Below is a great read by a guest blogger, Miss Teresa Gardner of Dallas, Texas.  She specializes in custom photography and has some fantastic insight into choosing the best place for you and your family for your next session. Read on and to see more of her work be sure to check out

So you’ve made the decision to invest in a custom photography session and then your photographer asks the question you have no clue how to answer, “Where would you like to hold your session?” If you’re like most of my clients, this question draws a blank. This is where the word “investment” really comes into play in relation to custom photography because a custom photo session is not just something that you invest money into; you also invest your time. Time is spent in deciding the location of your shoot, what you and your family will wear, if you want a theme/concept shoot and what it will be, what props you would like to use, and the list goes on. I know it can be a bit overwhelming, but not to worry! I’m here to help!

                A great place to start is by thinking about what your vibe is as a family or couple. Are you fun, energetic, and outgoing or are you quiet and reserved or some other adjective? The great thing about custom photography is that you have the ability to CUSTOMIZE and make your session a reflection of YOU. I often see clients opt for the “safe” pick of a pretty park with green grass, trees, and flowers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and it’s beautiful, but take the time to explore your options before making a final decision. So, let’s dig in to what some of the options are!

                First, as I’ve mentioned before, there is the option to have your session at a pretty park with flowers and trees. This is a nice option for bringing in color in a subtle way through the flowers and plants. This is a great way to get in the grass, lay on a blanket, play with your children or partner and have some fun!


    Another option that I am partial to is an urban setting. The great thing about choosing an urban location is that there is usually LOTS of color and texture. This is perfect when you really want to have several backgrounds and lots of options. If you love color, you will likely get lots of it! There are so many textures in the exposed brick, wood, iron fencing, graffiti, windows, and I could just keep going! Point is you’ll get a lot of options and diverse photos out of an urban setting.

                Another favorite of mine and many clients is a “country” or natural location. A place with tall flowing grass, glowing sun, rustic structures and a nice warm feel. This setting lends itself really well to a romantic or vintage theme, but also is great for the kiddos to run around and enjoy the session. This is a perfect place to roll out a beautiful blanket and enjoy a nice relaxed photo session.

                Lastly, of course you can always hold a session in your home. This is often the chosen location for newborn shoots in particular, but is also great for other types of photo shoots as well. Your home is a place where you will feel comfortable and relaxed and you can really be yourself. If you choose to have your photo session at home, your photographer will likely spend some time surveying your home to find the best light, so whichever room has the most natural light will more than likely be where the majority of your photos will be captured. Also, be sure to tidy up a bit; no one wants bunch of clutter in the background of their images. Gather any important props that you want to have included that are special to you and ask your photographer to work them into the shoot. Remember it’s okay to let the kids have their favorite stuffed animal or other toy in the photos. Allowing your children to have a few shots that are fun for them and allowing them to have some creative influence over the session will make it much easier to get some of the shots that you may be wanting later.

                These are just a few of the most popular location ideas, but there are several others that fit into the categories. For example, instead of urban you can also choose an industrial location, perhaps in an old building with brick and steel beams, maybe even overlooking a sprawling downtown scene. Playgrounds also work nicely for children and give a family a chance to play and capture their playful energy with each other. If you live in an area with beach, this can always bring in the natural feel and give lots of chances for fun, playful images. I could go on and on with the options available to you, but the main thing I want you take away is to EXPLORE your options! If you feel stuck, ask your photographer for help and ideas. That’s what we’re here for and we love this stuff! Just remember to take the time to help create a session that is a reflection of you and that you will love to look at for years to come. Our memories are the most precious treasures we carry so take the time to actively participate in planning your session.

Thank you so much, Teresa, for your help in choosing locations. It can be a daunting task, but it’s true, take the time to think about your family’s style and personalities will make a huge difference, but don’t be afraid to try something new, too!