We are pretty lucky living where we do! There are so many great places to choose from! While I'd love to photograph every senior here in Forsyth County, I know that's not possible nor a reality. That's why I want to share my favorite senior picture locations in and around Cumming if you decide to head out on your own. I love these locations for their light, their variety, and their proximity to Cumming.
#1 Downtown Buford
Downtown Buford is one of my favorite places to take my seniors! There is so much variety there. Do you want green space and outdoors? Check! Do you want an urban feel? Check? Do you like beautiful sun and backlighting? Check and check! You can walk down W. Main Street and there are storefronts, restaurants, flowers and these amazing old buildings. There is white brick, red brick, and black brick. I love the interesting murals that are painted on the sides of the buildings as well.
From there you can turn down the alleys and they have their own set of interesting textures. Believe it or not, you can turn the garbage cans and back doors into beautiful blurred backgrounds that make the loveliest patterns. There are so many options that I can take multiple seniors there to shoot and they all walk away with different looking photos. It isn't cookie cutter at all.
Same place, different looks
#2 Lower Pool Park at Buford Dam
If you want nature, then this is an AMAZING spot. It's important to start down below and work your way back up to the top of the road (near the entrance) as the sun sets. I like to get there about 2 hours before sunset and when the sun dips behind the tree line move upward and continue to shoot. You get a whole new dose of sun up near the exit. It's great!
I like to start along the river. There are some really beautiful places to shoot where it is very shallow (always be cognizant of the dam and any warnings to get away from the river if they are letting the water out!!) There are some rocks to stand on and the light is very beautiful. Then you can walk along the path toward the dam and there are some great places to shoot depending on what time of the year it is.
Lastly, go up near the pay for parking booth and there is a spot where the goats roam around and the sun sets down the road and you can get really pretty backlit shots. There are usually some high weeds right there too which can be really pretty (just pay attention to where you are stepping.) It is $5 to park and they have a credit card machine. They do check so don't drive by. Also, check the website and make sure it isn't closed for deer hunting season. I have been burned not once but twice with that one!
Start at the bottom and work your way up...
#3 Lake Lanier Park
If you love lake life, this is the spot for you!! What's great about it is that you can get both beach shots down on the right (you might have to photoshop out the buoys,) and you can get sunset lake shots by the picnic area on the left. It is hard to find a west facing lake shot on this side of Cumming so this was a key find for me. If you stay right up until the sun is about to dip behind the tree line you can get some really beautiful shots!! It is $5 to park and there is a credit card machine now (they no longer take cash.)
#4 Mary Alice Park (be prepared to wake up early!)
If you have a senior who doesn't mind waking up early, you can find the BEST sunrises at Mary Alice Park. You want to get there well before sunrise to be ready. It goes from orange golden sun to harsh midday light very quickly. If you are lucky, you'll catch an amazing sunrise just like we did. Be prepared to pay to park but if you get there early enough you are usually out of there before anyone starts checking. It will just be you and maybe a few triathletes getting in their morning swim.
#5 The Barn next to First Baptist Church
Ok, I am going to be honest. I "think" it is ok to shoot here. I have never had a problem. I had heard that the church owned the barn and they didn't mind if people took photos there. I guess I will soon hear if I am wrong if someone sees this blog post and it is inaccurate :). This barn is really beautiful and it has some cool light. You can get a neat sunset over the barn and then as the sun sets you can either get some great backlit shots or some pretty shots right after the sun goes behind the tree line against the barn. It is a beautiful soft light.
Do you have a favorite place to shoot?
I also love anywhere that has trees with the sun setting behind them. You can get some beautiful, simple shots of your senior. I'd love to hear where your favorite places are! Please share in the comments below.
Share this with anyone you know who is a senior! These are all great places to get pictures with your friends for your party invite as well.
Andrea is a personal branding photographer who helps female entrepreneurs, and small business owners bring their brand to life. She is based in Cumming, Georgia but you can find her shooting from coast to coast.