Choosing The Right Location For Your Photo Session

You Have Hired The Best Photographer

Long Island wedding photographer

You’ve hired the perfect photographer, now what? It’s time to choose the perfect location for your photo session. There are many different locations to choose from when it comes to outdoor photography. Have you thought about what you would like your background to look like? Are you more of a beach, water and sand person or do you prefer the park, river and grass setting? Choosing a location is one of the most important pieces to getting the photos you desire. Here are some ways to help you choose the best setting for your outdoor photo session.

Plan Ahead

If you want to get the most out of your photo session experience then there are several steps you should take in order to plan your session. One of the first steps is to choose the perfect location where you want to get your photos taken. Before you book your consultation or photo session, think of some of your favorite places around town that you love. Choose something that relaxes you and makes you feel at ease. Take your time with the decision and once you have given it some serious thought, try searching the web or local photography sites and view some images of similar backgrounds to get some more creative and inspiring ideas.

A Part of You

Pick a location that means something to you. If you love the outdoors, then choose somewhere in nature. If you are more of a city person then perhaps a busy downtown area with beautiful architecture is more of a scene for you. Whatever you decide, it should be somewhere that tells the viewer a little bit about who you are.  If you get stuck with the creative process write down all the ideas you have and run them by the photographer.  As an artist he will be able to walk you through some additional ideas and even help you envision what the images will look like

Get Creative

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. There are hundreds of places near you that are unique and even undiscovered. Don’t be afraid to ask your local outdoor photographer what they think about photography in your area and they might even suggest some amazing photo worthy hidden gems.  But before you ask for any secret spots make sure you let him know that you do plan hiring him as a photographer, otherwise he may not be as forthcoming with the locations.  Photographers spend a ton of time researching areas and many even have a spreadsheet with a list of all the locations they have been.  So don’t be surprised if they are hesitant to give you any ideas on the first call.

Long Island Engagement Photographer

End Result

There are endless textures and places that will look interesting and creative in your photos. Think of the end result that you are looking for. Choose something that is sentimental to you or your family and it will come across in your final photos and evoke memories and emotion for years to come.  Lastly, if you plan on getting your photos taken in the next year or so it may be a good idea to start keeping track of all the locations you visit in your area.  So if you go to a park 10 or 20 miles away and you feel like it would be beautiful their in the fall as the leaves change, write it down.  Want more info?  Visit Jasmine’s Facebook Page




What To Look For In An Outdoor Photographer

Outside Photography

There are many people who are claiming they are great photographers but their photos will prove otherwise. Good photography is not cheap so if you planned on spending $100.00 for a dvd with all the images you will be sticker shocked when you see the prices of real professionals.  So why the premium prices?  There are many costs involved in the process of running a photography business.  There was a recent write up about how much photographers initially invest in their businesses.  While the initial investment will vary according to the photographers field of expertise, family portrait professionals usually invest over 10,000 in equipment, software, and associated expenditures.  Wedding photographers spend even more!  So when you go shopping around for a professional keep in mind that photographers are just like any other business and have spent thousands of dollars and years of training to bring you a quality product.

Young couple in love

Here are some things to look for when choosing your outdoor photographer:

Your photographer should not only have professional equipment, they should know how to nail exposures, how to use the sun for the best lighting, be able lead your photo-shoot, and know how to edit the photos effectively in order to achieve your desired results. They should also have a professional website and portfolio of entire sessions that you can view.

Do you like their personality?  It’s always a great idea to give the photographer a call to discuss what your looking for and to feel out his personality.  This is one of the most important factors in choosing a photographer and it’s also the most underestimated.  I mean if you think about it, do you really want to spend 1-2 hours with someone you really don’t get along with?  So if they rub you the wrong way when you call you know it’s time to move on to the next one.

They should also specialize in the area of photography you are looking for. If you want to have a lot of the pictures taken outside then you should hire an outdoor photographer, not a studio photographer.  When your searching, you may be tempted to use services such as thumbtack.  I would avoid this website altogether and just do a simple Google search for your local town.  When you chat with them make sure you ask for ideas about locations for your session.  This will give you the chance to visit the places you have never heard of and decide whether the location fits your taste.

Do you like their gallery page? If you are searching for an outdoor photographer make sure that their photos match the results that you are looking to create. Don’t assume that any photographer can recreate a dream picture that you found on Pinterest. If you do have a photo idea in mind, be sure to talk to the photographer before your session so they can know in advance what your expectations are and they might even be able to offer you suggestions on ways to improve the look of your pictures.

Choosing the perfect photographer can be a hard task. It can sometimes be overwhelming to sort through all of the portfolios and choose one that matches your budget and style.  But if you find a photographer that you absolutely love but is a little more than you wanted to spend, I suggest paying the extra money for peace of mind.

Happy family in sunset

Studio Photographer or Outside Photographer

Studio Photography Vs Outside Photography

Choosing between getting your portraits taken inside a studio and outdoors can be a difficult decision. All photographers have a preference for outdoor or indoor photography but it’s up to the subject to decide what types of photos they would like to have hanging on their wall for years to come.  Here are a few things to consider from Gary, Virginia Beach family portrait photographer

If you are leaning towards a photo-shoot outside, some of the benefits are the following:

Lifestyle photo of family at beach

Natural Light:

Nothing beats natural light. Sunlight is the best source of illumination for photographers. Professionals also know which times of day will have the best light and know well in advance how to manipulate outdoor light with reflectors in order to get the best lighting for pictures.  Typically anytime you choose to have beach portraits your session will be scheduled during the golden hour.  This is the best time of day for beach photos and occurs 1 hour before the sun has fully set.  If photographed properly your images will come out with a nice golden tone and their will be rim light around your body.  This separates the family from the background which adds dimension.  This type of lighting is only available to you at this time of the day but some photographers who are specialists with off camera flash can pull off a similar look.  However if you are looking for that natural look and have kids you may just want to opt for using light that is available to you naturally.  Anytime you have bright flashes going off it can really make kids uncomfortable, especially babies.


More Locations

You can show off more of your personality by having your photos taken outside. Example; If you love soccer, it makes more sense to have an active photo-shoot in a field shooting at a net than to have a portrait of you holding a soccer ball inside with a solid background.  Parks are a favorite with outside photographers and unlike the beach, you can schedule your session anytime during the day as long as there are trees or other natural objects that can create shade.

When outdoors, the location options are endless. You could be swimming at your favorite lake, sharing an ice cream cone with grandma or enjoying the sunset on the beach with a few friends. When it comes to outdoor photography, the background is your choice.

More Unique

Having photos from the outdoors will allow your family portraits to be more unique. Instead of having a solid and staged colored background, you will be able to choose a background that fits you best, perhaps standing in front of your childhood house or your new car or motorcycle that you love.  If you really want to have unique portraits make sure you bring anything you and your family find sentimental such as a ring, necklace, bracelet or anything else that may have been given to you by a loved one.

If you’re not a lover of the outdoors and prefer to stay inside, there are also some benefits to indoor photography.

Picture of smiling family

Controlled Environment:

Everything can be controlled, from lighting, wind, background colors and temperature. You will not have to worry about sunlight or weather conditions and there are no other outside distractions.  The downside of a photography studio is there is typically a limited amount of options for backdrops.  A good idea would be to ask the photographer if you can see the choice of backgrounds they offer.  If they don’t offer what you’re looking for it may be a good idea to see if they can custom order something for you or maybe reconsider having your session outdoors.


When shooting indoors, there will be less noise, distractions and best of all privacy, which allows the photographer to focus entirely on the job.

For portraits, lifestyle and fashion shots, it is more convenient to work indoors. There is an abundance of creative freedom thanks to new lighting systems.

There are pros and cons to outdoor and indoor photography. No matter where you prefer to have your portraits taken, you must hire a photographer who is organized, pays attention to detail and has an understanding of portrait photography in order to have a successful session.

There are plenty of great photographers across the United States.  Once you decide on whether you want your photos taken inside or outside do a search for local photographers and read their reviews.  Go to the next post, choosing your style.