The Perfect Backdrop: Choosing a Location for Your Family Photography Session

One of the most exciting aspects of planning a family photography session is selecting the perfect location. Whether you’re aiming for a scenic outdoor backdrop or a cozy indoor setting, the right location can truly elevate your family portraits. So, let’s dive into finding The Perfect Backdrop: Tips for Choosing a Location for your Family Photography Session.

1. Reflect Your Family’s Personality

When considering potential locations, think about places that resonate with your family’s personality and interests. Are you adventurous and love the great outdoors? A forest or riverside setting might be perfect. Prefer a more urban vibe? Downtown Calgary has so many stunning locations that can provide a vibrant backdrop with cool architecture for your family portraits. Want to include your dogs or family pets in your family photography session? Your chosen location should reflect who you are as a family, making the session feel authentic and meaningful.

2. Consider the Season

The time of year can significantly impact your choice of location. Different seasons offer unique scenery and lighting conditions that can enhance your photos. Springtime may feature blooming flowers and vibrant colors, while late summer and early autumn offers picturesque foliage and warm, golden light. Keep in mind that the optimal time for family sessions is usually a couple of hours before sunset, known as the golden hour, when the light is soft and flattering. However, this timing can vary based on the time of year and location. In Calgary, where daylight hours fluctuate throughout the seasons, earlier spring sessions might be more appropriate than summer sessions, especially if you have little ones with earlier bedtimes.

3. Accessibility and Comfort

When selecting a location, consider the accessibility and comfort of all family members, especially if you have young children. I suggest we opt for locations with amenities like easy parking, restroom facilities, and seating areas to ensure everyone feels at ease throughout the session. Additionally, I love locations where everyone can move around comfortably and safely, allowing for natural interactions and candid moments to unfold.

4. Lighting Conditions

Lighting plays a crucial role in my sessions. That’s why I prefer to start my sessions a couple of hours before sunset, during what photographers call the “golden hour.” This time of day provides soft, flattering light that enhances the natural beauty of your family portraits.

However, if scheduling constraints do not allow for an evening session when outdoor light is optimal, don’t worry. Selecting an indoor option can offer much more flexibility with light. The more natural light, the better. Whether it’s your own home or an indoor location like the Calgary Central library for example, indoor locations allow us to have better control over lighting conditions, resulting in beautifully lit and visually stunning family photos.

5. Meaningful Locations

Infuse meaning into your family photos by choosing locations that hold sentimental value or significant memories. This could be your favorite park where you enjoy picnics together, a scenic overlook where you love to watch the sunset, or even your own backyard where countless memories have been made. By selecting meaningful locations, your photos will carry an extra layer of emotional depth and nostalgia.

Choosing the perfect location for your family photography session is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your family’s personality, create lasting memories, and capture beautiful portraits. By considering factors such as reflecting your family’s personality, the season, accessibility, lighting conditions, and meaningful locations, you can select a location that sets the stage for unforgettable moments with your loved ones. But not to worry—if you do not have a specific location in mind, that’s where I come in. With my expertise and experience, I’ll guide you to the perfect location that not only reflects your family’s unique character but also ensures that every aspect of your session is tailored to your needs and preferences.

I’m so excited to share my super fun urban family session with this amazing crew. I have had the wonderful privilege of photographing their family sessions for the past 3 years and can’t wait for our next session!


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