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To Book or Not to Book? Is a Family Photo Session on Vacation Right for You? . Denver Family Photographer

I LOVE to travel! And lots of my all-time favorite photos of my family are from trips we've taken. Some of these photos have been taking on my big camera, some on my phone, and some by photographers that I've hired. Yep. Despite being a professional family photographer myself, and maybe especially because I am, I know the value of hiring a local professional for family photos.

Our crew recently took a Spring Break road trip through New Mexico, including a day at White Sands National Park. White Sands is a GORGEOUS location! We learned from a Park Ranger that 90% of car brands have shot a commercial there! I went back and forth trying to decide if I should hire someone for a family photo session during our stay. Ultimately, our days were just too full to accommodate it. And so instead we had fun taking a few photos in our haphazard outfits as the day unfolded.

These are the things that in my mind are most important when booking a family photo session on a trip. If you can say "yes" to these three guidelines - then you're good to go! Otherwise, a photo session while you're traveling may not be worth it.

FIRST. Schedule your photo session toward the beginning of your trip (ESPECIALLY with young kids). We have found that as each day of travel passes, our kids (and us, their parents) drift further and further from our normal schedule. It's easier to stay up a little later each night. But as you may know, kids who go to bed late rarely sleep in just as late. (Why?!?). Schedule your photo session within the first few days of your trip while your kids have more energy in the tank. Don't be tempted to try to get a little color on your skin at your beach vacation - use sunscreen and get those photos done before anyone has wacky tan lines or sunburns! Warm light and tasteful editing should be enough to make you glow. And as an added bonus - you don't have to worry about your session for the rest of your trip!

SECOND. Carve out plenty of time on your session day. Don't book other activities immediately before or immediately after your photo session! It's just not worth it! Give yourself plenty of time to get ready, get to your location, and participate fully in your session.

THIRD. Trust your photographer - especially on time and location. Your photographer should be an expert on your location. They should have suggestions on where to shoot and what time to start. When we lived in Europe we hired a photographer for Summertime family photos in Venice, Italy. I knew that because San Marcos square was a busy city location we would need to shoot early in the morning, rather than at the evening golden hour. I suggested a 7AM start time to our Venice photographer, and she said we should really start at 6:30! And guess what? She was totally right! By the time 7 came, even though there was still plenty of shade, the square was much busier.

Can you agree to all three? Then a photo session on vacation might be just the thing for you and your crew! Are you headed to Colorado on a trip? Let's do this!


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