photography by merrilee » san diego area weddings and portraits

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Location, Location, Location

The one question that I get asked more than any other, is where should we take our pictures? I get asked this for family sessions, engagement sessions, maternity sessions, you name it. My biggest piece of advice is to think about locations that have special meaning and significance for you. I have found that when a couple or a family has a connection to a location, it shows in the images. I’ve done engagement sessions at the spot where a couple had their first date, where they met, or where they hung out together in college. I’ve taken family pictures at a favorite beach or walking around the neighborhood.  I ask people what they like to do together or where they spend time together and this often leads to locations that would be perfect for portraits.

Sometimes it’s not so much a specific spot, but a feeling that a client wants to portray in their images. They might really want an urban look or a beachy look or they want to be in a field or foresty spot. One question I ask them is when you display these images in your home, what do you want them to look like? When you hang a large canvas on the wall in your living room, do you want it to be a fun, playful shot at the beach? Do you want a more edgy, urban look with lots of texture and color? Do you want a serene and peaceful image in a natural setting? Thinking about these types of things really helps give a good starting point for finding a great location.

Call me crazy, but one of my most favorite places to shoot is right in a client’s home. On first thought, most clients think that sounds nuts, but nobody has ever been disappointed. Your home is the place you know the best. If you have kids (especially younger ones), this is where they are the most comfortable and free to be themselves. It’s a given that any newborn sessions I shoot are done at home where the family has the ability to relax and take care of their little one. I have been able to capture the most beautiful and authentic moments on a back porch, in the living room, or in the middle of a pile of toys. If you have pets, they get to easily be a part of the story too. It works equally well for engagement sessions. It gives you the perfect opportunity to capture your relationship together. Maybe you enjoy cooking together. Maybe you love to play board games. This is all easy to capture in your home. This type of lifestyle photography is incredibly beautiful and rich and can tell an amazing story for your family down the road.

I hope this helps and gives you some food for thought. Don’t worry though, once you book a session with me, we’ll spend time coming up with the perfect spot for your portraits.