If you’re like me you’re constantly vetting places for your next family portrait. Pretty scenery, good lighting, shade, not too many passersby – and if you have toddlers at home, easy parking! You want a beautiful photo, but you also want to be comfortable!

Here are Austin’s 10 best spots for family photos:

  • Austin Nature Center – Free, easy parking, shade, picturesque and varied scenery. Try to go early in the morning or at closing time so you don’t get run over by little munchkins.
  • Mueller- Free, easy parking, shade, playgrounds, benches, ponds, open layouts. Great for both casual and formal photos!


  • Zilker Park – Free access, greenery and views of the Austin skyline make this a great spot for casual photos.
  • The State Capitol – Free access to grounds, and historical backgrounds. This building is perfect for more formal photos and if you’re snapping photos around the holidays, be sure to snap some in front of the decorated Christmas tree!
  • The University of Texas – Free access to grounds, varied backgrounds, and great architecture. UT gives option after option for photos. Be sure to take advantage of the beautiful corridors at the Blanton Museum or Darrell K Royal Stadium and even the Littlefield fountain.


  • The Pennybaker Bridge – Our own Austin Moms Blog had a wonderful photo shoot there! Free, easy parking and wonderful views of the bridge, the lake and beautiful cliffs.


  • Zilker Botanical Gardens – This garden is out of this world beautiful. Located in the heart of Austin and perfect for family portraits. There is lush greenery, florals, water features and even shaded trails.
  • The Hope Gallery – If you’re looking for a fun, colorful backdrop, look no further! “It is the only paint park of its kind in the USA and was developed to provide muralists, street artists, arts education classes and community groups the opportunity to display large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive & educational messaging.” Great for casual photos with toddlers and kiddos.
  • Seaholm Power Plant – Just in front of the power plant, there are beautiful sidewalks, a picturesque picnic table as well as lush greenery that drapes over concrete pillars. Free access and easy parking!


  • Red Bud Isle –Red Bud is an off leash dog park and has the most magnificent views, especially at the east end of the park, Lou Neff Point. Free, easy parking, perfect for holiday photos!


Let us know how you like these spots! Send us your favorites and we’ll add them to the list!


  1. I attempted to take pictures of a group of a large homecoming group at the same place you are standing by the Pennypacker Bridge and a guard arrived pretty sharpish and threatened to call the cops on us (it was about 6pm on a Saturday). The guard was from Lebanon and one of the dad’s was from the same place and managed to keep him talking long enough for me to get a ten minute shoot in of twenty kids – pretty stressful!!!


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