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Shot Spots

A rite of passage, senior photos are a huge milestone. And if you don’t want to look back at your portraits and cringe, finding a perfect location and setting is as important as how your hair looks.

Article
Valerie Grant
Photos
Valerie Grant
Posted
March 29, 2017

Have you been putting off your senior portraits? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It can be a daunting task to get that perfect photo — one that you’ll be comfortable sending out 
to the entire family, one that won’t make you cringe every time you look back on it.

As a photographer, one of the biggest decisions centers on the location. It makes a huge difference when you pick a spot that reflects who you are and what you’re passionate about. From beautiful sprawling fields or an edgy alleyway to railroad tracks or leaning against the weathered wood of an old barn, a great location can provide that earthy texture that just can’t be recreated in a studio setting.

Need a little inspiration? Here’s a list of some of my favorite portrait spots around Tulsa.

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The Classics

Woodward Park
2435 S. Peoria Ave. | Tulsa
If you’ve ever talked with a photographer about senior portrait spots in Tulsa, you’ve no doubt heard about Woodward Park. There’s a reason this classic spot is heavily utilized for all types of photo shoots — it’s one of Tulsa’s most beautiful public spaces. Because of the vast amount of space, there is plenty of room for diversity in your photos. Take the time to explore the grounds and scout out a few different locations; you’d be surprised at the variety of scenes you can find.

The Brady Arts District has become downtown Tulsa’s go-to district for shopping, galleries, museums, and dining, but it also hosts a ton of interesting spaces to take photos. (Photo: Valerie Grant)
The Brady Arts District has become downtown Tulsa’s go-to district for shopping, galleries, museums, and dining, but it also hosts a ton of interesting spaces to take photos. (Photo: Valerie Grant)

Tulsa Garden Center
2435 S. Peoria Ave. | Tulsa
Just around the corner from Woodward, you’ll find the Tulsa Garden Center which has a wonderful variety of hot spots to strike a pose, including one of my all-time favorites, the Greenhouse. Their backyard area also includes the arboretum (tree garden), the popular rose gardens, and beautiful fountains and walkways all over the grounds. One thing you’ll want to keep in mind if considering the Greenhouse is that the public hours are limited. (Monday- Friday: 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Saturday- Sunday: 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.)

Brady Arts District
Downtown Tulsa
The Brady Arts District has become downtown Tulsa’s go-to district for shopping, galleries, museums, and dining, but it also hosts a ton of interesting spaces to take photos. Once there, you can explore Guthrie Green and its great greenery, walkways, and light-
up fountains, or stroll through the surrounding eclectic alley ways, discover wall murals, or just utilize some of the great coffee shops such as Chimera, or Gypsy Coffee House, or Antoinette’s Bakery to snap a few portraits with your favorite drink or snack.

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Urban Style

Fifth and Boston
If you’re looking for something that is downtown and iconic to the history of Tulsa, Fifth and Boston is the perfect spot. There’s a certain feel to street photography. It encompasses the tallest skyscrapers in the city, which makes for a great backdrop. There are many buildings with beautiful Art Deco architecture that always make for unique portraits with great backdrop geometry and an iconic, epic feel.

Graffiti Murals
If you want fun, bright, colorful and unique portraits, you might consider using some of Tulsa’s beautiful graffiti murals 
in your photos (shout out to Clean Hands Army). You can find the wall art scattered throughout Tulsa, however, there is a huge concentrated area near Living Arts, East Village, and the Pearl District. Thanks to Habit Fest — an awesome mural festival — you can find about 20 of them on the walls at 860 Admiral Blvd.

Brookside
The Brookside area — generally considered to be along Peoria from 31st
 to 51st — offers a variety of options for photos. But what makes it really a unique area is the white-washed walls of the Center One plaza around 35th Street. This option allows you to have both the urban backdrops as well as simple, white, modern photographs that are very in style for portraits. Don’t miss the bamboo along the walls for a splash of green.

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Make It Your Own

Fields
You don’t have to search very far outside of Tulsa to find a beautiful open field that will make a great spot for simple and natural portraits. It’s important to keep the time of day in mind for any outdoor photo shoot, but especially when taking your photos in a field. The golden sunlight right before the sun sets is the perfect lighting for this type of photo. 

One great way to really communicate the story of who you are at this time in your life is to take your photo on the courts, on the field, track. (Photo: Valerie Grant)
One great way to really communicate the story of who you are at this time in your life is to take your photo on the courts, on the field, track. (Photo: Valerie Grant)

Home/Backyard
One way to make your senior portraits comfortable and personalized is to take photos in your home or backyard. Because you are familiar with these spaces, you might feel more comfortable and not as rushed, which is really important to capture those genuine smiles.

Sports Settings
One great way to really communicate the story of who you are at this time in your life is to take your photo on the courts, on the field, track — wherever your hobbies take place. This also allows you to be more creative with props or sports uniforms to tell a story, and get a really fun and action filled portrait.

LOCATOR
Valerie Grant Visuals
918-859-8574
valeriegrant.com