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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to New Zealand

Guess what!?!?
We have just booked a trip back to Auckland for the end of July ! I had so much interest in sessions when I was there at the start of the year that I promised the next time we came back, I would open up a limited number of sessions again ! So, if you are in the Auckland area and would like to book a session for late July / early August, please get in touch - I will only be able to take on a limited number of sessions so don't put it off until it is too late !! 

Also, did you know that my wonderful mailing list subscribers actually got the low down on my NZ travel plans LAST WEEK!?  They are the first ones to find out about any travel plans, updates AND they get discounts just for signing up......Can you see where I'm going with this!?  Well, if you're still wondering, the point I'm trying to make (in my not so subtle way) is that if you missed out on a session date for this NZ trip but never want for that to happen again AND/OR you want other cool discounts and updates, you should probably play it safe and sign up for my mailing list ! All you need to do is scroll to the very bottom of this page to where it says SUBSCRIBE (YOU KNOW YOU WANNA) enter your details and voilà - you'll never miss another update !! 

 

Ok, phew, now the obligatory salesly spiel is out of the way (I always hate that part..but, yknow, kind of important to do every once and a whille when you're running a business), I can share with you one of the last family photography sessions I did back when I was in New Zealand in January. We ventured out to this gorgeous spot in Mount Albert with the most DE-LIGHTFUL family (have you ever seen a happier, more expressive smile than little Harrison's!?).  Our 5:20am alarms (yes, correct.... SO much respect for these guys for braving the FIVES with a 4 month and 3 year old!!) were TOTALLY WORTH it as we had the PERFECT conditions...but don't take my word for it, see for yourself!!

 

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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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Urban Melbourne Family Photography Session

When Celia first contacted me to tell me she was interested in booking a maternity photography session BUT, she wanted to know whether it might be possible to do something a little different and maybe do an urban shoot in the laneways of Melbourne, I was SO excited. Like, proper butterflies in stomach counting down the days til the session type excited!

Before I had kids, I was obsessed with street photography, and loved exploring all of Melbourne’s hidden laneways and street art.  To the point where I used to trick my husband into going to "try this new coffee shop in Fitzroy” purely because I had heard a new mural had gone up around the corner... The amount of times I have heard him muttering “but what are you even taking a photo of!?” is kind of hilarious and reminds me of just how differently a photographers mind works !!!

The morning I spent with Celia, Curt & Jude was just a perfect Melbourne morning with a toddler. Street art, laneways, coffee (and of course babycinnos) – and let’s not forget, watching garbage trucks! Toddler heaven!  Add in Celia’s beautiful baby bump and it was just a dream session – see for yourself!

Oh and this month I’m part of a blog circle with some incredibly talented women, so once you’re done scrolling through this session, make sure you head on over and check out Kylie Purtell - Sydney Wedding Photographer

And if you would like to book your own urban Melbourne family photography session get in touch here ! 

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