by | Jul 15, 2021 | Locations


Minneapolis is rich with beautiful destinations to take family, mommy and me, and maternity photography. Here are my top 10 Minneapolis Locations to take pictures at but by all means, this is NOT a complete list and is not in any specific order. I always have a couple of hidden gems I like to keep to myself!


I love taking photographs at the Lake Harriet Rose Gardens! When the roses are in bloom in early June it’s such a gorgeous location. This is where I love to host my “Mommy and Me” sessions. Mommy and Me pictures are perfect for busy moms that want to have a keepsake that really captures the crazy busy and intense time of raising kids! Mother-daughter photos are so much fun here too. No matter what, this is a location where you’re guaranteed to get gorgeous pictures.

It’s a great location to take your toddlers’ picture. I find that a lot of moms (me included!) are so focused on their kids and their partners that it seems like there is so little “me” time for Mommies! Mommy and Me sessions hosted at the Lake Harriet Rose Gardens are so much fun because there are so many spots to cuddle up with your kids by flowers!

I love toddler photographs at this location because there’s so much space for the little ones to walk, run, and play. You can really relax while getting your family portraits at this beautiful location. This is honestly one of the best things about outside pictures. Your children can move around easily and you can capture really candid special moments.


Mill City Ruins is so rich with history. Just like your family story! I love historical buildings because they remind us that time is always moving forward. Sometimes we get so busy and we forget to really breathe in our surroundings. We forget to really look our loved ones in the eyes and appreciate them. That’s what I love about family portraits. It gives us the chance to slow time down and really breathe in all the goodness in our lives.

I recently captured photos of a family I adore at this location. I’ve worked with this family several times and I love how relaxed they are and open to capturing all kinds of images. I love candid shots and their daughter is just a peanut with a smile that could melt any heart. So, if you’re feeling stuck trying to decide on outdoor family photo ideas, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the Mill City Ruins as a prime location for your outdoor family portraits.


The Stone Arch Bridge is such an iconic place. If you’re a Minneapolis local and you just love the city, this is a perfect spot for you and your partner to have photos taken. I feel like the Stone Arch Bridge represents connection and strength. What a beautiful place to capture moments with your loved one(s) in a city that you love.

If you’re a minimalist or you love industrial art, this is the spot! The architecture of St. Anthony Main and the surrounding bridges and buildings (think Pillsbury Flour Mill) is really unique and special. If you love photos with a brick background or different textures or even a city view this is the place! And, besides the great visual appeal, there are plenty of places for the kids to run!!!

You could even plan a half-day mini-excursion with your family. You could start with the photoshoot and then meander down the brick streets in St. Anthony Main, cross one of the bridges to get to the other side of the Mississippi River, and even take some of your own selfies by the Stone Arch Bridge. I’ve no doubt we’ll capture some great photos at this location!

Wondering what the best time to take photos is? Honestly, at this location, you don’t have to worry too much because there are so many hidden spots where we can capture the best lighting. That said, my general preference is to shoot in the morning or close to dusk to capitalize on the most gorgeous light for your professional family photo.


This is a beautiful location because this island is flanked by the Mississippi River and surrounding restaurants and shops. There are so many cute spots with outdoor seating where we can take your photos. And of course, Nicollet Island Park is in a perfect location for connecting with walking trails and even sighting some local wildlife. If you want to have an experience during your family photography session, Nicollet Island Park is a great choice of location.

Nicollet Island Park is truly a no-brainer location for great photography, especially if you’re a city rat and you love architecture and the industrial feel of this area of Minneapolis.


Minnehaha Falls is a popular spot for professional photo taking and for good reason! The sound of the waterfall, especially in the Springtime when all the snow and ice has melted is calming. You’re also in close proximity to the Longfellow House as well as trails through nature flanking the river. It’s a beautiful spot for a family outing. This would be a great location for family portraits if you have older kids.

I love to take pictures of families here because there are so many beautiful spots and lots of activities for the kids to do either before or after our photoshoot. After the family portraits you could consider taking a bike ride around Minnehaha Falls park or if you happen to bring your canine companion along you could go to the Minnehaha Dog Park.

Wondering how to smile for pictures? Or wondering how to get your kids to smile for pictures?!? It totally gets it! Honestly, my goal is to capture the most natural smiles and moments possible. So the best thing you can do is just relax for your photos. I try to make it fun and engage the kids throughout our time together so it’s a memorable experience for all you! You can always bring props to your photoshoot if you like and of course, I will have a few toys and noisemakers to get the attention of your little ones too!


This is a beautiful structure that hosts musicians in the summertime and Bellyrama, Blooma’s prenatal yoga event in the Fall. What I love about this location is that it’s right next to the lake. We can walk out on the dock and snap pictures for your family portrait or we can find some greenery and get some beautiful nature backgrounds against the lake and the trees. And the best part is… there’s a kid’s playground kitty-corner to the Bandshell! It’s a perfect spot for letting your little ones burn off steam before or after our photography session!

You just can’t go wrong choosing the Lake Harriet Bandshell as a location for your toddler photographs. Especially since there’s so much space for your toddler to run around before, during, and after our session!

And, if you’re really intent on having your newborn photos taken outside (assuming it’s summer!), the Lake Harriet Bandshell is a nice location to consider. First of all, it has amenities (very important when you’re dealing with a new baby!) and it’s a family-friendly spot.

I’d love to be on your radar as the “newborn photographer near me” so if you’re a resident of the Linden Hills area, this could be a lovely spot to capture some beautiful images of your newborn.


First Ave is a cultural goldmine. If you’re a music lover and you want to pull in some history and really highlight the arts in your photos, this is the place. On First Ave, there are lots of colorful backgrounds to choose from as well as the allure of the historical buildings in the area. I certainly don’t shy away from capturing a photo in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of downtown. The city will keep humming, but you’ll be painted in a portrait forever.


The Sculpture Garden is a gem! I love this particular spot because of the bold colors and of course the crazy Blue Rooster. This is a great location to go to early on a weekday morning because it’s not terribly busy. As long as we find a spot where there aren’t too many shadows, we are golden! It’s a really fun place to celebrate your children with all of the beautiful art
Sometimes my clients have a hard time deciding whether or not they want to have outside pictures taken or not. If you’re trying to decide on outside pictures, here’s my 2 cents. Do it! There is always a way to capture the perfect lighting in the perfect setting with the perfect people. And, if it’s raining we can always reschedule your photoshoot.

Jessica Strobel holding multi-colored doughnuts over her eyes, smiling wide

Hey! I'm Jessie - 

And I'm so glad you're here!



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