Indoor, or Outdoor? | Choosing a Minneapolis, MN Photo Session Location

by | Aug 18, 2023 | Family Photography, Kiddos, Locations, Sessions

Planning your Photography Session Includes Big Decisions

It doesn’t matter what kind of session you’re having done – family photography, maternity photography, branding and headshots… No matter what, you’re going to have to choose some stuff. And that stuff will make a BIG difference in both your experience during the session, and the overall outcome when we’re done.

There’s wardrobe to consider, and who you’re working with, of course. But one of the other big decisions?

Your Minneapolis, MN photo session location is hugely impactful. And a part of that, is whether you’re aiming for indoor, or outdoor.

Some photographers only offer one or the other!

You know how I tend to start these conversations, if you’ve been here before. I almost always start off by saying that if you’ve got your heart set on one or the other, make SURE that the photographer you want to work with offers that style session.

It’s not fun at all to fall in love with a photographer’s work, and then realize they don’t offer outdoor sessions, when that’s what you want to do. But if you’re here, I’m going to guess it’s because we’re on the same wavelength, and you’re planning ahead for OUR session together! (If so, it’s nice to digitally meet you!!)

And I offer both. Indoor, outdoor, in-studio, in-home – no matter the location you want to include in your session, I offer sessions there. Which means if you’re working with me, you’ve got some decisions to make!! (Or, we can talk about not having to choose, which technically is an option itself. We can always do BOTH for your session!)

When you’re choosing, I want you to think about some specific questions.

A toddler boy in a grey shirt and jeans plays with his father's face while holding a newborn baby minneapolis midwives

1. I don’t know whether you know this, but… Minneapolis gets COLD

First and foremost, the obvious question. Are you okay with the cold? If your session is going to be over the winter months, this is a huge thing to think about. Ya know, since we’re in Minneapolis. Whether you can choose to have your session in a warmer month is mostly up to the session itself. I mean, if you’re having a maternity session… I hate to break it to ya, but we’re kind of stuck with the timing we’ve got. If it’s going to be in the winter months, it’s going to, and we don’t get to change that.

If it’s a family session you’re booking, there’s way more flexibility! Since it’s not based around growing a tiny human, and stuff. But the point is, if your photo session is going to be in the winter months, and you’re not going for a parka vibe, then maybe choosing indoor photography will be best for your session.

family of four smiling at the camera in a minneapolis public park at golden hour

2. How many humans are you bringing to your session?

This one is also largely based on what kind of session you’re having, because if you’re booking a family photography session, then you’re going to have your family with you (duh). And if you have kiddos, that’s something to consider. As a mom, I know exactly how long my boys can handle being bundled up before they get the grumps. It’s long enough for a photo session, thankfully. But when they were younger… let’s just say “not so much”. So think about how your littles handle the cold, and whether they’d be more comfy indoors for the session!

3. Does your photographer have a studio space?

Alright this is a big one. If you want to do an indoor session you absolutely HAVE to ask: does the photographer you’re working with have access to a studio space? You can figure this out pretty easily, they likely have information about it on their website if they do have a studio, and if they don’t have that information clearly listed, then take a peek at their portfolio. Do they have images taken in a studio in there? If so, they might OFFER studio sessions, by renting through another local photographer! But end-all-be-all of this one: if you’ve got your heart set on elegant in-studio images, and the photographer you want to work with doesn’t offer them… that’s no fun at all. So take a look to ensure that the photographer you want to work with has a space they can use for indoor if that’s your inclination!!

4. What kind of vibe are you looking for from your session?

Let’s get something out on the table. The tone of an indoor session is completely different from the tone of an outdoor session. Even from the same photographer, even in the same gown, even on the same day with the same lighting or the same props. Take a cane chair outdoors, sit in it, and you’re going to be left with images that have a COMPLETELY different mood than images of you sitting on the SAME chair inside a studio. The setting makes a HUGE difference, and we absolutely cannot emphasize that enough. If you absolutely love the images in my portfolio with lush greens and the backdrop of botanicals… then it might not be the best idea to schedule an indoor session. I’m pretty great (if I do say so myself) but making the indoors look like the outdoors is best left to set designers and film crews. If we do your session indoors, it’s going to look like we’re indoors. So consider the vibe overall that you’re going for when you choose outside or inside for your session!

5. Think travel time, because trust me, it’s important!

I know how tempting it is to ask a photographer to go to a specific location that you absolutely love. Maybe something two hours away. Or even to specifically book a photographer who’s local to that location, so that you can use it specifically. But if you’re bringing kiddos to your session… please, PLEASE think about how they tolerate travel. There are only so many “Are we there yet??”s that one can handle as a parent before you’re showing up to your session exhausted. And not only are YOU exhausted in that scenario, your kiddos are likely going to be frustrated too. So when you’re choosing your location, I tend to suggest choosing something close. That is, of course, unless your little ones are in the “sleeps in the car no matter what” camp. In that scenario the world is your oyster, really! But the point is, you’ll want to think about travel time. And kids aren’t the only reason to think about it, either! If you’re scheduling a maternity session, there’s only so long you can be comfy in a car while growing a human, and that’s a FACT. So consider your travel time, I promise you’ll thank me!!

Pregnant woman in a lilac gown holding her belly - image taken from above

Still not sure whether indoor photography or outdoor photography is for you?

That’s okay!

You know where I’m going with this – you should reach out!! If you’re still not sure, or you have some leftover questions, we should talk. I can help you decide what will be best for you and your family! You never have to make these decisions on your own, if you don’t want to.

And besides, like I mentioned – you don’t HAVE to choose, if you’re working with me! We can design a session for you that includes both indoor AND outdoor components, if that’s what you need.


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