We have so many beautiful outdoor session locations in the Lake Country, WI area that it can be hard to choose! Some clients will come to me with a meaningful location in mind for their family portraits, while others need guidance. My clients receive access to a private gallery with session location images to help them see what their images will look like in that particular spot. 

As a long-time Oconomowoc resident and portrait photographer, I know all the good session locations in our area and am happy to provide advice! Here are five things to consider when choosing a portrait session location.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Portrait Session Location


1. Portrait Artwork (End in Mind) –

I always start with the end in mind. Consider how you plan on enjoying these portraits long after the session. Is it a new statement piece for your living room that is the goal? Maybe you’re hoping to create a family album with your favorite images. Are you hoping to add to an existing family gallery wall where we will need to consider the background in previous images to gain a cohesive design with all images when hung together? Starting here will help us choose the best session location for your portraits.

2. Overall Style – What is the overall style that you’re going for with these portraits? Does your family enjoy the outdoors? If so, perhaps a forested background would suit you best. Is your home style/decor more modern? Maybe a dressed-up urban session would look best. We also want these portraits to compliment the style of your home, so we’ll take that into consideration as well.

3. Great Natural Lighting During the Golden Hour – Does the location offer great natural light? We usually take outdoor portraits during the “Golden Hour,” which is 1-2 hours before sunset. We want the location that we choose to have beautiful places to choose from with that glorious natural light!

4. Accessibility – Depending on your family and the location, we’ll want to consider the accessibility factor. Is it walkable? Will it be crowded? If you’re bringing along a pet, is it dog friendly? Are there bathrooms nearby? If we’re taking portraits with very young children or older family members, we’ll want to ensure the location is perfect for them. The last thing we want is to work up a sweat while walking in the heat too long to get to the location.

Family of four posing for camera at Bender Beach, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

5. Photography Policy – Some parks in the Lake Country, WI area require permits or passes. Some clients want their portraits at a county or state park, which will require at least a day pass. Other locations, such as The Domes and Boerner Botanical Gardens require special, more costly permits. However, it’s something to consider! 


My goal is to create artwork that brings you joy every day. When your portraits are taken in a location that is meaningful, fits your family’s vibe, and looks great in your home, we have succeeded. I want you to love your session location, and we will work together to find one that perfectly suits your family.

Oconomowoc family of seven with dog having fun at their family portrait session at Nagawaukee Park in Delafield, Wisconsin

Lake Country, WI Outdoor Portrait Session Photographer 

As I said before, we really are lucky to have so many awesome outdoor locations to choose from around here! I totally get why it’s overwhelming sometimes to choose which one you want for your portrait session. That’s why I’m here to help. My full-service photography process guides you through planning your session from start to finish so that you never have to feel overwhelmed. 

Finally, if you have any questions or wish to schedule your call with me, please send me a message here. 

Photo of ipad with investment guide on a table

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