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.
George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego has some interesting architecture, walking paths, water, gazebos, etc. Great location for family pictures or senior pictures.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Elementary Schools, especially the older ones have a lot of fun texture, color, and open fields, benches and of course play equipment that make for fun pictures. Often times there are covered areas which is especially helpful with the unpredictable weather in Oregon!
One of my favorite locations is at the Oregon Museum of Science. The waterfront is beautiful, and there is a lot of architecture, bridges, and fun picture options at this location.
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.
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
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).
Joseph Wood Hill Park at Rocky Butte NE Rocky Butte Portland, OR 97255 Madison - South, Northeast Portland. Link for more info here.