Choosing the best location for your family photographs

Part One of this blog series explores some of Austin’s classic photo spots.
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Choosing the Best Location for your Family Photographs: Part One.

Thank you for stopping by! Over the next few posts I am going to explore some of Austin’s best locations for photoshoots. I get this question a lot. Where is a good place to do our photographs? It is a great questions and so I decided to write a blog entry about some of my favorite locations in Austin.

Here are a couple things to remember. Most Locations can be great, it just depends on the light. I once did a photo shoot right next to a dumpster and the photos turned out beautiful. It is also okay to use one location multiple times. New spots are great, but sometimes you find a space that just works well for you and your family. For me, photo sessions are less about the location and more about YOU. I photograph people and moments. I look for locations with great lighting and ease of use.  Sometimes people can be attached to certain ideas or places, and honestly, if the light isn’t working the photo isn’t going to work. Trust your photographer to understand the light, you hired them for their expertise on the subject.

I am going to share a few of my favorite locations at a time. This first batch of locations are popular choices around town and with good reason. They all offer ease of use, good light, and a variety of backdrops. Austin is full of wonderful locations and spaces.

One thing to remember while picking your session is that Austin is a crowded, busy place. You will find that some of these spots tend to be busy in peak season. Also, many locations throughout Austin require reservations. Please respect this requirement, it makes it so photographers can have some space to work and that popular venues do not get over crowded. I actually love working at reservation only venues, as it usually a lot quieter.

Mueller Park

I love Mueller, all of it. In the spring they have a field full of beautiful wildflowers. I love how the golden light pours in during the summer evening. It is beautiful in the Fall and Winter too.  It is a great spot all around. You have a wide variety of choices from very rugged to gardens, to more architectural and industrial locations. Mueller gives clients a lot of flexibility as far as finding a backdrop that works for them.

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Bull Creek

Yes, I know, it is a heavily saturated photo spot in Austin. I get that, but it is for a reason. Bull Creek has so much built in diversity, from grass to creek and everything in between. I find that I like certain parts of the park at different times of the year. Each season brings a different sort of light and Bull Creek has the capacity to enjoy this light in many different ways. Practically speaking, it looks good pretty much year round and has a later sunrise and early sunset (thanks to the surrounding hills). It is also a great spot for those who are not early birds and want a late morning session. There are so many wonderful shade options that your 10 a.m. shoot won’t be full of harsh lighting and bad shadows. I always love this spot and I will suggest it over and over. Ask me about the best times to go as your session approaches.

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Laguna Gloria (reservation needed)

Laguna Gloria is a fabulous spot, and like Bull Creek it is full of opportunity. It has some great architectural elements as well as plenty of nature. If your session is at the right time of the day, you can even get some lakeside shots. I love a good path, and they have one that provides wonderful light and a great backdrop. The good thing about reserving a spot is that it shouldn’t be flooded with other photographers. This can be super irritating for you as well as me. So if you are interested in a Laguna Gloria session, make sure to reserve the space as a courtesy to other photographers and other families. I host several mini-sessions at Laguna Gloria every year.

 

UT Campus

I love photographing in and around UT. Even if you are not a Longhorn, it is worth consideration. UT is full of really great architecture, so awesome pops of colors, and great places with nice lighting. It is just something a little different if you want a break from nature and something a little more contemporary. Unless it is game day, campus is usually pretty quiet on a early Sunday morning.

 

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Butler Park & Long Center

Butler Park/Long Center is another Austin favorite. I love it for it’s amazing view of the downtown skyline. You have to really hug sunrise/sunset at this location because the light can be very unforgiving there. If you are looking for a mix of nature and an amazing skyline, this might be your place. Another fun add-on can be the splash pad. It can be quite crowded in peak times, but I’m all for hopping in and photographing your little one splash around. One word of warning, it tends to go a little brown and bare in the winter. If you are doing your photo session in January or February, you might check it out ahead of time.

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I am going to break this post into a few parts, as I have so many spots that I love and hold near and dear. Stay tuned, more to come.