As Phil and Kirsty say it’s all about Location, Location, Location.
Well erm…kind of.
Whenever you book a photography session you will be asked where you would like the session to take place.
The location is pretty crucial for a couple of reasons.
1. It will act as the backdrop for all of your images so you have to be happy with what will be visible behind you i.e. the colours and general mood this will give the images.
2. It should reflect who you and your family are and needs to be somewhere that you feel comfortable.
You want the backdrop of your images to help tell your story.
So with this in mind, where are the best local locations?
Here are a few of my favourites…
1. The beach
If you are Dundee based then Tentsmuir is just across the bridge and is stunning. The massive expanse of beach and the glorious dunes give plenty of texture to your images.
If you are Angus based then you can’t beat Lunan Bay. In both of these locations the sun sets behind the sand dunes which is perfect for gorgeous sun kissed images. And even if the sun doesn’t shine it gives a pretty striking backdrop.
This one is a popular choice throughout the year with the gorgeous expanse of trees and the path that runs up the middle of it.
In the autumn the blanket of russet leaves gives the most amazing backdrop but it’s actually pretty great regardless of the time of year.
I could run through many other ‘typical’ places but to be perfectly honest the next few are my absolute favourites to shoot in and they aren’t even remotely obvious, mainly because they have been chosen for having perfect light.
A nice backdrop is great but if you have a nice backdrop at the expense of good light then your images will be….well a bit pants. Yup sorry Phil and Kirsty but when it comes to photography sessions it isn’t all about the location.
Light beats location every time. Photographers will categorically always think of light first because good light is what really makes an image stand out. And at the right time of day good light can become utterly magical.
And so with that in mind we have…
3. A random field/overgrown heaven
Yup a random field, just at the side of a road. This is preferable with older kiddies. They need to be old enough to understand that not running onto the road is a good idea and also follow instructions so that no crops are damaged in the making of the images. The farmer’s permission is a good idea because well…it’s just polite really.
The little orchard below is heavenly. It is super overgrown and only really usable for a few weeks a year but when the time is right it is just perfect. The light is gorgeous, there is a hint of blossom on the apple trees and the long grass gives it a lovely rustic feel. The down side is it is thistle and nettle central so not for the faint-hearted. It certainly doesn’t fit every family…but oh so perfect.
4. Long grass anywhere.
Parks are great. There is always a mixture of foliage and bushes, trees to climb and adventures to have. The little patches around the edges of parks are usually great as the long grass that doesn’t get cut can make an image look like it has been taken in the middle of nowhere….meaning that the focus of the image is you and your family. That’s what you want, right?
So long as it gets good light then you are on to a winner.
The long grass doesn’t even have to be in any particular great spot so long as it gets the right light. I am completely serious.
Take this wee patch.
Not the prettiest is it?
Dog bin, busy road behind it but at the right time of day on a sunny evening…magic! Locations can absolutely make an image better, but light….that’s the clincher!
If we’re thinking about places that are important to you then it doesn’t get more personal than home. If you are someone who loves a little interior design, who is never far from a copy of Ideal Home and who follows Farrow and Ball on Instagram then a home session would probably work really well. Why not show off all your hard work?
Just make sure there is a little light in your home. Big windows help!
A home session will always require me having a nose around to see where the light is at it’s best. Genuinely, I do not care if your home is not picture perfect. If there is a pile of dishes/washing/dust worthy of writing something comical in, who cares…I promise I am only interested in light. And besides…my home is well lived in too so I get it. It was nice once…I think sometime just shy of having children!
The good thing about a home session is that we can capture you in a place that will absolutely reflect who you are as a family. The kids can play in their own environment and because of that they are super comfortable with it.
So possibly not the list you were expecting.
I’m sure I could have listed a few landscaped gardens or more obvious ones…Dawson Park in the cherry blossom, Crombie with the rhododendrons, bluebells anywhere are all popular choices but to be honest sometimes the simplest places with the best light are the best.
So…where would you go? Which local location would best represent your family?
Feel free to drop it in the comments…especially if you are sitting on a wee hidden gem of a spot!
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