Hello, Northern Michigan families! As we reflect on the past year, I’m excited to share some of my favorite family photo sessions from 2023. I’m lucky enough to introduce this beautiful area to new families and have families that I have photographed in Northern Michigan year after year!


Northport Campfire Family Photo Shoot Northern Michigan


These beautiful moments were captured this year in some of the most picturesque locations across Leelanau, Old Mission Peninsula and Traverse City.

Whether you’re planning your next family session or just looking for inspiration, these spots and tips will help you create unforgettable memories. I’ve also included links to some of my favorite family blog posts.


Pierce Stocking Drive Sleeping Bear Dunes Family Photos


1. Brown Bridge Quiet Area

A forested path led us on a fun and brief hike and opened up to a river view. This spot is ideal for large family gatherings and those adorable matching outfit shots​​.

2. Good Harbor Bay Beach

This picturesque beach near Maple City offers a serene backdrop for family connections. It’s best to visit in the mornings to avoid crowds​​.

3. Old Mission Peninsula

From the scenic drives along M37 to the serene Pyatt Lake Nature Preserve, this area offers a variety of photogenic spots, perfect for family friendly adventures​​.


Traverse City Family Local Spots Photo Shoot


4. Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

Featuring covered bridges, overlooks, and tree cover, it’s a great option for fall family sessions. The drive offers several stops along a 7-mile loop​​.

5. Cannery Boathouse Museum

A family-friendly haven near the Cannery Boathouse Museum, with easy access to the beach and dunes trail for playful exploration​​.

6. Timbers Recreation Area

With beautiful fields and water’s edge, it’s perfect for capturing family togetherness in the great outdoors​​.


Sleeping Bear Point Glen Arbor and Empire Family Photography


7. Empire

Offers diverse options for family photo shoots, from adventurous moments at the Empire Bluff Trail to sunny beach days and cozy fall portraits at Empire Beach​​.

8. Sleeping Bear Point

A popular family spot providing picturesque views with minimal hiking effort, ideal for capturing candid, heartwarming moments at golden hour.


Candid Family Photo Shoot Sleeping Bear Dunes



Family Photoshoot Tips:

  • Dress for the Weather: Northern Michigan’s weather can be unpredictable, so layering is key. Dress comfortably and consider practical shoes for outdoor adventures​​.
  • Coordinate Outfits: Instead of matching, choose coordinating outfits that reflect each family member’s personality. Select a harmonious color scheme for a natural look​​.


Sleeping Bear Dunes Family Photos


I hope these locations and tips inspire you to capture your family’s unique story amidst the stunning landscapes of Northern Michigan.

Josh Hartman – Your Northern Michigan Family Photographer

If you’re ready to plan your next family adventure, please don’t hesitate to reach out. See you at the trailhead!


Favorite Local Spots Traverse City Family Photos