10 of the Best Places to Take Senior Pictures in Cleveland, OH

You made it – senior year. All your hard work is culminating in some seriously major life events – applying for college, prom, and graduation. Your senior picture session documents this major moment in your life and it’s important that the photos reflect your unique sense of style.

Luckily, living in Northeast Ohio, you’re always within just a few miles of the perfect backdrop. Whether you like downtown Cleveland’s urban feel or prefer to commune with nature in the Metroparks, the perfect spot isn’t far away. So, in no particular order, here are ten picturesque photo locations in the Cleveland/Akron area.

Northcoast Harbor

Located on the shores of Lake Erie and home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Science Center, Cleveland Browns Stadium, and the Steamship William G. Mather, Northcoast Harbor has something for everyone. With just a quick change in angle, you can go from a sweeping city skyline to the waves of the lake - but pick your day carefully as it can get windy by the water.

Main Library – Cleveland Public Library

This spot isn’t just for bookworms. Built in 1925 and renovated in 1999, the Cleveland Public Library’s main branch at 215 Superior Avenue is literally oozing with historical charm. The library’s grand marble staircases are a popular spot for photos and the large windows provide loads of natural light. Each room has unique elements such as ornate light fixtures and coffer ceilings. And be sure not to miss one of my favorite features, the spiral blue staircase in the Louis Stokes wing.

Note: Currently the library is closed to photography due to COVID-19. Here’s hoping it reopens its doors to us soon!

Emma - Senior Session at Cleveland Public Library
Leilani - Quarry Rock Waterfall in South Chagrin Reservation

Heinen’s Grocery Store

I know getting your senior pictures taken in in a grocery store might sound strange but stay with me here. The downtown Heinen’s is located in the historic Cleveland Trust Company building which has some of the most stunning architectural elements you’ll find in the city – so grab a donut and get a shot under the rotunda!

South Chagrin Reservation

Looking for waterfalls? This is the place. South Chagrin Reservation is home to multiple waterfalls, hemlock-lined streams, and unique rock formations.

University Circle

If you’re into history, architecture, or simply getting a gorgeous shot, head to University Circle. Wade Park Oval is a great location all year long, but it’s especially beautiful in the spring while the cherry blossoms are in bloom. When you’re done there, head over to the marble staircase at the Museum of Art. The museum allows photography inside as well, with certain restrictions.

East 4th Street

There are few better spots to get that downtown Cleveland vibe than East 4th Street. The high-rise buildings, twinkling lights strung up and down the street, and restaurant patios are practically begging to be photographed. Plus, East 4th is closed to traffic so you don’t have to worry about rushing to get that perfect shot while dodging cars.

Edgewater State Park

Edgewater has a lot to offer. Head to upper Edgewater for shots with the Cleveland sign or if you’re looking to get the city skyline in the background. Then walk down to lower Edgewater to get that beach vibe. Stick your toes in the sand, visit the beach house, and don’t forget about the willow tree that sits right next to the water. You’re bound to get great shots here!

Playhouse Square

Acting aspirations? While you’d have to pay a fee to get photos inside, there’s still lots of opportunities for gorgeous shots in front of the doors, under the marquees, and around the gorgeous GE Chandelier that hangs 44 feet above Euclid Avenue. Just be ready to run, or have someone with you who doesn’t mind stopping traffic, as this is an active intersection!

Main Street, Chagrin Falls

The picture-perfect small town, Chagrin Falls is the perfect spot to grab Starbucks or an ice cream cone and get some shots on the patio of one of the many quaint businesses in the town center. And true to its name, there’s a waterfall that, while surprising to find in a city’s center, is nestled in perfectly with the shops and provides a unique opportunity to get photos that have elements of both city life and the wonder of nature.

Desha - Downtown Chagrin Falls, OH

Downtown Peninsula

Peninsula is the perfect place to shoot because within just a few hundred yards you’ve got a multitude of distinct locations. Take a few shots in the quiet downtown area and then head over to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad terminal where there’s a variety of unique buildings, a butterfly mural, and opportunities to shoot on the tracks. Finally stroll over to the Lock 29 trailhead to wrap up your shoot in a more natural setting. It’s a win… win… win!