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July 13, 2023

Best Practices for Planning Your Outdoor Portrait Session

As a family portrait photographer, I have had the privilege of capturing countless cherished memories for families in breathtaking outdoor settings. The great outdoors provides a stunning backdrop for family portraits, offering a natural, vibrant, and ever-changing canvas. However, planning for an outdoor portrait session requires careful consideration to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. In this blog post, I will share some best practices to help you prepare for your upcoming outdoor portrait session.

Best Practices:

  1. Choose the Perfect Location: Selecting the right location is crucial for creating captivating and meaningful family portraits. Consider places that hold sentimental value for your family, such as a favorite park, beach, or woodland. Research potential locations, keeping in mind factors like accessibility, lighting conditions, and the overall aesthetic you desire. Consult with your photographer, who can provide recommendations based on their expertise and knowledge of the area.
  2. Timing Is Key: The timing of your outdoor portrait session can significantly impact the quality of your images. Plan your session during “golden hour,” occurring shortly after sunrise or before sunset. During these times, the soft, warm natural light creates an ambiance and flatters the skin tones, resulting in stunning images. Avoid scheduling your session during midday when the harsh sunlight can cast unflattering shadows and cause squinting.
  3. Dress to Impress: Selecting coordinated outfits for your family can enhance the visual appeal and cohesiveness of your portraits. Consider a color scheme that complements the natural surroundings while allowing each family member’s personality to shine. Avoid busy patterns or logos that can be distracting. Remember, comfort and confidence go hand in hand! Our portrait session planning guide is the perfect read while planning your families outfits.
  4. Embrace the Elements: Outdoor portrait sessions offer a unique opportunity to embrace the beauty of nature. However, unpredictable weather conditions can be a challenge. Stay flexible and prepared for changes in weather by bringing necessary items like umbrellas, blankets, or extra layers of clothing. In case of rain or extreme weather, have a backup plan in place. A cloudy or slightly drizzly day can create soft, diffused light that adds a touch of magic to your images.
  5. Communication and Collaboration: Open and effective communication with your photographer is vital to ensure your vision aligns with their artistic approach. Share your expectations, ideas, and any specific shots you desire in advance. Collaborate with your photographer to plan the session flow, discuss poses, and explore unique angles or compositions. Clear communication will help your photographer capture the essence of your family, resulting in truly memorable images.

By following these best practices for planning your outdoor session, you’ll be prepared to capture treasured memories that last a lifetime. Remember, the key is to select a location that resonates with your family, dress comfortably yet stylishly, and embrace the beauty of nature. With effective communication and collaboration with your photographer, your outdoor session is sure to be a delightful experience filled with joy, and unforgettable moments.

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