It used to be that formal photographs were taken in a studio with artificial light. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, per se, the world is a much more interesting place. The only question then is where exactly to take your pictures.

Choose Someplace Meaningful

Your best bet is choosing a location that holds some special meaning to you and your family, and so this should be your first criterion. It might be the garden where you got married. Or a nearby beach. A park you frequent with your child.

Your family home is always a fantastic choice, as you get the chance to capture your family behaving and engaging as they always do. Plus, you get to chronicle where you lived at the same time. Win-win.

Consider Crowds and Distractions

Once you’ve brainstormed a few possible spots, think about the location in its entirety. Is it frequently busy and crowded with people? If so, it might be difficult to get shots with only you and your family. You’ll spend time waiting for people to exit the frame. It’s not impossible, but a busy place in a relatively small space can lead to headaches and issues you might not have considered.

Beyond that, imagine the possible distractions, both to your children and to your eye. If it’s too cluttered, you might end up with distracting items in the background or periphery that take attention away from your family. If there’s too much going on around them, it might prove difficult to get your children to focus. That said, shots of your children engaging with the action around them could be ideal…if that’s the type of photos you’re going for. You just need to know going in.

Think About the Lighting Situation

Shooting outside presents some challenges when it comes to lighting. A studio is a controlled environment with artificial lighting that can be adjusted. The park or beach? Not so much. Natural lighting can produce some stunning photos, but you need to think about natural cover at the location, and accessibility during early morning and late afternoon.

Trees and other structures can offer some shelter and shade, and that can be used to diffuse strong natural light. Is there anything there in your preferred location that could be utilized? Likewise, many photographers prefer to shoot either early in the morning, or later in the afternoon, as the natural light is best suited for photography (the sun isn’t quite so bright, harsh, or directly overhead). Is your location open and available at those times?

Variety is the Spice of Life

An outdoor photography session is a wonderful choice for lively and active shots. Consider the backgrounds you could use at your location. Are there a few different ones that could be pulled into service, or is it pretty uniform throughout? It’s not a deal-breaker, but having a few different options simply provides a bit of variety, and gives the photos a slightly different look. Trees, a walled garden, stone stairs, and buildings in a park, for example, allow plenty of choice.

Other Considerations

It’s unlikely, but do be aware that some locations might require a permit in order to shoot there. Again, if that’s the case, you can probably get one, but it’s worth knowing beforehand.

A good photographer will be able to help with your decision. Between the two of you, you’ll select something spectacular. Why not talk to us 🙂

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