Okay, folks. It’s time we talk about the things that matter most when planning your photo session! I’ve been asked many times what is theeeee most important thing to consider when it comes to a successful session, so I thought I’d finally answer that question here in a blog post!
Without a doubt, the number one thing for me is light. Specifically, I’m looking for soft lighting (either from overcast skies orrrr golden hour light about an hour or so before sunset). Soft lighting is not only flattering on skin tones, but it means that we can literally shoot anywhere and I don’t have to worry about where to place my subjects. I shoot a lot of toddlers, and I think we can all agree that toddlers do what they want, when they want, and getting them to stand exactlyyyy where the light is good isn’t always possible. But when the light is useable in every direction, then I don’t have to worry about it! Phewww. You’ll see when you scroll through these maternity photos that we had beautiful, soft light. Not only is it visually pleasing, but it worked well for this family of active boys who really wanted to explore. The light allowed me to capture them regardless of where they went. That’s huge!
The second most important thing is your willingness to roll with the punches and just try to have fun with your children as much as possible. The younger son in these images really wanted to “splore” (explore) the whole time, which made our session a little challenging, but his mom never stressed. We sort of let him run the show, and he DID give us really sweet moments throughout the session. If she had stressed, he would have felt that and we could have lost him completely. Luckily, she’s a photographer herself and she knew the importance of this :).
Next up is clothing. I was a little torn between clothing or location, but the reality is, clothing is front and center in every image and location is in the background, and I can highlight it or minimize it as much as I need to. There’s no changing your clothing, though. I suggest different colors depending on the season. In these photos, you can see how beautifully the soft/pastel color palette worked with the spring blossoms. I also am a HUGE fan of long dresses on moms. They add movement and visual interest, AND you can always hold your dress with one hand (no more awkward “dead hand” hanging at your side!). I also love love love that this mama put her little guy in suspenders. Simple accessories really go a long way!
While I personally would pick perfectly selected clothing over the perfectttt, dreamy location, let’s not dismiss the fact that location really IS important. My favorite locations in the Boston/Cambridge/Belmont area really depend a lot on the season. This Cambridge location was chosen specifically for its abundance of blooming trees, and the fact that it offered more privacy than really popular photo locations like Boston Common/The Public Garden or the Arboretum.
Welllll, that about wraps it up. If you’ve made it this far, congrats (haaaa!), and I hope that was helpful if you’re considering an outdoor family photo session sometime soon!