Ralph Deal Photography

family portrait in the countryside

Family Portraits By Design: Choosing the Right Locations

Your family portrait location is more than just a pretty place! When I'm helping my clients plan their session, we evaluate settings based on how well they'll showcase your family, and how you expect to show off the final product. If you have some favorite places in mind I can offer you my thoughts from the photographer's perspective.

What's Your Home Decor Aesthetic?

Have you given some thought to where you'll hang your family portrait? My clients tend to order oversized gallery wall prints to serve as stunning focal points in their living rooms, and smaller prints of individual family members to display throughout their homes. Your portrait colors and visual textures should complement your decor. Your personalities should stand out—not your clothing, or the backdrop.

Browse my family portraiture gallery for inspiration. Which colors, tones, and moods do you think will look great in your home? How does each image make you feel? Jot down some notes or bookmark your favorite examples as a reference, and we can work from there as we plan your session.

Choose Locations With the Right Mix of Convenience and Isolation

Select a spot that's well away from vehicle and foot traffic. Otherwise, Murphy's Law will make sure a tennis-ball-toting, an off-leash dog will "photobomb" you at the precise moment we got your fussy two-year-old to smile.

At the same time, you want to choose a location that will accommodate small kids and mobility-challenged family members, one that's comfortable for your entire family:

  • Is the ideal spot safely accessible?
  • How close are restrooms or changing facilities?
  • Is there a place to comfortably sit down and rest without getting dirty?
  • Is there poison oak or poison ivy?
  • What's the bug situation that time of year or day?

Once you've chosen the right setting, you'll make clothing choices that flatter the environment just the same as it flatters you. Plan to bring a second set of clothing if conditions change, forcing us to use our "backup" location.

Ask Me for Ideas!

There's no reason you can't choose your own home, a local venue, or your own backyard as the backdrop! I always have suggestions. Of course, I'll want to make sure the location has ideal natural lighting for a family portrait.

As a wedding photographer, I have relationships with venues or private landowners who may be willing to give us access for an hour or in exchange for a modest fee and/or a signed liability waiver. A little logistical planning goes a long way, but the results are worth the effort! Contact me to schedule a consultation, so we can begin planning your session!

Let's Talk About Your Family Session!

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