Should I have My Photo Session Indoors or Outdoors: A Photographer’s Perspective

So you’ve scheduled your family photos, and now you’re left to decide between a photo session indoors or outdoors! If you’re not well versed in the photography world, this can be a difficult decision for you to make. But I’m here to break it all down for you and help you choose the location and space that best fits your family’s vision.

Should I have My Photo Shoot Indoors or Outdoors: A Photographer’s Perspective

Think about what you would like to capture

Indoor and outdoor locations can give you pretty different results and so, you’ll want to make sure you think about your vision. Indoor photo sessions tend to be more intimate while outdoor shoots give you lots of space to explore and play with the kids! If you want a warm and cozy family environment, an in-home session might be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if your family happens to be energetic, you should consider shooting outside so that your photographer can capture the whole family in action!

The documentary approach to indoor photo sessions

how to choose photo session indoors or outdoorsJust like it sounds, a documentary approach is a unique photography style where your photographer focuses less on posing and more on documenting real, candid moments in an artistic way. Many times, this style will be used for intimate in-home sessions where your photographer will capture genuine moments of your family’s home life. The documentary style of photography has become increasingly popular in recent years and often results in a genuine album to look back on in the years to come.

The trick with documentary style photography is that it focuses on everyday moments. It can be mom and the kids baking cookies or even something as simple as a tickle war in the living room! It’s a great way to not only document a moment in time, but to capture a true memory of your family’s lifestyle that you can look back on for years to come. In fact, one of my favorite things to is look back on childhood memories in the home I grew up in. I love seeing pictures of me playing in the backyard or cooking in the kitchen with Mom. Those are the most cherished memories for me and something I hope to capture for you and your family.

The outdoor photo experience

choosing a photo session indoors or outdoorsIf you’ve got a more energetic family and are looking for a couple posed shots mixed in with some candid moments, you’ll likely prefer an outdoor location! One of the perks of using an outdoor area for your next photography session is the ability of your family to use a large, natural and scenic space to let the kids play and be themselves! This will give you and your family plenty of room and allow your photographer to capture some fun action shots of the family. You may even find that your photographer may ask you to pose a little less and actually have fun during your shoot. You can expect to play games with each other or even run around with the kids. You’ll find this to be a huge benefit during your family session as it truly lets your kids’ personalities shine!

Another perk of outdoor photo sessions is the countless background options. You can choose anything from the beach, the park, flowers, or even your own back yard! The options are endless and the results are stunning. If your family spends a lot of time outside hiking or on the beach, you might consider a photo session that truly represents your interests. There’s nothing more genuine than capturing real moments in the places that your family loves.

Are you considering a photo session indoors or outdoors? If so, contact me to see what option is best for you and your family!

I'm Erika and I am a maternity, newborn, and family photographer based near Wilmington, NC. I'm also a mom to two cutie boys, lover of backyard gardening, candles, chocolate and Amazon Prime.

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Benefits of tummy-time according to American Academy of Pediatrics as shared on⁠
-Practice for milestones like rolling over, sitting upright and crawling⁠
-Strengthens gross motor skills⁠
-Engages lesser-used muscle groups⁠
-Prevents plagiocephaly (aka flat head syndrome)⁠
-Helps baby master head control⁠
-Alleviates gas pain⁠
-Exposes baby to a different environment⁠
Some babies love it and others not so much. Either way, it's good for them! How's it going for your baby or how did your babes like it? ⁠
“Erika was great with our kids and overall it was a laidback experience. Although both the weather and our small kids were somewhat uncooperative, Erika took some beautiful pictures which made a great use of the beach landscape and light. Highly recommended.” - Emily R.⁠
I’m blushing! It’s comments like this one that keep me going, and few things make me happier or motivate me more than happy clients. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read them on my more challenging days. And, Emily, the feeling is mutual—you were a dream to work with!⁠
Thinking about booking a family photography session? You can find out more on my website! All the info you need is in the link in bio!⁠
Oh, how I'd love to go back to those first weeks and months. I was ever-present, yet never really there at all.⁠
My head was elsewhere, caught up in all the shoulds, in the baby books, the apps, the impossible schedules; all the perceived perfections of motherhood that felt so at odds with what you were telling me you needed.⁠
I followed my heart every single time. But never with conviction. Always apologetically as though I were somehow giving in. Not doing it right.⁠
I fought it. Like a quiet war. It was exhausting.⁠
I'd love to go back and mother that version of you, but as this version of me; the mum I am today. ⁠
More relaxed, more rested, more sure, no longer seeking approval, embracing the fact that I will be happily rocking my boy to sleep until he doesn't need it anymore.⁠
It's not just our babies that grow.⁠
Words by: Mother Truths ( @mymothertruths)
I'm enjoying getting personal with y'all. Hope you don't mind!⁠
Five years ago, I would not be able to imagine that I would be living the life I am now. There have been twists and turns for sure, and some of the challenges have been grueling to say the least, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I'm talking illness, surgery, major lifestyle changes, major personal life changes. The kind of stuff that makes you look back and not even recognize who you were. ⁠
I have come so far and now have the clarity of mind to see how everything that has happened in my life has made me the person I am today. And I truly love who I have become through it all. What’s something positive or seemingly negative that happened in your personal life in the past five years that you didn’t see coming and that has built you up to be the badass you are today?⁠
Whenever I’m feeling stuck, I write in a journal—just a stream of consciousness, whatever crosses my mind goes on the page. Almost every time, I notice the same pattern: fear of judgment. My inner critic is telling me that no one will like what I do.⁠
When that happens, I try to remind myself to play my own greatest hits. I make a list of the times when I did work I was proud of, made a client happy, or got positive feedback—anything that contradicts the judgmental  voice in my head. It helps me to move forward without fear. We all have that voice in our heads. The trick is to recognize it, not believe it, and put that imposter syndrome back in its place.
I am so grateful that I can do what I love as my job. Thank you to all of my clients for the ongoing love and support. I am lucky to have each and every one of you! 🥰

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