Planning your Outdoor Portrait Session | Chevy Chase MD Maternity Photography

One of my favorite parts of my client experience is helping busy Moms plan all of the little details of portrait sessions, including choosing the perfect location! This particular maternity photography session in Chevy Chase MD took place in one of my favorite locations- Woodend Sanctuary and Mansion.

This lovely Mom was expecting her fourth baby, so documenting this moment with just the two of them was incredibly important to her. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning!

With so many historic and unique locations in Maryland, the District, and Northern Virginia it can be difficult to choose a location for your session. So without further ado, here are my recommendations for choosing the perfect location and timing for your portrait session!

Choosing the Best Location and Timing for your Session | Chevy Chase MD Maternity Photography

One – The location should reflect your style and vision for the session

When you’re deciding where you’d like to plan your session, I highly recommend considering settings that speak to your family’s style. From classic, historic locations to European style gardens and beautiful park options– I can help you narrow down options that will feel like you!

I also suggest thinking about how the images will look displayed in your home. If you’re hoping to use them in a custom gallery wall design, feel free to share images of the space so that I can suggest location options that will look beautiful on the walls of your home.

 

Mom looking at baby bump during maternity photography session at Woodend Sanctuary and Mansion in Chevy Chase MD. Photo by LRG Portraits.
Mom wearing blush maxi dress during maternity photography session at Woodend Sanctuary. Photos by Chevy Chase MD maternity photographer, LRG Portraits.Mom smiling at camera during maternity session in Chevy Chase MD. Photo by LRG Portraits.

Two – Consider a location that is meaningful to you

I love when beautiful locations also have a special meaning to my clients. Whether its a park where you like to take your kids, a stroll along the National Mall where your husband proposed, or in a tranquil garden in Washington, DC- having a connection with the location will make your gallery that much better!

In this Mom’s case, the Woodend Sanctuary and Mansion has always held a special place in her heart because its where she and her husband were married. We used the grounds with the mansion in the background, plus walked around some of the nearby fields. It was so serene and beautiful for Mom’s last maternity session.

Pregnant Mom sitting on steps of Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase MD. Photo by LRG Portraits.
Mom sitting and looking at baby bump during maternity session. Photo by LRG Portraits.
Mom walking in field holding dress during maternity session. Photo by LRG Portraits.

Three – Time it right

Light is everything and it truly depends on your location. While some locations work best at “golden hour” (the hour after sunrise and hour before sunset), other more wooded areas often need more light and mid-day tends to be best.

The reason photographers talk so much about golden hour is because as the sun goes down (or comes up!), it creates soft and dreamy light. That softness of the light, especially when diffused through the trees on the way down, helps to avoid harsh shadows and difficult highlights.

In this maternity session, I met Mom in the early morning when the location was the most quiet. The light was just magical and filtered beautifully through the trees.

Mom walking in field while holding dress and hat. Photo by Chevy Chase maternity photographer, LRG Portraits.
Mom leaning on column and hugging baby bump during maternity session at Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase MD. Photos by LRG Portraits.
Maternity session in field during golden hour in Chevy Chase MD. Photo by LRG Portraits.
Mom hugging baby bump during photography session at Woodend Sanctuary and Mansion in Chevy Chase MD. Photos by LRG Portraits.

Four – Be Flexible

As a Chevy Chase MD family and maternity photographer, I always stress that clients who have their heart set on a public area may need to be flexible. To avoid crowds and distractions for kids, sometimes we have to opt for early morning or weekday sessions to make a location work!

Five – Trust Me

Sometimes its hard to visualize how beautiful a location is for clients, but trusting in your photographer is important!

I also know certain times of the day are more difficult for kids, so I always keep that in mind as we plan your session together. I find kids tend to do better than parents expect! Even if the session knocks them off of their usual schedule for a day, typically all they need is a late nap or a full belly to be content!

Stunning black and white portrait from maternity session of Mom looking at bump. Photo by LRG Portraits.
Mom smiling at the camera in field maternity session. Photo by LRG Portraits.Mom walking and looking at baby bump during maternity session in Chevy Chase MD. Photo by LRG Portraits.

Lauren from LRG Portraits is a maternity, newborn, family and baby photographer based out of the Washington, DC area. She specializes in timeless outdoor and in-home lifestyle portraiture, plus offers a full client experience from a curated client wardrobe to custom-designed heirloom albums and framing. Service area includes Chevy Chase, MD, Bethesda, MD, Potomac, MD and Arlington, VA, and surrounding areas. 

If you’re interested in booking your next family or maternity portrait session, contact me here! I’d love to work with you!

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Lauren Roche-Garland, of LRG Portraits, is a Washington, DC based natural light portrait photographer specializing in luxury motherhood, newborn, and family fine art portraiture photography.

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Lauren from LRG Portraits offers DC newborn photography along side maternity, family and baby photography. She specializes in timeless outdoor and in-home lifestyle portraiture and offers a full client experience from a curated client wardrobe to custom-designed heirloom albums and framing. She is based out of Washington, DC but her service area includes Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomac, Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, and surrounding areas.
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