• Angela Gross

Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in Fox Chapel

Location number 1 that I wanted to highlight and tell you about!


Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve is a 134-acre protected area for flora, fauna, and wildlife in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, a Pittsburgh suburb. The site has served as the headquarters of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania since 1977. It's about 30 minutes away from Photography 144, and is within 10 minutes of Hartwood Acres, another Pittsburgh favorite location!




One of the first things you'll notice when you pull into the nature reserve is a handful of small buildings. The reserve uses several of these as classroom settings (they host different programs and nature walks to teach about the area). They also have a variety of nature related items for sale in their Nature Store if you're looking for some outdoor gear, bird, nature, and sustainably made products.


From a photographer's perspective, I love the buildings! Depending on the time of day of my session, I have all four sides of the buildings as options to use as backdrops. I love the rustic look of the buildings, and as you'll see in these images, they look amazing with a wide range of colors and styles.










One of the buildings has some incredible plants and lattice areas all around it. Again, depending on the time of year and time of day, these plants have ranged from full lavender bushes, to beautiful fall colors. I love the look of the lattice work as a background!




There are a wide variety a fences and walkways and railings that work beautifully for posing and backgrounds as well. I love when a location is so versatile!









The flowers are amazing all over Beechwood! They have a huge area of wildflowers that I love to include in portraits! This is one of the reasons I ask to see outfits in advance of the session; to know if they'll clash or celebrate the location we're using for your session.



Last but certainly not the least! The pond at Beechwood Nature Reserve is gorgeous. You're able to walk around about half of the pond on maintained and cleared paths. There is a great pavilion and stone paths as well as a really cute walking bridge.


There is just no shortage of amazing locations within Beechwood. I find it a wonderful location for senior sessions for a few main reasons.


One: it's a very easy to find location so there's no hunting around or clients getting lost trying to find it.


Two: all of the areas are within a short walk of each other. You get all of this variety at a one stop shop!


Three: again with everything being close, it's easy to run back and forth to the car and not have to have everything with you from the start!




Hope you've enjoyed the walkthrough of Beechwood Nature Reserve. I find it naturally beautiful and easily able to be 'dressed up or down' depending on your outfits. The sun sets in a dreamy hazy way during the summer and fall and you get a lovely spill onto the shot. This location is a nature lovers dream!


I'd love to chat with you about your session and to see if a location like Beechwood is a good fit for you or if your session would be better elsewhere! Message me today to start planning your session!


Talk soon! Angela



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