If you, your partner, and the kiddos are long overdue for some updated portraits, you may be wondering how to choose a family session location. Should you head out on the town? Go adventuring in nature? Or stay at home so we can document your daily routine?
Really, there’s no wrong answer. But, in my opinion, family sessions shouldn’t be trendy. In other words, there’s no need to go traipsing around in a field at sunset. Rather, your session should be about YOUR family and what truly makes sense for you—especially if your kiddos are small. I’m all about capturing true life, just as it is. So, without further ado, here’s what you should consider when choosing your family session location!
Before anything else, spend some time thinking about how you’d spend a favorite Sunday with your little loves. Would you spend a simple day at home? Maybe you would cook together or go for a walk. Or, maybe you’d venture out to go swimming at Barton Springs or to grab ice cream at Amy’s. Whatever it is, let’s make this really unique for you! Jot down your ideas, and we’ll go over them together. And if you’re having trouble, I’m always happy to lend my thinking cap to the mix!
Because this is Austin, it’s also important to consider the time of year when your session will take place. The last thing we want is to make everyone unhappy by forcing an outdoor activity on a 95-degree day! For a family session, it’s especially important that everyone is comfortable in the environment we choose. So, if it’s blistering outside, indoors is where it’s at. Or we could always head to a swimming hole and grab ice cream along the way. The key is to get creative!
Maybe your kiddos are game for several hours of portrait-taking, or maybe they REALLY aren’t. You know their limits the best, so decide on your session length accordingly! My collections run the gamut from one-hour mini sessions at one favorite location to four hours at multiple locations.
I’ve had some clients opt to have a day in their lives documented chronologically, from waking the kiddos up from their naps to mom and dad heading off on a date night. In between, they’ve done everything they would do on a normal day, whether it’s eating snacks, playing instruments, or watering the garden. That way, I can really capture a full afternoon at that point in their lives. It’s pretty exciting to think of how many ways you can make your session truly unique!
The beauty of these sessions is that your kids will be able to look back on the images in a book or as printed photographs (never leave your photos on the hard drive—more on that another time!) for years to come. As they do, they can relive the moments from their childhood that they’ll always cherish but weren’t typically captured because they were routine. Whether it’s making blueberry pancakes together on a Sunday morning or playing hide-and-seek in the living room, they (and you!) will be so happy to have those memories forever preserved.
If you’ve been inspired with a location for your own Austin family session, I’d love to hear it! And, if you think you’d like some portraits in your cozy nest, read up on how to plan an at-home family session.