Best Senior Photo Session Locations in Minneapolis and St Paul Minnesota
Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the suburbs of the Twin Cities are filled with a large variety of nature and cityscapes. More than you can possibly dream of! When I ask my seniors about what kind of locations they like, I encourage them to think about what type of scenery they want. Some examples include:
- Water features (lake, river, waterfall)
- Nature (trees, long grass, flowers, garden vibes)
- City/Urban (downtown, building textures)
- School/Sports location (football/soccer/ baseball field, front of high school, front of a stadium, etc)
If you’re feeling adventurous and want photos that impress EVERYONE in your yearbook, consider traveling for your senior photos! It could be as simple as going to Duluth or flying me out on your family vacation! I travel to Florida a TON and have friends in other places such as Charleston, SC and SLC, Utah, and could do your senior session with no travel fees if I’m already traveling! Going on a family vacation and want your senior photos in the mountains or by the ocean? LET’S GO!
After 11 years of experience photographing over a hundred high school senior photography sessions, I have compiled a list of some of my top recommended senior session locations in the Twin Cities! Some of these locations I’ve been to for engagement sessions more recently so I will include a few photos from an engagement session just so you can get an idea of the location.
Best Senior Photo Session Locations in Minneapolis and St Paul Minnesota
Stone Arch Bridge
Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis is one of the most iconic locations for senior photos and for good reason! There are a ton of different building textures and colors, the bridge itself, city views, tall grass, options near the bridge, the river under the bridge for some water features, and even some potted flowers around the buildings! It’s also good in the fall since there are still some trees in the area! Although it’s a high-traffic area with people walking around and other photographers around, I can find some amazing spots that make it look like it’s just you and the city! Stone Arch Bridge is also my favorite location for guy senior photos because of all the building textures.
Notes: There is limited parking so arrive early and plan to pay a small parking fee. I recommend parking at The Stone Arch Parking Lot: 100 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55401. Plan to change in your car and bring good walking shoes if you have heels!
St Anthony Main Street
St. Anthony Main Street is definitely one of my favorite locations. Fun fact: This is where I did my own senior photos!! There is a wide variety to choose from, with a city vibe and a mix of nature/water features too. This is truly a great location all year round.
Notes: There is parking along the streets that you will have to pay a small fee for. I highly recommend showing up early because you’ll most likely hit traffic. I like to meet clients outside the St. Anthony Main Theater: 115 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414. Make sure to bring good walking shoes, and plan to change in your car, or there is a restaurant bathroom nearby.
Downtown Wayzata along Lake Street
Downtown Wayzata is another fantastic spot. It also has a lot of variety and definitely has that cute downtown small-city feel. It is classy, there are flowers and flower pots, areas of long grass, buildings with all kinds of fun colors, it has water/dock access, and the beach is half a mile away! It’s so much fun in the summertime with lots of flowers and greenery, but the fall season is great too.
Notes: You can park at the parking ramp near Crisp and Green for free parking, but make sure to come early as it can get very busy. I usually like to meet on top of the parking ramp or near Crisp and Green: 755 Lake St E #120, Wayzata, MN 55391.
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
In front of Como Park Zoo and Conservatory and all around the grounds are tons of flowers, long grass, trees, the famous glass conservatory with large glass windows and marble stairs, and the dock access at the Como Lakeside Pavillion. What more could you need?? This location is perfect in the spring, summer or fall. This is definitely a favorite location for me and I always love to recommend it!
Notes: Parking is free here, but there’s a bit of walking from the car to all the locations. I don’t usually shoot inside because there is a fee and a limited 30-minute photography time frame. I usually meet clients right in front of the conservatory front steps. Plan to change in your car or bathroom (Usually the conservatory closes around 5 or 6 pm during a session). Address: 1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103.
Noerenburg Gardens in Minnetonka
A favorite spot in Minnetonka is the Noerenburg Gardens! It’s a very well-kept park and has a mix of flowers, nature, long grass, and lake views. I think this location is best in the summer when the gardens are in bloom!
Notes: Parking is free and you can change in your car. Address: 2865 N Shore Dr, Wayzata, MN 55391.
Lyndale Park Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, and Lake Harriet Bandshell Park
This Minneapolis gem is another great location with so much variety! It has so many beautiful gardens and the roses are in full bloom around August. It has a water fountain and a Japanese garden too! I will say this spot is much busier and a bit harder to avoid people but definitely beautiful!
Notes: You’ll have to pay for parking and I recommend parking at the Rose Garden Parking Lot: 4124 Roseway Rd, Minneapolis, MN 55409. After the rose garden, seniors usually like to drive to Lake Harriet Bandshell Park. It’s right down the road and has lake views and photos on the dock with sailboats in the background! Note that this location can also be very busy if there’s a show at the Bandshell.
Downtown Stillwater is a great spot if you want to get outside the cities and have a small downtown feel to your photos. If you’ve ever been, you know Stillwater is typically very busy and you should arrive 15+ minutes early to find parking. There are city/building options, flowers, river views, a bit of nature, and beach access nearby.
Notes: You can plan on changing in your car or restaurant bathrooms. There will be a lot of walking so plan a carrying bag for your outfits (ask mom to help with carrying this) and bring comfy walking shoes if you plan to wear heels. Some areas may have free parking, but you might have to walk farther. I like to meet pretty central to downtown at Charlie’s Irish Pub: 436 Chestnut St E #422, Stillwater, MN 55082.
Lake of the Isles and Bda Maka Ska Beach
Another fun Minneapolis location is Lake of the Isles. There are lots of flowing willow trees, greenery, and of course lake views. This is also a great spot to pair near Bda Maka Ska Lake at 32nd Street beach access.
St Paul Parks
There are a ton of small parks in St Paul that are super close to each other and you can jump from one to another for some great variety! A few of my favs are:
- Irvine Park: It has a water fountain, tall trees, and is great for spring, summer, or fall sessions.
- Rice Park: It has a small open space with some trees and I love shooting along the marble stair entrance of the Saint Paul Public Library that is next to the park!
- Mears Park: Has a little river/water feature, trees, and flowers.
- Harriet Island Regional Park: Gorgeous views of the river and city.
Arneson Acres Park
A hidden gem in Edina is Arneson Acres Park! It’s a very clean and well-kept park with a beautiful water fountain, flowers, and trees. You can also pair it with another location nearby as the park is pretty small, but you can still get lots of variety here.
Notes: You can change in your car or bathroom. Parking is free. Address: 4711 W 70th St, Edina, MN 55424.
Centennial Lakes is another great spot that you could easily pair with Arneson Acres if you wanted too. It has water, flowers, and trees all around a walking path that wraps around a man-made pond.
Notes: You can change in your car or the park’s bathroom, and I would bring good walking shoes too. Address: 7499 France Ave S, Edina, MN 55435.
Lakefront Park in Prior Lake
Lakefront Park is a huge park and beautiful location for beach access, nature, trees, some flowers, and long grass. I love this location most in the summer and fall. Address: 5000 Kop Pkwy, Prior Lake, MN 55372.
Another fun downtown spot is in Shakopee. It has edgy vibes, with a small-town feel and even some cool graffiti along the alleyways. There are also some trees nearby for a nature look as well. This is one of my top locations for the guys and can pair well with Lakefront Park or another one nearby.
Rice Creek in Shoreview
Rice Creek is a fun location, especially for a fall session! It has tall pine trees, long grass, a walking path, and has more of that northern Minnesota feel!
Notes: Parking is free and you will have to change in your car.
Ritter Farm Park in Lakeville
This Lakeville spot is another great fall location. If you love nature, consider this spot with its big trees, long grass, and a bridge.
Are You Ready to Book Your Senior Session With Me?!
Although there are SO many more locations that are great and not on this list, the most important factor to remember is you should choose the location based on what best represents YOU. Share this with your senior bestie and let’s get your senior session booked at your favorite location! You can reach out to me here!
If you loved this blog, make sure to check out the ones below, including my “Best of Seniors” blog for the class of 2023!