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Hello there! My name is Alecs and I am so excited that you found my blog! Now it's time to cuddle up with your favorite furry friend, mine is my cat Goof, and start reading! 

Engagements, Families, Kids, Seniors, Weddings

February 19, 2018

Top 10 Tips for a Downtown Fargo Session

Fargo, ND – Photographer

Downtown Fargo Senior on Broadway

When it comes to photography sessions, especially senior sessions, Downtown Fargo is one of the most requested location for photos. I am sure it is in part because that is where people see their friends and family taking pictures. However, there is a reason so many photographers choose to hold sessions downtown.  It is because Downtown Fargo is so versatile!

Downtown offers everything from stairways, to alleyways full of every color of brick, to the iconic Fargo Theater. Whether you are walking up Broadway, or exploring the side-streets, there are always new places to discover for the perfect photo. One of my favorite places for photographs is behind the Boiler Room restaurant on Broadway.  This building has a black metal railing, light colored brick, and huge windows with a deep red trim.  All of these elements together create an amazing image, especially for high school seniors.

Downtown Fargo is not only versatile in locations, but for seasons as well. Fargo, ND, can be pretty unpredictable for weather. It can be breezy, sunny, humid, cold, dry, or so windy that you think the buildings will blow away! No matter how crazy the weather gets, downtown always has options. In the summer, I love exploring the alleys, searching for a new corner of downtown for a unique photo.  Then, when the North Dakota winter hits, it is the perfect time for photos in the cozy Downtown Library!

Doesn’t downtown sound like the perfect spot for your next session?

Here are my top ten tips for a Downtown Fargo session!

Top Ten Tips for a Downtown Fargo Session

 1. Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes

Parking in Downtown Fargo can be difficult, so walking to locations is a must. Sometimes we only need to walk a few 100 feet, and other times there are a few blocks between locations. Many senior girls love to show off their heels in their photos, but you should also bring a pair of back-up shoes to slip on between photos. Comfortable shoes will not only make the walk more enjoyable for your feet, but will also make it go quicker.  When your feet start to hurt, you typically start to walk slower. Why waste picture time shuffling sore feet when you can instead slip on comfortable shoes and get to the next location that much faster!

I had some major shoe envy with these two senior girls!  At least, for the photos I did. Once we started walking, I was glad to be in my tennis shoes!

Shoes for Senior Sessions

2. Minimize your Outfit Choices

 A ton of outfits can be fun to switch up each photo, but it does take from valuable picture time.  Even though downtown is full of shops and restaurants, it is still difficult to find a spot to change. So instead of packing your entire closet, pick a few great pieces to wear. For guys, (especially senior guys), pick one pair of pants that would go with a handful of shirts. That way, you can quick change your top and have a new look. Unfortunately, this is not an option for the ladies. For the girls, I would suggest picking two or three outfits for the session. My suggestion is to have a good solid top with a bold color, something with a print, and a neutral.  Now for both the guys and the girls, a mix of casual and more formal outfits is always a good idea!

Senior Style Options

3. Bring Someone to Help

This one may seem odd to some people, but an extra set of hands is always useful for a downtown photo session.  For seniors, I would suggest bringing along mom or dad.  The extra help comes in handy with holding things, including extra outfits and your cell phone.  Since downtown sessions require a lot of walking around, it saves time to bring things with you, avoiding the frequent stops back at the car. However, if you have to find a place to put everything down for each photo, it can become cumbersome. Being able to hand your phone, sweater, sunglasses, etc. to someone to carry make the session run much smoother.

4. Think of Ideas

 This one is an important tip no matter what kind of session you have! Downtown Fargo has so many places to take photos that it is important to come with ideas.  Whether that means having your own specific ideas for locations, general suggestions (such as a vine wall, dark grey brick, etc.), or discussing ideas beforehand with the photographer, having ideas for photo locations helps save time when planning out the session. That way you don’t miss the graffiti wall the first time you pass it!  Also, make sure you discuss your ideas with the photographer before or at the beginning of the session. That way they can have a plan of action ready!

Three photos with Downtown Options

5. Don’t Forget About Inside Options

  When you think about Downtown Fargo, you may go straight to ideas of brick walls, the Fargo Theater, and the graffiti wall.  However, downtown offers great indoor locations as well!  This is especially helpful if your session is in the harsh North Dakota winter!  Downtown has many sky-walks, a beautiful library, and fun shops that welcome photographers. How fun would it be to get a picture of the kids reading books?  Or of you and your future husband eating donuts.  (Let’s pause here and drool over Sandy’s Donuts for a moment….)

Options for Indoor Sessions

6. Explore Nearby Parks

This is one of my favorite tips about Downtown Fargo!  Since downtown is full of buildings, concrete, and brick, it is fun to add a splash of green to a photo session.  Within a short driving distance, there are three great parks.  These options include, Island Park, Oakgrove Park, and Wildflower Grove Park.  You may know Island Park for its large concrete staircase and quiet gazebo. Maybe you have visited Oakgrove and played a round of frisbee golf. Some of you might have even run through Wildflower Grove Park before. All three of these parks offer unique photo opportunities that are a great addition to any Downtown Fargo photo session!

Downtown Park Options

7. Be Aware of Downtown Fargo Events

Downtown Fargo has a lot going on, including events throughout the year.  Make sure you are aware of what is happening downtown on the day of your session.  For example, if you are hoping for a session in mid-July, make sure it is not on Street Fair weekend!  Events like the street fair take up a lot of downtown and make parking difficult. Unless a street fair is the style you are hoping for, maybe look at other date options.  Speaking of style, just because there is an event going on downtown doesn’t mean you need to avoid it. If you want some unique pictures with some fancy cars, you should consider scheduling on a Cars & Coffee night.  Just be aware of what is happening downtown so you aren’t surprised!

8. Embrace the Graffiti

If you have ever been to Downtown Fargo, you have probably seen the graffiti around almost every corner. If you haven’t, don’t be scared!  There is a wide range of graffiti throughout downtown. There is a large alley that allows anyone to graffiti, which makes it wild and always changing.  However, there are other spots around town that have graffiti artwork. This graffiti makes for fun and unique settings for photos. Whether you are looking for a cool, laid back style, or a feminine, clean style, there are graffiti options for almost any aesthetic.

Senior with the Graffiti Walls

9. Ask your Photographer

These tips may seem like a lot to consider for a Downtown Fargo photo session, however they are all important. If you are feeling overwhelmed, or unsure, don’t forget to ask your photographer. If you are unsure of any of these tips, your photographer will be able to help. That is what we are hired to do! Before the session, we can help decide on locations, which events to avoid, where to start, and even help with outfit choices. Never be afraid to ask your photographer for help or for an opinion. We shoot sessions in Downtown Fargo all the time, so we are full of great ideas.

10. Finish with a Bite to Eat

This piece of advice is perfect to end with!  Downtown Fargo has so many options for food, but it can be a busy area with tight parking. So, if you are already downtown for a photo session, why not take advantage of your parking spot and go get a bite to eat?  Some of my favorites are Drunken Noodle, The Boiler Room, and of course Insomnia Cookies. What a better way to end a photo session than a warm, gooey cookie!  And if cookies are not your thing, Downtown Fargo has something for everyone. Check out this walking map of downtown and find the perfect spot to end your photo session with some food, a snack, or a cup of coffee.

Senior in Fargo

Contact me today to schedule your Downtown Fargo photo session!

And while you are here, check out these downtown sessions! You may even find some inspiration for your next session!

Kolbie  ~  LexiJaryd ~ Siebert Family


Alecs Kay Photography is a Wedding & Portrait Photographer in Fargo, ND


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