One of the toughest things to decide on when you're thinking about doing professional pictures is...
Aside from having your session stylized (your outfits) and cooperative session participants (aka hoping the kids are angels that day); the setting of your session is going to bring your finished pictures UP or DOWN a level in awesomeness.
Many of my clients are surprised by what looks like an ordinary or random location and I'm like "this is it" .... but trusting your photographer is so important. I don't take clients out to a location unless I have practiced a few times at that new location. What your eye sees and what the camera sees are two very different things.
With my clients I like to offer two general options: Urban OR Nature.
After they've answered based on general category we go based off what kind of session, if they have access to post (sometimes its just easier to take civilians off post), the ages of those being photographed, and what their ultimate goal / want for the pictures are.
Urban I mostly stick around Old Town Alexandria. While there is more of an urban feel I love that Old Town has a mix of both. It's ultimately my favorite location to shoot at.
Nature There are a TON of options. Around where I live (currently Fort Belvoir, VA) the Potomac River - offers water front/beach; there are plenty of grassy fields, sometimes fields of flowers. The area offers Cherry Blossoms (for about a week in season). And there are numerous trails and pathways that offer spectacular framing......and so much more.
"The Trail" Is located just off of Ft. Belvoir and offers a hundred yards of paved path perfectly framed by trees. Amazing green coloring in the spring and summer turning into the perfect fall color lined path. Follow the paved path and it turns to a man-made pond allowing gorgeous pond front images with the perfect little tree to sit under and some amazing fields along the way. Mini or full session the trail has an option for nature lovers.
"The Beach" Sand front property on Fort Belvoir along the Potomac River. A beautiful place to host a family session or even your special mermaid or sailors milestone pictures!
Old Town, Alexandria My favorite. Mini or full session, I would take you on one of my two route options, but always offering the 'famous' silhouette shot in the tunnel. There's a little park for some green grass pictures. Or my favorite corner to work on (haha!), which is all red brick with an amazing magnolia tree flowing over the top of the brick wall. We can walk along a little path that follows the Potomac River too for some bench or water pictures.
Old Town really does have something to offer everyone. We can also go down and shoot at the lovely Carlisle house. Or down any of the historical streets. There are so many parks and options for OTA (as I call it). So many amazing rows of gorgeous houses to shoot in front of too!
"Flower field" Located on Fort Belvoir. Just a tiny patch of flowers I make seem like an endless field into the woods. It's such a gorgeous look, especially for a little girl's pictures. I even did my 5 year old daughter's birthday pictures there because of how perfect it is. (mow schedule and seasonal dependent)
"Sidewalk" This is literally in front of my house! I love being able to just walk out my front door and grab beautiful pictures like this. This would work GREAT for a mini session located on Ft Belvoir or for the family 1yo session.
YOUR house! Located right where you are. Capture the fun and lifestyle around your house; the house you live in today. The house your kids were born in, or spent 5 years of their life in, or the day you adopted a puppy. While I don't offer lifestyle sessions in clients homes- don't be afraid to capture your life, just how it is. A lot of my clients are military. You likely won't live in your house forever. Know when a beautiful tree blooms in your yard? Take advantage of that time!