Once again, with the end of the school year upon us... we're heading into Senior Portrait Season! (My favorite!)
This time, we are celebrating the Class of 2023. And I have All. The. Feels. As a former middle school band teacher, I'm still watching my former students progress through school. My very last 6th grade class are entering as freshmen, and my FIRST sixth grade class will be graduating with the Class of 2023! I am thoroughly enjoying this special season of getting to photograph my former students for a few years. They will always be so special to me!
Senior portraits come with a plethora of Very Important Decisions - what to wear (I am here to help with an extensive styling guide!), how to do your hair, what season to do your photos during, what activities and athletics to highlight in your photos, and... WHERE to GO! The options for photo locations are practically endless! But without further ado, here are my favorite spots (in no particular order) to give you a variety of beautiful images for your senior portrait session in Colorado Springs!
#1. Palmer Park
This gorgeous location has a LOT to offer that may not be noticeable at first glance! From rustic fences and lush grasses that wave elegantly in the wind, to rugged yet highly accessible rocks, pine forests, and stunning views of Pikes Peak, Palmer Park has all of the variety you need in one setting. The sunsets here can NOT be beat, especially when we are graced with evening clouds.
#2. Black Forest Park
So many people go to beautiful Fox Run Park, and I can't blame them! But Black Forest Park is a lot less crowded and still has so much to offer. The open athletic field is the perfect place to showcase your senior. The surrounding woods provide a warm, classic-Colorado scene with beautiful evening light filtering through the trees. Venture up the trails a little ways and experience a more rustic feel and sneak a few glimpses of Pikes Peak, too! In the summer, especially in June, you may be lucky enough to have lush wildflowers in your photos.
#3. Manitou Springs
Manitou is a fun place to go for senior photos if you like to be a bit eclectic! Depending on the time of year you might find quaint seasonal decor like we did during Aislynn's session. There are so many hidden nooks and crannies that offer a small-town urban feel with the natural beauty of Colorado mixed in. The Penny Arcade is a popular spot to grab a few neat photos with the neons or the rides and games for some childhood whimsy.
#4. High Point Overlook
While High Point is probably the most popular location I'm sharing, and maybe not the most unique, it IS incredibly beautiful. This little spot has SO much to offer. Sunsets here can be absolutely stunning; you get right up close and personal with Pikes Peak; and turn to the north and you have iconic Garden of the Gods in your background. The entire time, you're surrounded by the rich red-orange rocks that form this geological wonder (please, please do not wear orange to a session at Garden of the Gods! :) I don't recommend reds or pinks either). It even rained lightly during Kaleb's session here and it just made the colors that much richer. You just can't go wrong choosing High Point Overlook.
#5. Downtown Colorado Springs
Downtown is the perfect spot for seniors who want an urban session! There are many alley ways and quirky little spots that create a fun, interesting background. Head to the top of a parking garage for a view of Pikes Peak! Sit a spell at a little cafe table (bonus - order some tea or coffee to add as a prop!). Time your session in the right season and part of the evening and the twinkling lights in the trees might add some sparkle to your background. Flowers and potted plants in the spring and summer add a burst of color to your downtown senior session.
#6. Red Rock Canyon Open Space
A little different than Garden of the Gods - less popular for photos, but still often crowded because it's a popular hiking spot! These sessions were in the winter when we had less crowds to deal with, but still on a nice day. In the fall the trees burst with additional color. Summertime finds these meadows green and wavy and a canopy of leaves above provide shade and interest. Catch a peek to Pikes Peak in the right spot, snag a few photos by the pond if you're looking for a water feature, and enjoy those Red Rocks without too many people photo bombing!
#7. Fountain Creek Regional Park
Fountain Creek is a nature-lovers paradise! In the fall you're absolutely surrounded by yellow-leafed cottonwoods. There are countless opportunities for photos near water - from a trickling creek to some moderately rushing rapids (and a cool wood wall!). There are old fences, a small lake, old trees and stumps, lush meadows, and maybe some deer will show up if you're lucky! This rarely-chosen location is rich with opportunity!
(These photos are from verrrrryy early in my photography career... which is why they look a bit different than my recent work! The only recent ones I have from Fountain Creek aren't from seniors!)
#8. Pine Meadows Venue
Tucked away in southern Black Forest is the adorable Pine Meadows Venue! This privately-owned property consists of a small white barn-type building with multiple set-ups possible, including hanging windows, benches, swings, lots of floral decor, and items for every season. Additional options include an old truck and the wall of logs! And of course there are the surrounding woods. While there are fees associated with using this venue, they are well worth it as you'll get a completely customized experience and unique photos in a country chic, vintage, or rustic style depending on your tastes!
#9. Ute Valley Park
Ute Valley is another more popular photo location, but lesser requested than many others from my clients. This beautiful park has so much to offer! Pikes Peak peeks over the top of the ridge, so you're not missing out on that! Near the parking lot is a wide open meadow that in the summer is often lush and green, with many wildflower opportunities! Further in you can get some woodsy shots and even some along rustic fencing. If you're adventurous, we can hike up the ridge and get some scenic shots overlooking the surrounding Colorado Springs area and Pikes Peak!
One note - ALWAYS show up good and early for a session at Ute Valley as the parking lot is very small!
#10. Your High School
Especially if you're involved in activities or athletics, asking your school's administration if you can use athletic fields/school grounds for photos is always a good idea! We were able to do this for the three sessions below and these seniors have very special photos to commemorate their high school sports and activities. Taking photos on the fields you competed so hard on, and spent so much time practicing and performing on, will be the perfect touch to create very personal senior photos that you'll be so proud to showcase.