Con -GRAD- ulations!

Senior portraits have come such a long way from the the regular school portrait. Now high school and college graduates alike can really show their personality while also feeling like a superstar. For many this is there very first professional photoshoot, so the exceptions are high and so are the nerves!! We like to keep it light and usually our graduates leave saying “That was fun!” I think the biggest reason for this is the constant encouragement we are feeding our seniors during the high school or college senior portrait session. I mean, everyone needs a boost that they are doing a great job don’t you think?!

Planning a senior portrait session has a few phases that I think are important. The first is the consultation. One crucial discussion point of the consultation is LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! For senior portrait sessions your location needs to have 3 things! Good light, variety in backdrop, places to sit. 

Good light- This means the light needs to be filtered, or the location needs to offer nice shade. Depending on the look of light you are going for, some spots will work better for this than others. Golden hour light is going to give a dreamy hazy romantic feel. This can works like a dream for the ladies and can work well for guys too but posing is everything.

Variety of backdrop- We are looking for a location that can give you variety in your final gallery of images. I love options that have at least 3 changes in scenery. 

Places to sit- I can guide you into so many more poses when sitting. But sitting on the ground isn’t the best. Better yet pick a location that has stairs, benches, or even big rocks. 

Between all 3 things we are creating more interest to your final gallery! 

Now in studio we can make all this happen in one location; but, if you are set on having an outdoor senior photoshoot in the Palm Springs area then I have some great options that are tried and true. 

All 5 of these location are in the Palm Springs area. The are all different in style, so depending on what look you are going for there is a spot for everyone. 


The landscape at Silver Rock is beautiful! Since you are a golf course you get great open landscape with mountain range in the background. There is even a pound by the entrance with a grove of palm trees near by. The entrance is off Avenue 52 in La Quinta.


Equipped with beautiful Spanish architecture and gorgeous light in the golden hour, this location is La Quinta also has plenty of backdrops and places to sit for posing. The old town strip has store lined pathways. There are areas with greenery, and areas with Spanish tile. You can access great parking off of Calle Tampico and walk over to to the main street. 

3. Palm Desert Civic Park- Palm Desert

This family friendly park as can get a little crowded on the weekends, BUT; it has so many different backdrops in one location. There is an area with huge trees, bridges going over the pond and even a desert landscaped area. The light in the afternoons is beautiful during golden hour; but, it can be also gorgeous mid day. During the week is the best time to visit this spot, since birthday parties and other gatherings usually occupy the park on the weekends. This park has an entrance off Fred Waring by College of the Desert. 

4. Wolfson Park- Rancho Mirage

If you are looking for a spot with gorgeous flowers and a great scene of the moutains then Wolfson Park is for you.

This small park is very private, with benches, large trees, flower and cactus gardens. It even has some mountain range view! Again other spot beautiful during golden hour! Check out these senior portraits taken at Wolfson Park mid day! You can access Wolfson Park off Frank Sinatra.

5. Moorten Botanical Garden- Palm Springs 

This is a historical garden that has a mix of rustic charm and desert landscape. You can find great light in the green house surrounded by hanging cactus and succulents. This location can give you that unique eclectic Palm Springs vibe. There are plenty of spot to sit, and so many different plants so change in background is not really an issue! Moorten’s is off N. Palm Canyon Dr. 

All 5 of these spots in the Palm Springs area are great options for any portrait session; but, work especially well for a senior or graduate session. Hopefully when you are planning your senior’s session, this can help! Don’t forget to continue the celebration and go out for lunch or dinner after the photoshoot! 

Here are a few of my favorite spots!

  1. Solano’s Bar and Grill Palm Desert - Try whatever special Chef Paco is whipping up that night! You won’t be disappointed 
  2. Eureka Burger Rancho Mirage - The Jalapeño Egg Burger is delish
  3. Trio Palm Springs - Steak Frittes!! Need I say more! Or the pizza!!!
  4. Chula’s La Quinta - This is a lunch spot if you have an early session and I recommend the Monte Cristo!
  5. Okura Sushi La Quinta - The Carpaccio is excellent and if you aren’t into raw fish, the Bang Bang Shrimp is awesome and mouth watering!