One of the most popular questions I get asked when chatting with a Client about their upcoming portrait session is “where should we take our photos?” Below are a handful of tips I have for those struggling with selecting a portrait session location.
Location Tip #1 — Which locations are close to your heart?
My first suggestion when helping a family or engaged couple select their session’s location is to consider any locations that have sentimental value to them. Perhaps the couple had their first date at this location or the family goes to this park together every weekend in the summer.. if there’s a location that you have an emotional connection with, by all means, you should have your session there!
The family in the image above selected this location because they had their maternity session there — what a
wonderful idea to take their first family portrait where they stood a year before for their maternity portraits!
Location Tip #2 — Are you more of a city person or nature person?
If you’re the person that loves tall buildings, architecture, design, and loathes bugs, mosquitos and dirt, the city or a small downtown urban location is the way to go! If you love all things nature including outdoor activities, open fields, tall trees and you don’t mind embracing the dirt, mosquitos and bugs — then a location that is in nature is the perfect choice for you.
Location Tip #3 — What season is your session in?
If you’re wanting a winter wonderland portrait session my suggestion is to think about where you picture yourself when it’s snowing — that could be cuddling up on the couch at home by a warm fire, it could be ice skating or it could even be hiking at a park in your neighborhood and occasionally stopping for a snowball fight. 😉 I guess what I’m trying to say is, you can still make your location choice personal and special no matter what season your session is in!
Location Tip #4 — Do you love that golden glow in portraits?
This last tip explains how selecting the perfect location will help you to achieve the look you’re wanting in your images. Do you love that golden glow you see in portraits? Where even if it’s chilly out, there’s a beautiful golden glow throughout the image — not just in the sky but where there’s warmth to the portrait of the family or couple? That’s a beautiful thing that us photographers like to call “golden hour”. Golden hour is the last hour of the day before the sun sets.
If you’re wanting that warmth in your outdoor portraits, you’ll want to select a location that isn’t hidden by shadows. For example, if you’re wanting a downtown location then the perfect golden hour location would be near the lake and away from the shadows of the tall buildings. You’ll get that stunning sunset behind the lake and the amazing city-scape as your background.
Are you considering more of a nature focused location? You can’t really go wrong when selecting an outdoor location at sunset. The sun peeks so perfectly over the horizon and around those tall trees creating the most beautiful golden glow.
I’m here to help!
I’ve photographed at a number of locations that I have learned like the back of my hand. Whether it’s beautiful architecture, a gorgeous sunset you’re looking for, blooming flowers or gorgeous fall colors, I’ve got you covered. Visit the Client Lounge to view a list of some of my favorite locations in the Chicagoland area.