When it comes to guy senior portraits, where is the best place to start looking for a location? Today I'm sharing 7 of my favorite Pittsburgh based locations for guy senior portraits, what I love about each, and sample galleries from each location! Without further ado, here are my top 7:

1. The North Shore

Why: The North Shore is by FAR my favorite location for guy senior portraits. Within just a few blocks of PNC Park, the North Shore is chalked full of different types of architecture and textured backgrounds. Typically, for guy senior portraits, I like to recommend a mix of architecture and nature - architecture symbolizes strength and stability, which are the perfect qualities to showcase during senior portraits.

Best Time of Year: I love this location because it looks good year round! While in the spring, summer, and fall months I like to find little nooks and crannies of the North Shore with some greenery to incorporate, the North Shore looks just as great during the winter - because architecture looks good year round!

Sample Sessions from the North Shore:

2. Central Oakland

Why: Oakland has lots of architectural locations to work with within a mid to long range walking distance. Within just a few blocks of space is: the Cathedral of Learning, Frick Fountain, Mellon Institute, and Heinz Chapel, as well as some great spots for natural imagery (Phipp’s is pretty close, too!).

Best Time of Year: One of my favorite parts about shooting in Oakland is that it looks good almost all year round! In the summer, you will get the benefit of the natural greenery surrounding the buildings, but when shooting in the wintertime at locations such as the Mellon Institute and Cathedral of Learning, you can barely notice what time of year it is!

Sample Sessions from Oakland:

3. McConnell’s Mill

Why: The more I shoot at McConnell’s Mill, the more I love it! There are so many different elements to work with – some within walking distance, and some within a short driving distance. In the central part of McConnell’s, there is the wood mill, river, waterfalls, rocks, and roads. Within a short driving distance, there is a field and “Cleland Rock,” which has become a personal favorite of mine for it’s West Virginia-like views!

Best Time of Year: I’ve taken photos at McConnell’s during every season and can honestly say that I love photographing clients there year ‘round! However, I do find it to be especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves are changing.

Sample Sessions from McConnell's Mill:

4. Moraine State Park

Why: You guessed it – there’s a great amount of variety at Moraine, especially if you are looking for more “natural” elements in your photos! At the South Shore boat launch, there are docks, fields, bridges, and forest within a very short walking distance.

Best Time of Year: Moraine is beautiful in the spring summer, and fall months (but fall is my favorite time!)

Sample Sessions from Moraine State Park:

5. Historic Harmony

Why: Much like the other locations mentioned previously, I have a love for Historic Harmony because of its diversity (and because it’s a short distance from my house! ;) ). It has a variety of historic buildings with bright colored brick, doors, and windows, and even has a coffee shop (Wunderbar) right in town!

Best Time of Year: Historic Harmony is beautiful all year round! Of course, for more greenery, it’s best to schedule during the spring, summer, and fall months.

Sample Sessions from Historic Harmony:

6. North Park

Why: North Park is a great option for more natural-focused imagery. With a wide variety of landscaping and natural elements, including woods, fields, and a lake, as well as benches, bridges, and fences, North Park makes for a great location for more "classic" senior portraits.

Best Time of Year: North Park is gorgeous during Spring, Summer, and Fall (but I love all of the colors of fall!).

Sample Sessions from Moraine State Park:

7. The Strip District

Why: The Strip District has TONS of unique urban elements. It would have to be my top pick if you love urban style, mixed with Pittsburgh, mixed with lots of variety! I haven't photographed any senior guys here yet (the previews below are from senior girl and engagement sessions), but I know it would be the perfect spot!

Best Time of Year: It looks great year round, even in the wintertime!

Sample Sessions from the Strip District:

But don't forget about other locations...

Every photographer has a "wish list" of locations they want to shoot at. Besides the locations mentioned above, here are a few other locations I would love to photograph senior guy portraits at:

  • The South Side (lots of architectural elements and street art, including the Hot Metal Bridge and art by Baron Batch)
  • Downtown Pittsburgh (some prominent features include Strawberry Way, Mellon Square, and parking garage roofs!)

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