Sly Park Senior Photography Location, Placerville CA | Wong - Sergey Bidun
Senior portrait session at Sly Park in Pollock Pines, California


One of my best forest-type locations for senior photography is Sly Park that’s in Pollock Pines, California. I always questioned myself where I can photoshoot in wooded area. As it’s really hard to find anything around Sacramento area, photographers have to drive far away to find the perfect location for their portrait photoshoots. I did lots of scouting and drove around different places in order to find a location that would have that forest look and feel that I was looking for, at the same time being a safe place for both the photographer and the clients.

The best woody location for senior pictures near Sacramento area is Sly Park at Jenkison Lake, Pollock Pines. Located in the heart of the El Dorado National Forest, and just 60 miles away from Downtown Sacramento, this park will give you beautiful backdrops for portraits and not only that. Sly Park Recreation Area is very well maintained as it’s also a great place for hiking, swimming, recreation and campgrounds all year round. Every time we visit this park as a family trip or as Bidun Studio Photography portrait photoshoot, we always come back with positive energy and lots of great memories made.


Getting to the Sly Park from Sacramento, California only takes about an hour in good driving conditions. Best way to get to the park is by taking Highway 50 toward the Placerville, and you will get to Pollock Pines area. Driving conditions during spring, summer and fall time are very good, but at winter time it’s possible to have snow there as well. My advice would be to have your snow chains ready when traveling to Sly Park Recreation Area in winter time. For anyone who is looking to have amazing winter photos of their family, or senior pictures, this is a great opportunity for you to have a photoshoot in the snow at a location that is only 60 miles away from Downtown Sacramento. 


Choosing a woody photoshoot location definitely has many advantages, especially for senior pictures. Many high school seniors want to have their portraits taken in outdoor locations where they can be around the nature and preferably water as well. The main advantage of choosing woody location, for me as a portrait photographer, is the ability to take photos there at any time of day. With so much shade around, it’s not impossible to have a successful photo session during a hot summer day, although we prefer sunset time if possible. The Sly Park Recreation Area lets us create very authentic senior pictures at different woodland location spots in its area. If the client chooses to have more greenery and trees in their portraits, we go for those shots. If another senior wants to have a balance of woodsy pictures and photos on the dock or in the water, Bidun Studio Photography can do that as well!


The “golden hour” as it’s often referred to, is the perfect time for taking those beautiful warm sun-lit portraits in the forest. Like with every outdoor senior photo session that Bidun Studio Photography schedules, we always plan to be at the location two hours before sunset time. Considering that some client’s availability may not allow for sunset photo session, we could take pictures during the sunrise time as well. If waking up super early is not a problem for you, we could make it work at the sunrise time. One of the advantages of taking pictures at a forest location, is that you will certainly have the shaded areas with no direct and harsh light, which is not recommended for portrait photography. During Wong’s senior Sly Park photography session we knew how important it was to capture the senior at this beautiful location at the perfect time. Bidun Studio photography team always strives to arrive to photo sessions slightly ahead of time to properly plan out each photography location and timing.


The first photography location spot at Sly Park where we took portraits of Wong was at the dock. This spot gives a really great perspective for the senior pictures as the sun is gently setting down behind the trees. When I shoot from the dock toward the Jenkinson Lake, it creates beautiful scenic backdrop with the lake and forest in the background.

Senior portrait session at Sly Park in Pollock Pines, California

The second spot where we took senior portraits was on a parking lot. When using portrait or high-zoom lenses, we could get the main subject really stand out as the forest creates a gorgeous rich background. The sun setting glow was a really great addition to these portraits. Using photographer’s creativity and different angles, we managed to take some of the most beautiful senior portraits for Wong.

Senior portrait session at Sly Park in Pollock Pines, California

The third photography spot at the Sly Park was using nature props that are present at the location. We took some pictures using a chunky log that was right on the shore, and it turned out super amazing! There were also some big rocks on the beach, which served as perfect nature props, and helped us create even more authentic senior portraits.

Senior portrait session at Sly Park in Pollock Pines, California


Sly Park Recreation Area is a wonderful location senior pictures, family portraits and even couples photo sessions. Given the big variety of location spots at this park, the photographer can spend a good few hours taking photos here, and the images will all look beautiful and unique. What I noticed from my previous photo sessions at Sly Park, coming for portrait pictures during weekdays will lower the chance of having too many park visitors - which in turn will benefit you during the photo session. Every senior or family photo session that I’ve shot here, has given me only positive feedback on how they loved their portrait images at the Sly Park Recreation Area


The senior photo session started with portraits on the beach, and given that the photoshoot was on a weekday, the whole beach was clear and all to ourselves. The sun was still a bit harsh, so I played around with different angles and lenses, to be able to capture Wong in some creative portraits as well as full body images. Wong was very natural in front of the camera, and was super excited to try out different locations throughout the Sly Park Recreational Area. She came in very prepared as well, bringing in different outfits, accessories and hats. Little things such as hats can bring in so much authenticity into the senior photography session. As one of Sacramento top senior photography studios, we always encourage seniors to bring things that are meaningful for them and try to incorporate that into the photo session.


Sun started setting down a bit and we started getting the beautiful soft tones of the golden hour. After a quick outfit change, we went down the dock to take more portraits closer to the water. The Jenkinson Lake had the perfect clear water that day with a beautiful reflection. It gave us a chance to take many creative senior portraits on the dock, which will look so amazing in her senior album! The gorgeous scenery and crisp air at the Sly Park, were a great bonus to this senior portrait session. We kept taking more beautiful portraits at the dock, experimenting with the different hats that Wong brought with her. The images we took on the dock are definitely our favorites from the whole gallery, there’s something so calming and interesting in each of those portraits.


The Sly Park has so many natural photography props that could be used in creative portrait photography. We encountered a chunky dry log on the beach, and quickly decided to take some photos with it. Gotta say, it was a great addition to Wong’s senior photography gallery. Photographers are talented creatives, and for us it’s a fun challenge to be able to use surroundings and incorporate it into the photo session. Each portrait photographer has their own vision and way of seeing everything around them, and the end result will always be different and unique. That’s what motivates us, at Bidun Studio Photography, to keep pushing our creativity to the max. With a good variety of senior portraits and images with wide lens, we stopped by a place where there were a lot of fallen leaves. What is the best way to end a fun senior session, than to have a golden leaves-fall? Wong didn’t mind that, and with some help from an assistant, Sergey Bidun was able to take some more artistic senior portraits.


Bidun Studio Photography is an award winning boutique photography studio that specializes in providing a custom high school senior photography experience in the Sly Park and all Northern California. At Bidun Studio, we specialize in modern, fashion-inspired custom senior portraits and customize each photo session to each of our unique seniors. Our portrait photography team strives to make every senior session a fun and creative experience, as we capture authentic portraits that reflect the unique personality of each client. As one of Sacramento top senior portrait photographer studios, we aim to take photos that will take your breath away and an experience that you will remember for many years. Our boutique photography studio is located in Sacramento, California but we are happy to travel and provide services as Sacramento senior photographer, Roseville senior Photographer, Granite Bay senior photographer, Folsom senior photographer, El Dorado senior photographer, Elk Grove senior photographer, Sly Park senior photographer, Napa senior photographer and the surrounding areas.