A family photo session is about documenting your family. It is about more than simply capturing what you looked like right now (though that’s important) but it is more about your love, your family’s personality, and those dynamics within your family. This is all to say that while the location your family photos take place is not the focus, it is what can set the tone for your session.
Here is a look at those things I look for in a location for family photos, and why I have several favorite spots that meet all (or most of) these criteria, making them ideal spots to highlight your family.
The location must photograph beautifully.
This first one, I’m sure, seems obvious. With the Pacific Northwest as our backdrop, how could something not photograph beautifully? However, there are several factors that help an area photograph well for family photos. I look at how the light falls in different areas of a location and where the sun sets (or rises). I also look for locations with limited distractions (large signs, construction that may be happening, bright structures, etc). Further, I will take note of how busy a location is. The last thing you want is a ton of people in the background of your image, nor having to wait for people to move through your image. Although we cannot ensure no one will be at the location, choosing ones that are less popular helps the flow of your session.
Locations that are accessible for kids are ideal.
When I am scouting locations I look at how far it is from the car to the first spot I would photograph your family. I also look for possible hazards or issues that kids may have at a particular location. While I don’t mink walking a little ways between spots within a location, I know long distances can make for cranky kids. When I suggest locations to you I let you know of the terrain so that you can decide if it is right for your family. For instance, the location featured here has a suspension bridge which many kids (and moms) and dogs may find a bit scary as the bridge moves a little as you walk across. If you or your child is terrified of suspension bridges, this might not be the location for you! If you love bridges, isn’t it a beautiful spot?
I look for locations that offer something to do.
Whether it is a field to dance in, rocks to throw into the river, or a pathway to explore, I look for locations that offer natural things for your family to do together. This makes our time together more of the adventure rather than focusing on having your pictures taken.
Locations that offer variety without traveling far are great for family photos.
This last one is more of a perk, not a requirement of a location. I can, and have numerous times, done family sessions within one small area that photographs beautifully. Again, the focus is not the location itself, but the dynamics and personalities within your family. However, if there are several spots within a location that makes things just a little sweeter. Moving from the woods to the river not only allows for a little time for kids to recharge as they run, but gives your photo gallery more variety.
Take a peek through just a few more favorites from this family session. These images show off one of my favorite locations, without us moving around too much.
Did reading this bring to mind a favorite spot you love to visit?
If so, I wanna hear about it. I love adding new locations to my list for family photo sessions. I also love taking my kids on scouting trips to check out spots and how they could work! In fact, one family several years ago introduced me to this location!
Not sure of a good location for your family photos? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.
When you’ve booked your session I send you a list of my most favorite locations in the area. The list includes names along with what to expect at each spot. From there I can guide you based on your family, the ages of your children, and what you’re looking for in your session.
Now, let’s get to chatting about the right location for your family. Book your family session below.