Last week I wrote a blog post on step one of the planning process: meeting your photographer. During that meet you will discuss one of the most important parts of your shoot, the location. The location of a shoot not only affects the overall “look” of your pictures but how you feel during the session as well. Say perhaps you decide to shoot at the beach… if you don’t happen to like the sand or the sun, you will probably be very uncomfortable the whole time. I’ve come up with a questions to ask yourself before choosing a particular scenery or location for you shoot:
- Is this a place I would visit if I wasn’t getting my picture taken?
- What about this place calls my attention?
- Is there any sentimental reason why this place is special to me?
- Does the overall color pallet of this location fit the look of my decor or ‘wedding/party’ theme?
- Will I be affected by the natural conditions at this location?
It may seem pretty explanatory but making sure all of those questions have a positive answer is very important for me as your photographer when bringing you to a particular location for our shoot together. Let’s break down those questions, Is this a place I would visit if I wasn’t getting my picture taken? It’s important to me that the location fits your personality and likes. For example, I happen to be an outdoor-sy gal, so shooting at a park or the beach fits right in with who I am. Maybe for a city girl, the thought of being in the dirt or surrounded by little creatures disgusts her. Who knows, this is the one thing that varies all according to personality and likes. Hence why I think its so important to pick a place that your family would normally visit during the weekend or on a day off.
What about this place calls my attention? Does the ocean and the waves calm me? Or maybe its the opposite, they excite you? You’re ready to grab a board and go surfing whenever you think of the ocean. Does being in a forest give you a sense of adventure? Perhaps you are wonderstruck with all of the wild flowers in a field. Something about that location has to make it “feel just right”. Is there any sentimental reason why this place is special to me? You might consider a little cafe downtown because that’s where you and your mate had you’re first date. Or maybe you had your gender reveal party at the park and would like to revisit the location to commemorate that special time in your family’s life.
This next one might not be something you generally think of but, does the overall color pallet of this location fit the look of my decor or ‘wedding/party’ theme? If you are planning on having these pictures up in your living room walls, wouldn’t it be nice if they fit the overall color scheme you have decorated with? Or what if you are having your maternity pictures taken and would like to display them during your baby-shower, do they fit the same theme? Having a coordinating color pallet is something we achieve not only with your clothing but with the location itself as well. Will I be affected by the natural conditions at this location? Here in South Florida we are known for our heat, humidity and mosquitos. The one that concerns us all nowadays though is the mosquitos. It is so crucial to determine prior to your session the necessary things you will need to be outdoors in order to keep your family safe and comfortable. So as a bag check list try these:
- mosquito repellant. The strongest stuff the have the better, unless we are having a baby come along and then we resort to baby-safe repellant.
- baby wipes. Messes happen, even if we are all adults, so its best to be prepared.
- towel or napkins. For the occasional sweat touch up.
- additional shoes. To reach some of our locations that require a bit of a walk though dirt, rocks or water. I wouldn’t want for you ladies to ruin your nice heels.
- refreshments. A simple bottle of water will sometimes do the trick. If there are babies or kids involved, having snacks will help boost the getting tired feeling.
Of course if you would rather not fight mother nature, we can always shoot indoors at home. So many families have opted for this as they choose to capture the every day moments that we experience at home. I personally am a fan of capturing both so when asking my opinion, I will further ask you as to what is the purpose of our session? What pictures are you longing to have? It’s those moments then that we will set out to plan to capture.
Here are a couple of examples of shooting in different locations gathered by location type.
Outdoor Greenery · Parks, fields and grass
As you can tell, the green stands out in every single one of those photos. Most of those locations we had to deal with mosquitos, other insects, prickly things that grow in the grass and the heat. But you wouldn’t guess it in a million years by looking at those photographs right? Small price to pay for a big reward.
The great thing about shooting at the beach is that depending on the actual beach and the time of the shoot, everything will change. The look, the conditions and even the mood. Sunrise sessions are always a look more airy and sunny as opposed to sunset ones have a bit of a romantic feel to them.
Pictures at home tell a story of real life. A couple nestled in their safe place. The little things that as moms we experience on a daily until the kids have outgrown that routine.
I really hope this post has given you a bit of food for thought whenever you are in the position of choosing where to have your session. During my plan meet with you, I will carefully consider these options with you and pick accordingly. We can also take a look at locations that I myself have scouted and think would make for interesting backgrounds. Together I know we will come together to pick a location that will be the perfect setting for our shoot together.