How to choose the best location for your family photography session - Melbourne Family Photographer

One of the top questions clients ask me when booking their family photography session is “where should we have our session!?" and so it's made me think about the things I look for in a great location and I thought I would share my thoughts about it, here.

The four main points that I think about when trying to decide on a location are - 

SIGNFICANCE
DISTRACTIONS
PRIVACY
VARIETY

 

I'll chat a bit more about each of these points below, so please read on. 

Sometimes it's worthwhile venturing a little further out of the city for your family photography session - this session took place on the Mornington Peninsula

Sometimes it's worthwhile venturing a little further out of the city for your family photography session - this session took place on the Mornington Peninsula

SIGNIFICANCE

Think about places you go with your family and things you do together that are important and meaningful to you.   Do you guys love to go for adventures in the forest together on weekends?  Do you spend every evening in summer at the beach ? Do you visit your local café  so regularly that they no longer even ask you for your order?  Having your family photography session in a spot that is special to you and already holds its own memories in your heart are going to make your images just that much more treasured in the years to come!   

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DISTRACTIONS -

While it’s wonderful to choose a spot that has significance to you, it is also important to think about how practical the space is going to be for the purposes of a photo session. For example, if you want to do your session at your local park, but the only time you guys ever visit that particular park is for your toddler to play at the playground there, how do you think they will cope when we arrive and tell them they can’t play on the playground and that we’re going to go and do some photos instead!? If they’re anything like my kids, that probably won’t go down so well #tantrumcentral !!!  For that reason, I do try to avoid parks that have playgrounds, because once your toddler sees that, they’re never going to forget about it and you probably didn’t book a professional photographer to get 100x photos of your toddler going down the slide !  

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PRIVACY

Chances are, unless you’re a professional model, you’re probably not SUPER comfortable in front of the camera !! One thing that I think really helps during your photo session is picking a location that isn’t always packed full with people so you don’t feel like you are being watched by a group of 50 curious onlookers.  Crowded areas with lots of people can make it that much more difficult to relax! For example, inner city parks and beaches on a sunny afternoon = top destination for 99% of Melbournians ***!!  In summer, I try to schedule beach sessions for the morning when they tend to be quieter or I suggest that we venture a little further to some of the quieter beaches further out that have just a little more space.  I also suggest we avoid the really popular/well known parks and opt for quieter spots that are just as (if not more) photogenic !

(***completely made up statistic...from time to time I like to exaggerate to make my point)

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VARIETY -

OK, so you were thinking that the park across the road from your house has some nice greenery on the very far right hand side of said park….BUT it is bordered by roads / houses and/or car parking that is slightly less photogenic…. Because you see, the thing about my photo sessions is there is no WAY I am going to get you all to stand in once place for the entire time !  We are going to be moving around, your kids will be running around / playing and so if the location isn’t versatile enough, you’ll end up with a big bright blue station wagon in the background that is going to be distracting and take away from your images !!  As you can see from this session, the locations we shot at had SO.MUCH.VARIETY – it didn’t matter where we turned or what direction we were facing, it was all just so beautiful and that to me, is the ultimate test of a location !!

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A few final thoughts

- My outdoor sessions are always scheduled to coincide with sunrise or sunset, the time of day we photographers refer to as "golden hour". This is when the light is beautiful, flattering and well, just generally pretty damn magical !! The times of sunset and sunrise obviously change quite a lot during the year and it's not always the most convenient time when you have young children - but I can promise you, that for just this one day, it is 100000% worth the small disruption to their routine! 

- Pack lightly for outdoor sessions - please leave your pram in the car and handbags/sunglasses etc. at home ! We're going to be moving around a lot during your session and the last thing we want to have to worry about is moving bags/prams out of the shot. 

- Given we live in Melbourne, there is always the possibility that mother nature will have other plans for our desire to be outside on the day your shoot is scheduled - if the weather is looking dicey, I generally suggest we hold off making the decision to reschedule until the day of the session as the forecast can be so changeble. But we definitely won't be shooting in the rain ! 

- We live in an absolutely BEAUTIFUL part of the world, with endless natural beauty to discover! Of course we can find gorgeous spots close to home, but if you're up for an adventure, let me know and I'm always SOO excited to travel a little further out and explore new places!! 
 

So, there you have it, my top tips for choosing your outdoor location for your next family photography session.   Would you add any others to the list ? 
 

I would LOVE to know what your dream photo location in or around Melbourne would be.  Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know.  If you would like to book in your own family photography session, please get in touch and let's make some magic together ! 

Also, I couldn't help myself but do a big ol' overshare of this gorgeous recent family session on the Mornington Peninsula, only a short drive from Melbourne.

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Sunrise on the beach - Melbourne Family Photographer

Torquay Family Lifestyle Photography session

In the height of summer, beach sessions can sometimes be a little tricky for families with young children. Because outdoor sessions need to be scheduled to coincide with sunrise or sunset (as that is when we get this MAGICAL and flattering light), and in the middle of summer that can mean start times of either 6am or 7:45pm ! Not exactly ideal when you have a little one that sleeps 7pm - 7am (side note; if you have one of those babies - please share your secrets with me!!).

But by the time March/April comes around, often we still have beautiful, warm days AND the days are getting shorter, so the start time for sessions is soooooo much more reasonable. Honestly, I think at this time of year, sunrise sessions are my favourite because, 
1) kids have generally just woken from a good sleep and are slightly more refreshed than the hour before they go to bed during a sunset session (in our house, we refer to this hour as crazy-o'clock), and,  
2) at a popular beach like this one, it's just us and the dog wallkers (whereas, at sunset on a warm Melbourne day, half of Melbourne's population is still often on the beach enjoying the warmth like it might be the last chance they ever get!!). 

For this session, we arrived on the beach a few minutes before sunrise and the majority of these photos were taken within the first half an hour after sunrise... isn't the light just magical!? Not only that, but it's also so so flattering - no harsh shadows, bright spots or squinty eyes !! Also - what better way to start the day off right with your kids than a trip to the beach at 7am!?   

If you would like more information on booking your own family photography session, please get in touch !  Also, did you know I now have a mailing list !? If you would like to receive exclusive offers and updates AND discounts that are ONLY available for mailing list subscribers - sign up here. 
 

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Melbourne newborn photographer - Toddler + Newborn fun!

Kensington newborn photography session

OK, so I have to admit, when I first started shooting lifestyle newborn photography sessions, I was always a tiny bit terrified to hear there was a toddler aged sibling also on the scene... I mean, I have my own toddlers at home and I know that they are loose units. Completely unpredictable, often unable to be reasoned with and have very little interest in following instructions.. All I could think was how the hell I was going to get them to behave and sit still for photos with their new baby brother or sister.  And then I realised my mindset and thought process was all wrong ! Why on earth would I try and force a toddler to sit still for photos?! Where is the fun in that ? How does that capture anything real or genuine about where this family is at right now!? My whole purpose for capturing young families is so that they can look back on their images in 10-20 years time, and remember what it was *really* like.. I want them to remember those cheeky, spirited, whirlwind toddler personalities just as much as I want them to remember those little newborn bundles!   

And honestly, once I started looking at it that way, I couldn't be anymore excited to get a newborn enquiry with a toddler sibling, I love the challenge and I love the energy that a toddler brings to a newborn session when they are allowed to just do there thing and are not forced into anything. I love the moments of calm and the moments of chaos (both of which, I am going to wholeheartedly encourage in the moment!). I love that those images capture a stage of parenthood that is so incredibly challenging, yet simultaneously makes your heart feel like it's going to burst with love.  

I would love to know if you have your own young family but have had reservations about having family photos taken - what have been your main concerns?  Is there something that you would like more information on or would like to have better explained to you ?  Or if you have had your own family photos taken and there was something you wished you knew beforehand?  I would love it if you could let me know either in the comments or shoot me through a message

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Did you know that I offer a discounted rate when you book in a maternity session AND newborn session at the same time!?

Sessions book out a month or two in advance, so it’s super important to get in early to avoid disappointment.  All of the details of my pricing and packages are listed here 

Melbourne Maternity Photographer - a beautiful world with boys

I have a boy and a girl at home. Everyone ALWAYS says how lucky I am to have a "pigeon pair" (what a strange saying!?). I AM lucky, but not because I have a boy and a girl, because I have two beautiful, hilarious, healthy children. They are completely nuts the majority of the time, but those first 3 things I just said are also true.


You know who else is incredibly lucky ? Mums of BOYS, and I have the undeniable proof right here – THIS FAMILY ! Seriously, the love, energy and hilarity in this home was off the charts. These boys!? Cuddly, loving, playful, hilarious… just a joy to be around! There is something just so special about the mother/son bond and capturing that has to be one of my favourite things in the world.

I'm also pretty lucky as I get to come back to this beautiful family in January and capture them welcoming home their newest arrival. #lovemyjob

Side note - how freaking HIL-ARIOUS is Jack’s door sign !? Yes Jack, I would like a pizza  ! How did you know?! 

Are you raising all boys !? Tell me, what is the best thing about being about being a mum of boys?!

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Did you know that I offer a discounted rate when you book in a maternity session AND newborn session at the same time!? You can check out all of my pricing and packages here

Sessions book out a month or two in advance, so it’s super important to get in early to avoid disappointment - get in touch!

Summer Days

So a couple of nights ago on Facebook, I asked you guys what you wanted to see more of.... despite the results being completely rigged by biased family members, the result was "YOUR KIDS". So here they are. This is a little glimpse into our lives over the past month.... just some of the highlights, because trust me, you don't want to see the messy lowlights ! 

Reading books on the trampoline *not what we spent hundreds of dollars on that for guys....*, fights over who gets to water the garden, a trip to Phillip Island (where we stayed in the cutest little airbnb with the most AH-MAZING wallpaper and window light - in the end, I took more photos in that bedroom than I did at the beach... because as you can probably tell from the photos, the beach was bloody freezing), and just some hanging out at home. A real random selection... but that's us !    

Dedicated to the McEwans
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Would you like to take a guess at who was the innocent victim in all of this!? 

Would you like to take a guess at who was the innocent victim in all of this!? 

The light...the wallpaper...the girl... 

The light...the wallpaper...the girl... 

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