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Tips for your Photography Session along the Mad River in Vermont

When it comes to location suggestions for a summer or fall photography session, my first suggestion is usually a spot along the Mad River in Vermont. One of the things I love about being a Vermont family photographer is that there are so many gorgeous spots in to photograph at. From being a wonderfully cool place to make summer memories to capturing the stunning foliage, river locations have it all. A river location offers a unique blend of natural beauty, fun, and variety of backdrops that makes it an ideal choice for most clients. Here’s why you should consider a river setting for your next family or maternity session:

A family at a Vermont photo session at the river running under a blanket with a dog

1. Natural Beauty and Variety

Rivers provide a stunning array of backdrops, from flowing water and lush greenery to sandy banks and rocky outcrops. The Mad River and its swimming holes offer endless possibilities for capturing beautiful and diverse images for a gallery of beautiful storytelling images. Whether it's the soft, golden light of sunset reflecting on the water or the vibrant colors of autumn leaves, there are so many ways for your photographer (me!) to creatively use light and textures to enhance the aesthetic of your photos.

2. A fun spot for families

River locations often have open spaces where families can move around freely. Children can explore and play, creating opportunities for spontaneous and joyful moments to be captured. Skipping rocks, splashing, making reed boats, and soaking their toes in the water make river locations so much fun for kids.

3. Beautiful Maternity Sessions

For maternity sessions, being in or near the water brings movement, emotion and variety to your images for a beautifully diverse gallery. River locations allow for a unique variety of poses and angles that we wouldn’t typically get at a field location.

4. Versatile Lighting Conditions

Rivers often have areas of both open sky and shaded spots, providing photographers with versatile lighting options. The reflections off the water can add a magical touch to photos, and the surrounding trees and foliage can offer natural diffusers for soft, flattering light. If you need a photo session a bit earlier than sunset or into the mid-morning hours, the river is a great location because we lose light there sooner than a field location.

A vermont maternity session by the river with a woman laying in the sand

Is a river session right for you?

While a river location is my top pick for a family or maternity session during the summer and fall months in Vermont, it certainly isn’t for everyone. A river session is for you if:

-          You would like to have a finished gallery full of variety

-          You don’t want to walk far to your location spot

-          You don’t mind if you or your kids get a little wet or sandy

-          You are a laid-back family or couple ready to have fun at the river


A river session isn’t for you if:

-          You don’t want a drop of water on you

-          You are worried about everyone’s clothing and hands getting sandy

-          Being near water with your kids stresses you out.

A family snuggling by the river in beautiful light during a vermont family session

Tips for your Family or Maternity session at a river location:

- All river locations are not created equally. Trust your photographer to know which spots will work for your family. After all, I want you to have a fun and safe session! If you have little ones, there are some spots that will be great for your family, but other spots are dangerous for littles. Slippery rocks are also a no-no for maternity sessions, so we will choose a spot that is easy to navigate during your pregnancy.

-Relax. Remember, its ok for your kids to get a little wet and sandy. This is the kind of memories we are making, not stiff poses of everyone in their Sunday best.

-Bring an extra change of clothes for little ones, just in case. If your little one goes overboard on the splashing and gets totally drenched, its nice to have a change of clothes for the way home.

- Wear shoes that can slip on and off easily, and that can get wet. Being barefoot is great for your photos and lends to the overall vibe of a river session, but when moving around the location its my recommendation to have a pair of flipflops or sandals so your feet don’t hurt.

-If you are wearing pants, be sure you are able to roll them up a few inches. There are some very shallow river crossings that, even if you don’t plan to get right in the river, its best to be able to roll your pants so the bottoms don’t get soaked.

-As always, please leave cellphones and keys out of your pockets, this is especially important at the river in case you drop them.


Well, what do you think- Are you ready for a river session this year? I would love for you to join me!

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