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How to choose a Boise portrait location

Posted in Know-how, Portraits on January 25th, 2013

As an on-location portrait photographer, one of the most common questions I get asked is how to pick a good portrait spot.  At the end of the day, it’s all about what sort of portraits you’re looking for–do you want a classic elegant look, a grungy hip style, a serene natural vibe?–but if you’re looking for more specific ideas, this is the blog entry for you – newly updated as of August 2015!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, IdahoWhat makes a good
portrait location?

You can find a good portrait location anywhere, and I’m not just saying that!  If you look at portraits shot from the waist or neck up, you’ll realize that in most cases, you can’t even tell where the portrait was shot.  We shot the photo at left by the Boise River in Eagle, but since the focus is on the model, the background blurs into the background – it could have been anywhere.

Light is usually a far more important factor than location when it comes to getting beautiful results, so if you’re concerned about picking a location that’s just right, don’t be!  As long as you pick a good time of day for your session (usually starting a couple hours before sunset, or shortly after sunrise if you’re an early bird), a spot that will give you a few options for shade (locations out in the open with no shady areas can be difficult), and a variety of textures (brick walls, trees, bushes), you’re bound to get great photos.

Want to make sure your full-length portraits have a stunning background?  Read on for four whole pages on my favorite spots in the Treasure Valley!




Boise Train Depot

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

The railroad tracks are perfect at sunset!

The train depot is one of Boise’s most popular locations for portraits of any kind – seniors, engagements, and many events.  The grounds include beautiful waterfalls, ponds, benches, and rock formations, while around back the train tracks provide a great moving-toward-the-next-phase-of-life feel, very appropriate for graduation.  The interior of the building is fascinating as well, but keep the limited hours in mind: it’s only open Sundays and Mondays, 11am-5pm.



How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

If you can catch the Depot when the interior is open to the public, it’s gorgeous!

Because the Depot is so popular, there may be events going on during your session (sometimes closing off the whole area for weddings), and during peak portrait season, the grounds will be packed and parking limited.  Check the Depot schedule ahead of time on weekends, and if you don’t fancy fighting for space, it’s best to pick a less well-known location.

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

It’s not just the back tracks that are photogenic – Platt Gardens out front is a beautiful spot for photos

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Don’t forget that classic view of downtown Boise from the Depot, too – especially stunning when the fall colors are out in October!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

The Depot is great both for wide and close shots of the beautiful architecture

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho


Kathryn Albertson Park

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Kathryn Albertson Park – beautiful for weddings and any other portraits

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Kathryn Albertson Park explodes with color in October…but also fellow photoshoots

Kathryn Albertson Park is another of Boise’s most popular locations for portraits, and you can see why!  It’s a gorgeous area for a very natural setting with rustic benches, fences, rocks, ponds, bridges, and beautiful plants at any time of year.  Although the park is big enough to fit quite a lot of people, it can get just as packed as the Depot during autumn, especially on weekends – allow extra time for finding parking, sometimes at Ann Morrison Park across the street.

Booking a two-hour session?  Consider splitting your time between Kathryn Albertson and the Boise Depot – they’re a five-minute drive from each other and you get the best of both worlds!


How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Look for the rustic forested fences at the back of the park, but be careful sitting on them!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

These reeds are a perennial favorite in the park – just check the ground for marshy conditions first!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

The bridges crossing the park’s many ponds are always photogenic spots

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

This sloped rock underneath a willow makes for an enchanted setting…if there aren’t any Canada geese nesting there!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Even in the dead of winter, there are still plenty of photoshoot options!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Whether you stay on the many paved paths or venture off to a secret garden, Kathryn Albertson never disappoints

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Freak Alley

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, IdahoLooking for a more grungy, hip style?  Freak Alley is another popular portrait spot in Boise, running between 8th and 9th St just south of Bannock.  The rotating displays of graffiti make for very colorful, sharp, rock star-like photos, and are particularly great for senior portraits.

Don’t get your heart too set on one display in particular, though – the graffiti is always changing!

 

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Capitol Building

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

A sunlit evening inside the capitol building makes the marble light up beautifully

Both the interior and exterior of the capitol building can be great for portraits.  With its beautiful white marble pillars, the inside has a lovely elegant look (open until early evening), while the imposing outside steps provide tons of portrait possibilities.  Added bonus: the grounds of the capitol have great benches, lawns, and seasonal plants for added variety.

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

The capitol is a particularly good indoor choice in winter when things get nasty outside – the poinsettia decorations add a festive touch!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Convince your fearless photographer to lean over the railing from the upper level for an aerial view!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Feeling artsy? The hallways can make for fantastic silhouettes!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Venturing outside, the wrought iron fences are always a good choice

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

You can’t go wrong with the stairs, and don’t forget the lovely small park across the street!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Capitol Garage

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Photos in a parking garage?!  Don’t knock it until you try it!  This garage on the corner of Capitol and Bannock is a great alternative or addition to the grunge of Freak Alley, with its glass mural, bright bricks, and dramatic possibilities of low lighting.  Prospective photographers – bring an off-camera flash for best results!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

Colorful bricks and ample possibilities for lounging around like a rock star!

How to choose a Boise portrait location | veterans memorial state park senior portraits senior portrait senior photos schick ostolasa farmstead military reserve park linen district kathryn albertson park idaho hidden springs freak alley eagle portrait locations downtown boise boise train depot boise senior pictures boise senior photos boise portrait photography boise portrait locations boise anna gorin  | Anna Gorin Design & Photography, Boise, Idaho

The locations continue below – click for the next page!

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One Response to “How to choose a Boise portrait location”

  1. Toni osmundson Says:

    Love…love your work!! Great blog and awesome photography! I’m an upcoming photographer and would love to follow you around/free help!!

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Contact me at anna[at]annagorin.com.  All content copyright Anna Gorin 2012 | Boise photography & graphic design