Family Photo Session Location Ideas: Your Own Backyard

I was recently asked where my favorite location was in Tarrant County for family portrait sessions. It didn’t even take me two seconds to respond. “Your backyard”, I said. Yes, there are tons of beautiful, manicured settings around the Fort Worth area for photos, and I love finding new and interesting locations. However, when you want your photos to scream THIS IS SOOO TOTALLY US, then there’s rarely a better place than home to have your session.

Show Us Your Awesome Side

Before you get all defensive about your yard (everyone’s grass is dead, not just yours) or start Google-ing cleaning services, hear me out. There are lots of ways to make the most out of a session at your home. I’ll give you 3 right off the bat.

#1 – Pick 2 or 3 areas in your home where your family loves to hang out the most. The backyard, the family room, the kitchen, all piled onto Mom & Dad’s bed watching cartoons, the driveway…wherever you naturally spend time together. You will look the most natural spending time where you naturally hang out. Then if you want to tidy up a bit (which is absolutely not required), you can just focus on a few areas instead of playing the “what if she wants to take a picture in HERE!” game. Go ahead, throw all the shoes/sports equipment/random stuff in the dining room. What happens in the unphotographed rooms, stays in the unphotographed rooms. =)

#2 – Don’t try to make it look perfect. This isn’t Home & Gardens magazine, its your life. In 20 years you won’t be saying “Wow, look how perfectly coordinated the kitchen towels were!” You’ll be laughing and remembering the wonderful time you had making a mess making cookies with your kids when they were small. Don’t take the personality out of your house. The memories are in the details.

#3 – Pick up the doggy doo doo. Only exception to the leave-it-like-it-is rule. No one wants photos of poo. And I would be very grateful, because well, I don’t want to step in it. =) Thanks in advance.

Why Home Rocks 

Need more reasons to keep that session in house? One word: Options. Clothing options, activity options, toy options, ways to keep the kids happy and having fun options, bathroom options….need I say more?

Especially when your family includes wee ones, home is so perfect and so full of fun. All of their toys are already there! They can flit from one thing to another and show off all their favorite things. They can go from making messy yummy cookies in the kitchen with mom and dad to swinging super high on their favorite swing in the tree outside. They can play dress up! Speaking of clothing, if you’re the type who has last minute outfit anxiety (who doesn’t), home is perfect. More than once I’ve helped a family decide on outfit choices when I got to their house. Plus, since you’re home, outfit changes are a breeze, whether they are planned or not. We can have fun and make messes on purpose. =) Don’t forget, home is where your pets live too. It’s much easier to include them in some or all of your photos if you’re at home.

To put it simply. Your family is awesome. Your home is the place that is most full of your family’s awesomeness. Let them both shine.

I’m going to be writing a lot more about photo session location, clothing, displays and other ideas. In the meantime, check out one of my favorite “backyard sessions” from this summer HERE.

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