Family Session – Yes’s and No’s When Choosing Location


May 5, 2022

You might be thinking that your beautiful neighborhood park is a fantastic spot for your family session. I mean it’s huge, beautiful and right down the street. Convenient, easy and beautiful, sounds like an ideal location right?!?

Well, maybe not.

Here are a few things to to consider when trying to find a location for your family session.

Remember these aren’t your everyday snapshots, they are images of art with your family that you want to display in our home, gift to your family, and of course cherish the moments, so don’t skimp on the location!

I made these mistakes early on in my career shooting at whatever local park was most ideal for my clients, now with my years of experience I know what to look for and avoid for your best portraits locations. I will be honest when I say that I had to learn this along the way too. Not that the sessions that I did in the beginning weren’t lovely pictures, but they COULD have been better with the location. I am going to be vulnerable here and share a few example below.

As you can see above, they are still wonderful images of these moments in time, but had I thought about this list when choosing the location, they could have been even better!

Natural Light

As a natural light photographer, I am always looking for the best lighting. Usually even, pretty, soft light. You want to avoid squinting your eyes into the sun and those splotchy lighting conditions that shaded trees often provide. Depending on the park it may leave you in open, bright sun or splotchy trees crating lots of uneven lighting that doesn’t photograph well on people.

Background Distractions

At parks, there are lots of local distractions, especially on weekends. This means not only people, but objects too! You typically have houses, power lines, cars, playgrounds, etc from every which angle. In the one or two occasions where we can find a good spot, the lighting isn’t ideal – and that makes it all the more challenging. Example below of the type of background we want for your session, free of distractions!


Not to mention the people that are all around having birthday parties, weekend picnics, kids on bikes, etc. While you might not mind the crowd of attention (or you may and that’s another factor), you will mind all the tiny people in the background. And, before you ask – no I can’t photoshop them out for the most part and if we do, it’s an additional cost.

Green Grass Not ideal

You’d think that green grass would be perfect to photograph on, but it’s actually the opposite. The grass casts back a green tint on you the subject and is hard to balance the skin tones in color. I usually avoid having people standing on the grass to avoid this green tint. No one wants an alien-like skin tone.

Kids Run Free

The best way to have a stress-free session is to pick a location that the kids can run off energy and be themselves. That is when I tend to capture their happy, smiling personalities. With your local parks, you are often confined to a small area requiring the kids to face a specific direction and have little room to move and well, be kids. I call it ‘free open spaces to be wild’.

What Do You Want Your Memories to Look Like?

Wouldn’t you rather drive just a bit (or even a lot), to ensure that you have images that you would proudly display on your walls that match the art of your home? That’s my goal. My intentions when planning your locations and outfits are for you to easily display your images in your home as art that coordinates with your home decor and your family style. A neighborhood park typically isn’t ideal for that. Now, don’t get me wrong, rules are always meant to be broken, so if you think your park might have great lighting, beautiful scenic views, no background distractions and is not crowded, let’s chat! I have found some awesome locations via clients neighborhood areas.

Let’s get your family session scheduled! I would love to find the best location for you, and make those everlasting memories! Inquire via this link.


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