How To Take Amazing Photos at Green Lake

April 6, 2017 9:48pm


Photo by Jenn Ireland

It’s almost summer which, for many of us, means more time spent at Green Lake. But for all of its beauty, Green Lake can be hard to capture in a photo – the glare of the lake, the rays of sunshine (they will come back!) and well, the crowds. So we asked a local expert, Jenn Ireland, owner of Bar Dub Studios, for some advice. Jenn spends quite a bit of time in Green Lake taking senior high school and family photos for her clients. She says Green Lake is one of her favorite spots in the city.

Seattle Greenlaker: Why do you take photos at Green Lake?

Jenn: There are so many reasons I shoot senior photos here! The diversity of available backgrounds is a big one. Within a very short walking distance I can shoot in the woods (Woodland Park), in an urban environment with walls, doors and concrete stairs (Aqua Theater), and out on the docks with the lake as my backdrop. Also, it may seem silly, but I love the access to clean restrooms! My clients always come to their session with multiple outfits and need a place to change, so having that is key!

Jenn Ireland

Seattle Greenlaker: What’s your favorite time to take shots at Green Lake?

Jenn: About 3 hours before sunset is typically when I start my sessions.

Seattle Greenlaker: Can you give us tips on how you get those beautiful shots?

Jenn: It’s all about the light and knowing how to use it to your advantage. I do each senior shoot in a similar order so that I can take advantage of the best lighting in each spot. For example, in the woods, I shoot earlier when the sun is still high enough to make streaks through the trees. I wait until the end of my session to shoot on the docks because the lower sun reflects off the water and creates a few magical minutes where my seniors are perfectly lit against a darker background of trees and shoreline (I use the docks on the south side of the lake, in between the golf course and the Aqua Theater).

Seattle Greenlaker: How do you take photos and make it look like its a quiet day at Green Lake, when in reality the park is crowded?

Jenn: Really, really great question. There are definitely crowded spots I LOVE to shoot in (for example, on the west side of the lake there is a large stretch of trees right on the water that erupt with color in the fall). To combat this problem, I’ll have my client stand at the water’s edge and I’ll do the same and shoot along the shoreline. It’s all about the angle and how you position yourself when you are trying to avoid something in the background (aka the crowded Green Lake walking path 5 feet away full of hundreds of people). I also always use a longer lens for these shots (which for me is an 85mm), stand back further from my subject (about 10 feet), and change my angle and position until there is nothing distracting behind my subject.


There you have it! And if you capture some beautiful shots, be sure to share it with us on Facebook or email.


Disclosure: Jenn Ireland is the owner of Bar Dub Studios and an advertiser for Seattle Greenlaker.