For that special, unforgettable family photo, picking the right setting and location is essential. Your surroundings will not only be reflected in the background, but also in the smiles captured. With this list handy for your next family portrait in Baltimore, not even a rainy day can halt the memory making. So get ready… set… pose!

rawlings conservatory

Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens
3100 Swann Drive
Baltimore, Md. 21217
(410) 396-0180

One of Baltimore’s most beautiful structures, the historic Rawlings Conservatory offers a colorful kaleidoscope as the background for your family photo. The greenhouses and botanic gardens contain impressive displays of plants from all over the world. Visit the “Tropical House” for an unforgettable misty rainforest look with orchids, tall trees and vining plants as the backdrop. Another original shot opportunity awaits visitors at the “Desert House” where draught-tolerant wildflowers, succulent cacti, yuccas and Joshua trees can be showcased for unforgettable photos. With a variety of flora and fauna located both inside and out, families are guaranteed a perfect, nature-filled setting no matter the weather that day.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

National Aquarium
501 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, Md. 21202
(410) 576-3800

Sharks, dolphins, sting rays, turtles, jellyfish and a school of vibrant fish not only make a great memory, they make for amazing photography. Even if none of these animals are around, a simple but eye-catching coral reef background will effectively spice up the traditional family photo. But novice photographers beware, the limited light and need for flash in some exhibits may make catching the whole family a bit trickier than planned. Opt instead for a photo in one of the larger, well-lit rooms or try the rainforest exhibit where there is more natural sunlight available.

Related: Best Alternative Places To Stay Cool This Summer

USS Constellation

Historical Ships in Baltimore
301 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, Md. 21202
(410) 539-1797

Families will have a tough time choosing between dramatic military vessels like the USS Constellation, the US Submarine Torsk, Lightship Chesapeake and USCGC Taney, all of which provide unique opportunities for posing on. When walking around on deck, take advantage of the complimentary, lively Inner Harbor scene as part of your background. For those seeking a more casual, fun family photo option, invite one of the uniformed crew members to join in the photo. Also included as part of this “life at sea” collection is the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, which likewise boasts a terrific view of the Baltimore Harbor.

Baltimore Washington Monument

Washington Monument
699 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
(410) 396-0929

Located at the heart of the Mount Vernon cultural district, a neighborhood steeped with 19th century architecture, clean and inspirational parks and numerous festivals, is Baltimore’s very own Washington Monument. Every holiday season, the city gathers to celebrate the annual lighting of the monument, and as a treasured Baltimore icon, at least one family portrait here is a must. Whether visiting at night or day, summer or winter, there’s always a great photo to be had. Furthermore, the quaint, scenic surroundings will propose additional ideas for extraordinary poses.

(credit: Fells Point)

(credit: Fells Point)

Fells Point
921 E. Fort Ave., Suite 108
Baltimore, Md. 21230
(410) 783-7727

Cobblestone streets running along the water’s edge complemented by a subtle yet multi-colored row of buildings teeming with local businesses not only screams idyllic background, but the very essence of Baltimore. As one of the most popular and most frequently visited districts next to the Inner Harbor, photos from Fells Point are another must-have for the family photo album. There’s never a dull moment in this part of town and so the opportunities for priceless shots are plentiful, but also quite meaningful without the need for extravagance or flair. The beauty of backgrounds taken here is the simplicity of maritime life; families which used to traverse the same roads and walkways for many years past.

Related: Best Dates For The Adventurous Couple In Baltimore

Keri Ann Beazell is a Baltimore writer following the latest developments in arts and culture, natural wonders, lifestyle and pets. She enjoys promoting thought-provoking discussions, education, new ideas and smiles among readers. Follow her online at