I recently had a client come to me for help in finding a new location. Planning for our second session together, she wanted to go somewhere new, and was at a loss for where to go. I assured her that I had a handful of great locations to suggest, and could send her some images so she could get a visual of each location. Together we'd come up with something great.
As I began pulling up portraits, it occurred to me that this question has come up many times before. In fact, it comes up with almost every single session (I've even had other photographers ask me for location suggestions). So this post is for everyone!
I have put together a little collage of my favorite locations. Portraits were taken at all different times of the day and year, and show how, with a little creativity and some great light, one location can take on many different looks.
I'm starting first with my favorite place, The Hill School. Not only is it my home (my husband teaches here) but it's one of the most beautiful campuses I've ever seen. What I love most about Hill is that a client can get a natural, rustic look and a funky, almost urban look all in one place. I love challenging myself to find new spots here on campus and enjoy stumping even Hill families with my images ("where did you shoot THAT??").
Another favorite spot of mine is Valley Forge National Park! It's a little bit of a drive for me, but it's so worth it! Every single time I go, things are a little different, and I love that. I've also found that each time I try a new spot, I leave the park thinking I've found a new favorite location- until next time!
And of course, we can't talk about my favorite locations without mentioning St. Peter's Village. This little gem sits out in the middle of the woods and offers the most wonderful variety of images ever! You've got the river running over great big boulders, the rustic look of a woodsy path, and some adorable little shops and boutiques, all within 100 yards of each other. And of course, there's that super cool brick wall down below the shops that I love! Every time I think I've exhausted this spot, I find something new!
These are some of my favorite spots, but I like to remind my clients that sometimes the best location is right in their own backyard! Often clients will dismiss this idea claiming that their house is boring or has no great landscaping, but flowers do not make the gorgeous images, great light does, and great families do, and sometimes for children, being comfortable at home does. So I encourage you to check out your own spaces. You might be surprised to find the beauty hidden in the shady yard, or near the stone wall on the side of the house, or even at the kitchen table which sits facing your gorgeous sliding doors.
All of these images were taken at clients' homes.
I hope this sneak peek into my favorite locations helped you see how much beauty can be found in one simple location. And I hope it also encouraged you to see the beauty in your own backyard. Beauty is everywhere, so have fun finding it. And, of course, let me know about your favorite locations! I'm always looking for great new spots!