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What Makes A Great Senior Portrait Location?

I have a pretty good list of locations where I've done senior portraits.  I am always open to something new, though.  I find it allows me to be really creative because it's all new. But there are some locations that just do not work for senior portraits. When someone asks me to shoot somewhere new, I take a look at the place or make some phone calls.  I really want to accommodate what my clients want but if I know that a particular location will not work for senior portraits, I feel that I must tell them.

First, it is important that I have the proper permission if the space is private property.  There is a gorgeous hotel around here that would allow me to do senior portraits but it would cost my clients an extra $1000 or so just to use the space.  If anyone wants to do it, sign me up!  It would be really fun.

Second, if it's outdoors, there must be some shade. Here in Texas in an open space with no trees, the sun is high and hot and casts harsh shadows on faces. Then it goes down toward sunset and down and down. And if there are no clouds, it will be bright right up until the sun goes all the way down. Then it is dark.  I have some tricks I can use toward sunset but to get a full hour, there needs to be some trees or a building that will provide shade or something.  Also, the reflection from pavement up can be quite blinding if there are no clouds.

Third, the location should have several points of interest. If it's a park, it should have a few spots that look different. Maybe there is a bridge, for example, or a nice wall.

Fourth, it's best to not choose a crowded space if you don't want other people in the background. I love urban sessions where I use a shallow depth of field, so the background people won't be in focus, but that is a matter of your personal taste.

Great Senior Potrait Location
Great Senior Potrait Location

That pretty much covers it. Again, to know for sure, I'll check the space out. I want you to be confident that the location you choose will be ideal for your senior's portraits.

Would you like to discuss locations for senior portraits?  Feel free to give me a call at 214.783.9691 or e-mail me at  (Click here for my contact form, if you'd rather.) Thanks for reading!