For this family, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to photograph them in a new and special environment. I started growing tired of photographing in the same locations I usually go to, and I wanted to find a more intimate location where there weren’t 10 other photographers photographing there as well!
From the start, I knew that I really wanted to incorporate water somehow into this session. I was specifically looking for a spot that would photograph well during sunset, with some trees, rolling hills and also a body of water.
So I took my search to All Trails (https://www.alltrails.com), an amazing online resource to discover all the trails and regional parks in your area (or one you will be traveling to in the future!). I first learned about this taking Stormy Solis’ All Heart Access Mentorship, (highly recommend!). All Trails is so easy to use, just type in the area you are interested in photographing in, and a variety of different trails and parks pop up. I’ve lived in Sonoma County for over 10 years, and there were so many trails listed on there that I had never been to! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you will discover.
That is how I found this location, and it had everything I was looking for! I checked it out a few days before the photo session, and made sure to use my Sun Surveyor Lite app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ratana.sunsurveyorlite&hl=en_US&gl=US) to see just exactly where the sun would set and when. That is another tool that helps me plan out my session, so I know a little more about what to expect with lighting during golden hour.
When choosing a location, I make sure to take into account the family’s expectations as well. I knew that this family had a super sweet one year old boy, so I wanted to make sure I found a spot that was easy for walking and super stroller friendly. They mentioned that their boy can grow a little restless if he’s in the stroller for too long, so my goal was to find a location with not a ton of walking.
I hope this helps you find a new and different location! It can be incredibly inspiring to photograph at an entirely new spot. It will feel fresh, you’ll see things will more clarity, and being in a new location will keep you on your toes with problem solving. It’s a fun challenge and will set you apart from other photographers!
Author: Diana Jex