Being a family photographer means everywhere I go, I’m subconsciously scouting potential locations for a family photo shoot- judging them by the light, the texture, and just how pretty they are.
So what makes the perfect location for the budding family photographer, when choosing where to photograph? Well, when scouting locations, here’s a few things I look out for to make a family photo shoot magical:
Leading Lines in a photo shoot
Using leading lines in a family photo shoot, leads your eye into (or out of) a picture. I love pathways, roads, tree lines, wall, and generally using them to draw your eye into a photograph.
Best Lighting for an outdoor shoot
When photographing an outdoor family photo shoot, lighting is everything. There are a few things I look for here:
a. Backlighting: I am an absolute sucker for backlighting. The trick here is firstly doing the shoot late enough that the light behind your subject isn’t too bright- and so the time of day is important. Generally I will schedule a family photo shoot about 1 – 1.5 hours before sunset.
b. Filter the light: it helps to filter your backlighting during a photo shoot, by using trees that are in the distance behind your subject, or clouds are also a good filter (but less in your control), or even buildings if the light is still super bright.
c. Quality of light: Be aware of the quality of light falling onto the front of your subject too. If your family you are photographing has sun behind them, having a building in front of them means that they have no lovely light falling onto their faces. It will leave their skin looking muddy and dull. So nice open skies in front of them. Or even a strobe if you must. But you want some light on your subject faces during a photo shoot.
Finding Texture for a shoot
When choosing a family photo shoot location, I am generally looking for varying textures. For example, walls of stone, a variety of different trees (take notice how the leaves of different trees offer a different texture to an image), rocks, sand, tall grass. Textures create interest, but also depth to a photograph.
What season is the best time to do a family photo shoot?
Honestly, any season is good.. but obviously summer is the best warmth wise, and when the trees and flowers are in bloom. But as a family photographer, I can work in any conditions, and create beautiful images regardless of the season by embracing the surroundings, and working with the seasons and what they offer. For example, I love shooting in winter when the light is soft and the trees are brown and bare… it’s beautiful!!
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