Holiday time in Portland is a great time for taking pictures on your own and with the family. Talk about a target-rich environment! Whether you opt for crowded plazas or the great outdoors, you have quite a menu from which to choose at this time of the year. Clean up your gear and bundle up! You won’t have to go far to find great fun and even better shots.
Did you realize that the nose on the deer on the famous Portland, Oregon, sign turns red every year at this time? Yes, it does. Speaking of lights, there are many fantastic displays citywide. You can head over to the ZooLights display at the nearby Oregon Zoo, featuring more than a million twinkling colored bulbs. There are also dazzling displays at The Grotto, at the Portland International Raceway, and at Peacock Lane.
This is a great time of year to explore Portland, as many of the local establishments have decorations that change annually. Exhibitions at the Pittock Mansion and in Pioneer Square plus the many museums in downtown Portland give no shortage of photography opportunities. Meanwhile, the ten major bridges around town look majestic in comparison to the snowy mountains in the background from almost any vantage point. The fog and mists we get at this time of year make for breathtaking pictures. You can even be a local tourist and take a tour around town with someone like Clipper Vacations for the day, leisurely sightseeing and taking pictures at the same time.
No matter the time of year, we Oregonians love to get outside. With so many hiking trails and parks easily accessible, add a layer and toss your camera bag over your shoulder. Hike around any of Portland’s beautifully maintained gardens with your family and friends, including the Japanese Garden, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and Leach Botanical Gardens, or head up to Washington Park and Hoyt Arboretum. A few other great places to explore that may be a little less crowded are Forest Park, Tryon Creek State Park, and Mt. Tabor Park. It’s always a beautiful trip out the Historic Columbia River Scenic Byway and Multnomah Falls is picturesque anytime of the year.
Wherever your travels may take you this holiday season, have fun and be safe. We can get caught up in the details of the holidays, so planning little side trips can relieve the holiday stress and remind us why we love our city. We fall in love with Portland and the holidays all over again, from another perspective. We’re reminded to see things from another perspective. Make sure to have your camera at the ready at all times. Take good care of your equipment in cold weather and always warm it up to room temperature when you come back in from an extended period in the cold. Remember, take good care of your camera and it will take great photographs for years to come.
Candid shots are often the best and you don’t need to be a professional to get the best quality. We all try to get the well-posed family shots for the holidays, but have some fun and let loose. Food junkies should let their inner child run wild, as well. It’s rare we put this much time and effort into making food look this good before eating it. Let your creativity run rampant. Just be sure to have your equipment ready to go.
Have fun and happy hunting!