October 4, 2023

Location, Location, Location!

Portraits, Sessions

Let's just keep it real, folks. I adore travel and if you do too, it might seem like southeastern Minnesota doesn't have a lot to offer in terms of gorgeous scenery. Sure, we have rolling hills and sweeping plains that seem to stretch on forever, but they're covered in snow for more than half the year.


A few of my favorite outdoor places local to Rochester, MN are Quarry Hill, Essex Park, Silver Lake, Cascade Meadow, Oxbow Park, and Chester Woods. Quarry Hill offers a huge variety of scenery from prairie grasslands to the climbing wall and the quarry. Essex Park also contains the potential for adding interest to the background of your photos. I love Silver Lake for the lake itself, the geese (even though I hate geese), the playgrounds, the skate park, and bridges. Heading over to Cascade Meadow behind Lourdes and the Rochester Athletic Club is so peaceful at golden hour. The wildflowers are tall and varied and it's easy to spend an hour in the grasses. Oxbow Park in Byron is a bit of a drive out and can be tricky in the spring with flooding, but it is worth the trip! Not only is there a zoo and playground, there are plenty of hiking trails and prairie land. Lastly, Chester Woods is a campground in Chester, about 20 minutes outside of Rochester. This was the location of many, many years of camping trips and continues to be somewhere I visit for fun. With open fields, playgrounds, groomed lawns around the campsites, the pond and beach, and picnic gazebos, Chester Woods has plenty of options for photos.

I would be selling us all in the area short if I didn't mention the plethora of locations in downtown Rochester. The Plummer House park area was actually where my brother had his senior photos taken, and it remains a beautiful spot to this day.

We also have a large variety of parks accessible within the city including Soldier's Field, which boasts a track, play area, tennis court, and more.


Southeastern Minnesota is beautiful in its own unique way. Some great spots for photos include state parks like Whitewater, Carley, Frontenac, Nerstrand, and Afton. The Great River Road from Red Wing down to Winona and passing through Lake City offers amazing views along the Mississippi. Owatonna, Northfield, and the Twin Cities area are home to gorgeous landscapes as well as quaint parks and trendy streets and shops.

Statewide Favorite Locations

Minnesota has some amazing state parks that are destinations whatever the season! A few of my favorites include those on the North Shore like Tettegouche, Gooseberry, Temperance, Jay Cook, and many more. Small towns around Minnesota and Wisconsin are some of my favorite places to visit to find cozy and cute locations for pictures as well.

There are truly an untold number of places that would be able to help hold fantastic, fabulous memories for you and your family! Reach out and I'm more than happy to chat!