I’m excited and nervous to bring you this video where I outline a 3-step process to choosing a family photoshoot location. We have so many gorgeous locations in Perth (and WA!) that I’m just as excited to hear new suggestions for locations! That’s why this 3-step process will help you to understand what I look for when choosing a location and how it helps the overall experience and the types of photos that end up in the final gallery. Watch the video but also keep reading – there are a few extra tidbits in the blog post that came as afterthoughts to the video! Let’s go!
1. Time of day.
This is a pretty common thing to think about when it comes to when choosing a location. Most people know about “golden hour.” As the sun sets, it gets further away and has to travel through more atmosphere/air particles. This means there are more molecules to scatter the bluer tones away from your eyes, resulting in that dreamy golden light. This also happens at sunrise! So if your children are early risers you might want to consider a sunrise shoot!
Whether you pick sunrise or sunset – when having your photo taken you’ll want to position your back to the sun so that you eliminate harsh shadows on your face. For example, let’s take Yellagona Regional Park as an example. Lake Joondalup lays in a north/south direction. That means if you go for a sunrise shoot, you want to be on the Joondalup/Edgewater side of the lake. Alternatively, if you have a sunset shoot, you want to on the Wanneroo side.
2. Wide Angle Possibility
Something to think about before any photos have taken place is what you plan on doing with your photos after they have been delivered to you. Will they be printed for an album or a couple of enlargements for a blank wall in your house? What I have noticed lately when asking this question to clients is that they want that 1 photo to enlarge as a canvas. How does this image affect your choice of location? Some locations lend themselves to a wide-angle photo, whilst others need a photographer to skillfully compose a photo to eliminate any unwanted elements in the background.
Driving to the location is one thing – but have you considered how far you must walk from your car to the location? Do you have to climb some stairs or hike a little way (hello Lesmurdie Falls!) to get to the good view? Consider the ability of all people involved. Is your toddler going to find the longer walk boring or too hard to do? Is a grandparent involved who is likely to trip if your ground is too uneven?
Accessibility also covers the issue of permission to use the location. All wedding photographers would know that you must pay a fee to use the grounds at the University of WA. Some locations require booking in a time and getting a code for the combination lock at the gate!
One last thing about safety. Some of my most favourite places to shoot are simply “bushland” that can be found all over Perth. Please consider that this bushland is home to native wildlife. Long grass is beautiful in photos and snakes love it too. If you share your photo location with kangaroos (even if you don’t see any at the time) you should conduct a tick check at the end of the session! However, don’t let this put you off, I’ve never seen a snake on a shoot!
Do you have a favourite location? Leave a comment below!