Location Ideas for Multi-families


morning times


  • I meet most summer families between 9am or 10am.
  • I can’t guarantee that we will have a bright blue lake for pictures. It depends on a lot of factors like time of day, what side of the lake we are on, and sun vs clouds.  And if you notice with my examples below it’s not a common result.
  • I bring stools and chairs for large groups. If you don’t want stools in your pictures, just let me know.
  • And if we are meeting on a sunny day, I suggest not wearing eye glasses as they pick up glare and reflections.




rendezvous beach


If you want standing on the beach or in the water photos then this location works great. It is on the south end of Bear Lake. There is parking near the water’s edge and is easy for large groups. July and August are busy times at Rendezvous Beach and most likely we will have to walk a bit down the beach to find a vacant spot. 8:30am is the best time to beat the crowds. It is a Utah State Park and has an entrance fee of $10- $20 per car depending on your circumstance. They won’t let you in free if you’re “just taking pictures”. Some families have made this their “beach day” after pictures since they have paid to be there for the day. A lot of the free areas around the lake have too many rocks to make multi-family pictures work. Rendezvous long sandy beach is why I like this place the best.

For all beach locations, I don’t recommend wearing nice shoes or heals.  I can’t guarantee the lake to be super blue, it all depends on cloud cover. Most days in July and August are bright and sunny. Pictures at the lake will have some sunlight on the face. By the bathroom building there is a water faucet to wash sand off feet. With beach photos, I spend extra time editing out background people in the water.

Most sessions we will have sunny days, but every once in awhile it will be overcast.

The lake level also is a factor on whether we have lots of dry sand by the shoreline, or wet sand at the shoreline.



ideal Beach


If you are staying at Ideal Beach then we have access to their private beach. Your pictures will have views of the iconic Bear Lake mountains and the lake behind you. Someone will need to let me in through the gate, as the office won’t let “outsiders” in.

With any locations on the beach I don’t recommend wearing nice shoes/heals. Ideal Beach also has tall shady trees if you want to be in the shade instead. These large trees make it so we can meet later in the morning or afternoon if needed. I can’t guarantee the lake to be super blue, it all depends on cloud cover. With beach photos, I spend extra time editing out background people in the water. Pictures at the lake will have some sunlight on the faces.

One of the downsides of Ideal Beach are the busy days in July and August. Even in the morning I’ve found little room on the beach for pictures. This beach fills up very early. So if you want to take pictures here, you’ll need to go out early and reserve a large spot for us with something like canopies or chairs. I recommend meeting at 9am here if you want beach photos.

 

The 2 photos below were taken around 9am on a sunny day.

The following 2 photos were taken about 9:00am on a cloudy day.

Ideal Beach also has beautiful tall trees for some really nice shaded photos. If you want photos in the shade then we can meet at any time.


Garden City park beach


Because the water level is low this year, we can meet at the beach just down from the Garden City Park and have plenty of sand for pictures. We would park and walk down the boardwalk to the lake, and then down to the water's edge. It's about a 6-8 minute walk. This spot is great as it's free to the public, but will be very busy in July. I recommend meeting at 9am or earlier. Because of the walking distance, I don't recommend this spot for groups with mobility challenges.


Legacy Beach


This beach is a private beach for those staying at Legacy Beach. Because the water level is low this year there is plenty of beautiful sand to do pictures on. The water is shallow too if you want to stand in the water. We can also drive out onto the sand and don't have to walk far. I recommend meeting at 9am.


150 South


This is free beach access in the heart of Garden City. Because the water level is low this year there is plenty of beautiful sand to do pictures on. The water is shallow too if you want to stand in the water. I recommend meeting at 9am.


near meadowville drive


There is a rustic spot on the south end of Bear Lake between Garden City and Laketown. It has bush areas, shady spots, lots of rocks, and some rocky beach areas. We can stay in the shade, or be on the beach or a mix of both. Pictures at the beach will have sunlight on the face. If you want a free location near the lake, and don’t mind the wild brush and rocks, then this is a great spot for small groups about 20 people or less. We park on the main highway and walk down a short slope. Definitely wear sturdy shoes to handle the slope and rocks. I meet small groups here at 9am for the best shade.

The four photos below were taken 9am in the shade.


The photos below were taken on the beach in full sun. We can be on the dry sand or near the lake edge on wet sand. This summer the sand at the water's edge is wet and has beach grass like the last photo.

There is a spot of dry sand but it's not close to the water's edge like the pictures below.


Rocking Ranch


This location is on a hill just north of Garden City and is high enough to have beautiful views of the lake and mountains. I love it for how easy it is to get to. It has no homes nearby. It also doesn’t have any shade so pictures will have sun on the faces (see below). We get there on a dirt road which is sometimes a little bumpy. There are a few sticker/prickly plants in the grass. I highly recommend wearing long pants and closed shoes for kids if they don’t like the feel of grass on their legs as the grass here is itchy.

This is private land that I have permission to photograph on. Summer days are mostly sunny.  So with that, I don’t recommend wearing dark pinks, corals or reds as the the sun bounces that color around. I get better skin tones when families wear neutral colors. Because I expose for the faces in shadow, the distant background is lighter, so I won’t be able to get the lake a brilliant blue color.

The photos below were taken about 9am on a sunny day. The grass is green in May and June. In July it's half green and golden. In August the grass is golden.



the reserve beach


In Fish Haven, Idaho. Families staying at The Reserve have access to this gated private beach. It has large trees and is quiet. I love it for the variety in setting and color.  We can find shade for groups, or we can do pictures on the beach. Pictures at the beach will have sunlight on the face.  The water is nice and shallow for fun pictures standing in the water.


your cabin


Some families, especially very large groups, want the ease of pictures done at your own place. I'm very familiar with the area and I'm happy to find out if pictures will work at your cabin. Some places have lovely beach access, and some have shade trees, or back yards with views of the lake. I can’t guarantee that we will have a bright blue lake for pictures, or be able to angle towards the view. It depends on a lot of factors like time of day, and where we can be in the yard. But for many clients, doing pictures at your cabin has been a great option.


afternoon times


  • I can’t guarantee that we will have a bright blue lake for pictures. It depends on a lot of factors like time of day, what side of the lake we are on, and sun vs. clouds.  And if you notice with my examples below it’s not a common result. 
  • I bring stools and chairs for large groups. If you don’t want stools in your pictures, just let me know.
  • Bear Lake is famous for its afternoon winds, so the later we meet the better chance the winds will die down.
  • And if we are meeting on a sunny day, I suggest not wearing eye glasses as they pick up glare and reflections.

Rocking Ranch


This location is just north of Garden City and has beautiful views of the lake and the west mountains. It is private land that I have permission to be there. I love this spot right after sunset when skin tones are soft and there’s no harsh sunlight.  In the summer months the sun sets pretty late, between 7:30 – 8:30pm depending on the month. So keep that in mind if you have little ones in your group.  If you want pictures in the shade, then we need to meet at 7:30pm or later. After the sun sets we can have views of the lake too.

Rocking Ranch Hill is on a dirt road, sometimes a little bumpy, and has no homes around. There are a few sticker/prickly plants in the grass, and it is an active cow pasture. I highly recommend wearing long pants and closed shoes for kids. The grass is high here and I’ve seen how kids don’t like the feel of grass on their legs.

In the fall months I like to meet at 6pm. Peak fall color season is at the end of September, early October.  The grass is green in May and June. In July it's half green and golden. In August the grass is golden.


The following examples are all taken after sunset.


Summit overlook


This is a good shady spot for evening sessions with aspens and pines. I recommend meeting at 7:00 or 7:30 in the summer months. 6pm in the fall. This location is very rocky and not good for high heels or those with mobility challenges. I would recommend closed toe shoes especially for kids who don't like the feel of grass on their feet.  For groups 15 or more we would just stay in one spot to keep it easy.


tony grove


This lovely mountain location is located in Logan Canyon, about 45 minutes from Garden City.  In the summer there are wildflowers. In the fall the colors turn yellow. I like to meet families here at 7 or 7:30pm so we can be in the shade which will give us gorgeous light. Tony Grove is also only suitable for small groups, 20 people or less as there’s lots of scrub and rocks, and no large areas suitable for large groups.  Tony Grove is open from July to September This is a fee area and you will have to pay $10 to park there.   Also please tell your kids not to pick the wild flowers so others can enjoy them.


rendezvous beach


If you want Bear Lake beach or in the water photos then this location works best.  It is on the south end of Bear Lake and is a Utah State Park with fees to use it. It’s $15 per car if you are a Utah resident, so I would recommend filling up your Utah vehicles as full as you can.  Out of state vehicles are $20. Fridays and Saturdays the fee goes up $5.  There is easy parking on the beach. Pictures at the lake will have some sunlight on the face. There is plenty of sand here and beaches are less busy in the evening. Bring bug spray as the mosquitoes come out at dusk. At any locations on the beach I don’t recommend wearing nice shoes/heals. With beach photos, I spend time editing out background people in the water.  Right as the sun sets we have lovely soft pink lighting. Bear Lake is famous for afternoon winds, so I like to meet here as late as possible, 7pm or later. A lot of the free areas around the lake have too many rocks to make multi-family pictures work easily. Rendezvous long sandy beach is why I like this place the best.


The photos below were taken about 7:00pm on a sunny evening.



NOrth Beach


On the Idaho side of Bear Lake is North Beach.  The cost is $20 per car to enter, and it’s about 35 minutes from Garden City. This place is highly popular so I recommend meeting as late in the day as possible, 7:30pm or 8pm. I like it for the clean beaches and simple background. The water is shallow a long way out and easy to stand in. Since we will most likely be in the sun, I don’t recommend wearing dark pinks, corals or reds as the the sun bounces that color around. Pictures at the lake will have some sunlight on the face. I get better skin tones when families wear neutral colors. With beach photos, I spend extra time editing out any background people in the water.


Conestoga Ranch


If you are staying at Conestoga Ranch in Bear Lake then we can take pictures there on site. It has plenty of room for a large family on the grass or a small family around the wildflowers. The wagons and tents make a charming backdrop. The wild flowers bloom in mid June and July.  It's best to photograph here right near sunset 7 or 7:30pm.


ideal beach


If you are staying at Ideal Beach then we have access to their private beach. Your pictures will have views of the mountains and the lake behind you.

There is plenty of sand at Ideal Beach. Pictures at the lake will have some sunlight on the face. With any locations on the beach I don’t recommend wearing nice shoes/heals. With beach photos, I spend time editing out anyone in the water. I recommend having pictures at 7pm or later. It gives time for a spot to open up on the sand.


This photo of grand kids was taken about 7pm in August, and they wanted to be away from the water, but on the sand in the shade of the large trees.

I expose to the faces in shade so the background is much brighter.


your cabin


Some families, especially very large groups, want the ease of pictures done at your own place. I'm very familiar with the area and I'm happy to find out if pictures will work at your cabin for the afternoon/evening. Some places have lovely beach access if you're on the east side, and some have shade trees, or back yards with views of the lake. I can’t guarantee that we will have a bright blue lake for pictures, or be able to angle towards the view. It depends on a lot of factors as I don't want you to have the sun in your eyes. If we are standing in shade but the lake behind you is in the sun, then it will be exposed very bright as I have to expose for faces in the shade. See examples below for lighting situations. I avoid shooting indoors as there usually isn’t enough room, but we can make that work if the weather is bad.