Ahhhh fall is one of my favorite times of the year and this one has been SUCH a good one. I love the golden leaves, earlier sunsets (that aren’t toooo early), and even the occasional pumpkin spice latte. And as an Edmonton photographer? I also love how many families come out of the woodwork ready to take their annual fall family photos! I have to be honest with you guys, I haven’t always prioritized family photos the way I have in the last few years. In fact, recently got my entire extended family together for a big photoshoot and it was LONG overdue. But I know that so often life gets in the way. If one of the things holding you back is choosing a location for your family photos – this post’s for you!
And in case we haven’t met yet, hi! I’m Katie, your friendly neighbourhood photographer here in Edmonton. I want to remind you that when it comes to choosing a location, don’t ever hesitate to ask your photographer. Or, if anything ELSE is holding you back, I’d love to chat more. You can connect directly with me here, or send me a DM on Insta!
PS: Need family photos fast? Check out the details on my Christmas Mini Sessions on November 13, 2021!
How to get dreamy sunset lighting for your family photos
I know everyone wants that dreamy sunset lighting so let’s talk about that first, shall we? First, be prepared to face the sunset in order to get that glowy light on your face. Lighting is always more important than the view (but we’ll talk more about that below!). You can usually find out the estimated time of the sunset online, but don’t forget to consider the elevation as well! If you are choosing one of the outdoor valley locations around Edmonton (like Mill Creek Park), the sun sets a lot earlier in the valley than at the top.
When choosing a location for your family photos, consider lighting first.
I know I’m a photographer so a little biased but hear me out. Better lighting will always be more important than a better view. I know sometimes you might want a dreamy lake behind you or something like that but if the lighting is terrible, the photos aren’t going to be as you pictured. Don’t get me wrong, we can always work with what we have got. But I am a firm advocate for prioritizing lighting above (almost) anything else.
Another little photographer tip? Taller grass looks better. Sounds a little silly, but it’s so, so, true.
For outdoor photo locations, make sure it’s public property!
Last but not least, if you are looking for an outdoor photo location in Edmonton for your family photos, make sure it’s available for public use! There was a huge trend for sunflower photos this past year but very few spaces were actually open to the public. Please don’t risk trespassing or disappointment. In a similar fashion, you might also want to consider how popular the location is (and when you are taking your photos). If you are looking at the River Valley on a Saturday afternoon, it’s going to be busy and possibly a little more difficult to find a private location for your photos.
For indoor photos, you can always take photos at home (or rent a studio)
I also just want to encourage you – it’s okay to take photos at home! Often for busy families, it can be one of the most convenient locations. Plus, we get to snapshot what your home looked like during that moment of time. Don’t worry if your home isn’t 100% Insta-worthy (I get it!), all we really need is a big window and any space can look stunning (the focus will be on you and your beautiful family anyway). Even if home isn’t your first choice, it DOES make for a great backup location in our lovely Alberta climate.
If you want an indoor location but the thought of having them taken at home makes you cringe a little, don’t worry. There are also several photo studios around Edmonton we can rent for an hour or two.
Choosing a Location for your Family Photos
I hope this helps as you start to consider different location ideas for your family photos. There are incredible places around Edmonton, but I also don’t want you to feel like you need a super exotic or trendy place to take your photos either! Contrary to what you might see online, your ideal photo location doesn’t have to be hard to get to. In fact, when choosing a location, I always like to shoot at places that are meaningful to you and your family. Whether it’s the place where you had your first date (great for engagement photos!), a park you like to go to, or your favorite ice cream shop – incorporating “real life” into your photos is always better.
Not an outdoorsy person? Don’t take your photos in the middle of a field. Trust me, there is a perfect photo location for everyone (or at least a few options that will work very, very well).
Are you feeling inspired yet? I really hope so! I would love to help you take photos that will document this chapter of your life forever. Seriously. When you are ready, let’s chat about when we can get together for your family photos here.
[…] dewy lighting, we should plan around the sunset. If you’re interested, I have a few more tips here (like considering elevation!). Don’t stress too much about this right now, we can always talk […]
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