Sunday, November 17, 2013

Choosing a Location for your Family Portrait Photoshoot

Most families choose to have their family portait created on location. It’s one of my specialties and why families select me to be their photographer.

When clients contact me, I make sure to consult with them about their vision of their family portrait and add suggestions and ideas to help with this creative process.  I’ll help you choose a place that is important to you and is appropriate to your family’s lifestyle. I’ll also determine the best time of day at the location you choose.  It's all about getting the "right natural light" which makes a huge difference in the end, which produces the most beautiful shots.

For some families, your home is the right place to be photographed — whether it’s inside around the fireplace, on the deck, or in the garden.  For other families, an outdoor location is more appropriate. Perhaps it’s a favorite trail where you go for a walk together each Sunday afternoon, your favorite fishing hole, or the bench where you watch the sunset over the islands.

Active portraits can include running, soccer, football, basketball, golf, bicycling, skiing or snowboarding, sailing, or any other favorite family pursuit. Your imagination is the only limit!

If you’re drawing a blank, I will be happy to suggest locations during your initial consultation.

Family Portrait Location Ideas

Here are a few of the favorite locations in the greater Sacramento area that families have selected for their family portrait:
  • Old Sacramento
  • Ancil Hoffman Park
  • The American River
  • Folsom Lake
  • William Land Park

Expect the unexpected...  

When shooting at outdoor locations, prepare for the unexpected!  Weather is the biggest challenge, especially during the fall and spring months.  As a professional, my first priority is keeping you and your family safe (and dry... haha!).  I'll keep an eye on the weather and keep in contact with you as necessary as the photoshoot date approaches near.

But even with the best planning, Mother Nature can be tricky... Weather can change quickly which even the best weather person cannot predict.  I always try to think of alternative locations and quick thinking solutions to issues such as a drastic change in weather.

In the family portrait below, my client requested an outdoor shoot in the beautiful and historic Old Sacramento area.  The weather reports looked great all week, but on the day of the shoot, the weather turned cold and windy very quickly!  It was really the wind that caused most of the problem.  If you know this area, you know that many of the streets and walkways are unpaved and dusty, which created a mini wind storm... not fun!  I was able to switch gears quickly and eyed some areas that gave some sort of shelter from the elements.  I also quickly and creatively dragged some props such as the bales of hay and strategically placed them near those old wine and cargo boxes for a nice antique looking background.  By pulling together this "instant studio", I was able to get this young family and two sets of grandparents out of the cold and dusty wind and get them the great family portrait they wanted.  It ended up to be a great spot to take some shots and we waited for the weather to calm down to get their outdoor shots.  They are a great looking family!... don't you think?

What’s Next?

Ready to begin planning your portrait session? Call Mike Melliza Photography at (916) 572-6272 today. 

Visit my website at... for some photoshoot ideas.  I'm happy to help!