My photography style is a story-telling style, and one of the key elements of a story is its setting. Luckily for us living in the Southwest London area, we have lots of locations to choose from for our setting. But choosing can be a challenge too. When you book with KarenBarrettPhotography, we’ll spend some time talking about ideal locations for your session during our consultation. But if you are looking for a starting place for ideas, here are a few tips to consider.


In October, I had the pleasure of photographing a family at Wisley Gardens in Woking. With the beautiful autumn leaves nearly in full splendour, it made for a beautiful setting for this session. But what really made it a great choice for this family was how it related to their story. I don’t want to give too much away since I’ll be blogging about that session later this week, but this family loves a good day out. Their children had obviously been to and enjoyed the gardens before as they knew their way around the extensive grounds pretty well. And there were loads of spaces to play in, just as the family was keen to do.

Tip number one, when you are choosing your location for your session, think about the places you tend to go to and enjoy frequently. These are great starting points for narrowing down your list of potential places.


When I wanted to get some portraits of my boys this summer, I took them to Bushy Park Woodland Gardens. Again, beautiful scenery with all of the green of the trees and simple walking paths. But the tipping factor for me was the availability of things to climb on. My boys love to climb, and I wanted to be able to capture that without forcing it. So I took them to a location that provided ample opportunity for them to do the things they love to do.

That’s tip number 2, think about the activities you love to engage in and the places you can participate in those activities easily enough.

My last tip to consider when choosing your location is to think about places that are meaningful to you. The park and playground down the road from our house is a frequent destination for us. It’s also one of the first places we went when we discovered Surbiton, and it’s where we realised we found a place we wanted to live. It holds lots of fun memories for us already. That’s why it made a nice setting to capture some growth photos of the baby.


These tips also explain why having a session in your home works just as well as outdoor destinations. Your home is where you do your day to day living, where you have your heart-felt conversations, where you laugh at spontaneous silliness, where your kids play on a daily basis. So don’t discount your home as a meaningful place where you can do activities that you like to do normally.

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas for identifying the ideal setting for your story. Once you have your setting and your characters, it’s just a matter of capturing the action. If you’d like more information about how I can help you capture your story, click here to send me a message and I’ll be in touch shortly!