Asheville’s # 1 Family Photographer shares helpful information about shooting Family Portraits along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, North Carolina.

Wether you’re local or visiting Asheville, the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway is a stunning (and popular) location option for shooting family portraits! As a veteran Photographer in Asheville, I have been shooting Blue Ridge Parkway Family Photos for the last fifteen years and there are some very important safety and logistical matters to consider when scheduling Family Photography along the Blue Ridge Parkway that I would like to share with you to help you prepare for your Family Photoshoot in Asheville!

Family poses for Blue Ridge Parkway Family Photos outside of Asheville, NC in the Fall.

Planning your Family Photos:

The very first thing you will want to consider is what sort of location or backdrop interests you? Are you interested in brilliant fall foliage or are you interested in huge rolling mountain views or perhaps you would like beautiful landscape portraits walking across a mountain top with your family?

Hot Pro Tips:

  • Mountain Top Photos – The very best time of year to shoot (on top) of mountains is in the Summer or early Autumn (no later than September 15 – 20th). The reason for this advisement is because there are wild flowers on the mountain tops in the summer and because while it could be 75 (in) Asheville, it will likely be windy and it will definitely be at last 10-15 degrees cooler at those higher elevations. Next, in order to reach the mountain tops, it’s important to understand that you’re going to have to commit to doing a little hiking to get up there! There are a couple balds (prairy lands atop mountains, usually with tall grass, there are no edges or ledges to speak of, which makes it safer for families with small children!) that I routinely take my clients to that require a 45min – 1hr drive out of the city of Asheville, along the Blue Ridge Parkway followed by a 20-30 minute hike / walk to the top. Most of the balds that I take my clients to would be considered Easy to Moderate on the All Trails Hiking App! In order to make this happen, logistically, you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes for walking, maybe change shirts at the top if you’re particularly prone to sweating through your clothing and of course, makeup for touch ups at the top! You’ll also want to bring plenty of water and snacks for little people!
  • Not a Hiker? Shooting at one of the overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway is probably a good option for you! The photos included in this post were all shot at overlooks along the BRPW outside of Asheville. You can see a full list of BRPW overlooks on the Virtual Blue Ridge Website, located here: Overlooks
Family poses for Blue Ridge Parkway Family Photos outside of Asheville, NC in the Fall.
  • Fall Foliage The best time to shoot along the Blue Ridge Parkway in order to capture those legendary fall foliage photos on the BRPW outside of Asheville is between October 1-20. The reason for this advisement is because the leaves on the trees change color starting at the highest elevations first and moving down, into the city last. So, while the “peak” of fall foliage (in) Asheville may be the last week of October or even the first week of November, the foliage on the parkway will be spent by the third week in October. Also, you’ll want to book your session way early, my October calendar is typically full by mid August.
  • Road Closures – If you’re hoping to shoot Blue Ridge Parkway Family Photos, you’ll want to make note of seasonal road closures! You can find an up to date list of road closures for the Blue Ridge Parkway which is updated daily by the National Park Service, located here: Road Closures . The National Park Service usually closes down access to the higher elevations after the first ice / snow (which could happen as early as late October at the higher elevations) which is another reason to shoot on the parkway in the summer or by October 20 at the latest.
Couple poses for Family Photos on the BRPW in Asheville, NC.

Safety Considerations for shooting Blue Ridge Parkway Family Photos:

  • Location Safety – If you’re hoping to shoot your Family Portraits on the BRPW, you’ll want to be thoughtful about the type of location your family will be shooting at. As a policy, I will not take my clients (with young children) on any hikes with edges or ledges, even though those locations are stunning. It just makes me really nervous and I do not feel safe shooting at those types of locations with small children. Instead, I recommend shooting on balds, where there’s plenty of room to roam, run and play without the risk of injury or death!
Family poses for Fall Family Photos in Asheville, NC.
  • Roadway Safety – It is not safe to shoot (in) the roadway on the BRPW, especially in the fall. Although it may be tempting to shoot in the roadway and in front of the iconic / historic tunnels, it’s just not safe, especially if you aren’t familiar with doing so. The BRPW is heavily trafficked, especially in the fall. Some people like to drive fast on the parkway, especially motorcycles. It’s just best to avoid roadways! Instead, focus on the designated overlooks, roadsides with plenty of grassy area or hiking trails along the parkway.
Siblings pose for Family Photos in Asheville, NC.
  • Wildlife Safety – You may see or encounter Black Bears along the Blue Ridge Parkway especially in Spring – early Fall as they’re awake and on the move… it’s their home. Black Bears are generally non-confrontational and will leave you alone as long as you leave them alone / keep your distance. They are cute but it is not safe to approach them OR feed them (even leaving food for them confuses them and they will start to frequent the location where food was left which makes it unsafe for them and for us.)
  • General Safety – If you’re planning to take a hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway for your Family Photoshoot in Asheville, you’ll always want to bring comfortable walking shoes to avoid injury, plenty of water to avoid dehydration, a first aid kid incase of injury and a head lamp or flash light to descend the mountain (if you’re shooting around sunset) as it will likely be dusk / getting dark as you’re walking back to the trailhead.
Couple embraces during Family Photos on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, NC.
Family walks along, laughing together during Family Photos in Asheville, NC.

If you’ve made it this far and you’re thinking: “omg, these photos are gorgeous!” you’re in luck beacuse you can totally have some images like these or your walls too! Please reach out if you’re local OR if you’ll be visiting Asheville and you’re thinking that you may like to shoot on one of our mountain tops or along the Blue Ridge Parkway! I would absolutely love to create something spectacular for your family!

You can view my portfolio, process and pricing information on my website, located here:

Asheville Portrait Company

Family Photography

Blue Ridge Parkway Family Photos