We are spoilt for scenery in Victoria. There are endless beautiful locations and outdoor family photography can occur in a variety of settings. Lately I have been photographing families regularly in the Mornington Peninsula area, places such as Mount Martha and Dromana have such a huge variety of settings to choose from.

For this particular outdoor family photography session however, we met at a park in Melbourne, right in the middle of autumn. It was just an ordinary park with a playground, which was great incentive for the kids since they were promised a long play after our photoshoot.

These gorgeous kids didn’t need that much incentive though, since we really just had a load of fun at this photoshoot. We played, we laughed and we threw leaves. It really was a wonderful afternoon spent with a lovely family.

Having photography sessions outdoors with kids and families are really my favourite types of sessions. I personally love being out in nature and I find that most kids do too.

I also enjoy using the natural environment and the available light to create gorgeous bespoke pieces of artwork. Every environment and every family is different which is a wonderful thing and something to celebrate.

If you would like to book in a family photography session outdoors, continue reading below where I answer some common questions that clients ask me about these types of sessions.


My kids aren’t the type to sit still, so how will we get them to look at the camera and smile?

I approach all of my outdoor family photography sessions in the same way. There isn’t a lot of pressure put on anyone to “behave” or “sit still” or “smile”. I brief parents before hand that if we can avoid any of this type of direction, then we will most likely get much better results. Nothing kills the mood for kids more than adults making it out to be a big chore. So we have fun, no expectations, go with the flow and see what happens. Keeping your kids happy during the photoshoot is really paramount. I am talking about genuinely happy, not just behaving and doing the right thing because they are being told to. There is nothing worse than those weird fake smiles!

Some of my clients favourite photos are the ones where the kids are having fun interacting and being themselves, they don’t always need to be looking at the camera and smiling. These are great if that is what you are after however it isn’t guaranteed that we will get a “natural” looking photograph if you are trying to cajole them into sitting and smiling.

When is the best time of the year for an outdoor family photoshoot?

You can have a family photoshoot outdoors on location any time of the year. I have photographed families in all seasons and they all have their special merits. For example, I love that in winter, you can accessorise your clothing with boots / hats / scarves in a way that you can’t in other seasons. Bare deciduous trees are amazing, winter beaches have beautiful light, city scapes look great in any weather. How about a photoshoot at the snow?

In autumn it goes without saying that the colour and the light is extra special. Being in a park when the leaves have turned can be magical or better yet, have your kids throwing around the leaves.

Photoshoots in summer and spring are always popular and these seasons always make for beautiful backdrops. The colours, the mood and the weather usually make for a great combination.

What time of the day is best?

Most of the time I hold outdoor photoshoots either first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon. This is really to ensure that we don’t have full sun during our photoshoot. It is also great for families since it doesn’t impact too much on the rest of your day.

I love photographing in the Golden Hour, which is the last hour before sunset. Such beautiful light is present at that time and this can give your photographs a special glow and feel.

How do we choose a location?

Either you can choose a location, or I can. I photograph mainly in the Mornington Peninsula area and also greater Melbourne including most metropolitan suburbs.

Often I am approached by families who ask me to photograph them in a specific location that is special or meaningful to them.

In this particular instance, the location we chose is this family’s local park and playground in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. They spend a lot of time here so it really represents them as a family. It is where they are at in their life at the moment with young kids.

Beaches are also a popular choice. If you are a beachy kind of family then this makes so much sense because the kids will love it and be happy running around being themselves, without being confined to a studio where they are feeling too controlled.

We can also photograph in and around your home or property, or in more urban settings.

I love using the natural environment in my photos, such as trees, rocks, grass, water. You name it, I’ve probably photographed on it or near it. However just as much as I love the natural environment, I also love the urban one. I love using laneways, walls, street art and architecture.

What do we wear?

This is the most common question that I am asked when I do any kind of photoshoot. There is more information about what to wear to your photoshoot here, and I also send out an email to my clients prior to our shoot with some ideas too.

The most important thing is to wear what makes you feel comfortable and like you can be yourself. Some people like to treat themselves to a hair and make-up artist on the day of their shoot. Some people like to just come as they are. It is all entirely up to you. Casual, formal, bare foot or high heels, its great to just be you.

What days of the week do you photograph?

I photograph on weekdays and on weekends. However, weekend photography sessions often book out a couple of months in advance since these are the most popular days for families. Therefore if you are thinking of booking in a weekend photography session with me, please keep this in mind and book with plenty of notice.

What happens if the weather is bad on the day of our shoot?

If the weather is excessively windy or rainy, we simply reschedule to another day. I allow buffers in my schedule for this to happen.

Can we bring our pets?

Of course!!

How do I book in a photoshoot?

Contact me on 0414 486 409 or e-mail carmen@carmenhibbins.com to set up a time. We will also have a chat about the types of photographs that you are after, discuss location options and what you would like to do with your shots, eg have large framed pieces, in a photobook, etc.


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