One of my favorite things to do is to scout the best places to take pictures in Portland, Oregon. There are so many beautiful location around Portland and I love exploring new places. So that makes scouting the perfect task for me as a family photographer!
I always have a variety of locations to offer my families to choose for their photos and I will always advise on what location I think best suits their session based on a few factors. The list bellow has family sessions in mind but you can also use it as a guide for Newborn Family Photos and Pregnancy Announcement Sessions as well!
For this amazing session with Megan from the Spiced Up Blog and her beautiful family, I took them to one of my very favorite locations. It was a foggy day and the results were incredible. The location was safe for their adorable toddler to run around and the natural colors matched their styling perfectly. If you haven’t checked Megan’s blog yet, you have to! Her blog is full of amazing motherhood stories and tips.
Things to consider when choosing the best location for photos in Portland, Oregon
1- How old are your kids and what do they like to do?
Let’s be honest, as parents, we always take our kids’ needs into consideration first. We just want to keep them happy! Your family photos location should be appropriate for your child’s age and personality.
Babies who will be carried most of the time tend to be the easiest. But you might get tired of carrying them on a long walk – so I always recommend bringing a beautiful sling carrier that will look gorgeous on pictures and will give your arms some much needed rest. That way we can go for 15 -20 minute hikes around the Columbia Gorge without a problem.
Toddlers usually love walking and do not want to be carried around – so I would recommend a location that is safe and easy to walk around. You definitely don’t want to have your pictures taken around the streets of the Pearl if you toddler wants to be free and walk everywhere. In this situation I would recommend a park with a nice path where they can walk around and explore safely.
If your child is over 5 then their personality plays a big part in choosing a location. Are they adventurous and energetic? Do you usually take long walks to Nature Reserves on the weekends? Or are they a little more laid back? Like to stay in one place and throw rocks at the water or maybe play pretend behind some logs? There’s a much bigger chance they will enjoy the session if we cater to something that feels familiar and exciting for them.
2- Weather and the Seasons
Well, we live in the Pacific Northwest, so weather is a huge part of anything we do.
Spring time is an absolutely beautiful time of the year to have pictures done. Wild flower fields are blossoming and that makes for some stunning pictures. We will need to watch the weather a little more closely since the dreaded rain can still show up, but we will make it work. Flower fields would be my number one choice in Spring.
If your session is taking place in Summer, then the possibilities are endless and you can beat the crowds since a lot of people tend to take family pictures in the Fall. Summer for me screams of beach, so I love to be by the water this time of year.
Fall is absolutely beautiful in the Portland area. Breathtaking colors, unforgettable sunsets and fairly mild weather. We will need to watch the forecast for sure but, most importantly, we need to choose a location carefully to avoid huge crowds. Some of the most popular locations in Portland end up just being too busy with other families taking their pictures at this time of year. That’s why I spend a LOT of my time looking for locations that are quieter and more secluded but still incredibly beautiful.
What about winter? Let me tell you, if your family doesn’t mind being out in the cold for a bit, winter is actually one of my favorite times for photography in Oregon. We do get some fairly mild weather days and, as long as everybody is appropriately dressed, we can get amazing art done with your family. The crowds will be gone and we have so much choice of location. I love pictures in winter!
3- Photographer’s knowledge of the location
Maybe you have a location in mind and you let your photographer now that you want to have your pictures taken there. I’m sure they will try their best to make that work for you. What I advise though, is that you check with your photographer if they have been there or if they are willing to visit the place in advance. When I scout locations, there are several factors I need to take into consideration and I would avoid taking my clients to a location I haven’t visited before. That’s because I need to know what time the sun starts hiding behind mountains or buildings, what else is around that location that might not look good in pictures, if any permits are required, if the location is safe and so on.