Senior Sessions: Downtown Des Moines Location Options


Des Moines is beautiful and full of unique locations for your Senior photos! You can find grunge, texture, urban spots, parks, flowers, sculptures, murals, beaches, and more!  I have so many spots in Des Moines that I love photographing that I decided to create this guide for my seniors to look through. I consider a “location” a general area that we can photograph many images in- this area could have a large variety of options when you are downtown. To keep things simple I sectioned out the downtown area into 5 zones and will list and show you examples* of the things you can find in each zone. One zone= one location. *Some of the example images are from engagement, family, and children sessions


1. West Side of Downtown Des Moines & Sculpture park

This area runs between MLK Jr Pkwy, West MLK Jr Pkwy, 9th st. and Ingersoll.

This spot is great for:

  • A variety of brick walls
  • White stairs and other neutral gray backgrounds
  • Green space, trees, tall grass, and sculptures
  • Pretty sidewalk/street views
  • Pink mirror wall and other fun architecture
  • Water feature in the ground
  • Wall Mural


2. Southeast Side of Downtown Des Moines (west of the DSM river)

This area runs between 9th st., Walnut, and the river.

This spot is great for:

  • Court Avenue
  • Wall Mural (colorful and black & white options)
  • Science Center & Mirror wall water feature
  • View of downtown from a parking ramp or a bridge
  • Ivy walls
  • Old brick walls
  • The old train station
  • Underpass


 3. North Central Downtown Des Moines

This area runs between 9th st, north of Walnut, the river and i235.

This spot is great for:

  • Cowles Commons
  • World Food Prize Hall & gardens
  • The Travelers sign
  • Parking garage views
  • Kirkwood hotel
  • 801 Grand and city streets
  • Skywalk

4. Des Moines Capitol & East Village


This spot is great for:

  • The Des Moines Capitol: gardens, city views, steps, fountain, etc
  • The windmill sculpture
  • Sunset over the city
  • Riverwalk bridge
  • Mirror wall (reflects the capitol building)
  • Coffee shops
  • Variety of brick walls
  • Ivy wall
  • Floral wall mural

5. Southwest of Downtown Des Moines


This area includes Greys Lake, Waterworks Park, and MacRae Park

  • View of the whole city
  • Lakes, ponds, river views
  • Bridge
  • Amphitheater globe lights
  • Beach- can sometimes get into the water
  • Sunset over water
  • Trees/ wooded areas
  • Tall grasses

6. BONUS Photo Location Near Downtown Des Moines

I have a super secret spot near downtown that I can’t list here. But it includes old brick walls covered in Ivy and a secret garden 🙂

Ready to schedule your session? Contact me below!