Your Ultimate Guide to Jacksonville Photoshoot Locations

I understand the quest for the perfect family photo location—it's like searching for hidden treasures in your own backyard. You're not alone in wanting those special moments to be beautifully captured. I've felt the yearning for a picturesque setting that mirrors the warmth and joy of my own family. You may or may not know this, but Jacksonville is FULL of beautiful parks! 

Imagine this: You've gathered your energetic little ones, dressed in matching outfits, and headed out for a family photoshoot. But as you arrive at the chosen location, the charm you envisioned turns into chaos. The kids are restless, the setting isn't as family-friendly as expected, and the dream photoshoot starts to feel like a daunting task.

I get it. The struggle is real, and I've been there too.

Picture this: A serene park bathed in golden sunlight, your family laughing and playing naturally. The photographer effortlessly captures candid moments, turning the photoshoot into a delightful family outing. This is the world I want for you—an experience that's not just about photos but creating lasting memories with the ones you love most.

I’ve spent years visiting different parks in and around Jacksonville, looking for the best locations for family photos. I’ve put together this guide for the best family photo locations in Jacksonville with some of my favorite parks.

Jacksonville Beach Pier Jacksonville, FL

senior boy leaning on pier post underneath the jacksonville beach pier in jacksonville, fl

Discover Family-Friendly Gems: Uncover the hidden gems of Jacksonville, places where your family can be at ease.

Do you live near the beach or spend a lot of time there? Do you enjoy watching your family play along the shoreline? I LOVE taking photos at the beach! Here are my favorite beaches for family photos in Jacksonville:

Big Talbot Island

Big Talbot Island is gorgeous! It’s also known as Boneyard Beach because of the large, bleached oak trees scattered along the shore. It’s a drive to get there from most places in Jacksonville, but the lack of people at the beach and the stunning view makes the drive worth it. There aren’t any amenities, so there’s just a mile of undeveloped beach for your family to explore.  Parking is $3 per car. You pay with cash in an envelope as you drive in. Then there’s a short hike along a wooded path down to the beach. The best time of day to take photos at Big Talbot Island is about an hour before sunset, or at sunrise. Sunrise on the beach is always so beautiful! 

Jacksonville Beach Pier

The Jacksonville Beach Pier is a favorite of mine because of the ease of access. There’s a parking lot right there! Then there’s a very short walk over the walkway past the dunes to the water. If you’re wanting beach photos, but don’t love the walk of Big Talbot Island, then the Jacksonville Beach Pier may be the perfect location for your next family photo session! My favorite time of day for photos at the pier is sunrise of course! Living on the East Coast means we see the sun coming up over the water in the mornings. It’s worth getting up early to see the colors dancing across the sky and water at the same time! If you’re not into waking up that early, that’s ok. We can use the pier for some shade if we need to go later in the morning. And of course a sunset family beach session is always gorgeous!

toddler boy standing on dune boardwalk at jacksonville beach near jacksonville, fl
family standing on the dune boardwalk with jacksonville beach behind them
mom and dad rubbing noses while little boy looks at camera in front of the jacksovnille beach pier
toddler boy standing and smiling underneath the jacksonville beach pier while parents look from behind in the distance

If the beach isn’t your thing, I’ve got you covered there too! So maybe you’re into more woodsy locations. Here are my favorite family photo locations that are not at the beach:

Sheffield Park

Sheffield Park is on the Northside of town. I love Sheffield Park because of its versatility. There’s a beautiful lake on one side, and a big, open field surrounded by tall pine trees on the other side! The best time of day depends on the side you want as your backdrop. The sun rises over the lake, so mornings are best there. The sun sets over the trees, so the late afternoon/early evening is best. The best part about this park is that there’s a playground to bribe the kiddos with when we’re finished! That’s always a hit!

dad kissing mom while they hold newborn in front of lake in jacksonville, fl at sheffield park
mom kissing newborn in front of lake in jacksonville fl at sheffield park
dad kissing newborn in jacksonville, fl at sheffield park
mom leaning on and holding onto dad while he holds newborn in jacksonville, fl at sheffield park

Treaty Oak Park

Treaty Oak Park Downtown is a Jacksonville staple I feel like. It’s also known as Jesse Ball Park. If you’re into a woodsy background, this is the park for you! Under the tree is a boardwalk, so you don’t have to worry about the kids getting too dirty while they run around and explore under this gigantic oak tree! There are only a few parking spaces available, so this park is not crowded. The best time of day to take your family photos at Treaty Oak Park is 1-2 hours before sunset, or even later in the morning around 9 or 10. 

husband and wife holding sonogram, looking at each other during maternity session in jacksonville, fl at treaty oak park
man and woman dancing at maternity session in jacksonville, fl at treaty oak park
peeping through the trees at maternity pose woman wearing blue dress in jacksonville, fl at treaty oak park
maternity pose with sunlight bathing woman's face in jacksonville, fl at treaty oak park

Stockton Park

Stockton Park is a riverside park on the Westside, located on the beautiful Ortega River. There’s plenty of parking right at the park, so you don’t have to walk far for a variety of background options! A kid favorite is the huge tree. They love to climb on it, and I love to photograph them doing that! Since this park is pretty shady, the best time for your family photos is going to be about 2 hours before sunset, and of course sunrise. The sun rises up over the river, and it is such an awesome sight!

kids sitting down while parents look from behind in front of vine covered wall in jacksonville, fl at stockton park
dad holding babies in front of the ortega river in jacksonville, fl at stockton park
family sitting on tree in jacksonville, fl at stockton park
girl sitting up in tree in jacksonville, fl at stockton park

Alpine Groves Park

Alpine Groves Park is a short drive from Jacksonville, to Switzerland, FL. This park is is such a gorgeous place! You could really pack a picnic lunch and spend a few hours here after a morning photo session. There are 2 parking areas, and plenty of parking. The back parking lot by the old farm house is where I like to park. From there, it's just a short walk down to the fishing pier on the St. John's River. This park offers an amazing variety of backdrops to choose for your next family photo session. On the way out, there's a park to let the littles get out those wiggles they were containing during your family photoshoot!

family sitting on porch steps of house; toddler kissing mom, holding baby in jacksonville, fl at alpine groves park
mom, toddler, and baby at family photo session posing on house steps in jacksonville, fl at alpine groves park
toddler boy holding suspenders in front of pink azaleas in jacksonville, fl at alpine groves park
Mom looking at baby boy while he and toddler boy look over the rail into the river on the fishing pier in jacksonville

Meet Jessica Life Photography: 

Entrust your memories to a photographer who understands the spontaneity of children and brings out the genuine smiles. As a mother of 3 littles, I GET it! Those kids have a mind of their own. They often don’t cooperate. It’s ok! I’m here to take the stress away from your family photos. I want you to just enjoy spending time with your family and playing with your kids. I want to capture all the moments of you doing that. I am a fun and energetic photographer, and I love working with high energy kids. They are a little sweet, a little wild, and a whole lot of fun!

Your Photographer, Jessica

family posing on boardwalk under tree in jacksonville, fl at treaty oak park
woman headshot on boardwalk under tree in jacksonville, fl at treaty oak park
family snuggling under tree in jacksonville, fl at treaty oak park
woman headshot up close standing under a tree in jacksonville, fl at treaty oak park

Plan Ahead: 

Schedule your photoshoot at a time that suits your family's rhythm, ensuring everyone is at their best. This is important to take into consideration while you’re choosing the perfect location for your next family photo session. It’s always best to work around naps and meal times so the kids can be their happiest versions of themselves. If there’s a location that is not on this list, but is near and dear to your family, please tell me about it! I LOVE exploring new places! I’ll scout it out and we can find the perfect time to take your next family photo session.

As you reflect on your family's photo adventures, consider this: What if your next photoshoot became a cherished family memory? What steps can you take today to make that happen?

In the vibrant tapestry of Jacksonville, your family's story deserves to be woven with care. Connect with Jessica Life Photography, your partner in turning moments into memories. Embrace the joy of family photos without the stress—because every laugh, every glance, deserves to be captured beautifully.