Betsy's Photography

Portrait Photography Location Recommendations: Ann Arbor, MI


Brauer Preserve

S Parker Rd, Arbor, MI

Brauer Preserve is a 226 acre site with wooded areas, wetland, and open water areas too. Unimproved trails total two and a quarter miles in length. A portion of the preserve is still being actively farmed.

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.

Burns Park

1300 Baldwin Ave, Arbor, MI

Burns Park is a 15 acre park in the neigborhood by Burns Park School. There is a picnic shelter, various courts, a sledding hill, and play structures.

Parking is available, and restrooms and a water fountain are on site.

Burns Park (Ann Arbor) Senior Pictures With Car + Dog

Buhr Park + Cobblestone Farm

2781 Packard Rd, Arbor, MI

The Cobblestone Farm house wasbuilt in 1845, and today is a museum. The barn is a rental for weddings and the like, and the structures provide a beautiful farmlike setting for portraits. Cobblestone Farm is situated at the southern end of Buhr Park, which is a 39 acre site with courts and ball fields, a sledding hill, and nice open grassy areas.

Parking is available on site, restrooms may be available if buildings are open.

Senior Portrait at Cobblestone Farm, Ann Arbor

County Farm Park

Platt Rd, Arbor, MI

County Farm Park is a 127 acre park with more than three miles of trails. There are two covered pavilions, restrooms, and a playground. Parking is availble off Medford Dr, and Platt Rd. While much of the park is open natural areas, there are nature trails going through the Britton Woods at the northeast corner of the park.

Delhi Metropark

E Delhi Rd, Ann Arbor, MI

Delhi Metropark is a 52 acre park situated between Dexter and Ann Arbor. There are mature trees and open grassy areas alongside the Huron River. The park has ball fields, a playground, and canoe/kayak rentals (as well as a public canoe launch/take-out).

Dexter Senior Portrait With Car

DeVine Preserve

Peters Rd, Arbor, MI

The DeVine Preserve is a 157 acre site with mostly wetlands. There are several trail loops:

  • Grassland Trail (1 mile)
  • Wet Meadow Trail (0.25 mi, one way - may be wet)
  • Woodland Trail (0.6 mi)

The Grassland Trail can only be accessed via the Wet Meadow Trail (seasonal trail), which is at the end of the Woodland Trail loop.

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.

Dolph Nature Area

Wagner Rd, Parklake Ave, Arbor, MI

Dolph Nature Area is a 57 acre park with two lakes. The site is wooded and natural, and the trails are unimproved. There are benches and seating areas throughout the Dolph Nature Area, some of which overlook the lakes.

Parking is available off Wagner Rd, but no other facilities are on site.

Fox Science Preserve

Peters Rd, Arbor, MI

Fox Science Preserve is a 69 acre former gravel pit, with a unique look. The trail length is about a half mile, but there are hills. Most of the area alongside the trails is open, with plants just starting to establish (mostly grasses, small trees etc) and an abundance of loose rocks (of all sizes).

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.

Freeman Preserve

Old Ford Rd, Arbor, MI

The Tom A. Freeman preserve is a 71 acre forested preserve. With mature tree forest, some wetlands, and a small tributary of Fleming Creek (Kirk's Brook), there is a lot to see on the two and a half miles of unimproved trails (including the adjoining Marshall Nature Area).

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.

Furstenberg Nature Area

2626 Fuller Rd, Arbor, MI

Furstenberg Nature Area is right across from Huron High School, and is 38 acres of scenic wetlands & wooded areas. There are picnic tables, walking paths, and a boardwalk; the paths do connect to nearby Gallup Park's paths as well.

Parking is available off Fuller Rd.

Gallup Park

3000 Fuller Rd, Arbor, MI

Gallup Park is a 69-acre park that has an elaborate trail system of walkways, paths, and bridges. There are playgrounds, picnic sites, and also a canoe/kayak livery. More recently, a beautiful garden has been added just off the parking lot off of Geddes Rd, it is called the Elizabeth R. Dean Grove & Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden.

Parking is available off Fuller Rd. and Geddes Rd. (just east and west of the intersection with Huron Parkway).

Newlywed Couple Portrait at Gallup Park (Ann Arbor)


Goodrich Preserve

N Dixboro, Ann Arbor, MI

The Raymond F. Goodrich preserve has 36 acres and a wooded area, a swamp, and a central area that is filled with wildflowers at certain times during the year. The trail loop is just over a half mile long, and connects to the University of Michigan's Horner-McLaughlin Woods Trail (bringing the trail total to just over a mile for both areas).

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.

Graffiti Alley

Downtown Ann Arbor, MI

Graffiti Alley is at the heart of Ann Arbor, and is everchanging. Urban, gritty, and ever-transient, the graffiti art is likely to be different each time you go.

There are no facilities on site, parking is in a structure or on the street.

Urban Senior Picture (Ann Arbor)

Island Park

1420 Island Dr, Ann Arbor, MI

Situated along the Huron River, Island park has a Greek Revival shelter and two picnic shelters. There is a play area and benches throughout. Among the many paths through the island, there is also a connection to Fuller Park.

Parking is available.


Matthaei Botanical Gardens

N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor, MI

Matthaei Botanical Gardens has indoor and outdoor gardens, with a gorgeous variety of plants. Admission to the trails, gardens, and conservatory is free, however there is a fee to use the parking lot if you are not a Matthaei-Nichols member. For more information, get the downloadable visitor guide (visiting the Matthaei Botanical Gardens).

Note: The University of Michigan requires a fee to have your portrait session here. We will make arrangements to get the photo pass, but will add the photography location fee we pay to your invoice ($35 for 1 person, $50 for 2 people, and $100 for 3-16 people, per UM Photography Fee Details).

There is no charge to take portraits at Willow Pond or on the areas beyond the driveway (bridges and trails), but you are encouraged to consider a donation that will help with grounds upkeep. Please pay it forward!

Nichols Arboretum

1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI

Nichols Arboretum is 123 acres of undeveloped land, owned by the University of Michigan. There are a variety of natural areas: rolling hills with grassy open fields, deeply wooded areas, maintained gardens, and frontage on the Huron River. It is easy to spend the day at the Arb, feeling like you are far from the city of Ann Arbor. For more information, get the downloadable visitor guide (visiting Nichols Arboretum).

There is no parking lot at Nichols Arboretum; you will need to park on the street or at the UofM Medical Parking Structure (E Medical Dr).

Note: There is no charge to take portraits at the Arb, but you are encouraged to consider a donation that will help with grounds upkeep. Please pay it forward!


Osborne Mill Preserve

E Delhi Rd, Ann Arbor, MI

Osborne Mill Preserve is just over 18 acres (though its map mentions 39 acres). The preserve is kept as a natural area, with trail loops totaling half a mile.

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.

Park Northfield

Pontiac Trail, Arbor, MI

Park Northfield is small park with wooded areas around a large grassy area. Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.

Parker Mill County Park

Geddes Rd, Arbor, MI

Parker Mill County Park is a 45 acre park that runs along Fleming Creek and the Huron River. You'll also find a grist mill, a former cider mill, and a log cabin near the trail head. There are several trails:

  • Shared-Use Trail (0.75 mile connector to Gallup Park and the Border-to-Border Trail)
  • Helen + Norris Post Legacy Trail (0.25 miles)
  • Hoyt G. Post Trail (1.2 mile boardwalk)
  • Sugarbush Trail (0.2 miles)

There are covered pavilions, restrooms and a drinking fountain near the Geddes Rd. parking lot. Parking is also available off Old Dixboro Rd.

Pittsfield Preserve

Marton Rd, Thomas Rd, or E Textile Rd, Arbor, MI

The Pittsfield Preserve is a 535 acre wooded area with multiple entry points. Portions of the preserve are active farmland. Parking is available at:

  • Marton Road
  • Thomas Road
  • Textile Road

Trail loops totalling over 18 miles traverse the Pittsfield Preserve. There is also a wildflower area in the Presrve.

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site. Note that the trailhead at the Textile road parking lot does not connect with the other two lots, but leads to the Harwood Heritage Preserve, a 16 acre wooded area adjoining Pittsfield Preserve.

Saginaw Forest

W Liberty Rd, Arbor, MI

The Saginaw Forest is an 80 acre site owned by the University of Michigan. There is a dock and boardwalk at the ten acre lake in the middle of the forest.

Parking is not available at the access gate on W Liberty Rd, but the trailhead is located to the rear of the parking lot at 2|42 Community Church on Wagner Rd. See map with hiking trails. No facilities are on site.

Scio Woods Preserve

Scio Church, Arbor, MI

The Scio Woods Preserve is a 91 acre preserve with a mature wooded area. There are two small foot bridges, but otherwise the trails are unimproved. The trail has several loops, and its total length is a little over two miles. This preserve has an open understory and is gorgeous during the fall (portraits with fall colors, anyone?).

Parking is available, but no other facilities are on site.