My Favorite Locations in Michigan for Portrait Sessions

Michigan is a beautiful state and it has a ton of great locations for portrait photography! Here are a handful of my personal favorite places I’ve done sessions so far.

At the bottom of the post is a video featuring more images from these locations.

Dow Gardens in Midland

Dow Gardens is the location I frequent the most for senior portraits! Between the bridges, craggily trees, trails, waterfalls, flowers, and beautiful backlight greenery it is the idea location for senior portraits in mid-Michigan year round. The video below shows some of the diversity we can get from this beautiful location.

Island and Nelson Park in Mount Pleasant

Island and Nelson Park are great locations for senior or couples portraits for those in the Mount Pleasant area. The trail between the two parks and Nelson Park’s rocks make for a beautiful backdrop for portraiture.

Rural areas outside of Clare and Downtown Clare at Night

Some of the rural areas outside of Clare can be great for portraits! I have access to cool gritty textured walls, craggily trees, overgrown fields, and dusty country roads that can become a beautiful backdrop for your portraits. I have permission to photograph all of the areas shown here. Also these spots are far less congested than the aforementioned parks.

For something really unique for your portrait session photos as dusk in downtown Clare can be a great unique portrait option. We usually have more than enough time after shooting in rural Clare, Mount Pleasant, or Midland to get back to Clare and shoot some night images.

Downtown Grand Rapids and Grand Haven on Lake Michigan

Downtown Grand Rapids is one of my favorite urban areas to shoot. The cityscape is a gorgeous backdrop for couples or seniors during the evening and after dark. Between the bridges and architecture it’s hard to go wrong with a session in downtown Grand Rapids.

My all time favorite location for portrait sessions is on Lake Michigan. Grand Haven make for the ideal couples, senior, or family portrait session location, even in the winter! I’d also love to do more sessions in Ludington as well in the future.

The above video shows more sample images from the mentioned locations in Michigan

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Photographer/Retoucher at Ryan Watkins Photography
Portrait and Wedding Photographer catering to Clare, Mt Pleasant, and Midland, Michigan. Ready to travel anywhere in the state.

Graduate from the Hallmark Institute of Photography and recipient the Highest Academic Honor.

Published in several magazines including Shutterbug, Digital Photo, Outdoor Photographer, and PDNedu.
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