My favorite places for photoshoots

When talking to clients during the pre-session time period, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is about where we should have the photoshoot. Location is really important and sets the whole mood for the shoot. You need to know the location to properly plan your outfits (I don't recommend heels at the beach!) One of the first questions I will ask when talking about locations is "what kind of vibe are you going for- urban or natural". Most choose natural, which may be unsurprising because that's what my portfolio shows mostly.

Given the frequency of this question, I wanted to use this blog post to talk about a few of my favorite natural locations to photograph families at including their pros/cons and considerations. This is NOT to say I will only photograph at these areas, I always LOVE going to to new places. It's just a place to start thinking about possible locations, in case you don't' have anything else in mind.

Old North Bridge/Minuteman Park in Concord, MA

Pros: This location is stunning and offers varied backdrops in a relative small area. There's a field with tall grass overlooking the historic Old Manse, there's a field with less tall grass overlooking the river, there's the historic Old North Bridge, a beautiful flower garden, all within about 1/4ish mile of each other. There's plenty of parking - which is good - because it can get pretty crowded. But there's enough space for everyone, so I've never found the crowds to be a deterrent.

Cons: Like I mentioned, it can get crowded; however, that's usually not a huge problem because I have always been able to find a fairly secluded area for photos. If you've chosen a mini session package, which only includes 20 minutes, it's likely that we won't be able to see both the flower garden and bridge/river locations, as they are on opposite sides of the park. However, all other session types have ample time to get great photographs in all the various backdrops that this location offer.

Red Wing Farm in Chelmsford, MA

Pros: Red Wing Farm offers a lot of variety in a small area! In about 5 acres (totally guessing on that!), there's a field overlooking a red barn and pond, there's a small foot bridge, there's a flower patch with a cute stone bench in front of it. Even within the constraints of a shorter session, it's feasible to visit these various areas.

Cons: Parking can be very challenging. There's only 3-4 spots. I advise arriving early to make sure we're able to start our session on time.

Great Brook Farm in Carlisle, MA

Pros: Great Brook is beautiful. There's a field with a large pond that reflects the beautiful red barn in the background. Surrounding the field there's wildflower fields. There's a stone wall that kiddos can play on. Up just on the other side of the parking lot is a cornfield that makes a nice backdrop and across the street is another field with a fallen tree that makes a nice looking natural bench and lots of rocks for kids to play on for more candid photos. There's tons of parking, so that's not a concern. And if you bribe your kids with ice cream in exchange for good behavior, there's an ice cream stand right on site. And there's cows you can watch as you eat your ice cream!

Cons: It's a working cow farm and - as such - it can sometimes smell like cows, which isn't the most pleasant smell. I've noticed that sometimes the big field can have a lot of goose poop in it, too. This isn't always the case, so I do like to evaluate that on a case-by-case basis before booking sessions there. Parking is also $3 and they will ticket if you don't buy a day pass.

The Beach! Which Beach? Whichever you prefer!

Pros: Beaches are beautiful. We all know what the beach looks like and it's stunning. Many beaches also have interesting rock structures, areas of sea grass, or other features that make them stand out and lend themselves to beautiful photos. It's fun for the family and a great locations. Windy weather makes for photos that show the beautiful movement of flowy outfits, and the wet sand can create some very neat reflections. Getting in the water (at the end of the session, so your clothes aren't wet the whole time!) always makes for some unique and fun shots

Cons: There's definitely a couple things to think about when considering a beach location. First, as an East Coaster, the sun rises over the water on most beaches - so if you have a vision of that picturesque silhouette of the sun setting over the water or the beautiful backlit photos with the ocean in the background, you'll have to book for sunrise rather than sunset and that means an early morning. Though, there are some beaches on the bayside of the Cape where this isn't the case and you get stunning sunsets! Other cons: Parking at beaches can be expensive and tricky, you may incur some travel charges depending on which beach you prefer, and the windy weather is great for flowy dresses but can be challenging and mess up for long hair.

Your backyard (yes, really!)

Pros: Especially if children or partners aren't 100% on board for a photoshoot, backyards make it easy! There's not travel, there's not crowds, there's not figuring out parking and making sure you're on time. It can create a really relaxed atmosphere for participants who need that. It's also a great way to make sure your photos really represent your life, your home, and your family. Often, it's also a bit easier to include family pets in the some of the photos when they're done at home!

Cons: Depending on your yard, you may not get some of the more dramatic background shots or environmental portraits.

Final Thoughts

Like I mentioned earlier, I am not tied to any of these locations and am always excited to shoot somewhere new! If you have a different vision - urban, mountain, waterfall etc - let me know! I'll research locations and I'll try to find something that would work!

I have a few other locations that I frequently hold photoshoots at; however, would like to keep those a little more private than sharing in a blog post.