Washington Park Arboretum
So you want Seattle family photos in the cherry blossoms!! They blossom in early April and they disappear in 1-2 weeks. There are blossom trees all around the city, filling the neighborhoods and speckled across the parks. Option one is to find a random tree on the side of the road and take all your family photos in that one spot. I'm always down for that because the photos can be very creative. However, most families prefer more room to run around and some distance from passing cars. Roadside photo shoots are easier with couples photography, wedding portraits or headshots. As soon as kids are racing around we start to get a little nervous and wish we were in an expansive grassy field.
So...if you're wanting room to run around plus the cherry blossoms; or if you want to be photographed in a grove of many cherry blossom trees (rather than just one stand alone tree), we'll need to take your family portraits at the Universe of Washington Quad or the Arboretum over by Madison Park. Both of these locations are open to the public and full of pink blossoms. During the day (especially on weekends) the UW Quad becomes so crowded it's impossible to not have a gillion people in the background of your family photos. So I recommend scheduling your shoot at the UW Quad early in the morning before everyone else wakes up; 7-9am is good for light at this time of year. Generally, it's easier to do photos at the Arboretum because there's much more space and privacy. The trees are not as puffy pink as the UW trees but they do come low to the ground which means kids can play in the branches and we can get some cool photos of your family through the actual blossoms (artistic vibes!!). If you schedule a private photo shoot, you'll have a full hour to explore the Arboretum; taking photos with the cherry blossoms, the bridge, the forest etc... If we're doing mini sessions, we'll take you directly to the cherry blossom trees and just stick around there. NB: Please let us know if you know of or stumbled across another awesome cherry blossom location in Seattle. We're always on the hunt for more!!
This blog post features images of the Weaver family who I recently photographed at the Arboretum on a Sunday morning. There were a handful (3-5) other photographers nearby during their shoot; mostly couples, pregnant women and a few creative fashion-type shoots with parasols. We avoided and moved around each other smoothly, giving each other turns to play under the trees. This process is always very smooth so parents & photographers should both feel comfortable using this location for cherry blossoms.
Thank you so much Weaver family for another playful beautiful family portrait shoot with the Happy Film Company. I'm so happy you guys keep coming back for more and I'm excited to meet your new little one soon!! xx Chamonix