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My Favorite Family Photography Locations in Sonoma and Marin County { Family Photographer, Santa Rosa CA }

I've been a Sonoma County resident for over 15 years now! It's so wild how time flies, and I can't think of a better place to raise my family and my business.

Just about an hour north of San Francisco, Sonoma and Marin counties offer stunning landscapes and beautiful backdrops for Family Photography. Ideal for photographing priceless family moments, these two counties offer a special blend of beauty, nature, charm, and diverse environments. Why have a studio, when you have such stunning locations for family photography?

Sonoma County

Know for its stunning coastline, gorgeous vineyards, and rolling hills, Sonoma County offers picturesque views for your family portraits. Some of my absolute go to's for family photos are in Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Bodega Bay, and Santa Rosa! Each location has a different feel and vibe that highlight's the nature beauty of this area.

Here are some of my favorite spots!


If you are feeling adventurous, this location is perfect for you! The uphill walk to the ridgeline is well worth it! Trust me, once you are up there, you will be blown away by the breathtaking views. Walk further along and you will be greeted with wildflowers, gorgeous oak trees, and views that feel like a fairy tale! Again, this is great for families that are okay with a bit of uphill walking!

Santa Rosa:

These locations are popular for family photos, and you can see why! From majestic Redwood trees to a babbling creek, to sweeping views of Sonoma County - these are special locations that are perfect for your Sonoma County vibe! I love these spots because they are beautiful year-round, and are easy for families to get to.

Bodega Bay:

Take me to the Bay anyday! I love the coastline in Sonoma County and I have a handful of gorgeous locations I am ready to suggest for you! There is something really special about a beach session. Everything feels more alive and connected...let's integrate beautiful Mother Nature into your photos! Beach sessions are the best about an hour before sunset, unless it is foggy. Easy parking and flat walking.

Marin County:

Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, Marin County is famous for its breathtaking coastline and rich redwood forests. From Mt. Tamalpais to the Marin Headlands up to the edge of Marin in Novato, you are guaranteed gorgeous backgrounds for your family photos!

Here are some of my favorite spots!

Marin Headlands:

Ohhh, one of my favorite spots! Easy parking and perfect light about an hour before sunset. This location is truly special because it has it all! Golden Gate views, a picturesque landscape with succulents and ocean views, and even a super funky building for a little edginess. A perfect spot for families that want something dramatic and stunning!

Marin/San Rafael:

I have several special locations in the San Rafael Marin area that are stunning for Family and Maternity photos! One spot has the most adorable tree swings with a view in the background that includes the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge! Talk about a scenic backdrop! Head to Tomalas Bay with me for some really special beaches! The water is generally calm so perfect for families with smaller kids.

Mt. Tamalpais:

Mt. Tamalpais offers breathtaking scenery and sweeping views that include the coastline! Plenty of natural beauty including rocks, open spaces, trees and ocean views. Relatively flat for walking and it best to photograph about an hour before sunset.


This has been one of my favorite spots lately! Beautiful year round, this easy to get to location is pretty private. Offers stunning views of rolling hills and an array of wildflowers in the Spring. Perfect for Family of Maternity photo sessions. For those feeling adventurous, I will take you up a short hill that is worth it for your family portraits! Trust me, the trees and the filtered light at the top is a chef's kiss! Easy parking and pretty flat.

As you can see, Sonoma and Marin County have so many beautiful locations for your family photos! I will work with you one one-on-one to find the best fit for your family. Location is a great way to reflect your family's personality! Are you all happiest at the beach or do your kids like climbing trees? Whatever it is, Sonoma and Marin have what you need!

A few tips for a successful photo session:

Clothing: Think about the location and time of year! Golden fall sessions work well with outfits in cream, ivory or jewel tones! Spring sessions love light blues and pinks, and soft florals. If at all in doubt and overwhelmed, dress in creams and ivorys- they never go out of fashion!

If we are at the beach, don't wear shoes! If we are in a regional park, wear flats or boots - something sturdy for the terrain.

Before session Prep: Introduce the photo session to your kids (and to Dad!), that our time together will be less of a photo session, and more of a time for you and your family to have fun, cuddle, and play! This is YOUR special time together! I wil to guide you in the best light and offer gentle prompts to bring out the natural and unique love your family shares. Also, please make sure everyone is fed before the session so no one is "hangry"!

Have Fun! I know, I know, it's weird being in front of the camera! I get it, every time I have my photos taken I get a good dose of how it feels. It's okay if it takes a few minutes to warm up, but once we get going, it's going to be great! I encourage play, cuddles, hugs and anything else that makes your family yours. For families with small kids, I am present with their energy and guide the session on what makes them feel most comfortable.

Some of my Favorite Sessions!

Diana Jex specializes in portrait photography including maternity photography, newborn photography, children and family photography. Diana Jex Photography primarily serves families located in Sonoma County, Marin County and Napa County : Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Novato, Marin, San Rafael, Windsor, Rohnert Park, Napa, Cotati, Sonoma and other surrounding areas.

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