Not sure where to have your senior portraits taken?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you!
This list has been long overdue. I’ve been working with seniors since 2012 throughout Western Massachusetts, and I’ve been lucky to shoot in some really cool places. I’m hoping this post will help both students looking to plan their senior portrait session and other photographers hoping to scope out some fun new locations for their clients too.
I know there’s so many more I’m not thinking of, and I can already feel another list coming on, but here’s my top 9 for now!
Best Places to Take Senior Portraits in Western Mass
1. Quabbin Reservoir – Belchertown, Massachusetts
What I love: gorgeous natural landscape with a variety of field, forest, and water backdrops; plus a few buildings with brick and stone textures available for a variety of looks.
2. Mt. Pollux Conservation Area – Amherst, Massachusetts
What I love: a gorgeous field with scenic New England views, and if you time it right (mid/late summer) you’ll get Queen Anne’s Lace flowers as far as the eye can see.
What I love: a great variety of textures, backdrops, and various building styles in a walkable distance. Downtown Amherst is perfect for those looking for modern senior portraits and a sleek look.
4. Cold Spring Orchard – Belchertown, Massachusetts
What I love: honestly, everything. The bright red barns, the flower garden, and of course the apple orchard. It’s perfect for anyone wanting a country look for their senior portraits. *Please call and ask permission to shoot here prior & be respectful of the owners and the apple trees*
5. UMass Amherst campus – Amherst, Massachusetts
What I love: it’s ya girl’s Alma mater, and it’s also such a fun place to shoot. This location is a one-stop-shop. Gorgeous campus, beautiful landscaping, a pond, gardens, and literally every backdrop you could want all in one place. You’ve got buildings built in the 1850s all the way up to 2020. For anyone unsure of the look they want, this campus is a great place to shoot and figure out which backdrops speak to you.
6.The Botanic Garden at Smith College – Northampton, Massachusetts
What I love: flowers. Lots of flowers. There’s also a really cool boathouse and lake to use a backdrop as well. The Smith College Botanic Garden provides two main looks: a bright, fun pop of color among the flowers, and also a cool, casual look down at the boathouse. *Please see their photography policies prior to shooting*
7. Tower Hill Botanic Garden – Boylston, Massachusetts
What I love: acres and acres of beautiful landscape and all the flowers you could possibly want. Tower Hill Botanic Garden has a lot to offer: an elegant greenhouse filled with tropical plants, brick buildings with sparkling fountains, and what seems like every single flower, tree, and shrub known to man. There is a fee to shoot here, but I personally think it’s well worth the cost. *Please see their photography policies prior to shooting*
8. Quabbin Park Cemetery – Ware, Massachusetts
(I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out.) What I love: this green door covered in vines, the stone memorial building, and lots of pretty green space for photos. It’s a great place for a natural backdrop and a casual feel to your photos.
9. Carriage House at Barney Estate – Springfield, Massachusetts
What I love: Forest Park in general has acres of beautiful green space for photos, but I especially love the unique look of the Carriage House and the surrounding gardens. You’ll get both pops of color and an almost dollhouse-like feel with the Carriage House, and as well as some very unique gardens, landscaping, and water features throughout the park.