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!   

family lifestyle photography

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 !!

melbourne natural and fun family photography

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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Bayside Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

Ok guys, disclaimer. This one is a big old overshare of photos...hopefully by the time you get to the end you will be able to see why I had such a hard time narrowing down favourites!? I mean, each little expression baby Sophie pulls was just to cute not to share!! And the doting big fur-sister and adoring mum and dad!? Full blown heart explosion! I won't waste your time with anymore of my rambling, because you really need to just focus in on the cuteness that is about to follow.... Ready.Set.Go

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Brighton Newborn photogapher

If you would like to book your own newborn or family session, please get in touch here

Sunset maternity session - Melbourne Maternity Photographer

My best friends are having their first baby.   We decided to make their maternity session extra special and head down the coast. Although, to be fair, we could have done their session in a office cubicle and they still would have made it freaking stunning !  

Did you know that I offer a discounted rate when you book in a maternity session and your 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 really important to get in early to avoid disappointment - get in touch!

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Thanks for this 'behind the scenes' snap Harv's - it cracks me up because it has PERFECTLY captured my relationship with Bree... always looking at each other like we're slightly crazy (because, let's face it.... we are). 

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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Footscray days

It is so easy to forget that there is beauty in the everyday.  Nothing particularly special happened over the past month for our family, there were no big milestones, no exciting celebrations, no adventures to far away places. Life felt busy, Melbourne was cold and wet and days with the kids often felt repetitive.  Photography has such an amazing way of reminding you to look for the beauty and to soak it up.  I forced myself to get my camera out for my own family more often this month - I even challenged myself to get in the frame - which was a first for me (not counting i-phone selfies!).   So, here are a few of our everyday moments....trips to the park, tantrums over having to leave said park, suuuuuper slow walks with a 3 year old who wants to stop and smell the roses (literally, every.single. rose), fights over toy tractors and tickle attacks. Crazy and chaotic, but I wouldn't have it any other way (haha, that's a lie.... I could do without the tantrums in the park ... oh, and the tickle fight on the bed ended up with Elise body slamming Dan which ended in 2/3s of the room crying...but I'm getting off topic). 

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