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How to Choose Your Family Portrait Session Location: Seattle Family Photographer

Choosing Your Portrait Session Location

Families often ask me where they should take their family portraits. I always encourage my clients to consider where they love spending time together. Whether that is your local park, or in your home, there are so many options! Here are a couple of tips to help you decide…

1. Activity

Do you want to do a family activity as part of your session like reading a book, getting a popsicle or riding the ferry? This can be a fun distraction for older kiddos that aren’t too excited about having their pictures taken. It can also lead to some authentic moments & smiles! It doesn’t have to be the entirety of the shoot, but planning something ahead of time can be helpful.

2. Time of Year

Time of year effects lighting (and weather) – make sure to check sunrise and sunset times for your session location. If your kiddos are happiest in the morning, consider doing a sunrise session. Doing photos in the early morning is also a great tip for going somewhere that can be extremely crowded. Sunset in the summer time is pretty late (9pm) and often after bedtime. Consider if you can work with your kid’s sleep schedules to make sure they are happy to enjoy sunset over the Sound! Time of year is also important to consider for daylight – even if the sun sets at 4:30pm in January, the light decreases much earlier when it is cloudy than in the summer.

Both of these sessions were taken at Discovery Park – above during the summer, below during the fall!

3. Weather

If it’s not summer, consider a back up plan or an indoor photo location. There are tons of options here, but my favorite is simply in your home! I’ve written a whole post about shooting in the rain, so be sure to check that out. I’m also always down to stomp in some puddles!

4. Kids

Try thinking of a place that would be fun for them, or at least where they can have some space to run around! Kids will be more excited about going somewhere they are familiar with, or somewhere that has a new and exciting surprise. Be careful of mentioning jungle gyms / playgrounds to them, though, because sometimes that can derail a shoot! They’ll just be focused on wanting to play!

5. Pets

If you’re hoping to include your fur baby in your session, that is definitely something to keep in mind when choosing your family portrait session location. If your dog doesn’t do well around other people or dogs (or by the water… see below for a #lemonruth fail) keep that in mind! There are some really beautiful off leash dog parks around the city (Marymoor, Magnuson, etc) that can make for great locations as well.

6. Go To Locations

I’m always happy to share my go-to locations if you’re feeling stuck! Discovery Park & Golden Gardens are definitely favorites of mine!

Above: Discovery Park

Below: Golden Gardens

Find out more about my family photography style & frequently asked questions here!

Ready to book your family portrait session? Awesome! Email me today at!

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I believe in all things bright, happy & colorful! Specializing in capturing the JOY of life's greatest adventures!

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