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 you will need to make about your shoot so it’s important to choose the right place. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide on a 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. Here in Jacksonville, it’s easy to have nautical and beach themes. This image was taken at Mickler’s Landing.
- 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. A lot of locations in the area, such as Epping Forest (seen below), charges a hefty fee if your clients are not members; or some require permits.
- 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. Likewise, some people try to climb down steeply-eroded shorelines to get to some beach locations. Be careful!
- 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. The session above was in my home studio location and I love how natural and organic it was; and also, how easy it is to change looks in a short amount of time – OR when the weather is inclement.
- 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. Sometimes, having a session in the comfort of your own home or a studio may be the best option for you! The session below was taken at Alpine Groves Park in Switzerland (just south of Mandarin).
Make sure that your location doesn’t become a distraction in your images, though, and that there is shelter nearby if you need it. Your location tells a story so it’s worthwhile to choose a meaningful spot. As a professional photographer, I go through a multitude of questions to make sure we’re choosing the right location for YOU. Please contact me today if you’re interested in some further ideas!