Tips for finding the best outdoor location for your outdoor family, child or baby sessions
Creating Dynamic and Gorgeous Family Portraits
Howdy, friends! Greetings to you! Today's blog post takes a look into the mind of a photographer. If this is your fist time at my blog, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sarah and I'm located in Houston, TX. I've been a full time photographer since 2013. While every portrait artist has their own methods, these are some tips in how I select locations for your family or maternity portrait sessions. Locations are influenced by many factors, all of which are listed below. I hope you find this post informative and it inspires you to chase the light and embrace modern storytelling.
Think about the story you'd like to tell
Portrait photography is modern storytelling, crafted with love. Through the use of dynamic and soulful lighting, connected posing, atmosphere, and adorable outfits, you're able to embrace the spirit of the family and show them for who they are. Of course, family, child or maternity sessions will need some direction, so keeping this in mind is how you create images that will be treasured forever.
Your location should reflect the type of story you'd like to tell. For instance, when choosing this location I wanted to showcase a beautiful family who are celebrating their darling baby girl's first year of life. They're young, hip, carefree, and having a wonderful parenthood journey. This in mind, I like to use Hermann Park, in Houston, for sunrise family sessions. You do have to move quickly since the light is fleeting, but oh the light is so delicious and swoon worthy! Hermann Park is also one of Houston's most visited public parks as it's centrally located between Fannin Street and Cambridge Street, right in the heart of the medical district. There are over 5.5 million visits per year and 445 acres since its creation in 1914 (source). This alone should tell you many people marvel at its natural beauty, central location, and large area you may utilize.
You should ask yourself, "Is this location flexible? Will this look nice for all of the set ups needed for a family session?" You see, when photographing families, especially those with young children, the session may not be traditional in the sense where everyone is sitting nicely, smiling at the camera. Gone are the days of stiff portraits. Instead, many photographers, including myself, enjoy encouraging families to interact with one another. I want you to be who you are: connect with your spouse, play with your children, showcase the familiar bonds and connections. Years from now you will reflect on these images and see they are connection to who you are, what you've built, and when your children young. I promise you that will you miss them being small, and I absolutely adore all the photos of my own three little ones. Another aspect of flexibility you may want to consider is if the location is centrally located. In a city that's geographically large, it's nice to have options for parents who live inside the 610 loop.
Does it require a permit?
In the city of Houston, a professional photography permit is often required for nearly all parks and many gardens. According to the Hermann Park Conservancy, their photography policy is:
Any commercial use of any city property requires a permit. A professional photographer must obtain a permit for a photography session in Hermann Park by calling the City of Houston at 832-394-8805. Professional photography is not permitted in the Japanese Garden.
Before shooting at any location, I do make sure I am covered legally. I would never want to be removed from a location, so if you're a professional photographer in Houston, think of permits like this: you would hope your own clients will respect your contract and as professionals, we should all respect the contracts of city parks. I say this as a friendly reminder. It would also be really embarrassing to be "kicked out" of a location in the middle of a session. Always act with caution and perceive risk: if a permit is required, you can go through the proper channels and you'll be glad you did so.
Keep the season in mind
As mentioned in an earlier post this month, in Houston we essentially have two seasons: hot and hotter. However, there is a brief time in October - December where we have these gorgeous mornings in which the weather is in the high 70's. Part of why I love to photograph young families and children during the gorgeous sunrise lighting is because the weather is better. Your location should keep the season in mind by ensuring all outfit styles look nice in the settings.
Dynamic and soulful lighting
The heart of my family portraiture work is providing dynamic and soulful lighting during my sessions. I exclusively shoot during golden hour, which is sunrise and sunset. It's a very short window of time in which the light is soft, golden, and is either coming up over the horizon or setting beneath the trees, depending on if you're photographing a client during sunrise or sunset. This is how you take your images to the next level: while some photographers may say you can achieve this look in Photoshop, I believe your photos should look fantastic straight out of camera. You want to do minimal work and processing on the final images.
Well, folks! That's it for now. Be sure to check back soon for more photography tips I'd love to share with you. These simple yet effective tips will help you find locations that showcase your brand and shooting style.
You may also be interested in:
- Payment Plans for professional photography
- What to wear for fall family photos
- Gorgeous parent posing during newborn sessions
- Outdoor cake smash and family photograph in Houston
Check out what this family had to say about their photo experience with Sarah:
Sarah was great to work with. I had been stalking her work for a while and was glad to finally get our own photos! She came prepared, is very efficient with babies and was able to get cute photos of our baby before she became fussy. We even got our photos prior to the promised date.
Sarah Borchgrevink Photography is a Houston Newborn Photographer specializing in gorgeous posed newborn sessions. Her studio is located in Northwest Houston. In addition to breathtaking baby portraiture, Sarah also offers stylish natural light family photography as well as dynamic outdoor maternity sessions for expecting mothers and couples. Sarah joyfully serves the entire Harris and Montgomery county areas including North Houston, Cypress, Tomball, Spring, Jersey Village, The Woodlands, Magnolia, Conroe, Willis, Montgomery, Humble, Kingwood, Porter, New Caney, Waller, Memorial & West Houston, Katy, Fulshear, Sugar Land, Pearland, Hempstead, Richmond, West University, Rice Village and Porter TX. Connect to chat with Sarah today! Please consider booking your session at your earliest convenience in order to secure your appointments on the calendar.