Picking A Location For Family Pictures


Picking a location for your family session, especially if you have a big family with lots to coordinate, can be stressful. Let’s talk about the best way to select a spot!

Picking A Location For Family Pictures

Ashley Newman Photography

This family had members fly in from Australia for photos. If that is not dedication, I don’t know what is! They get together every year and document their family- and they had the stacks of albums to prove it! So amazing!!

So why are we talking about locations today? Well…because they are hard to come by. It sounds silly to say, but a lot of pretty places that you drive by are private property or not as easily accessible and safe as you think when you initially see it.
Take for example a beautiful plot of land off the side of the road. You are driving along and see this stunning field. Sure it looks perfect to go grab a few pictures in, and there doesn’t seem to be anything on it, so what is the problem?

How to pick a location for photos

  • Is is facing the right direction? Lighting is so important! Does the sun set behind it? Is there any shade? Your photographer can tell you what’s best depending on the time of day you’re wanting to have pictures taken.

  • Is there a lot of road noise? Oh man, this one doesn’t seem like that big of a deal until you can’t hear the directions of your photographer or your family is distracted. It’s also just a safety issue. Some spots are beautiful but they are just too close to the road. If a child were to run out without paying attention, the results could be devastating. How private your location is can be so important.

  • Do you have permission? Some parks and areas require a permit. Others it’s just plain trespassing. You wouldn’t want someone to be in your yard trampling flowers and grass, so please make sure the location you are interested in is one you can use. Sometimes simply asking the property owner will get you access, but it’s important and polite to ask.

  • Nature! Do you have small kids but want to be photographed in a field? The grass my be a sensory issue or even present obstacles like critters and ants. If you are the adventuring type, I say go for it. But just be mindful of the elements at the location you are interested in and prepare accordingly.

  • Does the location have personal meaning? This one is big for me. While I do have a list of locations I use with my clients, sometimes people want to use a spot that has memories. I love being able to do this. The family featured in this post is one who used a spot where the family gathers every year. It has meaning and that is incredible.

  • Not all light is created equal. Sometimes the way the sun comes through the trees is simply magical. Other spots, the light can come through and have an odd color, angle or just plain be obstructed. Check with your photographer or visit the location yourself to see if you like the light. I’m a light snob, so I like to make sure my lighting is consistent and appeals to me in a way that is pleasing. 😉

At the end of the day, your session location is less important than the real connections you make during the pictures. Be yourself and embrace your family and the rest will fall into place.

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Hi, I'm Ashley!


About the Artist

Ashley Newman Photography is a Woodlands Family Photographer and Storyteller specializing in outdoor family photography. In addition to lifestyle family portraits, Ashley and her award-winning team offer day-in-the-life legacy sessions, outdoor maternity sessions, fresh 48 hospital portraits and in-home newborn photography. Ashley Newman Photography serves Montgomery county, North-Houston areas: The Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, Houston and Magnolia.

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