One of the most frequent questions my clients ask me is, “where should we take our photos?” I bet you are wondering that too! This blog post is all about the most popular locations in the New River Valley (NRV) and Roanoke areas to help you make your choice! My company, Skyryder Photography, is based out of Blacksburg so that is the point of reference for these suggestions!
Smithfield Plantation, 1000 Smithfield Plantation Road, Blacksburg
This is a hidden spot on the Virginia Tech Campus. I absolutely love it! If the fall colors are happening, I would venture to say it’s one of the best spots in Blacksburg to capture them! Another favorite reason to choose this spot… it’s private. Unlike Heritage Park (see below), Smithfield Plantation rarely has more than one or more other people roaming about. A real favorite!
Heritage Park, 2300 Glade Road, Blacksburg
Heritage Park is by far the most popular spot in the Blacksburg area. Also known to locals as “Old Brown’s Farm,” it offers a plethora of views overlooking mountains with fields and wild growth that is beautiful for photos. The old barn has, unfortunately, undergone some damage due to vandalism and a small fire, but there are lots of other old farm paraphernalia that can make for fun backdrops. There is a children’s play area that has some great filtered light too! One of the biggest drawbacks to Heritage is its overuse by local photographers. You will most likely run into another session (or more!) while you are having yours. There is lots of space for sharing though, just don’t expect to be the only one using the park!
Virginia Tech Duck Pond, 1 Duck Pond Drive, Blacksburg
The Virginia Tech campus has many beautiful spots for a photo session. The Duck Pond is one of the most popular. There are lots of trees that are great for fall color if you’re shooting in October. I love the White House on the drill field end of the pond. This is another popular location for photographers so it isn’t unusual to run into other people having a session, but there are lots of spots to share. I would say that this location is one of the best for fall color in our area.
Hahn Horticulture Garden, 200 Garden Lane, Blacksburg
Hahn Gardens is one of the prettiest spots on the Virginia Tech campus. The staff do an amazing job with the flora and fauna. I won’t pretend to fully understand all of the ins and outs that go into the amazing things they do! There are gorgeous plants and flowers everywhere. This is a wonderful spot for a stroll with loads of locations for photos. I love the way the light is filtered. This is a popular spot for VT students who enjoy lounging in their hammocks on the many stands around the gardens. You won’t be alone, but you’ll have some great photos!
How about a session that’s not just about nature? I love some old brick buildings and Blacksburg has lots to offer. This is a great spot for High School Senior Portrait sessions in particular. Blacksburg even has some graffitied walls to add to the urban feel!
Want to really do urban? We aren’t far from Roanoke! There are so many cool spots in Roanoke for a session. You can do families, seniors, engagements, even wedding portraits! Don’t think cities are ugly – there are so many cool ways to photograph Roanoke. You won’t be disappointed!
Nellie’s Cave (Upper), 1920 Shelor Lane, Blacksburg
Nellie’s Cave has a spot called “The Meadow.” This is a small park with a huge beautiful tree. It overlooks the surrounding area with great views and some forested trails. This is a short walk and everything is close together.
Falls Ridge Nature Preserve, Elliston
I cannot give you an address for this spot as there isn’t one! If you enter “Falls Ridge” into any map app on your smartphone you should find it. I would recommend that you drive a vehicle with a little clearance. It’s not too crazy, but it is definitely off road. You’ll love the view once you get to it! There is a big flat field that leads to a small creek with a bridge. There are caves and even a waterfall! You won’t run into many people on this adventure!
Southwest Virginia is full of gorgeous spots! Some of my favorite sessions have been on pieces of property owned by my clients or their friends. Think about who you know that might have a spot near a field, a river, or the mountains. You might be surprised what you find!