Situated in historic Hamilton Square, Sayen Gardens is one of my absolute favorites for photos. It’s a hidden gem with charming bridges, pops of color and inviting benches, which means we have a variety of locations to capture those unforgettable moments.
This gorgeous site is perfect for ALL types of photo sessions: family, children, maternity, newborn, first birthday, couples, senior portraits, you name it!
Throughout the year annual and perennial displays fill the gardens with splendor, highlighting the many walking trails, fish ponds, and gazebos at Sayen Gardens. Whether you're booking for winter, spring, summer or fall, Sayen Gardens has beauty to share:
There is still greenery and pretty pops of color from the building, benches and bridge. Snow makes this location even prettier :)
Spring boasts 250,000+ flowering bulbs, as well as dogwoods, heirloom azaleas and rhododendrons. These fabulous florals make it a great spot for communion, graduation and mother’s day sessions.
The florals and greenery are still plentiful throughout the summer, plus there are some shaded areas which help keep things cool during those hot summer day! I’ve done some great Father’s Day sessions here.
The weather and temperature are typically quite comfortable, which is a wonderful complement to the fall foliage and greenery.
Parking & Accessibility
Arrive early to ensure you have time to find a spot! There is a main parking lot, however it is not uncommon for that lot to fill up when other events are running in the spring, summer or fall. In that event, parking is also available across from Hughes Drive (along the houses) or at the Nottingham Volunteer Fire Department.
The main parking lot does include wheelchair accessible parking spaces.
Sayen Gardens, Hamilton, NJ
Frederick Sayen was an avid gardener and world traveler. In 1912 he purchased a 30-acre parcel of land not far from the family rubber mill in Hamilton Square, NJ. He built a bungalow-style home and surrounded it with plants and flowers acquired while he traveled the world. His collection includes species from China, Japan, and England, many of which are still flourishing today. It is estimated that there are 1,000+ azaleas and nearly 500 rhododendrons thriving under the vigilant care of the dedicated Sayen Gardens groundskeepers.
In addition to the beautiful flowers, Sayen Gardens is home to birds and wildlife.
(Source: Hamilton Township, NJ)
This is a go-to location for me since there are SO many great photo spots to work with. Check out some of my favorite spots from previous sessions:
I love taking clients to this gorgeous wedding gazebo! It has a great grassy area nearby, but the gazebo itself is simply gorgeous. Most times, the gazebo has beautiful florals surrounding it, which looks perfect for photos. It also has a nice sidewalk we can utilize for walking (and running!) shots and more.
Sayen Gardens has many, many pathways. The path pictured above is my favorite since it’s conveniently located near the entrance and typically has some amazing details regardless of the season - luscious greenery, gorgeous florals, or some amazing foliage! I like to start here to get everyone comfortable in front of the camera. It’s a great spot for standing shots and can accommodate a lot of people.
Flat Grassy Areas
This may not seem overly exciting, but it's simplicity is perfect for photos. I love to photograph families sitting in the grass, especially if they bring a cute blanket to sit on! It's also an ideal spot for cake smash sessions. And bonus - there is also shade, which helps keep you cool and avoid harsh lighting.
White Pond Bridge
A bit deeper into the park, this bride makes a gorgeous setting for photos. Kids (and parents!) love to check out the fish-filled pond. There is often greenery, foliage and/or florals, which add to the beauty of this spot. While this spot works great for families, I get so excited when I get to take dreamy couples pics here :)
For sitting poses, I try to use one of the many benches scattered throughout the park. We will work through various poses to ensure you have a variety to choose from.
There are a few different rock areas throughout the park; in front of the pond, near one of the bridges and wedding gazebo and ore! These spots are always fun for photos, especially with kiddos who love to climb on them!