Family Location Shoots

Are you considering an outdoor location shoot for your next family portraits? I photograph families and children mainly in my studio, but recently decided to shoot more on location. It was a wonderful experience. I had the pleasure of photographing a lovely family of three and their adorable furry family member Carter.

  • Shooting outside on location lends itself to spontaneous and natural photography. After discussing locations on the phone with my family, we decided on their local woods. A place familiar and with meaning to them. Location shoots give children space to move around, play and be themselves. Libby played fairies and cast spells. I’d brought a wand and some glitter for the purpose.
  • Photographs taken outside will usually feel natural and casual. I was able to give my family a selection of images that told a story. Location shoots lend themselves to this and we had images of Libby and Carter playing, exploring, resting, jumping, throwing leaves etc. I found that strolling along outside through the woods helped make mum and dad less self-conscious. If you’re a bit camera shy this can help lead to better facial expressions. I was able to capture more reportage style images unobserved from a distance whilst mum and dad were talking. There’s not anywhere for the photographer to hide in a studio.

Carter the dog was fabulous for making everyone feel at ease. He was exceptionally well behaved which made my job easy. If you want to include your four legged family member in the shoot, this will have an impact on your location choice.

  • The weather can be challenging. We were lucky with the weather, but if it is bad you may have to reschedule. The lighting could also be very variable for example glaring sun can create harsh shadows or make you squint. For a photographer overcast skies are preferred, the sky then acts like a huge soft box, diffusing the light and eliminating shadows. The light will be at its most flattering either early morning or late afternoon, so make sure you book your location shoot then avoid the time around midday.
  • If it does rain, but isn’t particularly cold put your raincoats on and welly boots and let the kids puddle jump. The shots will be fun and animated.

All in all location shoots are fun, they offer a different look to your selection of images from those that you will get from a studio shoot. It does take longer and require more planning. You should consider what you want as the end result. There will be a lot more going on in the background of your pictures, glimpses of which might add meaning to your photographs. Consider what you are going to do with your images afterwards. If you want images with a clean background to hang on your walls then a studio shoot might be a better choice. If you want images that tell more of a story and are in a setting then choose location.