If you live around the Jay Street, Metro Tech area, you might be thinking that Fort Greene Park is really your only option for family photo shoots. But you would be wrong. Indeed, there is a great little spot for family portraits right around the corner. In today’s blog post, I’ll be sharing photos from a Brooklyn Commons family portrait session to let you know how to get great photos in the neighborhood.
Meet Netty and Sundeep
I have been photographing Netty‘s family for two years. They are a delightful couple, and I started with their family when their little daughter was born. On our last outing, we ventured over to Fort Greene Park. This year they welcomed a son, so, of course we had to get the camera out.
Since Netty and Sundeep have their hands full with two little ones, they wanted to have a family portrait session that was located nearby and in places familiar to the kids. Brooklyn Commons was the perfect solution, with some follow up photos at McLaughlin Park. Netty and Sundeep bring their kids here on a weekly basis, so they knew the area well. Even better, the playground at McLaughlin Park served as the perfect motivation to get Netty‘s daughter smiling for the camera.
Brooklyn Commons Family Portrait: The Pros
The Brooklyn Commons area has some pros and cons when it comes to selecting the location for a family photo shoot. Let’s start with the layout of Brooklyn Commons. If you are not familiar, this is a urban park located in front of the NYU’s Office of Global Services and bounded by Bridge Street and Lawrence Street. The park has gotten much greener since it was renovated in 2022, and is noteworthy for the tall trees in rows. The area also has a bit of traditional green space with grassy patches on either side. It is a lovely, little shady spot, and quite convenient if you live in the area.
Brooklyn Commons Family Portrait: The Cons
On the other hand, the area is so convenient that it can get quite congested. My best tip is to schedule your Brooklyn Commons family portrait session early in the morning on the weekend, as Netty and Sandeep did. This area gets quite busy with weekday commuters and the lunch crowd.
As opposed to other parks with a lot more trees and shrubbery, there is no place to hide in Brooklyn Commons. It is tough to avoid people walking through your shots. Case in point, for I had to remove people from the background using Photoshop in several photos of Netty and her family walking down the main pathway.
You can hide a bit from the maddening crowds by focusing your photos in the green patches, which are surrounded by low bushes. The problem with this area, unfortunately, is that you are going to have to contend with mosquitoes. If you are taking photos after a rain storm, as we were, you will find that the ground gets very wet and muddy and stays that way. We ultimately had to flee the scene because the mosquitoes were eating everyone alive. You have been forewarned.
One street over from Brooklyn Commons is McLaughlin Park. This is a small park that has benches, a full playground, and a water play area for kids. There is not really anything in terms of blooming flowers or greenery, since the area is mainly used for sports. You can get some great shots of kids on the playground equipment or the swings. The photo I took of Netty and her family as viewed from the playground tunnel is one of my all-time favorites.
So that’s a look at local family photos in Brooklyn. With a little creativity and patience, you can get great photos in this neighborhood no matter where you go. Enjoy the images, and I’ll have more photo adventures for you next week!
Are you interested in scheduling your own Brooklyn Commons family portrait session? Drop me a line by December 10th and let’s chat about your photography needs. Otherwise, I’ll be heading off to San Antonio for photo shoots beginning January 1st.
If you would like to view more images from my family portrait portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com