Family photos in Southern Maryland at Greenwell Park with family dog.

As a photographer who now resides in Virginia, but still spends a significant amount of time photographing families in Southern Maryland, there's one thing that keeps me coming back for more: the abundance of beautiful historic locations. Unlike many other areas, these locations offer a perfect backdrop for portrait sessions, all of which are easily accessible and most importantly, completely free or VERY low cost!

Permit fees in places like Washington, DC can cost hundreds of extra dollars and can quickly add up. But here in Southern Maryland, we have so many historical sites that are cost effective, making it a photographer's and families dream for seeking memorable photo sessions. In fact, it's not uncommon for DC residents to make the trip down here specifically to avoid those permit costs.

Today, I'm sharing my personal top five favorite photo session spots in Southern Maryland, perfect for your next session with me or your chosen photographer.

Top Four Southern Maryland Photo Locations:

Greenwell State Park

Greenwell Park is located along the Patuxent River and it offers a variety of landscapes. Whether you would like to be running barefoot on the beach. Or, documenting your children with the friendly farm animals this is hands down my top pick for photo sessions. I also love the architectural details this park offers with it's quaint distressed chapel that was used by the family. This is an iconic spot for portraits and you best believe if we have your session at this location I will take some photos with it in the background!

Twins sitting in front of chapel at greenwell state park for birthday photos.
Young girl petting baby goat at Greenwell State Park in Southern Maryland.

Chapel Point State Park

Chapel Point is a hidden gem off the beaten path that offers seclusion for intimate sessions. Unlike most of the locations I will mention Chapel Point does not offer any special historical buildings but it does offer a beautiful backdrop of the Port Tobacco River. This is an undeveloped nature park that allows for candid moments and the opportunity to embrace nature. I love doing maternity sessions here due to the intimate vibe this location gives off.

Maternity session at Chapel Point State Park with Mom and Dad.
Expecting parents posing on beach during maternity session.
Husband hugging pregnant wife during their maternity session at chapel point park.

Smallwood State Park

This location is great for children! I am not oppose to bribing kiddos with an after session playground trip and since there are two it's great spot. This location also offers a variety of backdrops. Book your session here and you will end up with a lot of variety in your gallery. This is also a great location if you love the look of barns in your photographs!

Mom with her young daughters at Smallwood State Park.
Daughters hugging their mom at Smallwood State Park.

Newtowne Neck State Park

Talk about a hidden gem! Truly, this is a completely hidden beach location. I tell every client who selects Newtowne Neck Park for their sessions to keep driving and when your GPS says, "arrived", just drive some more until you can't go any further. If you love the water and don't mind an occasional boat in the background of your photos then this is the place for your next session. There is also an open field area that always adds variety to your gallery. Some of my favorite images I have ever taken were captured right here!

Young boy holding onto dads leg at beach.
Young growing family during beach photo session.
Family of three sitting on the beach.

Charlotte Hall Veterans Home

This was the second location I ever photographed at as a photographer so it holds a special place in my heart. The Veterans Home offers a variety of settings to suit your family's unique style. Whether we photograph formal portraits in front of the grand architecture, create whimsical moments among the vibrant gardens, or relax for candid shots on the sprawling lawns. Whether your family prefers a classic or a more playful approach, the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home provides the perfect location.

Mom and daughter looking at the camera at charlotte hall veterans home.
Mom and Dad during family photo session.
Daughter running into Mom and Dads arms.

Shelby is a Southern Maryland Family Photographer who specializes in creating a loving and laidback portrait experience. From assisting with location choices to helping you select artwork for your home, Shelby is there for you every step of the way. All of Shelby McKimmie Photography clients become a part of her family by the end of your experience. 

Interested in booking a maternity, newborn, or family session? Shelby offers custom packages that fit each of her clients wants and needs. With assistance in location selection, styling guidance, and printing services you will have a relaxed portrait experience. Please reach out to learn more.