I wanted to write a blog post that would be a helpful resource to seniors deciding on what location to have their senior session at. In this post, I list my top 5 senior session locations in no particular order and the different backdrops each location has to offer. I also included the quality of light of each location and what clothing styles pair the best with that location.
This is one of the most requested locations I receive from parents hands down (especially during the Fall!). Pets Park offers backdrops of foliage, bridges, creeks and patches of wild flowers.
While Pet’s has a little less variety in backdrops than other locations, it is always a solid location choice. Unfortunately, the tall trees causes this location to lose light more quickly than other locations. So I typically schedule sessions here about 3-4 hours before sunset. Something worth mentioning, it takes me a little longer to capture different looks at Pet’s Park. This is due to pedestrians needing to cross a bridge we may be photographing on, or accidentally photobombing in the background.
Pets Park works well with rustic/country, bohemian and even preppy styles. I would not recommend wearing heels or wedge shoes here however, because you will sink into the ground. Photographing on the sidewalks here is next to impossible with all of the foot traffic. I wish it wasn’t! So if you love your heels, this is probably not the best location for you.
This historic building and the surrounding areas provide a lot of variety in this little vicinity. Out of all the different locations on this list, this one by far has the BEST light in my opinion. It has the beach house itself that is covered in orange peeling paint which gives a rustic or grungy look depending on the styling of the senior.
On either side of this building, there are two large cement staircases that I love. They provide a perfect neutral backdrop for any brightly colored ensemble. I think the stairs also give a unique and beautiful depth to the portraits like the one below.
In front of the building is a little circular patch of greenery that the city landscapes beautifully. Every year it has different plants and flowers, but in the past few years, I have never been disappointed.
Behind the building is the beach and shoreline of Lake Michigan that pairs perfectly with a nautical styled outfit or a soft bohemian look. If you walk a bit, right next door is the water treatment plant which has a woodsy area behind it to give yet another different backdrop. Whenever I think I have photographed every angle there is at this location, I am pleasantly surprised to find a new one.
Kemper Center is also a historic building and a great location if you want a more architectural backdrop to your senior session. Behind Kemper is the shoreline of Lake Michigan, a little flower garden resides in the parking lot and beautiful staircases are scattered all around. In the front of the building are trees, a cobblestone sidewalk as well as a really cool wrought iron fence. One of my favorite spots is a gorgeous mosaic wall tucked between the main building and office.
However, similar to Pets Park, the height of the Kemper building blocks out a lot of light. I usually schedule sessions here 3-4 hours before sunset. Kemper Center would be a great backdrop for more formal outfits or clothing. There are a lot of pathways that are either brick or concrete so you will not sink in heels. The architecture is neutral in color so you can wear clothing that pops in color or you can wear neutral colors for a monochromatic look.
This location has the least backdrop variety in my opinion. However it is located about 10 minutes away from downtown Kenosha. I think this makes Nash a perfect second location, without eating too much time out of your session. One benefit to this location is it’s beautiful quality of light. There are a lot of wildflowers and trees in this location, a couple of pine trees that is perfect for a wintery look, a rustic wooden fence, and even a mini red barn. I think Nash Park would be an amazing choice for any senior with a country or boho style.
I love this area because it has a ton of variety! Rusty doors, brick walls, colorful walls, ivy walls, art walls and glass walls. A huge benefit is that this area neighbors Lake Michigan and Simmons Library. I almost included Simmons Library in this blog post because I love it so much. However, since it had the least variety, I decided to leave it out.
The one downside to all the cool looking walls is that the tall buildings block out a lot of light. So the quality of light is not as great as some of the other locations. Like the Kemper Center and Pets, I try to schedule sessions in downtown Kenosha, 3-4 hours before sunset.
This location is perfect for seniors who have a more chic sophisticated style or a more edgy look. If you love heels and fancy dresses as much as I do, downtown Kenosha will pair perfectly with your outfits.
I was able to photograph high school senior Grace at both downtown Kenosha and Southport Beach House. The featured gallery that can be found here, will give you an idea of the variety I was able to capture between these two locations. I hope this article was helpful and if you have any questions please send me a message below!