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  • Writer's pictureCara Hodge

8 Reasons to have a family photo shoot Dublin in your own garden.

Updated: Apr 2

I have just finished this session in the garden at home, at home family photo shoot Stillorgan Dublin. Mum, dad, little brother & new baby sister.


This led me to asking for this post: why a family photo shoot in your own home & garden?


Here are 8 reasons why:


1/ You don't have to move.


This is a very attractive proposition when there are small children involved. As much as many families love leaving the house, getting out & about on adventures, there is something to be said for the stress free nature of a family photo shoot in your own home & garden. The logistics are just easier. You can concentrate on getting yourself & the children dressed, without the additional worry of being at the right location at the right time.

This is a fuss free approach particularly when there are small children including toddlers, babies & newborns that need so much time & attention. It can free parents up for getting ready without the extra stress - take that bit longer getting ready in the bath & shower!

little boy in Little Tikes truck collapsing on to dad's lap as they sit on lawn in garden under apple tree with mum watching holding baby girl.
Catch Me

2/ Your garden has plenty of space!


Here's the thing: You don't need a lot of space for a family photo shoot, particularly an hour regular family session. Even a small spaced garden can provide opportunities for varied compositions & family portraits. In this outdoor garden session, I made the most of the apple tree that was a feature in the garden as well as a toy cooking corner that I used for sitting family portraits.

dad perched on a toy cooking stove in the garden with son driving toy truck and mum sitting on cooking stove with baby girl on her lap
Garden Furniture

The apple tree (below) was ideal for framing family portraits with a leafy surround. I love capturing family portraits under the shade of trees. Trees provide shade from intense light throughout the day, even in the early morning, and the leafy canopy makes an attractive backdrop.

mum holding her baby girl in a frilly dress under a canopy of trees in her garden at home. family photo shoot dublin in your own garden and home
Under the tree

3/ We can start (even) earlier in the morning


Children are often on good form in the morning. Toddlers, babies & newborns who have just woken up & had a good breakfast, have more energy and are less cranky. If a family doesn't have to worry about being at a location outside the home, it is easier for me to come earlier in the morning. Around 10 am is usually a good time for newborns, babies & toddlers, and sometimes, for particularly lovely morning light than earlier can also work.


4/ The children can play, play, play!


Children are in their own element in their home & garden. They have their toys to hand. This little boy had access to his Little Tikes truck & didn't want to leave it for one second! However, some of my fave pictures in this session are those when he is toppling out of his truck into dad's lap. I also love the scattered toys - toy car and watering can & soft toy around the sitting family portraits on a blanket. I would never edit out these little details, however tiny. It helps capture some of the chaos of family life with small children & babies. Last year I did a photo story around two sisters playing in a garden throughout my week stay. In the same way, they could be totally themselves interacting with each other as they played in their garden. (Garden portraits, Glastonbury England)

boy falling out of toy truck on to dad in garden
Falling Boy

little boy on mum's lap with dad watching, sittng on blanket in garden under tree, with toy car and watering can scattrered around
On Mum's Lap

Oh yes, and even the older children can play! Here is my own 22 year old child in a rusty wheelbarrow in the garden. (The wheelbarrow. Summer family portraits Dublin). Using props lying about your own home & garden can be the perfect entry point to a lovely portrait. (Watch this space, more to follow!)

girl in a cotton dress curled up inside a wheelbarrow in garden, laughing
Wheelbarrow Frolics

5/ The garden is really BEAUTIFUL!


I mean who doesn't love nature, even when it's tamed nature in the form of a garden. Trees, leaves, FLOWERS! I have more to share on a 70th birthday party I recently did with lots of small grandchildren in a beautiful garden bursting with color, and huge dahlias as a backdrop (Watch this space!).


6/ Your own garden for EVENTS: birthdays, Holy Communion, graduation, debs, baptism & christening...


Your home & garden can be the perfect place to celebrate important events such as birthdays, graduation, debs, baptism & Holy Communion. I often get asked, for example, to capture celebrations at the church or other venue & then also at home with friends & family before or after the main event.

girl in communion dress standing in branch of leafy tree
Communion Garden

7/ You can always choose another garden close by!


So if a wholesome garden feel is what you like, but you don't have your own...? I use a Blackrock garden for my outdoor 30 minute seasonal mini family sessions (Spring mini family photo shoot Dublin).

young mum walking her baby girl across a lawn filled with daisies in a garden. mini family photo shoot dublin in a local garden
Daisy Lawn

Throughout the year I use this Blackrock garden & its trees and shade for outdoor family portraits. It is a particularly good spot for seasonal color in Spring & Autumn. There is a gorgeous cherry blossom tree that makes a fine perch for sitting child portraits in the branches. The blossom adds fresh pink color. In autumn, there are the beautiful golden & red leaf colors (The best season for family photography Dublin? )

Also, for something a bit special...There are other exotic garden locations around Dublin such as the National Botanical gardens Dublin. Also perfect for indoors, under the shelter of green houses & tropical plants for something a bit different. These can give a garden feel away from home.


8/ Also, we can always go inside the house too!


If it's your own garden, then there is always the added benefit to go indoors and take some family pictures inside the house. I love it when the home is a character in the story. It's the place where your children play, eat, sleep - grow up, day by day! There are always favorite spots inside the home for pictures. I will be on the look out for the best light inside, which is often window light.

Here, on the Stillorgan home photo shoot, we went inside so the kids could eat some crackers and I captured dad placing baby girl gently into her high chair. The natural light in the kitchen was perfect for candid family photography.

Going inside is also a good option for if it starts to rain (In Ireland this can always be a possibility!).

dad lifting his baby girl and placing gently in a high chair in front of a window in the kitchen
Sit Down Here

For more information on getting ready & what to expect for a Dublin family photo shoot with Cara, outside or in your own home & garden please see my frequently asked questions page.


I look forward to planning your natural family photography session at your home & garden really soon


Cara xx


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