How to Choose the Best Location for Your Portrait Session

Updated: Dec 22, 2019

One of the best parts of hiring a professional photographer who’s been doing this whole picture-taking thing for a while is that we have a huge arsenal of incredible session locations for you to choose from. It’s sort of like how Joanna Gaines has an entire warehouse of vintage doors and accent pieces, only ours is a digital file of locations (and photographers get to reuse the same one every once in a while).

That said, I totally understand that you want to have a say in choosing your portrait session backdrop. It’s your session, after all and it should be one that fits your home + you and your pets story! To be honest, I'm super eager to hear what you have in mind, and I might even have some sweet location ideas to share with you off the top of my head.

6 Ways to Find the Perfect Session Location for Your Session

Really, choosing the best location for your portrait session is about figuring out what vibe you’re going for and then from there we can brainstorm together to find a spot that’ll make your heart skip a beat. Here are six ways to jump start the process:

1. Consider Your Preferred Style: The best portrait sessions capture your existing style. Think of what your favorite outfits are and what sort of style you’re drawn to, and then we’ll come up with complimentary session location. For example, if you lean toward bohemian, then an urban landscape of a My Hometown Session, may not be your jam.

2. Are you Thinking Indoors or Outdoors?: Both have their perks, but by narrowing down your choice to either indoor or outdoor we’ll be able to quickly refine the focus.

3. Think About Color: Do you want bright and splendid backdrop, or one that’s more minimalist? By narrowing down your preferred color story, we can narrow down the best choices for a session location.

4. How Many People + Pets Are Being Photographed?: This detail matters for a few locations, especially if you decide to go with a small space or an indoor locale. If it’s just you + your pet or a couple of people + a couple of pets in total, then your options are pretty limitless. Larger groups, however, require large and open spaces, otherwise things may start to feel crowded or overwhelming (and your pet might start feeling crowded and overwhelmed too!) during the shoot itself.

5. Consider Sentimental Spots: If a location has special meaning to you then it can make your session and images even more personalized. For example, a beach dogs session taken at your pet's favorite beach, explorer sessions taken walking your favorite trail, or My Hometown photos taken at the ice-cream shop you went to all the time as a kid that is you and your fur-kids favorite spot has extra meaning behind it.

6. Look at Some of Your Favorite Images: What sort of portrait images are you drawn to when scrolling through social media or flipping through a magazine? Is it rich, lush greenery? Is it gritty graffiti? Hazy fields? Modern lines? This natural inclination can help to inform your session location choice.

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