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Whether you've thought about it or not, the reality is that the location you choose for your photoshoot will grately impact the end result of your photos. Not just how your photos will look at the end, but how they will feel. Wether you want your photos to feel bohemian, adventurous, homey, or rustic, a location is often the determining factor! Do you have to have the perfect, most glamorous location? No, you don't, but it is important to take a few things into consideration when selecting the location for your shoot.

#1. Think about your families personal style and activity preferences.

Do you all enjoying hiking in the woods? Or maybe you enjoy exploring a new city? Do you like a things like barn doors and rickety fences, or do you prefer landscapes like mountians? Does running through a field of flowers sound appealing to you or would you rather walk the streets of your local town? These are all important things to consider when selecting a location for your session. Both a busy city and a quiet lake will provide a beautiful scenery but in the end produce photos that will feel very different. Think about how you want your photos to feel when you look back on them. Do you want them to feel warm and earthy or urban and trendy? If you want them to feel homey, consider having the session in your home. Maybe your family has a favorite place to go on the weekends, like a favorite trail to hike. I like to recommend thinking about what your family enjoys doing, and setting the scene for your photoshoot based on that. In the end the goal here is to have authentic photographs unique to your family, so if you'd never be caught dead running through a field of wildflowers, then don't do that for your photoshoot. Your photographer likely has a bunch of locations that they enjoy shooting at, so be sure to have this conversation with them and see where they would recommend going.

#2. Winter, spring, summer, or fall?

The time of year will also have a lot to do with the best location for your session. Here in Pennsylvania, we are blessed to get 4 very distinct seasons. In the spring we get gorgeous flowers, the fall produces leaves of every color, the winter provides beautiful snow and evergreens, and the summer is, well, HOT. If your session takes place in the summer, consider heading to the beach for your session. Not only are beach photos some of my personal favorite but the kids can splash around in the water if things get too hot (cue candid photos!). In the fall be sure to take full advantage of the changing colors by selecting a location lush in trees and mountain views. Fall photos are notorious for producing photos that feel warm and cosy, so if you're looking for that golden glow in your photos, keep this in mind. Winter is a great time to head to your local tree farm and take advantage of those evergreens. (pro tip - mix in some reds in your outfits for the perfect Christmas card photos) If you love colorful fields of flowers, consider scheduling your session during the spring and select a location rich in landscaping. If you looking to take full advantage of the season, choose a location that provides you the opportunity to do so.

#3. How accessible is it?

Something that shouldn't be overlooked is the accessibility of the location. Some locations are obviously easier to get to than others. If someone in your group has difficulty walking, it's best to avoid locations that require a walk or hike to get to. If you have young children, will they be the able to arrive to the location without getting covered in mud or dirt? Will they be able to coupe with getting there? If you want to bring along your fur babies, does the location you have in mind allow pets? All important things to keep in mind when selecting the perfect spot.

#4. Always, always have open communication with your photographer.

As I mentioned above, its likely that your photographer has many locations in mind that work well for photoshoots during every season of the year, that fit different style preferences, and that are easily accessible. Communicate with your photographer about what style you prefer and how your want your photos to feel. Tell them if you plan to bring along a furry friend or if anyone in your group needs special accommodations. Lastly, don't be afraid to ask your photographer about a specific location. Most photographers will be excited to have the opportunity to explore a new spot. Just be sure to give them time so they can check the location of your dreams for good light, accessibility, permits, and more!

Do you have a favorite spot or a dream location for your next session? Drop it in the comments if you do! I always love learning about new locations!

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