Whenever I am consulting with a client on family portraits the discussion of location is always a big part. There are many factors I consider when choosing a location. The first being the time of year. Whether my clients want the fall leaves, a specific color to match their decor or have just missed the fall family portrait rush and the leaves are gone and we need a special location I pick the best location based on the time of year we are shooting. The next factor is the age of the kids. I have a lot of little people in my family portraits so I don’t want them dwarfed by trees or bushes. I try to choose a location based on the size of the foliage so it accents the pictures and highlights my clients rather than the background. One other small thing to note is when shooting in public parks it’s always best to shoot during the week so the parks are less crowded so you don’t have to spend time waiting for people to move out of the background or shoot around bystanders. And lastly convenience. It’s always a series of compromises. Although I prefer to choose locations based on the two above if I have really little people who are going to get grumpy, tired or hungry if the drive time is too long we may forgo the above to make it more convenient. Happy little people are the most important to a family portrait. But before I move on to the next location blog post I would be remiss if I didn’t include one other important key factor that is critical in achieving the best results and that is LIGHTING. Lighting is probably the single most influencing component in your pictures being their best. People tend to think sunny and bright in the middle of the day is the best time but actually depending on the time of year a couple of hours before sunset or after sunrise is the best time to take pictures outdoors. If you shoot in the middle of the day not only does the sun cast shadows under the eyes that are unflattering but all that harsh light shows every flaw in the skin. Now does that mean we can’t make it work during the day? No. But it does require areas of full shade which limit the areas we can shoot. So just another little thing to think about… The good news is during the summer months you don’t have to worry as much about taking off work for family pictures as usually the best times for shooting are between 6 and 7pm.
So here we have some family pictures that were shot in the neighborhood at 12 Oaks near 12 Oaks Country Club. The nice thing about this location is the abundance of flowers, the golf course, a touch of rustic with the wood shed and metal walls. This location is great for smaller families with little people.