Anchorage, AK Photography Spotlight with Melanie Lopez Photography

Location Guides

Hey milspouse photographer! I have an Alaska location guide to share with you today! Melanie Lopez spent some time stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson and has described Alaska as “a photographer’s dream.” If you’re headed to JBER soon, I hope you’ll appreciate her insight in this Anchorage, AK photography spotlight!

What are your top three favorite locations for sessions? Briefly share about each.

Eklutna Lake

It is close to Fort Richardson and always gorgeous no matter what time of the year you go. It’s never busy and parking is very easy. There are several spots including a bridge, the lake itself, and a gorgeous view of the mountains in the background. It can get a bit muddy but most Alaskans won’t have a problem with that.

Family photo at Eklutna Lake in Melanie Lopez Photography's Anchorage, AK photography spotlight
Eklutna Lake, Melanie Lopez Photography


An absolutely gorgeous spot for photos. It’s a short walk up a paved path once you park and the views are stunning. I like using the logs for family photos, they are perfect for kids to play on too. Just let clients know that it can get quite windy up top.

Families in front of a stunning mountain backdrop at Flattop in Melanie Lopez Photography's Anchorage, AK photography spotlight
Flattop, Melanie Lopez Photography

Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse

My favorite hidden gem, perfect for mommy and me minis because it’s nice and cozy inside when it’s freezing outside. It’s small and quaint and makes for dreamy photos. It’s also the perfect place to swap headshots with other photographers.

Mom hugging her two kids at Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse in Melanie Lopez Photography's Anchorage, AK photography spotlight
Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse, Melanie Lopez Photography

Are there any particularly busy seasons for photographers in this area? Any events an incoming photographer should know about?

Alaska is a photographer’s dream, with so much space and tons of spots to explore. It hardly ever feels crowded, even at popular places like Hatcher Pass Lake in the summer. No need for permits, and thanks to those long summer days, you’ve got all the light you need to get that perfect shot. Plenty of room for everyone to get their gorgeous Alaska family photos! When the fireweeds bloom they make for stunning pictures too.

What should an incoming photographer know about permits in this area?

None – one of the best perks about it.

What is the biggest piece of advice you’d give to an incoming photographer?

Explore and find spots once you get settled, there are so many gorgeous places. There have been photographers who have found the most stunning spots right off the side of the road. There are plenty of little streams on Fort Richardson that are perfect for photos that you don’t even have to leave base for. You just have to get out and explore.

Any other local expertise you’d like to share?

Just be sure to bring your bear bells and bear spray if it’s summertime. I keep bear bells attached to my waist so they jingle occasionally and bear spray in my camera bag ready to go. Also, no need to worry about temperatures, people are more than willing to go out in the cold for photos even in the middle of the winter. I like bringing a bunch of hand warmers for everyone when I have family photos in the snow.

Where can other milspouse photographers connect with you?


Are you a milspouse photographer interested in contributing? I’d love to have your insight! Please send me an email at and I’ll be in touch with the details!

If you enjoyed this Anchorage, AK photography spotlight, be sure to check out other featured location guides and tips for moving your business!


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more about me

I've been navigating military life with my family since 2008. In that time, I went from a full-time classroom teacher to an online course designer to a photographer. Actually, I still teach a little math on the side because I just love it too much!

Through it all, I've discovered how passionate I am about connecting with military families. Whether it's taking photos at a retirement ceremony, coaching a fellow milspouse photographer, or just grabbing coffee with a new squadron friend, I love this community. And as a teacher at heart, I'm excited to use this space to share what I've learned about business and life with you.


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