Great Locations for High School Senior Portraits in Michigan

Local venues for amazing senior pictures

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As a senior picture photographer, I have discovered great venues in southeast Michigan to take high school senior portraits. My top three on-location portrait locations are Birmingham (Oakland County), downtown Detroit (Wayne County), and Macomb County (several locations).

Birmingham, Michigan

Birmingham is where it all started. My first high school senior portrait session was in downtown Birmingham many years ago, and I still love to explore there.

These are my top choices in Birmingham:

  1. Quarton Lake – This spot northwest of downtown has much to offer.  The waterfall located just north of Maple Road is popular with seniors and wedding parties.  As you walk north along the east side of the lake, there are many scenic locations.  Shooting here in the late afternoon provides gorgeous filtered light through the trees on the west side of the lake.  There is also a charming fishing pier just south of Oak Street that also provides great backdrops.
  2. Downtown alleys – There are some great service alleys in downtown that provide an urban, edgy look for senior portraits.  They can be found both north and south of Maple Road.
  3. Shain Park – A photo shoot in Birmingham would not be complete without a trip to Shain Park.  The Marshall Fredericks statue “Freedom of the Human Spirit” is the centerpiece of this urban park.  This work of art was originally created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and the original bronze still located in New York, just outside the Arthur Ashe tennis stadium.  There is also an iconic fountain in the north half of Shain Park.
  4. Booth Park – This amazing park is located north of downtown, along Old Woodward Avenue.  It features a first-class playground, wooded park area, and a large hill.  I really enjoy taking portraits in this park.  You can also find easy access to a trail that follows a branch of the Rouge River.

Shain Park, Birmingham, Michigan
Shain Park – Birmingham, Michigan


I love downtown Detroit.  It is one of the most stunning locations for senior pictures anywhere in the world.  Contemporary and historic architectural masterworks provide a backdrop that no studio or small town could ever beat.  Here are my top choices in Detroit:

  1. Detroit RiverWalk – The RiverWalk has transformed the property fronting the Detroit River from industrial to breathtaking urban park and trail. It’s the home to Milliken State Park and Harbor.  Sometimes when you look around, it will seem more like northern Michigan than downtown Detroit.
  2. Dequindre Cut – The Dequindre Cut project turned an old abandoned railroad line into a paved pedestrian and bicycle path lined with curated graffiti. It’s a great place for senior pictures.
  3. Eastern Market – There is so much to see and do in the Eastern Market area.  Shooting around the market sheds is always a favorite.  Venture down some of the side streets and you will find art galleries, paper making companies, and stunning graffiti.
  4. Belle Isle – This island jewel, a Michigan State Park, has a rich history, iconic architecture, and nature’s splendor at every corner.  The Aquarium, Conservatory, and Scott Fountain are favorites of mine.

Sam - Detroit - Dequindre Cut

Dequindre Cut – Detroit, Michigan

Macomb County
If you are looking for a natural setting for your pictures in Macomb, these are my top two choices:

  1. Stony Creek Metropark – This 4,400-acre Metropark was developed around  Stony Creek Lake.  There are hiking and nature trails, wooded areas, waterfront settings and much more at this location.
  2. Wolcott Mill Metropark – Located east of Romeo Plank, near 29 Mile Road, this park has a bucolic setting on over 2,500 acres.  The Historic Center Grist Mill and trails are excellent places to shoot.  The Farm Center is another portrait choice.   Additionally, the equestrian trails could provide a beautiful horse as your backdrop.

Macomb Senior Pictures Portraits Michigan High School
Stony Creek Metro Park – Macomb County, Michigan

    1. Shelby Township Heritage Gardens – This park has a gardens area that can be rented out for special events.  The park features a 2.5 acre spring-fed lake.
    2. Blossom Heath Park and Pier / Wahby Park– Located in St. Clair Shores, east of Jefferson, and south of10 Mile, this park features fountains, ponds, and gazebo.  A separate park is also located behind the Blossom Heath Hall.  Wahby Park along Jefferson is the most accessible.

For a downtown setting in Macomb County, the Village of Romeo is my firstchoice.  Located near Van Dyke and 32 Mile, this historic downtown great historic buildings to use as backdrops.  Downtown Richmond, Utica, and Mt. Clemens are other good  city choices for urban lifestyle senior portraits.

If you have any questions about senior portraits, please don’t hesitate to call or email.

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