Choosing a Good Outdoor Location for Kansas City Family Photos



What Makes A Good Family Photo Location?

Choosing a good location for family photos is a challenging task. At the forefront of any Kansas City photographers mind are the following items:

IS THE SPOT OPEN AT SUNRISE AND SUNSET?

Midday harsh light is a type of light that I do not shoot in for my client’s sessions. My goal is to achieve beautifully soft, diffused, and sometimes gorgeous golden dramatic light for my clients. This look cannot be achieved 2 hours post-sunrise until 2 hours pre-sunset. Some locations are closed outside of business hours, which would make it an impossible location for most months of the year.



DOES THE LOCATION HAVE GOOD LIGHT FOR PHOTOS?

Even if you shoot only during the prettiest lit times, some locations work well and some don’t. I look for tall trees to filter light before it hits the horizon. Having a wide open field or path component that is open to the sky is also preferable.




IS THE LOCATION CROWDED WITH

OTHERS TAKING FAMILY PHOTOS?

Nothing kills that beautiful and serene family photo vibe like a bunch of people in the background. While I can (and do) use Photoshop to remove distracting background elements, it’s impossible to remove a crowd of people effectively. While I sometimes shoot in crowded locations like, it’s challenging to shoot around crowds and limits the angles that I can use.



IS THERE A COST TO ENTER?

Locations that are private and not open to the public typically have fees for professional photography. Some can be manageable for families who really like a particular location. Others can be exorbitant and cost-prohibitive to the average family. Wildlife reservations, hiking trails, and public parks are good places to look.

IS IT A SAFE SPACE FOR FAMILY PHOTOS

WITH ACTIVE YOUNG CHILDREN?

Young toddlers provide a unique challenge for finding a location. While the above factors are important, safety is also a concern! Is there a body of water that is easy to fall into? Are there busy roads nearby? Is the park an area where dogs can be unleashed? For toddlers on the move, I recommend secluded fields and trails where they can’t easily escape or hide. Having a safe space for them to run helps ease parents minds when littles need a break from family photo taking.