London Family Photography - In-Home or Outdoors?

Whether to have a session in-home or outdoors is one of the biggest questions that comes up for my clients, for lots of different reasons. As a family photographer in London, there are various factors at play - the weather is unpredictable and it can often be wet and windy, yet lots of Londoners don't live in huge houses and we're blessed with some fantastic outdoor spaces in the city. It's a tricky one and there's no right or wrong answer as both can be fantastic - but I've put together a few pointers below to help you make up your mind and hopefully assuage any worries you may have about in-home shoots.

Oh, and I’ve got a special surprise at the end of this post! I've teamed up with some photographer friends to introduce you to their work, and this week I’m linking to a fabulous family photographer in the States - scroll to the end to find out more.

In-Home London Family Photography

In-home family photoshoots have completely stolen my heart recently. Not only can you happily forget about the weather (one of the perils of living in the UK!), but it feels really special to capture memories of the places where you and your children spend so much of your time as a family, especially when we devote so much energy making it a lovely space. What's more meaningful than the bedroom where you read them a bedtime story and tuck them up for the night, or the living room where you all cuddle up together?

The main thing my clients worry about with an in-home shoot is space and light. I want to reassure you that as a long as there are a couple of decent sized windows in your place, these aren't really an issue. My photography is all about the connection between you and your children, so you don't need a huge space to snuggle up in together and a window will provide all the light we need.

In-home photography is also great when you have a newborn who needs plenty of changes and feeds, or a toddler who is still very much in their routine with naps and bedtime. At this age, mid-morning or mid-afternoon is often the perfect time for a shoot, and although that isn't a great time of day for outdoor shoots in terms of light, it works well for in-home ones.

Outdoor London Family Photography

I also speak to a lot of families who have their hearts set on outdoor photos. And that's understandable - if the weather's good and it's the right time of the day, they can be really magical. I love doing outdoor shoots in a location that means something to the family - perhaps a park you always hang out in, or even your garden if it's big enough. London is full of green spaces, most of which are public use, so we can usually always find an option somewhere.

The best time of the day for outdoor shoots is the hour or so just before sunset or just after sunrise - known as 'golden hour'. This hour will give you the best, most flattering light (particularly if it's a clear day), but can fall very early and very late in the day in the late spring, summer and early autumn. For this reason outdoor photography is great for older kids who may be happy to stay up a little later to catch the best of the light in the summer, or who aren't going to be bothered by the weather being a little chillier in the winter. Or indeed if your kids are particularly early risers, why not take advantage of it with a sunrise shoot?!

In Conclusion

Ultimately there are no set rules on where you should do your family photography session. A lot depends on your own preferences and where you feel your children's personalities will shine through the most. Sometimes we'll play it by ear on the day, and that's ok too! Wherever we end up, we'll always get some lovely photographs for you to treasure forever. Feel free to get in touch with any questions and we can talk it through further!

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As mentioned at the beginning of the post I also wanted to introduce you to Nikki Turchich, a fellow Family Photographer in Rock Hill, SC in the States, who’s sharing an absolutely dreamy summer beach session - go and check it out!


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All content Copyright © 2019 Melissa Gray Peters Photography

Melissa Gray-Peters is a London newborn photographer, family photographer, maternity photographer and baby photographer. She offers organic, enchanting photography for relaxed families based in all areas of North London including Islington, Crouch End, Muswell Hill, Hampstead and Highgate, as well as South London, West London, East London and parts of Hertfordshire.