Pandemic Portraits

The best spots to take senior photos during COVID-19.

by Carmon Baker, Web Editor

Throughout COVID-19, I have been able to embrace my passion for photography. Having photoshoots with my friends was a way for us to spend time together  while still practicing social distancing and being outside to stay safe. Because of this, I was really excited to take my senior photos, and I had a great experience. Throughout this photography journey, I have learned where the best places are to take senior photos or even just have a fun shoot in general. The places on this list are more safe during the pandemic because they are outside, but remember to always wear a mask and practice social distancing! 

The River Market

This is the location where I did my senior photos. If you are looking for a location that combines an urban feel and some natural elements, this would be an amazing option. Personally, I would recommend walking around the shopping area first, then heading over to the City of Kansas Bridge at sunset to capture some shots with beautiful lighting. After doing my own portraits, I was so inspired by the beautiful lighting that I went back to take some pictures of my own.

photo by Carmon Baker

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

If you love nature, this is an amazing spot for you! With a pond, sculpture path, flower garden and various aesthetically pleasing buildings, this is a great place if you want a gorgeous natural background. I did a fun shoot here with my friends in October and was able to capture a variety of different shots. They are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except for Tuesday, when they are closed and admission is $3. However, it is a long drive, so if you live near STA and don’t want to drive that far, the Loose Park Rose Garden is a great alternative! 

photo by Carmon Baker

The Crossroads

If you are looking for a location with a colorful background, the Crossroads Art District is a great option. With lots of beautiful murals, there are many different options for unique backgrounds. It is a great urban setting if that is the vibe you want in your photos. It is also a short drive from Union Station and the Liberty Memorial if you want to do multiple locations at once. 

photo by Carmon Baker


We are fortunate enough to have a beautiful campus at STA, so if you are looking for a more simple location that perfectly fits your high school journey, this is an amazing option. Between the beautiful open space and trees and the steps in front of each building, there are multiple options for great photos at STA. 

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

With the actual museum reopening, you can go inside if that’s where you feel comfortable. Nelson also has beautiful outside grounds that are perfect for photos. A shuttlecock or museum background can capture an iconic Kansas City landmark or a walk through the Sculpture Garden can also provide simple, yet interesting, scenery that is perfect for senior photos. 

Get Creative! 

At the end of the day, your senior portraits are supposed to be a celebration of you and your time in high school, so get creative! Do what you think best portrays you and your personality, and don’t be afraid to step outside of the box! Take your photos in your backyard or favorite park, with your pet, or with fun props. Do what makes you comfortable and best portrays your personality the best!

photo by Carmon Baker