young brothers hug while sitting on a yellow blanket

Family Photography

Lifestyle Family Photography: Pros + Cons of Outdoor Versus Indoor Photo Shoots

Lifestyle family photography is a great way to capture memories and tell your family’s story in a natural situation. Instead of stiff posing, my lifestyle family photo shoots include loose poses with games, play, and hanging out.

happy family sit on logs outside during a family session

Still, there are two main options for you to choose from: indoor or outdoor photography shoots.

Indoor and outdoor photo shoots have their own pros and cons, and I want to share the differences between the two so that you can decide which option is best for your family.

In this blog post, I’ll explore the pros/cons of indoor and outdoor family photography shoots in Boulder, Larimer, and Jefferson Counties, and Denver.

Indoor Family Photography Shoots in Boulder, Larimer, Jefferson Counties, Denver

Pros of an Indoor Lifestyle Family Photography Session

1. First, it doesn’t matter where you live for an indoor photo shoot.

Whether you are in Boulder, Longmont, Loveland, Thornton, Broomfield, Denver…the natural surroundings don’t matter. We are not looking for epic views. We just want your daily backdrop. Easy, especially if you are busy and have little bandwidth. Worried about having me photograph your home? Stop!!! I can help you plan, and here are several resources: How to Prepare your Home for an In Home Photography Session, Celebrate Family and Love with a Home Photography Session!

2. Comfort and Convenience.

Indoor family photography sessions offer comfort and convenience, as you’ll be in your own home. No need to rush out the door with 3-5 people looking immaculate…no need to worry about being 5-10 minutes late…no need to pack a bunch of snacks to act as bribery for young kids. And, no worries if you forgot your water or lip gloss. With an indoor photography shoot, partners/kids have the freedom to take breaks and relax. Plus, no weather worries!

3. More Personal–More Interesting in the Future.

Indoor lifestyle family photography sessions are so much more personal, as your photos will feature your home and furniture and possessions. This becomes more interesting in the future when you and your children look back at the images.

newborn baby lies on blanket with feet in air

4. Privacy and Fewer Distractions.

Do you worry about feeling awkward in photos? Not want a crowd or audience while you pose for photos? Your home eliminates all that (and, trust me, if you’ve ever been to Boulder’s Chautauqua on a fall weekend to get family photos taken, you know just how busy some of the parks in Colorado can get!). Or do you kids get easily distracted by playgrounds or an open field to run in? Your home confines them!

5. Lighting.

My clients often worry about the lighting in their homes. Let me tell you, 90% of homes have amazing light pockets and soft lighting that is far more interesting than shooting photos outdoors.

6. Pets.

Want to include your pet, but not sure how they’ll do a busy park? Indoor home photo session! They can be in a few photos in a low-stress situation and come and go as they please!

family of four people and 3 dogs sit on front stoop

Cons of an Indoor Lifestyle Family Photography Session

1. Preparing Your Home.

Since your home will be in the backdrop, cleaning your home up a bit is a great thing. I do photograph from angles to hide mess and I will move things as needed, but a quick pick up is going to go a long way in your photos.

2. Kids May Fixate on Toys.

Kids will have all their toys to show off. I love it when favorite toys are in photos (and try to take one with and then one without as needed), but sometimes kids just won’t go for the “without” photos. Since we are capturing them as they are now, I am fine with it, but I know parents don’t always love it.

3. Lack of Natural Backdrops.

Even if your yard in a not park-like setting, we can still take some photos in it if you’d like. But, the backdrop will not look like beautiful Red Rocks Park…unless you are really lucky to live in a beautiful, natural space!

lifestyle family photography taken of a family playing in a denver backyard

Outdoor Family Photography Shoots in Boulder, Larimer, Jefferson Counties, Denver

Pros of an Outdoor Lifestyle Family Photography Session

1. Gorgeous Colorado Scenery.

I mention these counties in particular because I know many, many great spots for family photo sessions. Some are more popular and iconic, and some are off the beaten path. Some are mountainous and other are interesting urban areas. All offer amazing backdrops for your family photo session.  Outdoor photography shoots offer a natural and beautiful setting for your photos. With the beautiful scenery in Boulder and Larimer Counties, you can take advantage of the breathtaking views and stunning landscapes to create stunning and unique family photos.

lifestyle family photography of a photoshoot with a baby taken in front of the mountains of boulder

2. More Room to Play.

There is room to run and chase, throw and spin kiddos. This is great to get out some of that kiddo (or pet) energy. And I love the candid photos I capture of families in play mode!

3. Natural Light.

There is a certain kind of light I love capturing in outdoor photos–backlit while my camera is in shade (and protected from crazy sun flare). Outdoor lighting provides many situations to capture stunning and flattering photos.

lifestyle family photography session featuring blonde siblings

Cons of an Outdoor Lifestyle Family Photography Session

1. Weather!

Wind, rain, lightning, snow, mud, extreme heat. Under-dressed kids with pink noses. Sweat marks on men’s shirts. Outdoor photography shoots are weather dependent, and we all know that Colorado provides all sorts of weather all the time. While I typically push for a photo session to happen, the weather can cause us to reschedule. 2. Unpredictable Environment: The outdoor environment can also be unpredictable, with unexpected sounds, movement, and activity that can disrupt the flow of your photography shoot.

2. Crowds/Distractions.

Many Colorado parks are crowded. Animals and playgrounds in the distance distract kids.

3. You Have to Leave Your Home.

You have to get dressed up, and get others dressed up, and there’s a final end time. You have to load up kids and snacks and maybe dogs and maybe a diaper bag and a stroller and don’t forget layers or sunscreen and water and on and on. Basically, leaving the home with kids on a timeline is stressful, especially if they have small tantrums during every transition.

living room photo of family with baby

Both indoor and outdoor family photography shoots have pros and cons, and the right choice for you depends on your personal preferences and what you’re looking for in a family photography session. I would suggest booking an in home session if you have never done one before or have moved into a new home, and then swapping to an outdoor family photography session. But, either way, a lifestyle family photography session is a great way to capture memories and preserve your family’s story for years to come.

Interested in booking your family photography session?

Fill out the contact form on this site, and let me know where your home is, as well as some dates that work for you. I also love to know how many people will be present, with the ages of any kids.

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I've been photographing families professionally since 2006. I am a wife, mama to 2 boys, companion to 2 cats who are named after members of the royal British family, a former preschool teacher. I love running, hiking 14ers, sparkly clothes, the band Phish, river float trips, St. John USVI, farm CSAs, and Colorado blue skies.