Outdoor vs. Studio

I often get asked whether I do outdoor photos as well as in Studio. Especially in the fall.. when that is the standard for family portraits.

What I usually say is "I specialize in Studio portraits.. and that's usually why my clients hire me".

Now, there are certainly some exceptions.. but for the most part, I love the convenience the Studio provides. And here is an easy breakdown/comparison of the two options:


As much space as you need

Kids can run around in the field

Outdoor temperature and wind are a concern

Bad weather means you'll need to reschedule

Session needs to account for good light and time of day (usually right before sunset)

Everyone needs to be dressed ahead of time and changes are difficult on site

The photographer will need to find good light on location or bring the necessary equipment

You'll need to share the park or beach with other people


Limited space based on size of Studio

Kids can run around in a room

Comfortable temperature all year round

Weather doesn't matter one bit

Session can take place in the morning or between sports games, as needed

Everyone can get dressed after they arrive and changes are easy (the photographer can help with outfits, too)

The Studio has perfect light, all the time

Private setting just for your family

I can probably go on and on for a while.. but you get the point. The Studio is pretty damn convenient. And in my old age, I'm all about making things easy.. for myself and for my clients.

But that doesn't mean that I left my lifestyle photography roots behind. I still focus on natural expressions and a more modern approach to portraits. I love keeping things simple and making the family in front of the camera the star of the photograph (and not elaborate settings or props).

Most of all, I think it's a bit silly to spend so much energy on trying to get a family portrait with the perfect fall background. It's stressful! The trees turn orange for just a couple of weeks of the year and planning something like that, on top of everything else that's going on, is kind of insane.

So call me lazy.. but really I'm just tired of worrying and stressing out about all that stuff. Who needs it? I love being able to make things super easy for families in the Studio.. and to provide a set of photographs that aren't about pretty trees or a beautiful setting. It's supposed to be about the family, the kids, the parents.. you know, the things that are more important than scenery! :)