There is something super exciting about marking that date on your calendar- PORTRAIT DAY! If you're anything like me, you'll start spending more time on Pinterest, searching for cute family poses you just have to try, great clothing combinations, and of course the perfect setting. Perhaps you live near the beach, so you start envisioning the sun setting on the ocean, while your family frolics at the shoreline. Or perhaps you're lucky enough to live near beautiful mountains (like me!) and can envision portraits with snow covered peaks in the distance. Or perhaps you have no clue at all where you should take your family for Portrait Day. Well, before you panic, or go jetting out to the beach, you should consider a few things. Here are some tips on choosing the best location for your family portraits.
1. LOOK AROUND YOUR HOUSE
A quick walk around your house might inspire the kind of portraits you want hanging on your walls. Are you more classic in your style of home decor? Are earthy tones dominant on your walls? Then perhaps you should consider those earthy tones in your portraits. This might be where a rustic location works best. If you are prone to bolder colors when you decorate, then consider a more lively setting. Maybe an urban session downtown would work for you. Be careful though. An urban setting could be fun for those bolder designers, but don't go clashing colors, shapes, textures or patterns. Sometimes busy can be TOO busy.
2. CONSIDER SENTIMENTALITY
Do you live near the spot where your husband proposed to you? Or near the church where you two got married? Maybe there a favorite hiking trail that you loved to walk when you were pregnant, or carrying a newborn in the Baby Bjorn. Portraits are so beautiful when the setting has special meaning. What a gift to glance daily at your portraits and remember not only that day, but all the special days there before. If you have an opportunity to have portraits taken at such a special place, and if this setting matches the decor of your home, take advantage of it.
3. CONSIDER PRACTICALITY (ESPECIALLY WITH LITTLE ONES)
While we all love the idea of creating gorgeous portraits at sunset on the same beach where we got engaged, sometimes there's a little something getting in the way of that idea. Sometimes it's three little somethings! Or more! When it comes to having little ones in your portraits, their needs trump everything else. Consider the time it will take to get to a location. You do not need kids messy, cranky, sleeping, or hungry before you even get out of the car. So if you've got little ones in the picture (literally!), then scope our some nearby settings. You'd be surprised. I've photographed families right in their own backyard. It's about good light over anything else. And hey, if you're in your own backyard, your kids are comfortable, happy, and just a few steps away from a quick change if there's any trouble.
Choosing a location for your next family portrait session does not have to be difficult, but there are a few important things to remember. Let your setting blend with your style, choose a place that suits your style, your mood, and maybe even evokes sweet memories. And never forget to consider the kids. Choose a place that's safe for them, not too difficult for them, and even fun for them. Who knows? It might be your own backyard!