Family Photography – Dayton Grotto Gardens

Don't forget about mom and dad! Family portraits are a great way to refresh your photo wall and make new memories.

Family Photography in Dayton, Ohio has a plethora of stunning outdoor locations options including parks, gardens, and trails. These spaces will accommodate your family photography needs surrounded by the beauty of nature.

The Historic Dayton Grotto Gardens

One of my favorite locations for outdoor portrait sessions is the Historic Grotto and Gardens at the Dayton VA Medical Center.

Disabled soldiers of the American Civil War used the facilities for post-war recovery. At its peak, the VA center in Dayton housed over 7,000 Veterans. In 1868, limestone was quarried from the grotto area and used to build the iconic chapel. The chapel remains the oldest building on the property!

That same year, Frank Mundt began developing the lush gardens. By 1900, these gardens became a major travel destination, averaging 600,000 visitors per year. However, about 50 years later, with unkempt grounds, declining veteran populations, the gardens fell into ruin.

Restoration began in 2012 to redesign and maintain the gardens. Local garden centers, garden clubs, and donors have made it all possible with their support. The area is now 12 acres, featuring more than a dozen gardens, three fountains, a waterfall and grotto. All the work on the land is done by dedicated volunteers; funds gained by donations and grants.

Family portraits at the Historic Dayton Grotto Gardens at the Dayton VA Medical Center
Family Portraits at the Dayton Grotto Gardens by Ashley Lynn Photography

Outdoor Family Photography in Dayton, Ohio

These days, outdoor photography sessions are growing increasingly popular with clients. As we await drier days and warmer weather, now is a great time to start planning your next family portrait session. Having the space to run around and play is so important to capturing great photos.

I’ve mentioned before, as a family photographer (and mom,) I’m used to handling kids who don’t want to listen and sit still during a session. Letting them run around can really help. Plus, it often shows off their personality more authentically. There’s no better place to let this magic happen than a location with lush greenery, walkable gardens, and open spaces.

Towards the end of the session, I told the boys they could act crazy so we could get some fun shots. They were so excited! I love that Anna and Kevin joined in the fun, too.

Family portrait session with Ashley Lynn Photography in Dayton, Ohio
Family portraits at the Grotto Gardens in Dayton, Ohio by Ashley Lynn Photography

Southwestern Ohio Family Photography

Fall tends to be the most popular season for family photography in Southwestern Ohio. This particular session was special because this is a family I get to connect with time and time again.

I photographed Anna and Kevin’s wedding eight years ago. They lived in Chicago then, but have since moved back to Ohio. I’m so glad I get to capture these memories of their family each year!

Just a couple of kids playing around during a family photo session in Dayton, Ohio

Now that the stay at home order in Ohio is being lifted, I am back at shooting family photography sessions in Dayton and surrounding areas. If you’d like to book your 2020 family session you can contact me below…

Xoxo, Ashley

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