Every photographer here in Connecticut has very different thoughts about the many locations available to us. I feel spoiled with so many gorgeous locations to choose from right in the Farmington Valley for photos. Some prefer more public spots and some photogs spend hours scouting. I am somewhere in between. There’s been so many instances when my family is on our way somewhere and I’m yelling “pull over!” to check out a flowering meadow or a tucked away forest path. I usually have a day every other week when I’ll grab my dog Juno and explore one of those locations or another I have my eye on.
Believe it or not, there is a lot of thought process that goes into how to choose a photoshoot location near or in West Hartford, CT!
Here’s some of my considerations:
I have to consider the dynamic of your family and the ages and personalities of your kids and if there are any special needs or circumstances. Why is this important? If you have a wild toddler I would consider using a wide, more open space where your toddler and family can roam freely. If someone in your family is has trouble getting around, we will need to consider what spaces can safely accommodate them. I have some gorgeous locations in Bloomfield that involve a bit of an uphill walk (worth the energy!) but that may not be the best idea if a family has infants.
The make-up of a family is the most important consideration that I’ll take when choosing a location.
I often ask what area of Central Connecticut you’re in and how far you’re willing to travel. Of course, since I live in West Hartford I prefer to shoot around here since I’m so familiar with the locations. However, I have favorite locations in most parts of the Farmington Valley. I try my best to accommodate requests to stay closer to home (if your child gets car sick for instance), as long as we can choose a location that works well.
There are some spots in West Hartford that are so popular because they’re so amazing and accessible (and no usage fees for photographers!), but then you are going to have to deal with higher foot traffic from other photographers and pedestrians (I’m talking about you Elizabeth Park Rose Garden!). This kind of location is usually one I’m hesitant to recommend unless at an odd time of day when there are fewer distractions and other people around or if you have kids who are a bit older.
Elizabeth Park and Westmoor Farm/Park are probably the most loved and popular photo session locations in our area, so it takes some foresight to find portions of these parks that are unspoiled, uncrowded, and photograph well for sessions.
Capturing family photos at Westmoor Park is my all-time favorite (look for my blog post about the many reasons I adore Westmoor), even though there frequently are other photographers there…it is so large and spread out that we can quite easily share space with other people or move around a bit to dodge those background interruptions. With younger kids we want to give them space to stray and explore. So I’ll try to book sessions with littles at locations where we can have our own quiet bubble of space.
As you can see from my work and aesthetic I shoot for emotion and loving connections and this usually is enhanced in natural, beautiful spaces and gorgeous light. I won’t be bringing blinding lights and annoying flashes to a stunning park at sunset. We want that flattering light to work it’s magic to backlight a sweet kiss from a toddler or highlight a family snuggle.
If you envision your kids splashing in a creek or running through tall grass, then I’m going to find a location that will bring that vision to life. I shoot all over Hartford County so sometimes the images you are drawn to are not in our immediate area. In that case, I will recommend a location that achieves as close to an aesthetic as we can get here in West Hartford!
We want that flattering light to work its magic to backlight a sweet kiss from a toddler or highlight a family snuggle.
Time of Year
This is when you really need to rely on the expertise of your photographer!
In the Winter, when there isn’t much else going on it’s all about texture and light. I’ll be looking for architectural interest, structural natural interest like rows or interesting trees, reflective surfaces, and the best light.
In Spring we’ll celebrate the color of spring near flowering trees and blossoms.
Summer is all about green lush grass, wildflowers, or even the beach.
And of course Autumn is all about the foliage and warm tones of meadow grass backlit by the setting sun.
Personality of Your Family
This takes family dynamics a step further to ask where your family feels comfortable and spends the most time. For instance, some clients live right in town or Hartford and prefer to stick to urban areas. The idea of running into a creature or bugs is just not something they can get comfortable with. This is when we would pivot to a more urban setting or a setting that has a lot of man made elements, like cobblestone or paved roads, so they’ll feel comfortable. On the other side of things, I’ve had clients who eat, sleep, and breathe hiking, the outdoors, nature and trails. I always want to make sure I’m placing you in a setting where you’re going to be most at ease.
Hopefully this gives some insight into how I choose a photoshoot location in West Hartford, CT! You already did some research right here finding a Connecticut Family Photographer you like.
Now let’s get you on the schedule in one of my favorite Farmington Valley photoshoot locations! Go ahead and reach out!