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Choosing the Right Location | 30A Senior Portraits

Choosing a great location is one of the most important pieces when setting up your senior photo shoot. The backdrop (style/setting) you select will set the stage for the photo session and will be an essential piece of every shot, pose and, ultimately, the finished product. We recommend picking several locations that are special to you, either a spot you love, somewhere you frequent or a place that best represents your personality. While 30A is most popular for it's beach locations, it also offers some of the most beautiful gardens and unique settings for your senior portraits.

One of my favorite ideas for a senior photo session is to photograph right at your home, in the backyard or at a favorite spot on your property. Choosing to photograph at your vacation rental offers a VERY UNIQUE location idea for senior portraits as every vacation rental is decorated different and has something creative to offer as a backdrop.

What may seem like everyday home decor to you, becomes a blank canvas for photographers like me who love to think outside the box when it comes to senior portraits. While many opt for a traditional look in their senior photos, I focus on creating a high-fashion, magazine style image for both guys and gals. My goal is to create something epic for each and every senior my camera focuses on.

For this session, our first stop was of course... Miss Lisa's home! Lisa's house was the perfect setting for not just one outfit, but three! And to be honest, we could have photographed several more outfits at this location as the landscaping was just gorgeous.


We narrowed down wardrobe to three very different styles at this spot.


click image to enlarge

What are some important things to consider when choosing your senior portrait locations?


First off, always remember that if you are looking for 30A beach portraits, those outfits need to be photographed at either sunrise or about one hour before sunset. When photographing on the beach, we are limited on time as we are looking to capture the stunning colors of the sky during those times of the day. Sunrise sessions will always begin right at day break and sunset session will begin on the beach about 40 minutes before sunset. Please check the sunrise/sunset calendar to check time frames for the date you plan to have your senior photography session.

Just like everyone else, I love hitting the beach at sunrise or sunset for my senior photo sessions on 30A, but I will admit, I absolutely love photographing at some of the more unique 30A locations like Watercolor Gardens and Vintage shopping vybz. These are a great option and can be done mid-moring or late afternoon!


keep scrolling for more 30A photo location tips & ideas

#streetscape #meadow Senior Portrait Location Ideas


After you have narrowed down the location list, it’s important to think about some key logistics: are there restrooms? Is the distance from the parking to the actual shoot location far? If so, pack comfy shoes for everyone! Will there be places to change outfits, retouch hair and makeup and relax between shots? Will there be crowds nearby—and, if so, are you comfortable shooting in front of others?


We’ve seen amazing 30A Senior Portrait sessions everywhere from backyards to arcades, baseball fields, lakes to open meadows. As Santa Rosa Beach Locals, we know the 30A area very well and can help make recommendations based on your unique needs, personality and inspirations.

One other location that many don't think of... the local high school!

When should I schedule my senior portrait session?

Our goal is to capture your HIGH SCHOOL YEARS! Not just your senior year. While this article is about choosing the best location for your senior portrait session, our model for this blog post is Miss Dalaney. Miss D is currently a Sophomore in High School. I am lucky enough to photograph this beautiful young lady a couple of times a year! Why you ask? Because her amazing mother wants to document every amazing change from her 9th grade year to her senior year.


I started photographing D in her 9th grade year. Her brother was a senior at the time, and his mother wanted to document each season of his senior year. So we did (4) senior portrait sessions over the course of his senior year. During this time, D would tag along and so I started capturing a few images of her at each session. By the time the year was done, we had enough images to create an Heirloom Album of just her Freshman year. It was at that time that we decided to continue the adventure and we meet up a couple times a year for a quick photo session. At the end of each school year, we have stunning images to create an album that she can display at her Graduation Open House party.


If you are a 30A local or visit the 30A area at least once a year, We would love to chat with you about model opportunities for our "High School Years" program.

please contact us at (850) 460-4437


What the best time of year for Senior Portraits?

As a 30A photographer, we get asked this question frequently. We suggest booking senior portrait session during the summer before you start senior year. Another great time of year is to schedule a senior portrait session during your 30A Spring Break Vacation.


During Peak Season, May thru August, we typically book 4-6 weeks in advance. Holidays and spring break vacation times will also book quickly so please schedule those dates as soon as possible as all sessions are on a first come first serve basis.


If you need more information about 30A senior Portraits, best locations or pricing questions, please contact us by email at meloniemariephotography@gmail.com or text us at (850) 460-4437.

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