A Joyful Approach to  Family Photography


Choosing a Family Photo Session Location – Things to Consider

Choosing the best location for your family photo session is important and I am happy to guide you in deciding on the right place. Often times, the best family photography locations around Baltimore and Columbia tend to be places you would least suspect. I kinda like it that way so we have a little privacy too.

I take a lot of things into considerations when I am suggesting locations to my clients, and while I am always up for an adventure, there are a few things to take into consideration when we choose a location for your family or child photography session. I’ll warn you, I am pretty picky with outdoor locations. Mainly because while it’s nice to have a beautiful background, there are other things to take into consideration. Today’s post will go into five things to consider when choosing a location for your family session.

Areas that aren’t overcrowded

While your kids may love a certain park or area, take into consideration how crowded your location idea is when booking your family photo session. Some of the popular parks around Baltimore and Annapolis tend to be crowded on the weekends, which is when most families like to schedule their sessions. I find that families and children relax more with posing and connecting when there aren’t a lot of people around them. Also, it’s easier to get more angles when we aren’t dodging people in the backgrounds or waiting for another photographer to take their shot. Privacy during sessions is important for everyone to focus so I take this into consideration when I suggest or choose my locations. Some of my favorite locations tend to be a little more on the quiet side and it helps with opening families up to natural connections.

outdoor family photographers

Lighting is EVERYTHING for your Family Photo Session

Like I mentioned above, the background may be beautiful, but if it doesn’t have great lighting, it’s not an ideal family photo session location in my opinion. I look for open shade for my locations, which helps light the face up evenly and makes your eyes sparkle naturally!

While it’s ok to shoot in full sun, it’s definitely not ideal if you can avoid it. I prefer early morning, around 9am or less than 2 hours before sunset when the light is softer and less direct. These times vary based on the season, but generally we choose a time that works well for both the location and your family.

This photo below was taken in the morning hours, around 9am. While it was still pretty sunny, we found some nice shade to help create even lighting on her face, but also, because the sun wasn’t high, the background stayed rich and green.

towson family photographer

Areas to run

Another aspect I consider when choosing locations is the age of the child. With little kids, I love open field areas where we can get kids to run. Running adds movement and loosens children up, allowing me to capture a variety of expressions. It also makes it easier to get wider landscape angles for a different perspective. I look for areas with open sky but surrounded with trees to give us the shade we need but the open light for great skin tones.

baltimore family photographer

Your Home Decor – Light or Dark?

Is your home decorated bright and airy, or darker tones? Maybe a mix of both?

Locations based in wooded areas may have a deeper/richer background, while a beach will be very light and bright. Urban areas tend to be brighter, and then you have locations that have a good mix of everything. I personally love locations that can give me a good mix of light and darker. Also take into consideration that the season will drastically change the tones. For instance, this park above was very green and rich in the fall but was more bright and airy in the winter after the leaves have fallen.

I personally love in home sessions when you want to match your home decor. What better way to capture your family than in your own home environment. Imagine a photo of your family snuggled up in the living room, framed and gracing the wall of your living room for years to come. You may change that decor over time, but you just created a beautiful time capsule of the heart of your home. That’s a whole different post I’m working on currently as I truly love in home sessions.

When you book, consider sending me a few photos of your current home decor and I can help guide you to the best location around Baltimore and Annapolis Maryland. That could be a park, a river, or maybe your own home.

Walking Distance

When choosing a family session location, I also take into consideration how much walking is needed to get where we need to be. Not for us, but for the kids. Often times, when we take kids into new areas, they want to explore. It can take them a few to get settled and nothing breaks up focus more than wandering around a park looking for good light. I like to scope out locations ahead of time and find the best areas to shoot so we can camp there for a bit. Children have short attention spans and tend to give me the best of the best within the first 30 minutes (sometimes the first 10!), so I like to get where we are going to shoot shortly after we meet. Walking them around a large park to find good light or capture a ton of variety, typically only tires both them and the parents out. I love locations that offer a lot of variety, beautiful lighting and all of the above mentioned within a short walking distance.

There is a bit to think about when choosing the location for your family photo session in Maryland but I promise it doesn’t have to be stressful. When you book, I’ll ask a bit about your home decor and style and can guide you towards the perfect location for your family portraits. Let me handle all the details, you just bring your beautiful family and all the love and connection that comes along with them.


Ready to Book? Drop me a line and let’s chat!

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