Bailey is a senior at Corbett High School. She lives in the Columbia River Gorge with her Dad, four brothers, two dogs and two cats, just down the road from Horsetail Falls. She loves to bake and draw. And she also likes to hike and camp. So we decided to photograph her high school senior pictures along the Columbia River Highway (which is practically her backyard).

I believe that high school senior pictures should capture the essence of any high school girl and tell a story about who they are and what they love. For senior girls from Oregon and Washington, especially those who find solace and joy in being outdoors, the Columbia River Gorge stands out as a breathtaking backdrop for senior pictures.  It’s the kind of place that tells the story of adventures new and old. And the breathtaking landscapes and waterfalls are guaranteed to enhance the natural beauty of every high school senior girl.

Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia River Gorge offers a diverse array of landscapes that range from lush forests to cascading waterfalls, making it a photographer’s dream and a hiker’s paradise. For high school senior girls from Oregon and Washington who appreciate the beauty of nature and seek to capture their adventurous spirit in their senior pictures, the gorge provides a stunning backdrop that perfectly complements their love for the Pacific Northwest.

The Columbia River Gorge is not only a place of unparalleled natural beauty but also a symbol of resilience and restoration.  Devastated by a wildfire in 2017, the gorge has since shown remarkable signs of recovery, serving as a powerful reminder of nature’s ability to heal and regenerate. It is symbolic of the the “new start” that many high school seniors will experience after graduation. By choosing the Columbia River Gorge for their senior pictures, high school senior girls can capture not only their own sense of adventure and exploration but create senior portraits that have have a deeper meaning and that tell a story both about the places they love and life changes to come.

Bailey and I began her senior portrait journey in the parking lot of Latourelle Falls. For high school senior girls seeking a more secluded and intimate setting for their senior pictures, Latourelle Falls offers a hidden gem within the Columbia River Gorge. Tucked away from the main tourist attractions, Latourelle Falls captivates with its graceful single drop waterfall that plunges into a tranquil pool below. The surrounding moss-covered cliffs and lush vegetation create an atmosphere that is perfect for portraits of high school senior girls who love hiking and camping in the Pacific Northwest.

After leaving Latourelle Falls, we made a quick stop at the Oneonta Tunnel. Stepping into the Oneonta Tunnel is like stepping back in time. Carved out of solid rock in the early 20th century to provide access to the historic Columbia River Highway, the tunnel now serves as a tourist attraction and a unique setting for high school senior pictures.

We then headed over to Horsetail Falls, making a few stops along the road when we spotted a mice place for a photograph. Horsetail Falls is another special place for photography in the Columbia River Gorge, with rock walls constructed many decade below that beautifully mimic the surrounding cliff sides. This stunning waterfall cascades down a sheer rock face, sending a veil of mist into the air. There are numerous opportunities to photograph high school seniors here, including from the side on the bridge overlooking the falls, on the rock walls that are directly in front of the falls, on the staircase leading down to the falls, and even in the pool directly at the base of Horsetail Falls.

And lastly, Bailey and her Dad took me a bit off the beaten path to a spot only the locals from Corbett High School know along McCord Creek.  A short drive down a 4×4 road we found a tunnel that the shallow creek passes through.  On the other side we found colorful graffiti that was beautiful out of place in the surrounding forest. It made a stunning background for Bailey’s senior portraits.

Choosing the Columbia River Gorge as the backdrop for high school senior pictures offers a unique opportunity to capture your love of the Oregon outdoors and the Pacific Northwest. And even to get some more urban graffiti portraits as well.  Bailey and I had a great time exploring the sights along the Columbia River Highway, and her family now has lasting images of her high school senior year.

In the end, your senior pictures taken in the Columbia River Gorge will not just be photographs—they will be windows into your soul, mirrors of your spirit, and reflections of your love for adventure and the great outdoors. So let your senior pictures in the Columbia River Gorge be a celebration of who you are, of where you’ve been, and of where you’re going. And may they always remind you of the beauty, the wonder, and the magic that surrounds you, both in nature and within yourself.

Do you have a special place in Oregon or Washington where you would like to have your senior portraits taken?  In fact, I am available to create senior pictures at locations far beyond Oregon?  Where is your dream destination?  Learn how to make it a reality at brianpasko.com/seniors!

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