Many of my clients ask for location recommendations for their upcoming sessions. There are endless great options, but to try and help you find the right location for you, here are some guidelines and details about my very own favorite outdoor locations for photo shoots around Seattle.
Things to consider when choosing a location:
1. Light – Light makes all the difference between good and bad photos. There are other factors too, of course, but bad light cannot be fixed, so this is the absolutely most important thing when choosing a photo shoot location. Light changes with weather and time of day. Cloudy days are great throughout, but on sunny days it’s best to make sure the location offers plenty of shaded spots, where the light is softer and even.
2. Style – Romantic, pink sunset style photos come out best in nature – ideally in a park with a small beach, open grassy area, or water view. If you’re looking for an urban environment, consider open squares around town or next to art sculptures that you connect with. You’ll be much happier with the outcome if the location matches your style!
3. Season – When the cherries are in bloom, when wild flowers fill the fields, when leaves change their color – these are things to include in the pictures. Bring the best of the season into your photos!
Now lets get specific… here are my favorite spots!
Discovery park has a little bit of everything! It has an amazing beach with a lighthouse at the very end (a parking permit is required to get there, though), tons of old trees, grassy fields, wildflowers, dry fields, water and mountain views, gorgeous sunsets, and many many trails to get lost at.
Here’s an example for a session on the upper trails of the park.
SAM Sculpture Park and Myrtle Edwards PARK (two FOR the price of one ;))
These two parks offer a fantastic view of the Olympic mountains and Mt. Rainier on clear days, and on cloudy days you can enjoy the Sound, ferries, cruise ships (in season), green grass and impressive trees, and several small, easily accessible beaches.
Alki and West Seattle overlooks
Views of the Sound, the city, and gorgeous sunsets – all can be easily found around West Seattle.
This session was done at Emma Schmitz Memorial Outlook.
Belltown, Pike Place Market, The Great Wheel
Seattle has a lot of character, and urban locations bring the best of it into the photos. I like these locations best during the winter or on weekdays, when it isn’t as crowded. There are many interesting buildings in the area, great lookouts, and colorful sunsets.
The Arboretum is huge and has lots to offer. My favorites are the north trails heading to the lake, but the gardens are beautiful too, and so are the Japanese Gardens. I’m always happy to explore new trails in this park!
Seward Park & Green Lake
Two more parks that offer it all – water, beaches, grass, trees. They’re somewhat crowded on nice days, but still make great locations.
Cherry blossom at the University of Washington
When the cherries are in bloom, this is the place to be! Too bad everyone knows it, and avoiding the crowds is literally impossible. Still, it’s a beautiful place for a session!
Well, these are my top favorites. There are so many options for beautiful locations, that I recommend you look for your own favorites and pick the one that represent YOU best. Hope you find this guide useful! Please feel free to comment below to let me know!