homes) and I couldn’t agree more. While the square is such a great location year round, the star of the show during fall is the park it surrounds. Lafayette Park hosts so many great locations for fall photos including the Kern Pavilion, but the mature trees surrounding these structures provides beautiful fall foliage to serve as a great backdrop.
2. Claire Gempp-Davison Conservation Area
I had passed by this area for years without venturing to discover it, but thankfully a teacher friend shared it with me. In my opinion the best area for fall-time photos is the wetland complete with a bridge and cypress trees. After using this area the last two years for fall sessions, I decided to refresh my offerings. With the reflection of the water and the brilliant orange hues of the trees, this is still one of my favorite locations to take fall photos at.
3. Watson Trail Park
Not too far from Claire Gempp, is this other Sunset Hills park. While you might assume this park is just a lot of recreation amenities, the lower park of the park boasts a cute pond surrounded by woods. This area is perfect for fall-time moments to be captured.
4. Powder Valley
This conservation area boasts over 100 acres of beautiful woods, perfect for fall leaves on the ground. There is a beautiful bridge connecting the parking area with trails, plus loads of beautiful thick woods, boasting brilliant fall colors. I’ve found that you don’t have to even venture far from the parking lot to capture beautiful shots!
5. Laumeier Sculpture Park
While this is a year round favorite location for me to capture moments, this park is breathtaking during the fall. There are some beautiful trees around the path that provides solid colors and the parks department has some areas of beautiful tall grass planted near the beautiful buildings to create fall-time feels.
6. Simpson Park
I discovered this park last fall and have quickly fallen in love with it. The park boasts a beautiful lake and a charming paved trail that goes into the woods. While last year was my first time capturing moments at the park I’m excited to return again this year for more fall sessions!
7. Bee Tree Park
This park is a staple for dance and wedding photos with the Nims Mansion set as a prominent backdrop. I love capturing moments here not just with its charming mansion, but also for the brilliant east light that filters beautifully through the trees. This park is a perfect location for morning sessions, since the light creates drama with the fall colors.
8. Faust Park
This gem in Chesterfield boasts a historic village and beautiful outbuildings which bring the beauty of fall in a charming way. I’ve hosted several sessions here including an extended family, senior and maternity session and always come back with some beautiful images.
9. Sandy Creek Covered Bridge
This one might be my favorite just based on sentimental reasons (I had wedding photos captured here almost eight years ago). While the star of this spot is definitely the covered bridge, I’ve discovered some beautiful creek locations and wooded path that adds depth to my sessions held here. I’m excited to be hosting fall sessions here for the first time!
10. Shaw Nature Reserve
An extension of Missouri Botanical Garden, this nature reserve in Gray Summit has numerous locations perfect for fall-time photos including the Whitmire Wildflower Garden and several prairies. My favorite location is Cypress Lake with its breathtaking cypress trees surrounding the lake, makes me giddy for the shots I capture there!
Which one were you surprised about? Which one is your favorite? I hope this list of my favorite fall locations will give you inspiration to make your own and try to visit them all this fall!