9 Best Places for Photography in Portland

Portland is certainly one of the most amazing locations in the country for photography. Our city truly has it all…memorable people, incredible architecture and breathtaking natural beauty. It is hard to pick my favorite locations to shoot, but here are a few:

1. East Bank Promenade - If you want to capture the Portland skyline and bridges at night, this is the place to do it. I’ve instructed tons of Night Photography Tours on the East Bank and the view of Portland never gets old. Morrison Bridge, Hawthorne Bridge and Tilikum Crossing are all within a short walk. Don’t forget your tripod!

Portland Photography Class

2. Portland Art Museum - This is a great spot to challenge your low light photography skills. Pick a high ISO, wide open aperture and the longest shutter speed you can hand hold and get creative. Keep your highlights under control and you’ll produce some dramatic images.

Portland Photography Class

3. St John’s Bridge and Cathedral Park - Rarely do I visit this location and not stumble upon a portrait session or engagement shoot. Leading lines, repetition, symmetry…the opportunity to implement the rules of composition into your images are endless.

Portland Photography Class

4. Pioneer Courthouse Square - Take a short walk around Pioneer Square. Every direction has a new photographic opportunity…the Portland Sign, South Park Blocks, Portlandia Statue, Director's Park, Pioneer Place, Chapman Square, Lownsdale Square and Portland’5 Centers of the Arts. You can’t go wrong.

Learn Photography in Portland
Learn Photography in Portland

5. Portland Saturday Market - Portland people watching at its finest! This fun and unique weekly event is my pick for adding a little photojournalism to your day. Don’t forget to tip the street performers you photograph!

Learn Photography in Portland
Learn Photography in Portland

6. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden - Although the gardens are lovely year-round, our photo tours start in April when the rhododendrons bloom and provide an incredible display of color. The ideal location to get creative with your flower photography.

Learn Photography in Portland

7. The Grotto - Many people have been to the Festival of Lights at the Grotto, but did you know there is a second level? Take the elevator column to the upper level and experience the picturesque 62 acres. The chapels, gardens and statues make for stunning imagery and a peaceful moment of solitude.

Portland Photo Tour

8. The Hoyt Arboretum - One of the most breathtaking locations in Oregon to experience the beauty of the season, particularly Fall when the Maple Trail shows off its colors. The Hoyt Arboretum is accessible by 12 miles of hiking trails and is home to 2,300 species of trees and plants. The perfect location to add remarkable landscapes to your portfolio, as well as captivating macro photography.

Portland Photo Tour
Portland Photo Tour

9. Tom McCall Waterfront Park - there are an abundance of photographic opportunities at the waterfront, from landscapes to photojournalism, but our favorite time to visit is late March when the cherry blossoms are in season. Donated to Portland from the Japanese Grain Importers Association, when these trees bloom, Spring in Portland has officially sprung!

Portland Photo Tour

What better way is there to enjoy this unique city than taking a walk with your camera?


Happy Shooting!

~ Jennifer