One of these might just be the next spot for your family portraits!
Thinking about new places to bring your family? Want to explore another site for family photo sessions? There are a number of factors that might help you decide where to go--time of day, the type of light, the openness of the location, or even the volume of people-traffic in the area. 2017 brought me to some new locations in Maine and Massachusetts that I want to share with you! Starting with literally my backyard...
1. My Neighbor's Fields, Pownal
There are many beautiful, well-kept fields used for haying surrounding my home. I have permission to photograph on them and have taken advantage this year with my mini-sessions and full sessions.
Fields offer so many possibilities, particularly if you are looking for a backdrop that won't compete with the subject of the photo. Here, you can keep the focus on the face, and the slightly out of focus background hints at the idyllic setting. The open space provides opportunity for both passive close-ups and more active shots of your family in motion.
These fields are beautiful all year round. Images featured here are from the fall, as you can see by the row of hay bales. But wildflower blossoms in spring and summer also offer beautiful splashes of color to complement the smiles of your group.
I have longed for years to photograph rolling hills ending in a Maine sunset. I found that vista at Merrill Farmhouse last Fall with Lauren and Travis’s wedding (thanks to Black Tie Catering through Pineland Farms).
Similar to fields that can offer a sweeping view, this working farm is teeming with both clean backdrops and visually interesting details. Sunlight shades the expanse and depth of the rolling hills as the day progresses and sunsets are simply spectacular when framed with the clean lines of white wooden fences. Livestock in the background bring levity to images and hint at lifestyles based on agriculture and tradition.
But the buildings that stand stolidly on the grounds, like the barn and farmhouse, have details and textures that evoke memories and emotions--just what you want your photographs to do! Looking into or out from the barn with its post and beam construction gives fresh and unique views from either direction. I have become a fan of these types of rustic locations for the landscapes and the architecture alike!
To book a session at this special place is based on availability through Pineland Farms. If you are interested I will inquire of availability on your requested portrait date.
A vast expanse of crystalline sand might be the first thing you think of when recalling a beach setting, but Willard Beach with its rocky stone walls and grassy knolls captures more of the "real" Maine coastline. This small beach is often overlooked by ocean visitors and tourists and provides an intimate and ideal setting for portraits. I had nearly forgotten about this location until Dan and Emily suggested it as a local place for their family portraits.
The sand and pebbles of the shoreline look out over South Portland, Casco Bay and the islands, and then off into the Atlantic. There is much for the eyes to feast on in any direction. The topography of rocks and grasses and brush leading to the shore allow for photographs that are close up and framed by the flora and fauna or for a more pensive perspective embraced by the rolling waves in the bay.
When photographing Dan and Emily's family, we let the children's curiosity take us to the beautiful backdrops you see here. The photo session was made even more fun by the sense of adventure from exploring the nooks and crannies of the local beach. And for those of you who are looking to include your four-legged members of the family, Willard Beach is dog-friendly!
Even as a visual arts major at the Maryland Institute College of Art (some years ago...), I have appreciated the bigger-than-life sculpture that is made to be touched, to be felt, to be explored. The DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum located about 20 miles outside of Boston fits the bill and I have long intended to visit this venue for contemporary outdoor art. This year, I finally went there to photograph Kristin and her boys. And on that sunny weekday afternoon, we practically had the Park to ourselves!
The DeCordova Sculpture Park combines the best of two worlds--the grass and leafy trees of the natural world and the thought-provoking and evocative creations of the contemporary art world. This location is particularly fun with kids, because they seem to have an innate sense of curiosity and want to explore the ins and outs of the sculpture. Following their lead, I was able to capitalize on the play of natural light and the playful joy of Kristin's boys.
But the Park is not just for children--I can easily visualize engagement photo shoots at Jim Dine's Two Big Black Hearts in bronze. Or senior portraits in the shadows of trees at Isaac Witkin's Jacob's Dream. For those with an adventurous heart, let's plan a session after the first snowfall of the season. Just imagine the brilliance of your red scarf contrasting with the dusting of white snow on curving concrete--what a fantastic holiday card!
I photograph a few families regularly in Wellesley and last fall, I spent a rainy, misty day exploring the Wellesley College campus. One of the original "Seven Sisters" Colleges, Wellesley offers historical architecture and beautiful landscaping, and I found several spots perfect for photos.
In addition to the historical stone and brick buildings, the campus features walking paths, a botanic garden and Arboretum. The groves of conifers and hardwoods, especially the huge old oak trees, would make a stunning background at any time of year. Lake Waban, the private lake on campus, provides sparkling blue on a sunny day or a mystical gray when it's raining.
Naturally, some of the spots are popular favorites for locals and students, but with 500 acres to traverse, there are many and varied tableaus off the proverbial beaten path. I definitely am looking forward to photographing there next year with Anne and Mark’s children.