Family Photography for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Family Photography for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Family Photography for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Professional family photography at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta park during evening glow

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the most photographed event in the world. Every year during the first week of October, over 500 hot air balloons lift off in a mass ascension and float over the city. It’s a spectacle for tourists and residents alike. Therefore it’s an extremely popular excuse for family pictures. As someone who grew up in Albuquerque and lived here nearly her whole life, I know all the best ways to experience the balloons AND get some unique photos that capture the beauty of your family in this season.

There are two main options for viewing the Balloon Fiesta: getting up close and personal with the balloons at the balloon field, or finding a vantage point elsewhere around Albuquerque where you can watch the balloons flying from afar. I truly love both! So it really depends on what priorities you have for your family photos.

Professional family photography at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta park during evening glow

Albuquerque Family Photography at the Balloon Fiesta Park

First and foremost, if you’ve never been to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, I would definitely recommend that you experience it from the balloon field at least once. There is nothing else like being able to walk among the hundreds of balloons as they inflate and take off.

That said, the morning events are sometimes a gamble. If the weather isn’t cooperating, the balloons won’t fly. Sometimes, after leaving your house at 4am and fighting traffic to get to the park before the mass ascension at dawn, you just get unlucky. When this happens, your tickets are good for entry to another event at the fiesta later in the week, so you can always try again. But you may not be able to easily reschedule a photo session with as much flexibility.

When the stars align and you get a perfect morning and the balloons go up, you can have an amazing photo session at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park. You can get up close to the balloons as they inflate, and you can get cool shots of them all taking off all around you. There are some spots in the park with neat vantage points of the balloons and the mountains behind them. If this is the dream, great! Go for it! When hiring a professional photographer to capture these photos for you, just make sure they have experience working at the park. Chances are you’re not going to avoid having other people in your photos here (because there will be tons of people everywhere!) but an experienced professional will be able to work around the crowds so that they’re not great distractions in the photos.

Cute family photos of little ones with grandma at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

The Balloon Glow

My best recommendation for taking family pictures at the Balloon Fiesta park is to plan them during the evening Balloon Glow events. During the Glow, the balloons inflate at sunset but stay grounded. This makes it super easy to walk among the balloons and get up close, without worrying about your balloon background just taking off in the middle of your photo op. The sunset golden hour is an added perk and just lovely for portraits.

Of course, just like with the morning ascensions at the Balloon Fiesta park, you’re still going to be dealing with some crowds. Plan to arrive early and perhaps avoid the incredibly popular Special Shapes Glowdeo. When I photograph families at these events, I take them to less crowded spots and right up close to the balloons, so that there aren’t strangers in the background of all the photos.

Once the sun sets, the balloons continue to fire and “glow” together at intervals, which is a fun experience and an opportunity for a unique final shot. Stick around for the final event of the evening: fireworks!

Cute portrait of grandma with grandkids at golden hour during Albuquerque Balloon FIesta Glow

Albuquerque Family Portraits Featuring Sandia Mountains and Hot Air Balloons

My favorite way to plan family portrait sessions around the Balloon Fiesta is to avoid the park altogether. Of course, if your dream is to have photos right up next to the balloons, this isn’t the option to go with. But if what you’re looking for is nice family portraits, without any crowds but maybe with an added bonus of getting the hot air balloons in the background, this is absolutely the way to go.

I have a short list of locations around Albuquerque that have views of the city, the mountains, and the balloons lifting off from the official park, so that they are equally beautiful with or without the balloons. This makes the balloons featured in the background more like a perk, instead of the main attraction. We can avoid other people and not have such an early wake-up call. If your photo session happens to be on a day when the balloons don’t take off, then no worries because you still get a lovely location for photos. If the balloons do take off and even happen to float nearby while you’re taking your family pictures, well then you just won the jackpot.

Albuquerque family photography near the Rio Grande overlooking the Sandia Mountains and the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

I even had one couple plan their elopement around the Balloon Fiesta. We set out to have their ceremony at a location that I knew had a possibility for balloons to fly over, but would still be private and beautiful if that didn’t happen. We happened to get lucky and win the jackpot–so it happens!

Corrales elopement photos by the bosque during Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

I think everyone needs to experience the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta at least once. It’s a bucket-list experience that I get to have every single year living here, and it never gets old. If you’re planning on visiting Albuquerque for the balloons, or if you live here and feel inspired to get your own family pictures during the Balloon Fiesta, reach out to me! I’d love to share in this experience with you, and give you images you’ll never forget.

Want to book me as your Albuquerque family photographer? Fill out the contact form below!

Professional family photography at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta park during evening glow

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the most photographed event in the world. Every year during the first week of October, over 500 hot air balloons lift off in a mass ascension and float over the city. It’s a spectacle for tourists and residents alike. Therefore it’s an extremely popular excuse for family pictures. As someone who grew up in Albuquerque and lived here nearly her whole life, I know all the best ways to experience the balloons AND get some unique photos that capture the beauty of your family in this season.

There are two main options for viewing the Balloon Fiesta: getting up close and personal with the balloons at the balloon field, or finding a vantage point elsewhere around Albuquerque where you can watch the balloons flying from afar. I truly love both! So it really depends on what priorities you have for your family photos.

Professional family photography at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta park during evening glow

Albuquerque Family Photography at the Balloon Fiesta Park

First and foremost, if you’ve never been to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, I would definitely recommend that you experience it from the balloon field at least once. There is nothing else like being able to walk among the hundreds of balloons as they inflate and take off.

That said, the morning events are sometimes a gamble. If the weather isn’t cooperating, the balloons won’t fly. Sometimes, after leaving your house at 4am and fighting traffic to get to the park before the mass ascension at dawn, you just get unlucky. When this happens, your tickets are good for entry to another event at the fiesta later in the week, so you can always try again. But you may not be able to easily reschedule a photo session with as much flexibility.

When the stars align and you get a perfect morning and the balloons go up, you can have an amazing photo session at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park. You can get up close to the balloons as they inflate, and you can get cool shots of them all taking off all around you. There are some spots in the park with neat vantage points of the balloons and the mountains behind them. If this is the dream, great! Go for it! When hiring a professional photographer to capture these photos for you, just make sure they have experience working at the park. Chances are you’re not going to avoid having other people in your photos here (because there will be tons of people everywhere!) but an experienced professional will be able to work around the crowds so that they’re not great distractions in the photos.

Cute family photos of little ones with grandma at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

The Balloon Glow

My best recommendation for taking family pictures at the Balloon Fiesta park is to plan them during the evening Balloon Glow events. During the Glow, the balloons inflate at sunset but stay grounded. This makes it super easy to walk among the balloons and get up close, without worrying about your balloon background just taking off in the middle of your photo op. The sunset golden hour is an added perk and just lovely for portraits.

Of course, just like with the morning ascensions at the Balloon Fiesta park, you’re still going to be dealing with some crowds. Plan to arrive early and perhaps avoid the incredibly popular Special Shapes Glowdeo. When I photograph families at these events, I take them to less crowded spots and right up close to the balloons, so that there aren’t strangers in the background of all the photos.

Once the sun sets, the balloons continue to fire and “glow” together at intervals, which is a fun experience and an opportunity for a unique final shot. Stick around for the final event of the evening: fireworks!

Cute portrait of grandma with grandkids at golden hour during Albuquerque Balloon FIesta Glow

Albuquerque Family Portraits Featuring Sandia Mountains and Hot Air Balloons

My favorite way to plan family portrait sessions around the Balloon Fiesta is to avoid the park altogether. Of course, if your dream is to have photos right up next to the balloons, this isn’t the option to go with. But if what you’re looking for is nice family portraits, without any crowds but maybe with an added bonus of getting the hot air balloons in the background, this is absolutely the way to go.

I have a short list of locations around Albuquerque that have views of the city, the mountains, and the balloons lifting off from the official park, so that they are equally beautiful with or without the balloons. This makes the balloons featured in the background more like a perk, instead of the main attraction. We can avoid other people and not have such an early wake-up call. If your photo session happens to be on a day when the balloons don’t take off, then no worries because you still get a lovely location for photos. If the balloons do take off and even happen to float nearby while you’re taking your family pictures, well then you just won the jackpot.

Albuquerque family photography near the Rio Grande overlooking the Sandia Mountains and the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

I even had one couple plan their elopement around the Balloon Fiesta. We set out to have their ceremony at a location that I knew had a possibility for balloons to fly over, but would still be private and beautiful if that didn’t happen. We happened to get lucky and win the jackpot–so it happens!

Corrales elopement photos by the bosque during Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

I think everyone needs to experience the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta at least once. It’s a bucket-list experience that I get to have every single year living here, and it never gets old. If you’re planning on visiting Albuquerque for the balloons, or if you live here and feel inspired to get your own family pictures during the Balloon Fiesta, reach out to me! I’d love to share in this experience with you, and give you images you’ll never forget.

Want to book me as your Albuquerque family photographer? Fill out the contact form below!

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