Where to do Family Photos

The Spencer Family | Hamilton Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

What comes to your mind when you think of the perfect family session? 

As you’re envisioning it, I’ll tell you what comes to mine…

 

To start off, it’s a session that takes place in a spot which the family feels totally at home…a place that is just “them” and one that they’ll look back on with fond memories of during that point in their life. That same session feels like I’m just tagging along with the family as an extra member (who happens to have her camera with her). It’s one that’s filled with belly laughs, natural silliness and genuine love with every member at any age.

The most important thing that ties the perfect family session together though? It’s not the coordinated wardrobe, or the perfect glowy light (although those things are nice too)… It’s the images that can tell even a stranger what that family is all about. Personalities, stories and emotions jumping out of an image are things that just make me so happy. I also like to hope it’s the exact thing my clients love too, especially when they look back at images years after they were taken.

The session below has all of these things, so it’s one I totally had to share. It speaks to what the Spencer Family would be found doing on any random night together…and that is also what makes it so special. They walked down a path for about 45 minutes, and I helped take care of the rest. It’s them, and it’s awesome.

Check out the family’s take on the session after a few of my faves!

 

"Lauren has an amazing ability to make a photo shoot an evening of fun. She’s super relaxed, goes with the flow of our kids and captures their own personalities in every shot. Lauren made the evening perfect – nothing was forced, the time flew by and we all had a blast. Endless thanks to Lauren for everything!" - Steph + Geoff

"I loved the telephone game, it was so silly, I almost peed my pants." - Kate, 6

 

If this looks like a way you'd like to document your family's current chapter, I'd love to hear from you to plan your custom session. 

Location, Location, Location | Hamilton Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Choosing the backdrop for your session is one of the most important elements that go into planning your time in front of the lens (and it’s also one of my favourites)! I love to work with my clients to find the spot that’s just perfect for them and their portraits that will last a lifetime. Check out a few quick items that go into it, below!

A few things *YOU* need to think about:

1.     Interests + Activities

Kick off your brainstorming by thinking about what you love to do in your free time. Where are you most comfortable? Perhaps out on a trail, maybe strolling through downtown? I always ask my clients to finish this sentence: “On a free Sunday, you could find us…”

2.     Room Décor

Now that the wheels are spinning, also factor in your home décor. What type of location will look good in your living space? Decorating your home with personalized artwork from your session is a perfect way to update your empty or outdated walls. Remember this when you think of potential locations, their colours and backdrop options!

3.     Style

One of the other major items to factor into your thoughts is your own personal style. What types of locations vibe with your favourite outfits? Often times your personal style already goes hand in hand with some of your favourite hotspots, so the connection might be easy to make!

Once you do a little bit of brainstorming, I help narrow things down. Leaving the technical side of planning your session is totally my job, and rest assured you’re not left to figure things out on your own!

A few things *I* have to think about

1.     Backdrops/Settings

I always check locations for what types of backdrops are available. Is there only one usable spot, or are there 10? Is there some sort of variety in this one location or should we add a second? I love using different backdrops during your session so this is totally something I plan for ahead of time!

2.     Lighting

All of your session’s images begin with lighting. I scope out locations to make sure they have some killer light coming through in the best spots. This is a big indicator of how we move through a session as well, so having my game plan in place is super important!

3.     Time

Taking the first two factors into account helps dictate WHEN we should schedule your session. A lot of my clients are drawn to the glow and emotion of my images…and this doesn’t happen by chance. The sunrise + sunset are my favourite times to book a session, and I’ll be sure to let you know when the location we pick will look it’s best!

Now, these definitely aren’t the only things that we will both factor into our choices…but this is just quick cheat sheet to get you thinking. I have a whole list of favourite spots – a “bucket list” if you will – to suggest in case you’re drawing a blank. I love to hear your input and of course explore some new spaces so no suggestion is a bad one to throw out there! Before any session or big day I ALWAYS scout out where we will be heading to make sure it’s a good one + to craft my game plan!

Want to see a few behind the scenes “Before + After’s”? Check out a few cell phone snaps I’ve taken on my scout and compare them with the final product from the session itself!

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Have any cool photo location ideas or hidden gems?! Have a place in mind for your next session? I'd love to hear from you!