February 12, 2021
Do you need help choosing a location? Do you want to leave the choice up to me (the photographer)? Choosing a photo shoot location might seem like a big deal but it really doesn’t have to be difficult. A location usually drives some of the other decisions (clothing choses, any props, how much walking involved, driving etc) you will need to make about your shoot so it’s important to choose the right place. Here are some tips to find the perfect photo shoot location.
What kind of theme do I want? If a particular building or natural backdrop would work well with your theme, look around your area for spots that meet your requirements. If you don’t know what kind of backdrop you want, take an afternoon drive around your city for inspiration. It’s easy to overlook beautiful spots that are practically in your backyard. Ask family, friends or your photographer for ideas too. If you don’t have time to do your own scouting for the perfect location, ask your photographer, go ask or look at some of your friends photos, look at Pinterest for idea. I have a webpage you can look at some of the past photoshoots for different locations that I have already shot at.
Are you allowed to take pictures there? Make sure that you can legally take pictures at the location that you have in mind. If it’s not public property or available to the public you will need to get permission first. Some towns, counties require a special permit to take photos in their town, city or location. Your photographer should know these requirements. If you are a photographer, you can usually find this information on the location website.
Is it accessible? Consider that not all outdoor locations may be available all year round or you might not be able to get to them at all. Your safety is also an important aspect to think about before you decide on a location. Taking pictures on a mountain ledge may look neat but it’s best not to put yourself in harm’s way. Another thing to keep in mind, or ask your self, it is accessible for all of your family members or clients. If you are a photographer reading this blog, you might want to ask your client(s) if everyone is able to get to this xxx location.
How do you get to your location? Will it be easy to walk to the session location and if not, are you able to change your clothing and touch up your hair and makeup before the shoot? You should also find out whether there is a restroom that’s close enough in case you need it. I have to admit, most of the locations that I shoot at don’t have bathrooms to be able to change. I do have a small SUV and often offer it to people to change in. If you are shooting at a location at that’s not possible sometimes dressing in layers might be needed.
Will the photo session be in a public place? If the location you have chosen has a lot of foot traffic, you need to ask yourself whether you are comfortable being photographed in front of others. If not, you might want to rethink your choice in location. Make sure that your location doesn’t become a distraction and that there is shelter nearby if you need it. Your location tells a story so it’s worthwhile to choose a meaningful spot. Sometimes as a photographer, you also need to know how to clone out people that might be in the background if you are shooting the a public park or area that might be highly popular.
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