Family photos are one of the only mementos that last a lifetime. Video can get lost or warped, kids’ artwork can yellow and peel, but photos (especially digital photos) will last forever, and can be passed on from generation to generation. Start a new tradition by hiring a photography professional (or even hire novice Uncle Sal) to snap a few gorgeous, memorable moments from this period in time. Below are the five best places in Pittsburgh that offer clear views and breathtaking scenery to serve as your backdrop.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
This expansive park offers gorgeous scenery – winter or summer – right in the heart of Oakland. Hike over to Bartlett Playground, where striking orange castle tops overlook a nearby meadow blooming with daisies and other native wildflowers in the spring, while over 10,000 daffodils line the sidewalks of the park. This scene will set a fun, whimsical backdrop for your family photo, even in the winter, where the kids can pretend to be gallant knights and stately princesses upon their royal castle.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
The North Shore, located just over the Roberto Clemente Bridge from downtown, is one of Pittsburgh’s best places to photograph. This iconic site houses two of the city’s three professional sports stadiums, and would make a beautiful scene for any sports-loving family to pose in front of. As a bonus, there are statues all around the stadiums, and you can even get a few candid shots of yourselves acting super silly with Pirates legends Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski, or Steelers hallmark Art Rooney. If you venture down to the Riverwalk, the night also affords some outstanding views of the Pittsburgh skyline.
West End Overlook
599 Fairview Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
From this vantage, you will have the unique opportunity not afforded to those standing on neighboring Mt. Washington to look down at Pittsburgh’s Point to see how the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers join together to frame the city. One of the most exquisite and overlooked (no pun intended) places in the city, the West End Overlook is brimming with beautiful little spots, rocks and benches to place the entire family for a breathtaking shot. If you are looking to capture a photo of the city from this vantage point, it is best to try anytime from late afternoon and on when the sun is setting behind the lights of the skyline.
1100 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
At the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh resides the The Pennsylvanian. This statuesque building is an amalgamation of high-end apartments, offices and event hosting facilities located at the beginning of the Strip District, just outside the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. While you can’t get inside to photograph yourselves, the gem of the building is the dome right by the entrance. With intricate stone work and carvings, make sure you grab your wide angle lens to capture this space, your family and the eccentricities of this regal landmark. Pro tip: this is one of the most revered spots for wedding photography in all of Pittsburgh.
Jefferson Memorial Cemetery
401 Curry Hollow Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Just bear with us here – family photographs in a cemetery? Contrary to popular belief, this destination happens to be one of the number two spots for photography in the city. Rife with beautifully crafted, ornate statues, stone pillars, great stone work and great greenery in the spring, Jefferson Memorial Cemetery is one of the most peaceful, gentle places to take beautiful family photos. The large space also leaves plenty of room to crop out headstones. Have a snowball fight, swing from a tree or simply sit together at the base of one of Jefferson’s saint statues and create beautiful memories together.
Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.