Why I love to take pictures in Portland (And You Should, Too!)

Have you ever had a friend or family member come visit you from out of state (or country) and been surprised by how beautiful they find where you live? 

I always love it when friends from outside of Portland come and visit me b/c they always, ALWAYS remark about how green it is, or how vibrant the flowers and leaves are…they comment on the things I see every day and disregard.

One of the best things about being a photographer, is how everything around you is a potential backdrop or setting for a photo.  This viewpoint makes the ugliest buildings seem magical, and tall fields of weeds look majestic. 

Here in Portland, there are literally COUNTLESS locations for great photos.  I am going to list some of my favorites with images I have used at listed location.  If you don’t live in or near Portland, come visit us!  It is green, vibrant and makes for some of the best pictures you will ever take.

Washington Park is just west of downtown and is home of the Portland Japanese Garden.  Both are stunning locations for landscape and nature photos, but also great for family and senior portraits.

 Washington Park staircase

Washington Park staircase

Cathedral Park is one of my favorites for senior photos b/c it us located under the St. John’s Bridge, touted as Portland’s most architecturally impressive bridge.

 Cathedral Park at Sunset

Cathedral Park at Sunset

George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego has some interesting architecture, walking paths, water, gazebos, etc.  Great location for family pictures or senior pictures.

 George Rogers Park near the Columbia River in Lake Oswego.

George Rogers Park near the Columbia River in Lake Oswego.

Commonwealth park is in Northwest Portland.  This lake has so many places for the perfect picture with a paved trail that goes all the way around the lake.  If you are doing family photos, there is a playground available for bribing good behavior out of your children when necessary. 

 Commonwealth Park in Beaverton, OR

Commonwealth Park in Beaverton, OR

Dawson creek in Hillsboro (Hillsboro Public Library). Water fountains and small cascading water falls, benches, light posts, tunnels under bridges…might be one of my favorite locations for family and senior photos. 

 Dawson Creek (Hillsboro Public Library).

Dawson Creek (Hillsboro Public Library).

Pittock Mansion and Macleay park.  Pittock Mansion is a stunner location, and is on every travel list of Must Visits While in Portland, but before I go into all of the reasons why it is the best place to take pictures EVER…let me point out that you must pay a fee if you are taking professional pictures.  Personal pictures are allowed, but professional photography is prohibited without a license.   

 Pittock Mansion. Make sure you get permission and a license first!

Pittock Mansion. Make sure you get permission and a license first!

Jenkins Estate.  Bridges, staircases, greenery (or reds, oranges, etc. in the fall), benches, and a great parking lot so you aren’t hiking all over with your photography equipment.  Arguably one of the finer locations for taking pictures.

 Jenkins Estate

Jenkins Estate

Downtown Portland has beautiful garage doors that make for awesome backdrops.  I would say walking downtown is a favorite for senior photos especially.  Families with older children, but only if they are okay walking for a bit to get from one background location to another and weaving in a little downtown traffic.

 Downtown Portland

Downtown Portland

Other locations worth mentioning that I haven't yet tried, but would totally be up for:

Bethany Lake Park 5061 NW 185th Avenue

Garden Vineyards in Hillsboro

Plumper Pumpkin Patch in Hillsboro

Forest Park

Bridge and Walking Trail off of Laidlaw and Bethany (need to look up the exact address or name b/c it is a beautiful spot behind the apartment complex just off of Laidlaw).

1701 SE Water Avenue in downtown Portland for more urban fun.

 

Fellow Portland Photographers, where do you take pictures?