Summer is obviously THE most popular season for senior pictures!! So today I wanted to give you my top Oregon summer senior photo tips! I’m going to go through why I love summer for senior photos, the best types of locations for summer senior photos, & my fav outfit ideas + inspo for summer senior photos. Let’s get into it y’all!!
Summer is the most popular season for senior photos simply because that’s when everybody is out of school! Most seniors plan their senior photos for the summer right before their senior year, because they’ll have more free time + their senior year lies juuust ahead.
Fall is also the BOMB for senior photos, but it can def be harder scheduling-wise since you’re back in school & maybe back to your job! Here’s a whole article on my best fall senior session tips. Check out if you’re trying to decide when to do your senior photos!
So let’s get into why you should choose summer for your senior photos, and how to know if you’d prefer summer senior pictures over fall!
This is an obvious one – summer has THE best sunsets!! If you’re dreaming of a yummy golden hour for your senior session, summer is the most reliable you’re going to get for that! Spring & fall are more likely to have overcast days without enough sun for a good golden hour. But typically, Oregon in the summer is pretty sunny, especially in certain parts of the state!
We all LOVE the way a sunset looks in senior photos: golden hour gives you that soft AF, gorge glowy light. Then, blue hour right after the sun goes down gives you to-die-for cool, calm tones.
If you want a higher chance of getting a bomb sunset, summer is the season to choose for your senior photos!
Summer is also the best for photos because of how LONG the days are. If you work late into the afternoon, or are busy with friends/fam, that’s okay – the sun will be up pretty late, so we can do your senior sesh in the later evening!
Long days also give us more time to explore during your senior session – we won’t have to worry about rushing to catch the light before it’s gone. Oregon summer days are long and the best for exploring your session locations + taking our time catching all the the types of light that sunset provides!
This is a clear one if you’re considering summer for your senior photos: you can pretty much guarantee it’s gonna be hot! Especially in certain parts of Oregon, like in the desert (Smith Rock). Obviously places like the mountains and the coast will be cooler, but it’ll be much warmer in the summer than spring or fall!
If you’re not a fan of being cold, summertime might be the way to go for your senior sesh. We want you to be as comfortable + confident as possible, so if you know you’re miserable in the cold or can’t feel your best if you’re chilly, let’s go somewhere warm in the summer!!
And if you want to wear summer-y clothes, like mini skirts, short dresses, or shorts, we’ll def want to go somewhere warm enough so you don’t get cold once the sun goes down!
Fall is the best for warm tones, but summer is great for neutral tones! If we go somewhere in Oregon like the desert, we’ll have lots of dead trees and grass, which makes for a super cool neutral look. This makes it easier for you to wear a pop of color or a bright shade of your fav color, without it clashing with the background!!
Since it’s the summertime and you don’t have school, you’ll likely have more free time (even if you do have a job). This means more free time to go on an ADVENTURE for your senior sesh!!
If you don’t want to just go to one location – you’d rather go on an adventure together & hit up multiple epic spots + have more of a variety in your senior photos, summer is PERFECT for that. In the spring or fall, you’ll be busy with school every weekday, and will probs want to relax on the weekends.
But in the summer, you’ll have more free time to really go on an adventure + take time exploring during your senior sesh!! Let’s go to the coast, to the desert, to the forest, mountains, you name it. You can find the adventure packages I offer for seniors here!
And finally, if you want to bring any friends or family along to your senior sesh (which I always LOVE), it’s probably easier to schedule that over the summer! Your family might be less busy working and have more time in their schedules to come tag along to photobomb your senior pictures.
It’s SO much fun bringing along your besties who are seniors with you, your significant other, or the family members who have played an important role in getting you to where you are. It’s such a fun way to celebrate with the people who mean most to you!!
Now, let’s talk about the best types of locations around the PNW to consider for your summer senior pictures!
I alwayssss love open fields for senior sessions, but they are especially the bomb in the summertime!! This is because the way the sun sets over open fields is to DIE for, and I already talked about how sunsets in the summer are the best ever. Golden light setting over open fields of tall golden grass = the dream!!
Open fields give us so much room to play around, bring props, and overall just have room to run around! And trust me when I say every senior I’ve worked with LOVES their photos in tall grass because of how gorgeous it looks in photos, especiallyyyy at golden hour.
Check out Ellie’s summer senior session for some real-life open, golden field inspo!!
Lakes and rivers always look beautiful in photos, simply because of the water and reflections on the water at sunset! Oregon has tons and tons of lakes + rivers to explore, whether you’re in the mountains or at the base of a popular hiking trail.
Lakes and rivers usually have little beach-y areas too, that are perfect to stand on for your senior photos to get the water in the background! Oregon lakes are the dream because of the green trees + forests that surround them, so I love finding a lake with plenty of greenery surrounding it to add some depth + dimension.
If you want to get the BEST views + sunset possible, let’s head to a mountain top!! Mountain tops in Oregon are filled with either open fields of golden grass, wildflowers, rocks, or green grass – allllll of which look AMAZING in senior photos. Plus when you add the mountain top views in there?! To die forrrrr!!
Let’s go hiking on your fav trail, or at your fav mountain, and find a spot at the top that we can hang at for your senior session. Taking hiking senior photos is also super fun if you’re a hiker – we’re able to capture you in your element + doing something you love!
The desert is perfect for summer senior photos because of alllll the golden tones you’ll get. Golden hour setting over the desert is unbeatable, so if you’re not a big fan of mountains or the ocean + would prefer a more barren, open location, let’s hit up Oregon’s desert! Smith Rock + the Painted Hills are both BOMB desert locations in OR.
We can explore the desert trails, catch the sunset, and hang out in the open fields together!
Finally, I have to mention the Oregon Coast! The coast is obviously beautiful year-round, but in the summer, you have a better chance of getting a day with nicer weather! If you’re a beach lover, let’s explore Cape Kiwanda or Hug Point and capture you playing in the waves, reading on the beach, climbing on the rocks, etc. Golden hour on the coast is EPIC, but even overcast weather looks beautiful + gives off that PNW vibe. The coast never disappoints!
Lastly, let’s go through a few outfit ideas for your senior session in case you need some inspo to start off with!
Prefer to go a little more casual? Opt for a short dress or a cute romper! These are fun and playful, while still being a little dressed up. I love a good floral romper or mini dress featuring simple patterns!
Long, flowy dresses are alwayssss a good way to go if you want whimsical summer senior photos. The movement of long dresses adds a super pretty touch to photos, so they’re especially great if we’re shooting somewhere that has some wind! It’s also just fun twirling around in a long dress and makes you feel beautiful, right?
Whether you go with a mini or a longer maxi, skirts are SO much fun for summer senior photos! Mini skirts look super cute + fashionable with really any top, and you can make an outfit look just a little bit more formal with a nice black mini skirt. Or, go for a flowy maxi skirt that you can twirl in + gives off a super chill, go-with-the-flow vibe!
Either way, make sure you’re comfortable in the skirt you go with and aren’t just wearing it to look cute – if you don’t feel confident in it or it doesn’t fit you well, you won’t feel like your best self in your photos!
Shorts are an easy way to wear the same bottoms with multiple shirts! Find a good pair of linen or denim shorts, and pick out a couple different shirts to pair with them. This adds easy + simple variety!
Finally, make sure you don’t forget about accessories! Adding a stylish Gigi Pip hat, a cute jacket, or rings/necklaces/earrings/bracelets, can add SO much to any outfit. And feel free to get creative with it – bring along some flowers, a blanket, a vintage truck, whatever makes your session feel like YOU!!