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When it comes to capturing life’s special moments, whether it’s for a family portrait, maternity session, newborn session, or a professional personal brand photoshoot, one of the most critical decisions you’ll need to make is where to have your photoshoot. The choice between a studio photography session and an outdoor session can significantly impact the outcome of your pictures. In this guide, I will dive deeper into the factors you should consider when picking your photoshoot location and explore the pros and cons of each option.

Topics covered in this guide:


Client’s home session


The location you choose for your photoshoot plays a crucial role in determining the overall look and feel of your images. It can enhance or detract from the story you want to tell and the mood you wish to convey. Here are some key factors to consider when making your decision:

1- Travel Time: The Impact on Small Kids

When planning a photoshoot, especially if you have small children in tow, travel time takes on a whole new level of importance. The duration it takes to reach your chosen location can significantly affect the mood and energy of your kids, which, in turn, impacts the outcome of your pictures.

Why Travel Time Matters for Your Session:

  • Mood and Energy: Small children often have their own schedules, which can include naps and meal times. A long journey to an outdoor location may result in tired, cranky kids or hungry toddlers. Consider shorter travel distances to keep them in their best mood for the photoshoot.
  • Preparation: Traveling with small children means packing snacks, extra clothing, and other essentials. Longer trips may require more extensive planning, while a nearby studio simplifies logistics.
  • Flexibility: Being closer to home or having access to indoor facilities can provide a comfortable space for your child to rest or regroup if needed during the session.

2- Weather: The Benefits of Indoor and Outdoor Sessions

Weather is an ever-present factor in photography, and it can profoundly affect your choice between indoor and outdoor sessions. Here’s a closer look at why both options can be advantageous:

Indoor Sessions:

  • Consistent Lighting: Studios offer controlled, consistent lighting, ensuring your images maintain a professional look.
  • Climate Control: Indoor locations eliminate concerns about sudden weather changes and offer a comfortable, climate-controlled environment.
  • Year-Round Availability: Studios are available year-round, making them a reliable option regardless of the season.

Outdoor Sessions:

  • Natural Beauty: Outdoor locations provide the natural beauty of landscapes and lighting that can be challenging to replicate indoors.
  • Seasonal Aesthetics: Each season brings its own charm, from the vibrant colors of spring to the cozy ambiance of autumn.
  • Scenic Variety: Outdoor sessions offer a wide variety of backgrounds, whether it’s urban cityscapes or serene beach or countryside settings.

Quick advice: Booking a Photographer with Studio Options

Given the unpredictability of weather, particularly in regions like Southwest Florida (Pinellas and  Hillsborough County), it’s a prudent move to choose a photographer with access to a photography studio. This offers a backup plan in case adverse weather conditions impede outdoor sessions. This flexibility guarantees that your photoshoot won’t be delayed, ensuring your cherished memories are captured as intended, which is especially crucial if you’re on a tight schedule and don’t have the luxury of rescheduling.

3- Season of the Year: Pros and Cons in Southwest Florida

In the southwest part of Florida, the seasons offer unique opportunities and challenges:


  • Pros: Mild temperatures, lush greenery, and blooming flowers create a picturesque backdrop.
  • Cons: Spring can also bring unpredictable rain, so be prepared for potential showers.


  • Pros: Long daylight hours provide excellent natural light for outdoor sessions.
  • Cons: Heat and humidity can be intense, potentially impacting comfort and makeup.


  • Pros: Mild temperatures, low humidity, and vibrant foliage make for a comfortable and picturesque season.
  • Cons: Florida’s fall foliage isn’t as dramatic as in other regions, but it still offers a unique charm.


  • Pros: Mild, pleasant weather with a comfortable ambiance for outdoor photos.
  • Cons: Less dramatic seasonal changes compared to some other areas, but still lovely.

4- Small Kids and Pets: Managing the Session

Photographing small children and pets can be a delightful yet challenging experience. Here are some tips for managing sessions with these adorable but unpredictable subjects:

  1. Comfort: Ensure the environment, whether indoor or outdoor, is child and pet-friendly. Familiar surroundings can help them feel at ease.
  2. Timing: Schedule sessions during times when children and pets are typically more alert and in a good mood. Avoid their nap or meal times.
  3. Distractions: Have toys or treats on hand to keep them engaged. For outdoor sessions, consider bringing a familiar blanket or cushion for comfort.
  4. Patience: Expect the unexpected and be patient. Children and pets may need breaks or moments to warm up to the camera.
  5. Professional Assistance: Consider hiring a photographer experienced in working with children and pets. They understand the unique challenges and can capture those precious moments effectively. Additionally, it’s advisable to have an extra person on hand to oversee and attend to your pet’s needs during the session.



  • Controlled Environment: Studios provide precise control over lighting, temperature, and acoustics. This controlled environment is perfect for capturing clean, professional images.
  • Versatility: Studios offer a versatile canvas, allowing photographers to create a wide range of styles and themes. You can achieve both traditional and contemporary looks.
  • Privacy and Comfort: Studios offer a level of privacy and comfort that outdoor locations may lack. This is particularly valuable for branding, family, maternity, newborn and intimate shoots.
  • Detail-Oriented: If your photoshoot involves intricate details or close-up shots, a studio setting can be the perfect choice to ensure the smallest elements are captured with precision.


  • Limited Natural Lighting: While studios offer excellent control over artificial lighting, they may lack the soft and natural quality of outdoor light, which some clients prefer.
  • Lack of Scenic Beauty: Studios often lack the scenic beauty that outdoor locations can provide, making them less suitable for clients who want a specific outdoor aesthetic.
Newborn session in a studio



  • Natural Light: Outdoor locations benefit from beautiful natural light, creating a warm and authentic look in your photos. This is especially suitable for portrait and lifestyle shoots.
  • Diverse Backgrounds: Outdoor settings offer a variety of backgrounds, including parks, urban landscapes, or rural environments, allowing you to choose the perfect backdrop to complement your theme.
  • Casual Atmosphere: The relaxed, casual atmosphere of outdoor locations is ideal for capturing candid moments, especially in family, engagement, and lifestyle shoots.
  • Seasonal Aesthetics: Outdoor photoshoots can leverage the visual impact of different seasons, enhancing the storytelling aspect of your images.


  • Weather Dependency: Outdoor sessions are contingent on weather conditions. Unpredictable weather can disrupt plans, and a backup plan is advisable.
  • Distractions: Outdoor shoots can sometimes be affected by passersby, wildlife, or other environmental distractions. This requires adaptability on the part of the photographer and clients.
  • Limited Lighting Control: Outdoor settings provide natural light, which can be challenging to control, especially in adverse conditions or at specific times of day.
Outdoor family session


Your choice between a studio and outdoor photoshoot ultimately depends on your specific needs, the style you desire, and the story you want to convey through your photos. Here are some additional considerations to help you make your decision:

  1. Purpose: Think about the purpose of your photos. Are they for a formal event, casual family memories, or a professional portfolio?
  2. Style: Consider the aesthetic you want to achieve. Studios offer a clean, controlled look, while outdoor locations can provide a natural and diverse backdrop.
  3. Logistics: Assess the logistics, including travel, wardrobe changes, and the comfort of the participants, especially if you have small children or pets.
  4. Weather: If you opt for an outdoor session, keep an eye on the weather forecast and have a backup plan in case conditions change unexpectedly.

Choosing between a studio photography session and an outdoor session is a decision that can significantly impact the outcome of your photos. Both options offer unique advantages and challenges, and the choice should align with your goals and the message you want to convey through your images. Remember that preparation and flexibility are key to ensuring a successful session, regardless of your chosen location or the presence of small kids and pets.

I hope all this information ensures that your photoshoot is a memorable and meaningful stress free experience.

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