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Best Places to Take Senior Pictures in the Cedar Valley

Although the 2020-21 school year has been unusual, to say the least, it’s still a big moment in time for high school seniors who are wrapping up their secondary education and looking ahead to whatever their individual future holds.

You want to adequately commemorate this momentous occasion and preserve the memories with a set of professional senior portraits. Now is the perfect time to start planning ahead and scheduling your soon-to-be graduate’s session with a photographer in Cedar Valley. As part of that process, you will also want to decide where to have the pictures taken, which could be one or several locations in the region.

Senior Photos in Cedar Valley

Where to Take Senior Photos Near Des Moines

If you’ve lived in the Cedar Falls or Waterloo area for several years, your student may already have a good idea of what places to use as a backdrop for their senior pictures. There may be locations of special importance because of specific clubs or programs they were involved with, or specific memories that were made during their high school career. However, if you are going primarily based on aesthetics, Cedar Valley offers numerous locations with the sort of attractive environment that will elevate the quality of your senior pictures. Here are a few places in Northern Illinois to consider for your upcoming session with a professional photographer:

1. Des Moines' Historic East Village

The Historic East Village, considered to be Des Moines’ most vibrant and diverse district, provides the perfect backdrop for senior photos. Filled within pretty storefronts, historical architecture and plenty of character, you get the perfect urban vibe to highlight your impending graduation. Plus, East Village is a walkable location, meaning you and your photographer can meander on foot to find the perfect spots for photos.


2. Downtown Des Moines

A cultural hub, Downtown Des Moines is another great location for senior pictures. You can incorporate a touch of art by using the Pappajohn Sculpture Park or capture vintage architecture and scenic views from the front steps of the Iowa State Capitol. There are also several walking paths connected to downtown Des Moines or you can head to the iconic Principal Riverwalk.


3. Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Outdoor locations are always attractive options for senior photographs, especially during the spring. People tend to look good bathed in natural light. Plus, flowers, trees, fields and water features are natural enhancements to the images. The 67-mile Cedar Valley Nature Trail, which follows the fertile Cedar River between Evansdale and Ely, is a top choice for Northern Iowa families, being located in the vicinity of both Waterloo and Cedar Falls.


4. McFarlane Nature Park

McFarlane Park is another stunning natural setting that is located just 20 miles southeast of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metro area and 45 miles north of Cedar Rapids. A sprawling 150-acre park, this setting offers numerous attractions to include in your senior photos. For example, Wolf Creek and the Cedar River form the park’s northern boundary, while the two miles of walking trails in the park are replete with trees, woodland flowers and scenic meadows.


5. Brenton Arboretum

The Brenton Arboretum, west of Des Moines, is a quiet and peaceful setting for senior pictures in Northern Iowa. As a living museum of trees, shrubs and native prairie, you are sure to find beautiful elements to include in your photos. You can take advantage of the natural sunlight that simultaneously bathes native perennial flowers and grasses or nestle beneath a leafy canopy for an ethereal effect. No matter what you have in mind for your senior pictures, you and your professional photographer will have a field day among the 2,500 different types of trees and shrubs at Brenton.


6. A Local College Campus

One of the benefits of photographing on a college or university campus—such as the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University or Cornell College—is that you automatically have access to well-kept grounds and often stunning architecture. There are open green spaces, brick buildings, stone walkways and other features that serve as an ideal backdrop for your senior pictures.


7. Hartman Reserve Nature Center

The Hartman Reserve Nature Center is a 34- acre wooded isle located in the heart of metropolitan Black Hawk County. The majority of the land within Hartman Reserve is covered with forest, although there is also wetland and prairie landscape. You’ll find centuries-old White Oaks, Red Oaks and Bur Oaks in the upland forest and a small native tallgrass prairie remnant nestled in the south. Plus, the Cedar River is found in the northern part of the reserve!


Living and Thriving in Cedar Valley

Life in Waterloo and the surrounding area has looked a little different during the past year, but some things have stayed the same. Even as you traverse this unprecedented situation, don’t forget to capture the special moments, such as your senior’s impending graduation. You also can depend on Home Indeed to help you adjust your home to suit your family’s evolving needs. Whether you want to spruce up your house in Cedar Valley, completely reconfigure the space or add an extra room, our team at Home Indeed can develop a customized remodeling plan to satisfy your vision and get your house ready for what lies ahead.