What I Look for When I Location Scout | Springfield, VA Family Photographer

I location scout all the time. I’m not joking. Wherever we are going for the day I always have my eyes peeled. We adventure to new parks and historic sites all the time and you never know when you’ll drive past a perfect spot. When my little one is napping in the car we drive down streets I’ve never been on just to see what’s there. It’s 100% the norm for me to say “This could be a great photo spot!” and turn off the main road that now my daughter also joins in looking for spots. Yesterday she yelled “Mommy that could be a perfect photo spot!”. I was obviously cracking up. My husband also texts me pictures of places occasionally. It’s a family affair. 

There are plenty of things I look for when I am trying to find a perfect location for family sessions. I consider parking, ease of access to the actual spot, lighting at Golden Hour, how the landscape will work as a background, and neat architectural features. I also try to have locations all around Northern Virginia so if you live in Fairfax, Centreville, or Gainesville then you have some spots near you. If you live in Annandale, Alexandria, or Lorton, then I have a variety of spots there as well. I want to have good locations all over Northern Virginia so all my families can pick a location convenient to them. I actually have a Google Map with my spots marked because I needed some geographical organization that my excel sheet wasn’t providing. Call me OCD, but I call it organized. Here are some things I look for:


I look for open fields scattered with trees. These locations are perfect for capturing true Golden Hour. The light can be filtered through the far away trees and wide angle shots are beautiful. 


I look for fields with a nice path. These locations mostly provide lighting during true Golden Hour. A cut path through the area makes it easy to walk around and still be near the trees and wild shrubs and flowers.

I look for a body of water with open space nearby. Why the open space nearby? Because I need room to move around and not be IN the water myself. If toddlers are part of the family, then we need space to be next to water without THEM being in the water either.

I look for manicured gardens. Fields provide a rustic, natural landscape, and adventurous feel to your photos. Maybe you want a more clean look so well-kept gardens and neat stone paths are the way to go.

I look for neat architectural features. Because they look cool. These add some variety to your gallery and a certain pop that I like to have available during a session.

Before your session I send you my Super Six Location Guide. This has all kinds of information about my top 6 favorite locations including pictures from a session there. I change it up every 6 months or so for all my repeat clients too. I really found this Location Guide to be helpful when families are booking their session with me. 

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