Kate Farrell Photography

Family & Dog photographer
Burlington, stowe & Northern Vt




Vermont Studio or Outdoor Family Photography?

A family of four in front of the Green Mountains

Which is best for your next photo session?

Both studio and outdoor family photography sessions can be lots of fun and deliver gorgeous images. Which is best for you?

Black and white image of mom gazing at her 7 year old daughter. And example of my Vermont Outdoor Family Photography.

Studio: control, lots of schedule flexibility, staged and directed

If you need to do your photo session at a very specific time and will be absolutely unable to reschedule, a studio is great. The light is always there (just flip a switch!). It never rains or gets cold. You and your photographer can control every variable.

Maybe you want a portrait with a neutral background? This is the option for you.

Is your family coming to town for just one night? You really want a group photo and Aunt Nelly can’t stand temps below 50? Indoors is perfect!


Vermont Outdoor Family Photography = More Fun!

Is being outdoors a big part of who you are? Me too! Wouldn’t it be great to have photos that reflect your passions? Yes, of course!

I’ll freely own my bias here. I love the outdoors. The Vermont landscape and seasons inspire my art every single day. Though I do photograph my own family indoors, all of my client photography is done outdoors.

black and white image of mom and dad spreading a blanket while young girls play on the beach - Vermont Outdoor Family Photography

I moved to Vermont back in 2003 planning to spend more time outdoors. Over the past 19 years, I’ve pedaled many of Vermont’s most beautiful back roads, hiked in the mountains, Nordic skied and, of course, jumped in a few lakes. As many of my workouts as possible are outside in nature. I play outside with my kids and dog every chance I get because playing outside is just plain fun.

All that time in nature also inspires my photography. Of course, my camera comes along on family adventures and I’m constantly photographing my own four children. Even though they are old enough to play outside without me right there, I still love to head out with my camera to photograph their play and adventures. The photos I’ve taken over the years are a treasure in my family.

Four young people walking their dog, view from behind - Vermont Outdoor Family Photography

In short, I love Vermont outdoor family photography! If you do too, I’m probably the photographer for you!

Portrait of a 4 year old in the fall foliage - Vermont Outdoor Family Photography

The Environment is Part of the Story Outside

Photos tell stories and every story has a setting. Many of my clients select outdoor locations that hold meaning for them. Sometimes, that’s near a client’s home.

This newly married couple had recently relocated to northern Vermont. We took photos in front of the 1800’s sheep shed near their new home. We wanted to show how excited they are to be living in Vermont in the first months of their marriage.

A young couple hugging in front of an old red shed - Vermont Outdoor Family Photography

These folks love the views of Mount Mansfield from a field near their home. It turned out to be the perfect spot for their family photos!

A family of four with Mount Mansfield in the background - Vermont Outdoor Family Photography

Other times we meet in the community. Do you have a favorite park that has deep significance in your family? Let’s meet there! That’s what this family did.

A family of three stops for a hug and a portrait on a walk - Vermont Outdoor Family Photography

I have several go-to locations that I love and I’m always adding new favorites to my list. So if you are unsure about the best location for your Vermont outdoor family photos, let’s talk. I’m happy to help you find the best spot for your family.

Once your booking forms and creative fee come through, I’ll send you my complete Photo Session Prep Guide. It contains several Chittenden County location ideas and is constantly being updated. The guide is filled with other tips to help you prepare for your photo session.

You and the Kids Can Be Silly Together Outside

As you can tell from my portfolio of families, dogs and high school seniors, I do a lot of authentic photography. Yes, of course, I get a few more classic portraits at every session, but most of my work reflects genuine interactions of love and joy between family members.

Will you and the kids be more relaxed if there is room to run and be silly? Will there be more natural and joyful interaction outdoors? The answer is a resounding YES for my clients.

Dad blowing bubbles for the kids to chase in a field of tall grass - Vermont Outdoor Family Photography

My clients find joy and inspiration in nature. Sure, they might spend the 9-5 working a desk job, but they love to spend their evenings and weekends outdoors.

For these families a Vermont outdoor family photography session is the perfect way to tell their story. Returning clients often select a different location each year.

A 7 year old girl run to greet her parents who are very excited - Vermont Outdoor Family Photography

No one yells, “Watch out for that light stand!” at an outdoor photography session. In the studio, there isn’t the same space to play and move. There is gear that is fragile and so people need to be careful around it.

The vibe outdoors is a bit more relaxed. Toward the end of the session you just might hear me say, “Go play in the shade, boys.” Then I’ll flop down on the ground to get some photos of brothers having fun. They don’t all wrestle like these two, but they all have fun!

Two brothers playing on the ground.

Dogs are Welcome!

I love to include dogs at my Vermont Outdoor Family Photography Sessions! If a dog (or two or more!) is part of your family, let’s plan to include them in your photos. We’ll select a spot where everyone will be comfortable and be mindful of also selecting a time when that location will not be busy.

Two women walk a dog in the woods surrounded by beautiful foliage - Vermont Outdoor Family Photography

Dogs bring such joy to our lives and are never with us long enough. I love knowing that families will have treasured photos when the inevitable tough day comes. Until then, though, dogs bring so much fun to sessions and I’d love to help you photograph your family pet. And, since dogs are so good at getting us outside in any weather, outdoors seems like the perfect place to photograph you with your dog.

A silly chocolate lab plays with a big stick - Vermont Outdoor Family Photography

A Vermont Outdoor Family Photography Session Can Tell Your Story at Home!

Time in nature has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. If you’ve read this far, I bet that’s true for you too! When your work week is done, do you look forward to some time playing outside on the weekends? I thought so!

I love to photograph families in beautiful light while they relax and play in places they love. For some families, that’s the back yard. This is an especially good choice for families with young children or older dogs. Young kids are often most relaxed near home and it’s just so much easier to deal with diaper changes at home.

What about the Weather at Vermont Outdoor Family Photography sessions?

More often than not, the weather at our scheduled time is just fine. I love a few thin clouds for their forgiving light. Luckily we have lots of days like that in Vermont! I am also comfortable working a range of lighting situations.

Two women sit with their dog on the grass with fall colors in the background.

But, yes, sometimes, we have to reschedule for rain. Even the most outdoorsy folks understand that my camera doesn’t like to get wet. And, while you might enjoy a run in the rain, I don’t think that’s what you want for your family photos!!

If you are traveling in from out of town, we’ll put a rain date on the calendar ahead of time. If you are local, we’ll adjust as needed closer to your session date. I always leave time in my schedule to adjust for the weather and I always touch base with my clients 48 hours ahead of time. That way it’s easy to adjust if the forecast is unfavorable or someone has gotten sick.

I schedule my sessions for golden hour to ensure optimal light. That means we’ll meet an hour or two before sunset (or occasionally in the early morning).

Families with toddlers and young children generally find that it’s easiest to schedule Vermont outdoor family photography sessions in the early spring or fall when the sunsets are a bit earlier.

Dad snuggles his two little girls with fall colors behind them.

Summer evening sessions are always a delight!

A family of four walks on a rocky beach near Lake Champlain.

As you know, winter is a big part of life in Vermont. While it does take a bit more effort, I’m convinced it’s worth the effort to get some winter photos. The contrast of bright winter clothes against the winter environment is beautiful.

An older couple hugs and smiles on a cold winter day.

Some extra base layers always help. The winter layers add fun elements to photos.

A 13 year old girl rests and smiles in the snow

If we are including a dog in your photos, winter can be a great time of year. Many dogs love the snow and the photos can help remind you how your dog helps you find the fun on otherwise cold and dreary days.

A large dog howls on the porch. We can see his breath and snow in the background.

Schedule for a Time of Year that Speaks to YOU

I work in all of Vermont’s many seasons. Each is beautiful in it’s own way and I truly don’t have a favorite. I recommend scheduling at least six weeks in advance. If you are hoping to give photos has a gift, I recommend scheduling your session at least eight weeks before you want to give your gift. My galleries are guaranteed in four weeks, though I often an am able to deliver them sooner. As of this writing, shipping times are still long and unpredictable. So, it is best to allow for extra time.

Two kids heading for the chicken coop in the snow.

Interested in a Vermont Outdoor Family Photography Session With Me?

Curious to learn more?

Check out the Families, dogs or seniors section of my website for more info.

Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get updates from me about twice a month. And, let’s be friends over on Instagram too!

Ready to Start the Booking Process?

Email me kate@katekatefarrellphotography.com or click the “Let’s Get Started” button to start the booking process. I’ll be in touch with a link to my schedule so we can set up a 15 minute video introduction where I’ll answer all your questions and fill you in on the details of my process.

  1. […] of my family photo sessions are outdoors. (I wrote more about outdoor photo sessions a few weeks ago.) I love watching families connect in nature — even if that is […]

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Kate Farrell is a professional lifestyle family and dog photographer based in Williston, Vermont, serving Burlington, Stowe and Northern Vermont. 

All Families Welcome Here.