The ultimate list of locations for photo sessions in and around Nashville, TN.
It’s that time: time to plan your family portrait session! You’ve booked your photographer, picked a date and time, and started thinking about outfits for everyone. Now the question remains: “Where should we take our family photos?”
It can be a daunting question to ask, as the location you select for your family portrait session can have a huge effect on the successful outcome of your photos! And maybe you have some ideas, or maybe you’re completely clueless about where you should go.
Location, location, location!
So, you turn to the trusty internet, but what do you even need to be looking for? Not to worry! I’ve done the work for you. Below, I’ve put together the most comprehensive list of ideas for locations for family portraits and engagement sessions! I’ve categorized them either by type (such as historic home or university campus) or by location. I’ve even looked beyond Nashville to include location ideas for Murfreesboro, Franklin, Clarksville, Mt Juliet, and beyond.
Find a location for family photos
For every location listed, I’ve also tried to link to the most helpful web page about that specific location. Some of the pages link directly to a location’s photo policy page, while others just go to a general home page. For some places, there might not be as much information listed on their website as others, but you can at least find contact info and do some of your own checking.
A couple of things to note:
For any shoot in a Metro Nashville Park, your photographer must have a permit.
Some of the privately owned locations, including hotels, require reservations and/or a fee in order to have a professional photography session on their property, so check your location’s policies before your session.
This database is collected from photographers, google, and my own personal knowledge. I have not personally visited and/or photographed at all of these places.
List of Nashville area photo locations
There are always tons of events going on in Downtown Nashville, so before you head out for your session, check and see what’s going on so you know what kinds of crowds to expect. Also, when it comes to parking, it might be easier/cheaper to park outside of downtown (such as in a mall parking lot) and take Uber or Lyft in/out of the downtown area.
Pedestrian Bridge (Tip: Park at the Bridge Building on the stadium side of the river on non-game days for easy access)
I mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating. For any commercial (aka professional) photography that takes place within a Metro Nashville park, the photographer is required to have a permit. There are daily and annual permits available. Find out all the information you need about Nashville parks photography permits and apply for one here.
Cute Nashville Neighborhoods
Nashville has a huge collection of quaint neighborhoods with plenty of local flair. Any of these would make for a cute backdrop for a family or engagement session.
Or, head to any one of Nashville’s colorful murals.
These spots don’t really fit into any particular category, except that they’re unique to Nashville. Cheekwood is an especially beautiful location for portraits!
Having attended college at Lipscomb, I can speak personally about it’s beautiful campus! It’s not the only college campus in Nashville that’s full of stately buildings and beautiful landscapes.
Vanderbilt University (Tip: Make sure there isn’t a football game, otherwise the campus might be extremely crowded.)
Nashville has a plethora of well preserved historic, southern homes that are surrounded by beautiful grounds and/or public parks. Note: some of these are privately owned, and some can be rented out for private events, so check availability before you plan a session.
Just south west of Nashville are the quaint cities of Franklin and Thompson’s Station. Some of the historic homes listed above are in Franklin, FYI.
Even further south of Nashville is the city of Murfreesboro. This sprawling city actually offers quite a large variety of photo locations.
Nashville Area Photography Studios for Rent
There are also several studios for rent in the Nashville area. These are good to keep in mind when the weather isn’t favorable or if you’re looking for somewhere with professional lighting equipment.
Tennessee State Parks
There isn’t an official photography policy listed on the TN state parks website, but there is contact information: Tennessee Film, Music & Entertainment Commission 615-741-3456 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cute Small Town Squares in Tennessee
Middle Tennessee is full of hidden gems! These small towns boast big personalities and are full of picturesque spots for photo sessions.
If you’re planning fall family photos or Christmas card photos, you might be looking for a seasonally themed location, such as a pumpkin patch or Christmas tree farm.
Your own backyard. That’s right, if none of these places seem like they’re the right fit for telling your family’s story, then perhaps your own home or backyard is exactly where you need to be.
Do you need a Nashville area photographer?
I can help with that too. Be sure to take a look at my family portrait website or wedding website listed below.
Add to the list
As I learn of more places, I’ll be sure to update this list! And if I’ve missed anywhere, be sure to tell me in the comments or send me an email!
Best of luck with your family portraits or engagement session!