Where will my session be?
This is one of the most common questions I get when booking new sessions! You wouldn't think there would be a lot that goes into picking a location for your session but there is! There is a lot to think about when picking a location! Time of day, your style, outfits, and season all affect which location you decide to use for your session! Here are a list of just a few of my favorite locations that I will recommend for kids and family sessions!
One of the most overlooked locations is your own home! Sometimes for kids who are shy this is a fantastic option! Giving kids a safe space, that they know well is often the key to smiley, happy photos! I can bring small lights and turn your home into a great space for comfy photos! These are great for newborns, or small families with younger children where getting out may be harder! For some parents this is a great option, but for others your little one may be a little TOO comfortable to stay in their own home and thats okay!
Nifong Park Is one of my favorite parks for several reasons and seasons! First of all it is a large park with a lot of history! This park is very quiet and kind of a hidden gem in Columbia. It makes you feel as though you are in the country even though you are tucked right in the south side of Columbia! The red barns, large beautiful trees, small pond, and old historic buildings give you a variety of options for a great session! This park is great for sessions that are 45 minutes or longer because of the size and options it offers. During the fall this park transforms from a beautiful green country setting to a bright orange, yellow, and red dream full of large trees with tons of leaves!
For those who are from Columbia, you are probably rolling your eyes and saying "been there, done that." I get it! It's the go to for prom, homecoming, family photos etc. But I LOVE this location for families of three, or just for a small kid session! Its small, colorful, and packed with options! In this little fenced in garden you can let the kiddos run down the paths, green grass, and look at all the flowers during their session! During April/early May they have the most beautiful Tulips full of color! Not to mention all the other pretty flowers they have from spring to early fall! The old school house provides a great backdrop for kiddos to explore and use for a break out of the sun!
Located just Minutes from the University of Missouri Campus this hidden treasure is amazing! This is my favorite spot for engagements, couples, and maternity. It is not the best option for several young kids, as some of its highlights can be hard to tackle with younger kids! I climb up the hill will give you the most beautiful scenic overlook over Columbia. During the fall this overlook is booming with vibrant fall colors for miles! This location also offers one of the prettiest creeks during the fall where the colorful trees line the shallow creek and the colors reflect into the water. While the creek makes a great spot for younger kiddos to play it is a little harder to get down to since it doesn't have an easy walking trail access to it. If you are willing climb, and walk to some amazing places, you can capture some of the most beautiful photos and colors! During the winter this park turns into a neutral paradise with brown tree line baths and golden winter fields providing just the right amount of color!
5.University of Missouri Campus
The university of Missouri Campus is a great space full of architecture and options! I love using the campus for Engagements and Couples sessions. The campus is also great for kids! It provides a ton of options, large over grown trees, beautiful columns, and a great area to use during a light sprinkle or after a rain! The pathways and buildings provide a great background when the ground may be too wet for other locations, but with all of the beautiful plants and large trees, it gives you great color in the background! I use this campus for my Princess Mini Sessions because it screams princess vibes, with the large concrete stairs like Cinderella and large columns!
6.Grindstone Nature Area
Grindstone Nature area is the wonderful spot where I hold my creekside mini sessions for summer and fall! The creek provides tons of small (and large) rocks that kids love throwing in the water! The kids love to get their feet wet in the shallow water, and the tall trees that line the rock wall above the creek make it a beautiful setting for those summertime creek photos! You will want some walking shoes to get down to the creek, but the water provides the fun and interactive family photos everyone is looking for! During the fall this location also has tons of bright fall trees along the pathways behind the creek and large golden fields that provide the prettiest colors for a variety of sessions!
Downtown Columbia provides the perfect backdrop, with tons of color, architecture, and fun locations! From the brick buildings, old and new buildings, stoplights, and parking garages it is boasting with opportunities! Seniors love this as an option, due to all of life that it has to offer! Downtown is also a great option for a family session during the winter! It gives you a great background without needing color from the trees to make it pretty!
These are just a handful of my favorite spots for different seasons of the year! I have a variety of hidden gems that I love to use for different sessions. Getting to know your style, your family, and what you would like out of your session allows me to pick the perfect location for your families memories! Hopefully this location guide will allow you to visualize each location and get the photos that suite your family the most!