Molly VanDamme Photography | Picking the Perfect Session Location in 3 Easy Steps

Picking the Perfect Session Location in 3 Easy Steps

April 11, 2016  •  Leave a Comment


Okay, so you’ve decided on professional photos - YES!  But… now the decision comes on deciding where you want those photos taken.


The options of where can be a little overwhelming - the options are (quite literally) limitless!  You can be inside, outside, downtown, at home, at a park…the list goes on.  



So, how do you chose?



Step 1:  What Style Is Right For You - Documentary or Traditional




Do you want your photos to reflect your real life?  To show your family doing activities they love doing or carrying on special traditions?  Do you not want to worry about having everyone match and look at the camera, but instead, have a photographer capture genuine emotion as you interact with one another?  If capturing photos of genuine emotion is your jam, then be sure to pick a location your family feels most comfortable.  This is often times your home, your yard, or another place you frequent.  You want everyone to feel at ease in the location and be able to move and interact freely.





Do you love coordinating outfits and photos of everyone smiling?  Do you love the way styled photos look in a gorgeous park or on the steps of the capital building?  Are you a Pinterest Pro with boards full of ideas on poses?  If so, think of what photos you are most drawn to - what colors or locations catch your eye the most.  Also, even though it’s not as important as a documentary session to select a location you feel comfortable, think of some places that are meaningful to you and your family.  They may be the perfect place! 






Okay, got a few ideas rolling around in your head?  Maybe you even jotted some ideas down??  Alright then, we can move on. 





Step 2:  Lighting and Coloring 


Do you prefer darker, more dramatic photos, or bright and airy?  Do you have specific colors you are drawn to, or ones you want in your photos? 


If you love the photos that feel light and airy - that seem to have the perfect amount of light in every photo, then consider having your session outside, or at an inside location that has great natural light.  Having ample natural light during a session will allow a photographer to create images that have the feel you’re looking for.  In addition, it’s often easier to get crisp images when there is a good light source. 


Love specific colors and/or coordinating outfits?  Do you want your photos to match the walls of where you’re hanging them?  If so, think of locations that will give your photos the type of feel you want.  If you like muted tones, perhaps having a session outside at a nature reserve or in the woods is a good option for you.  If you want bright colors, perhaps having your session in a garden would be perfect - or downtown mixed in with colorful signs and buildings.  






Step 3:  Consider the Logistics 


Now, you may have a few locations in mind - it’s time to pick your favorite!  Here are some of those nit-picky things to help narrow down your options: 

  1. Is it legal to go there (don’t laugh - sadly, some of the most photographic places are going to be off limits!) 
  2. How long does it take to get there?  Is it just down the road, or will this be a day trip for your family and your photographer?  If your heart is set on a location that isn’t local, be sure to check with your photographer for travel fees and requirements. 
  3. Will you be comfortable and/or look natural?  No matter what your setting is - you want to look like you belong!  If you’re going to wear a fancy cocktail dress, don’t choose a location you’re afraid it might get dirty.  If you’re uncomfortable in front of the public, don’t choose a setting where there will be a lot of people walking around. 



Three steps later, and you’re set to go!  



Now, let’s get to snapping!  Contact me or download my client guide to take that next step! 









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