As a photographer, finding the perfect location for winter senior pictures can be challenging. But Highbanks Metro Park is one of my favorites. It’s located just north of Columbus, in Lewis Center, Ohio. So even though it’s summertime now, just know that winter senior pictures are still doable here!
In this blog post, we'll explore why Highbanks is one of my favorite parks for winter senior photo sessions.
4 Reasons Highbanks Metro Park is Perfect for Winter Senior Pictures
1. It’s a Massive Park and Usually Not Crowded
One of the main reasons I love Highbanks Metro Park for senior photo shoots is that it’s massive and usually not crowded. And honestly, the park is so big that if one area is packed, it’s easy to move to another part that isn’t. Unlike busier locations, Highbanks makes it easy to focus on taking winter senior pictures without many distractions. So if the thought of having your photo taken in front of onlookers makes you squeamish, this place has plenty of privacy.
2. Variety and Convenience
Highbanks has so many little spots that we can create half a dozen unique looks within ¼ mile! And none of it requires much walking or hiking to the perfect spot. What other place offers that kind of variety and convenience for senior pictures?
And on days when it is super cold, we’re always able to shoot really close to the parking lot so you can easily hop in and out of your car to stay warm. I wrote a blog about how to stay warm during the coldest of winter days for photos here.
3. Embrace Ohio’s Mild Winters
We’re lucky to live in a place where winter is usually mild. So even if it’s in the dead of winter with snow on the ground, it’s usually not too cold to take photos. Seniors can still showcase their style with warmer layers of clothes without feeling uncomfortably bundled up.
We took Fatima’s photos a few days after it had snowed, and it’s obvious in most of her photos. But she didn’t get too cold, thanks to our mild weather. She wore an oversized sweater that perfectly complimented the background. And in her close-up photos, her photos could pass for being taken in the fall.
So just because it’s winter doesn’t mean photos are impossible. I do winter senior sessions all the time.
4. Want Fall Photos During Winter?
If you were hoping for fall senior photos but didn’t schedule them in time, Highbanks is perfect! It has large open fields reminiscent of fall with earth tones. This makes it ideal for wearing sweaters, dresses, and jackets to keep warm while still getting fall-vibe photos.
Highbanks also gives off lovely warm tones as the sun sets, despite it being wintertime. Usually, when the sun goes down in winter, the tones it gives off are blue. So this is another advantage of doing winter photos here and achieving a warmer/fall tone.
The only caveat to shooting winter senior pictures is that sessions must start a little earlier than they would in the summer. Since the sun goes down earlier, the latest I would begin a winter shoot here would be 4:00pm. But otherwise, Highbanks is the perfect location for senior pictures all year round!
Think You Waited Too Long for Senior Pictures? Not a chance!
Murphy’s mom, Michelle, reached out to schedule senior pictures in February and was afraid they’d waited too long since it was past fall. But that’s not the case at all. It’s true - fall sessions fill up the quickest, but that’s not a deadline by any stretch.
We did a combination of studio photos and outdoor photos at Highbanks for Murphy’s photos. Again, if I didn’t tell you her photos were taken in the winter, you’d think they were taken in the fall. I mean, she wore a skirt and sat on the ground - in February!
The takeaway here - don’t ever think you’ve waited too long. I’ve photographed seniors as late as April and early May. Every school has different deadlines to meet for their yearbook, but as long as it hasn’t passed, I can usually turn around the photos quickly.
Murphy’s mom left this raving review, and I couldn’t be more thankful for parents (and seniors) who put their trust in me.
Highbanks is perfect for winter senior pictures, but it’s pretty awesome for every season.
Want to see a couple of other senior sessions I’ve photographed at Highbanks Metro Park?
Check these two blog posts out:
Sydney’s senior photos were taken at Highbanks in the middle of a hot summer day. This one has a few tips on being flexible during your senior session.
I did a snow session for CJ at Highbanks after a snowstorm with his snowboard! This one was so much fun but required a little extra planning.
If you’d like to learn more about working together, sign up for a free consultation with me here.
Aaron Taylor is a high school senior photographer based out of Columbus, Ohio.