If you read last week’s post I discussed the number one question I get before planning a session – what should we wear for our family photos? This week, we’re going to continue with the theme of family photo session planning and discuss the second most frequently asked question I get before a session – how do we pick the perfect location for family photos?

A little boy sitting down on the ground at the selected location for family photos

Begin with the end in mind when selecting your location for family photos.

Much like planning your wardrobe, when selecting a location for a family session you should begin with the end in mind. What are you going to use your photos for? Are they for an album? Wall art? Holiday cards? Knowing what your intended use is for your images can help guide you to a location. For example, if you’re looking for a photo for your family’s holiday card, perhaps you would want for a location that features more green or is themed – like a Christmas tree farm. 

Color and Style.

If you are wanting to use your photos for artwork in your home, think about the color and style of your home. Is it lighter and more neutral or is it deeper, bolder colors? Is it more modern, casual, or formal? 

If your home is more light and airy, you might want to consider a beach or a field where the naturally surrounding colors will be lighter and more neutral. If it’s darker or bolder, then a park or area with denser trees and greenery or a more urban location might provide a more cohesive look for your decor. You could also consider a session in a studio where you can select a background color that would fit your home’s decor. 

Remember to keep the style of the location in line with the style of your clothing. If you are planning to wear a long, flowy cotton dress in a cream color, perhaps a bold, urban location isn’t the right choice. Likewise, if you wanted to wear a deep, jewel-toned structured gown, a beach or field might not make the most sense visually.

A family snuggling on the beach in front of a large rock formation - their selected location for family photos

Convenience and Accessibility.

When looking at locations for sessions I always try to take a few factors into account. One of the most important things I think about is the convenience and accessibility of the potential location. Being a photographer who works with a lot of families with small children, I like to find locations for family sessions that have easy parking, are stroller friendly, have bathrooms nearby, and aren’t too far away from my clients’ homes.

These factors all help to make a session less stressful. No one wants to be rushing to a session only to have to drive around for ages to park and then have to carry their children for a 10 minute walk to the specific location. Sometimes a location is so beautiful and perfect, it’s worth the hassle, but generally I find that convenience and easy accessibility always win out!

A little boy playing in the sand in front of some grassy dunes

Special Meaning.

It is always so much more exciting for families when they select a location for a family session that has special meaning for them. If it is a place you go to frequently to enjoy spending time together, everyone will automatically feel more comfortable and relaxed. It’s also a great way to document something that you love to do together. For some families, this is a particular beach where they spend their time together. For some families, this is a walking path where they go each weekend to get out and enjoy nature together. For some, this is a session done in their own home where they all feel the most relaxed and comfortable together. 

A mother snuggling her new baby at home sitting in a window seat

Picking the perfect location for family photos can seem overwhelming – this is where I come in! In our planning and styling appointment, we discuss your goals for your session including your intended use for your images, your vision for colors, and overall style. I then help you to select the location for family photos based on all of the information I gather in our meeting. I love helping my clients with location selection and session styling – it takes the stress off of them and allows me to help fully execute their session vision. 

If you are looking to book a family session with Kate Voda Photography, click here to inquire today!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the work of some fellow photographers to help inspire and educate you. This week head over and visit Miriam of Miriam Caterina Wahl Photography. She is based in London and is sharing a beautiful extended family session that is perfect for inspiration! And if you happen to be traveling overseas, make sure you get in touch with her about extended family photos in London!

Kate Voda Photography is an in-home Newborn Lifestyle photographer and a Portrait Lifestyle photographer serving New Jersey and the surrounding areas.

  1. “Special meaning” is a big one and one that I always point out during my consultations. Love the photos, too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love that you mention that you consider all aspects for your family session locations – bathrooms are a must when you have littles! Beautiful images as well!

  3. Oh, your photography is stunning! I absolutely love the window shot. It’s perfect and dreamy. Great work!

  4. Such great points, that I don’t think many people think about. You are so intentional about everything.

  5. Samantha says:

    These are all such great tips for choosing a location, Kate! I especially love the advice to start with the end result in mind: so smart!

  6. Jasmyn says:

    Beautiful photos and great recommendations of locations for family photos! I love that you highlight “special meaning” as it’s a perfect way to add in a sentimental element.

  7. Beth says:

    So many great tips here! Location is so important in terms of the look of family photos, this is so helpful!!

  8. Becky says:

    Great guide – I love when families pick a location that has special meaning to them. It makes it truly special!

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