Are you looking for an epic location for your senior photos? Do you love adventuring? Then you are definitely in the right place! These top 9 locations are some of my all time favorite places that are all within 3 hours of Salem, Oregon. And some of them can actually be combined to make one epic day full of adventure!!!
Personality is key to picking the right location. If you love the big city, then going to a remote location in the woods might not be the best choice to showcase your personality. When you become a LNP senior, I personally help you pick the best location that will bring out all of your amazing parts that make you YOU!
How much time you want to invest in driving to a location also helps narrow down what might be right for you. Luckily, if you are in Salem, Oregon, we can get to some pretty epic locations within just over an hour! I set aside the entire day for adventure sessions, so no matter where we go we will have so much time to enjoy, have fun and adventure!
Not everyone is up for hiking 8 miles (although if you are-I have some truly stunning options), and I get that! Maybe you want to LOOK adventurous, but you don't want to go that far. I have tons of great places within 1/4 mile of the car. No worries about make-up sweating off, or having to carry your closet of clothes up a mountain. But maybe you DO WANT something that is so incredibly different than everyone else, and you are willing to work for it. I have a list of about 2,758,184,833 amazing locations in Oregon that I would LOVE to take you to!!! We can hike, camp, swim, climb...I get giddy just thinking of all the places!
One of the best ways to narrow down location options is to make a list of what different elements do you want? Do you love waterfalls? Or maybe the beach is calling your name? Dream big and write down everything that you would like involved and then when we have our Zoom call, I help you pick a location that fits as many of those as possible.
Here is a list to get you started:
Ready to see the list? Let's do it!! Super excited, and ready to book your adventure? CLICK HERE to reach out!
1. Oregon Coast
The ocean is always a great choice! Oregon beaches are some of the most beautiful around...sand, waves, cliffs, sea grass. They all add that something special to your senior session. Cape Kiwanda is one of my favorite places on the Oregon Coast. Climbing the sand hill gives you so many unique places to have those epic landscape senior photos as well the perfect neutral backdrop for those close ups. Short Sands Beach is a great choice if you are wanting to incorporate a forest look and waterfall. It is the coolest little beach ever!
2. Downtown Portland
Portland offers such a variety of looks and is so popular for so many different vibes! Want graffiti? Check! Want a high-end fashion editorial look? Check! Want fun, bright shots filled with tons of personality? Check!! One of the things that I love about shooting in Portland, Oregon is that you can have a new look with each outfit and incorporate fun food and places.
3. Clear Lake and Sisters Area
Located about 2 hours away from Salem, Clear lake is the truly the clearest lake I have ever been on! It is the headwaters for the McKenzie river and is truly breathtaking! Although, that could be due to its frigid temperatures too. Lol! There are so many wonderful things about Clear Lake-they have super cute row boats, vine maples that make the edge of the lake look like they are on fire in the Autumn, cute cabins, and lots of forest. There are also waterfalls nearby and Sisters, Oregon is just a quick drive, so we can also incorporate the gorgeous Ponderosa pines and maybe even some ice cream or coffee!
4. Lost Lake
Lost lake is one of those places that you have to just take a moment and drink it in...just figuratively though. Mount Hood is at one end of the lake and if you go in the morning, you will be greeted with a gorgeous reflection on the lake. Definitely rent a canoe or row boat to snag some photos out on the lake! My favorite time to go is late summer and early fall as the leaves start to change.
5. Columbia Gorge Area
The Columbia Gorge Area has so many different places that are unique, filled with adventure! Waterfalls, desert, epic views, wildflowers, and even a mini stone hedge! All in one magical area! It's also close enough to Portland to combine both looks!
6. Sparks Lake
Sparks Lake is definitely one of my favorite Oregon lakes. Located just outside of Bend, Oregon it is only available after the highway opens, which is usually in June. Are you wanting epic mountain views? It doesn't get much better than south sister looming in the background. Pair that with a gorgeous lake and I guarantee you will fall in love too! My advice-definitely plan on a sunrise session!! I know-I hate getting up early too, but it is so worth it! The lake has a layer of fog that hangs over the glassy water with the reflection of the mountain as alpenglow hits. Plus, I'll bring coffee!
7. Smith Rock
If you want the best light, epic views, maybe some water or a giant monkey face in the background-I cannot recommend Smith Rock enough!! I know I have said this before-but this place is magical!! It is also known around the world as a favorite rock climbing destination (it is one of my favorite places to climb). Hiking is an option here, but not necessary. And if you are wanting to combine this with Clear Lake for a full day of adventure, we totally could!
8. Abiqua Falls
This little waterfall is located about an hour outside of Salem, Oregon and is not for the faint of heart to get to. The road definitely requires 4WD, but no worries-I never leave home without it (I have a 4Runner)! Once you get there, the hike isn't super hard-it's not easy either. There are ropes along the way to help you up and down and while you might be questioning your sanity by the time you reach the bottom, once you turn the last corner and see the waterfall, everything else melts away. We usually plan on making it a day of it so that you have time to reapply makeup that was sweated off, time to eat a picnic lunch, wade in the water and of course take a ton of photos. This spot is very popular in the summer, with crowds for most of the day, especially on weekends. The fall is my favorite time to go!
9. Silver Falls
Silver Falls is sort of the perfect place for that Pacific Northwest vibe! Forest, waterfalls and gorgeous light! What more could you ask for?! If you are up for a hike, we could hike the loop to incorporate lots of the waterfalls. But if you are wanting something a little easier with less mileage, definitely check out North Falls. I actually think it is one of the most photogenic waterfalls around. And with Silver Falls being just about 45 minutes from Salem, it is the perfect location to adventure close-by!
Not sure if you want to adventure, no worries! You might also be interested in my top 8 locations in Salem, Oregon? CLICK HERE to see those!
Ready to adventure? Sweet-let's do it! CLICK HERE to start the process towards the best senior experience in Oregon!!