Picking the Perfect Location: Family Edition

Making memories is a big part of what I want to do during a portrait session. But it’s even more special when we are able to go back to memories already made while we’re in the process of making more. We can do this by picking a location with a meaningful story.  But sometimes the more people in your family, the harder it is to pick a location! It’s also more difficult the younger your children are. Many clients come to me with no idea where they want to go for their family session. If you are one of those people who have no idea where you would like to go, ask yourself the following questions! After going through this quick questionnaire, picking a location will be much easier! Once I know the kind of theme we are going for, I can narrow down my list of possible locations to the one that will be the best fit you and your family.


So, next time you’re ready to pick a location, think about these questions:

1.  Where do we spend most of our free time?

When your family has a free day with nothing planned, what is your go-t0 activity? Is it spent in the city or out in nature? If it’s somewhere we can go to take pictures, let’s do it! (Even if it’s somewhere like an ice cream parlor!) What better way to spend a portrait session than at a place where you all have made lots of memories?

2.  Where do we feel most at home? Or if you have young children, more importantly where will my kids feel the most comfortable?

With young kids it’s already a challenge to get those genuine smiles, so couple that with a foreign environment and it gets a little tougher. If your kids are used to running around and enjoying wide open spaces, it will be tough to suddenly take them to an environment that will involve constant and close supervision. But on the other hand, if they are used to downtown or busier areas, let’s take advantage of it!

3.  What ambiance am I wanting to portray in my portraits?

Are we going for a sophisticated, urban feel with old buildings, cityscapes, and negative space in the background? Or the woodsy, surrounded-by-nature feel with lots of trees and greenery showing up? Knowing this can help your location options immensely. But don’t let being surrounded by woods deter you from dressing up! This is the perfect way to add flair to your photos, and something that I highly recommend!

4.  What kind of location would fit the theme of the room?

These photos will most likely be displayed on your wall, so keep in mind the mood of the room when choosing a location. If it’s a relaxed, earthy and natural room, but you still want to dress up, you can totally still keep the natural feel of the room by choosing a woodsy location while dressing up. That way you introduce some more class but still keep with the same theme. That will flow better than having a sudden change in theme by adding photos with a urban background that doesn’t fit with anything else in the room. If you have mainly dark colors in the room, find somewhere that has those same darker colors in the background, and vise versa with light colors! Also, your wardrobe is going to be a great place to incorporate the colors of your home!

5. What is the traffic like at the location?

Will we be fighting a hopeless battle against pedestrians walking behind or in front of our photo? If you have small children, let’s find a place that will offer a wide open background. Getting those split second real smiles is a lot easier if we don’t have to worry about people unintentionally photo bombing! The older your kids are, the less you have to worry about this aspect. Many times it’s impossible to find a spot where there aren’t any people around, which is fine. We can still use our ninja skills to avoid people appearing in the background. 🙂 This is just something to consider as you begin narrowing down your options! It also helps us be good managers of our time together! If we keep having to take breaks waiting for people to walk past, that cuts into time we could be getting photos!


And that’s it for the family edition! The engagement edition will be coming soon, so stayed tuned!!

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