A Few Things to Consider When Choosing a Location for a Portrait Session

June 15, 2014

When scouting a location for a portrait session there are many things I take into consideration, first and foremost the people or thing I will be photographing! This is always the most important especially when it comes to photographing kids under the age of five especially when they are just walking/ running. I cannot tell you how many times when I was first starting out that I chose a place that was heavily populated with people or super interesting things! Sure the location has to have a sense of appeal to that age group but it shouldn't be HEAVILY saturated with so much going on that a child cannot focus on the task at hand (ha what am I talking about you get maybe two seconds of a child's attention before they are onto the next thing, I have learned to think/click quick!).

 

Anyway, first I think of whom I am photographing. For this session it was a family of three (almost four) with an 18-month-old child! So I was looking for a location that had a lot of space for the little guy to run but that did not have too many people or too many distracting elements.

 

Second I considered what time of the day I am photographing. This is very important when choosing a location (In a later post we will discuss why shooting at certain times of the day is so important). Why is the time of day important when choosing a location? When you live in area where you drive down the street and there are beautiful rolling hills and mountains with gorgeous trees and then you drive the other direction and there are flat open fields, there can be a bit of a dilemma if you choose either of these locations at the wrong time of day. If you are shooting on there other side of a mountain you have to choose an earlier time of day otherwise you will be dealing with the location getting dark too early due to the sun going behind the mountain. Sames goes with shooting in a large open field if the sun is still too high then you will get drastic shadows! For this shoot we were photographing close to sun down so I chose a place that had a variety of open shade as well as a field with lots of grass.

 

Lastly I take into consideration where the family will be displaying their portraits and how we have stylized the shoot. I try to choose a location that goes with what the family is wearing as well as where the portraits will be hanging. If we are decorating two or three separate rooms, I want to have variety in the location I choose or choose more than one location. For the Martin's they were wearing blacks, blues and tans, this went perfectly with the stone wall we shot behind as well as the waterfall and rocks we had in the background.

 

Now that the location has been chosen all that is left is the session itself. The Martin family arrived with one happy little 18 month old. We gave him lots of area to run because what is most important about documenting an 18 month old? Those cute little legs and how precious they look scouting around! This was an important session for Mandi, Adrian and Nickel, in that they will soon be welcoming a little girl into the family. It was important to them to have portraits taken of them as a family of three. To show that undeniable bond with you’re first born. It was definitely a touching session with lots of hugs kisses and squeezes!

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