Home Photography How to Find Good Locations for Family Portraits

How to Find Good Locations for Family Portraits

by kyngsam

Whenever you’re taking pictures a family portrait, about 9 occasions out of ten the consumer will ask, “Do you could have a spot you sometimes prefer to {photograph}?”

All of us do, after all, however for those who take each portrait consumer to the identical location, your portfolio will develop an undesirable, repetitive consistency.

That’s why it’s essential to completely scout the world the place you reside and work, to construct an inventory of go-to spots for any situation, circumstance, and magnificence.

family portrait on a beach

So take into consideration your metropolis, and construct an inventory of those locations the place you possibly can shoot:

  • A subject or shoreline with broad vistas to seize the aura and glow of twilight
  • An identical out of doors venue with options like tall grass or bushes to supply a backdrop
  • An out of doors space with full shade, applicable for taking pictures at noon
  • A coated out of doors house like a gazebo or coated porch for shoots in inclement climate
  • An indoor house with excessive ceilings and many home windows for pure mild

As a result of most household portrait periods will embody quite a lot of backdrops and poses, the right taking pictures location comprises all of those parts. However that’s fairly uncommon and exhausting to seek out.

Lastly, just be sure you have the required permits, permissions, and licenses to shoot in your required places, whether or not they’re public or personal (many municipalities require a enterprise license to shoot in public locations like parks and seashores).

black and white family shot

When you’ve constructed your record of go-to places, you’re able to schedule a session with a consumer.

Listed below are the 2 situations that would play out:

State of affairs 1: The consumer has already chosen a location

It’s uncommon for a consumer to be lifeless set on a location, however generally there’s a household dwelling or a particular place with recollections the place they’d prefer to be photographed. Or possibly there’s an prolonged household gathered collectively already, they usually’d prefer to preserve the photoshoot as simple as potential by having you come to them. For those who’re taking pictures for subsequent yr’s vacation portrait or one other particular occasion, your consumer may select a spot that matches the theme, comparable to an evergreen forest or a snowy panorama.

For those who’re not aware of the placement, ask questions on it when confirming the shoot. It’s possible you’ll uncover that it is advisable carry additional gear, comparable to speedlights to fill in shadows (if, as an example, your consumer is hoping for a household portrait beneath a moss-strewn oak tree at two o’clock within the afternoon).

Likewise, indoor photoshoots – comparable to individuals gathered across the hearth or round a Christmas tree, for instance – might current difficulties with lighting that you just’ll wish to think about and be ready for previous to the precise shoot. When possible, go to the location of any session earlier than arriving for the precise job.

woman holding her child over her head

State of affairs 2: The consumer is open to your location solutions

That is the extra frequent situation, and it means that you can pull out that record of places you’ve already scouted.

Begin by getting a way of the sensation the household needs to seize of their pictures. For those who’re doing a vacation household portrait, the consumer might favor a heat and rustic theme over one thing vibrant and concrete, for instance.

Timing must also have an effect on your resolution of the place to shoot. When potential, schedule periods for an hour to an hour and a half before sunset, supplying you with time to reach and chat, time to get the household comfy together with your presence and magnificence, after which time to be absolutely able to seize lovely, beautiful portraits simply when the altering mild is at its peak.

kids playing at the beach

Sundown (and dawn) shoots

For golden hour periods, simply after dawn and simply earlier than sundown, select a location that ideally has each broad vistas and objects of curiosity.

For instance, for those who’re shooting on the beach, don’t simply select a spot with wide-open sand (plus homes and passersby). As an alternative, intention to discover a part of seaside with sand dunes, tall grass, driftwood, and even distant bushes.

These objects assist body the picture and make it extra attention-grabbing, with out distracting from the themes of the {photograph}. The identical guidelines apply in a desert, lake, or metropolis park situation.

Noon shoots on a sunny day

The problem with taking pictures at noon is the shadows. You don’t need your topics to squint in full solar, and also you don’t need shadows from tree branches or from different obstructions blocking parts of their faces. The important thing to taking pictures at sunny noon is to place your topics absolutely within the shade.

woman hugging her child

When a consumer needs to schedule a noon session, I typically lean towards city areas with architectural curiosity. In case your metropolis or city has a historic neighborhood, hunt down alleyways, parks, cobblestone streets, and even sidewalks which are shaded at noon, however that also current a good looking surrounding on your topics.

Cloudy day shoots

It’s an enormous false impression that overcast days are dangerous for household portraits. Shoppers could also be discouraged by the specter of rain, however encourage them with the information that cloud protection truly makes for lovely out of doors pictures – there’s no squinting, plus there’s good, even mild.

That stated, if there’s no drama within the sky (i.e., no darkish clouds swirling on the horizon), an overcast day could also be much less thrilling when taking pictures in broad vistas and open areas.

As an alternative, flip to your surrounding objects (bushes, historic buildings, and so on.) to supply the intrigue within the {photograph}. Or add a pop of colour with balloons and different props.

family portrait with balloons

On an overcast day, a neighborhood mural can truly make for an ideal backdrop – simply be sure that your topics put on muted tones (black, white, grey, or beige) reasonably than colourful apparel that may conflict with the artwork.

family portrait locations kids on graffitied steps

Remaining suggestions and methods for locating household portrait places

Begin by placing collectively your record of portrait places. And ensure that the place you resolve to shoot received’t be crowded on the time you’re there; the very last thing you need is a bunch of strangers in your backgrounds.

Lastly, be versatile. Not each shoot will probably be excellent, but it surely’s your job because the photographer to make sure that your purchasers have an pleasant expertise. Have faith in your abilities, and work round obstacles as they come up. If you’re engaged and the themes are pleased, it’s potential to create attractive household portraits that your purchasers can share on playing cards, calendars, and presents all year long.

Now over to you:

How do you select household portrait places? Do you could have a favourite sort of location? Share your ideas within the feedback beneath!

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