A recent client asked me about this topic and after some thought I gave the following advice that would be useful for maternity shoots, general portraits, headshots and dating profile photography.

Choosing a photo shoot location might seem like a big deal but it really doesn’t have to be too 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 or walk around your area for inspiration. In other words carry out some research.  It’s easy to overlook beautiful spots that are practically in your backyard. Ask family, friends or your photographer for ideas too. Some of the most ordinary locations can work brilliantly in the hands of a good photographer. Consider colours, shapes, patterns and lines that might work well in your composition. Remember your photographer can blur backgrounds or emphasise key visual elements.

Gunnersbury Park London

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.

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 and comfort is also an important aspect to think about before you decide on a location.

How do you get to your location? Will it be easy to walk or drive to the session location? Is there somewhere you will able to change your clothing and touch up your hair and makeup before the shoot? You should also find out whether there is a toilet that’s close enough in case you need it. Photo shoots can take time.

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.

Is there a plan B? Just incase things change or the weather changes it is a good idea to have at least an alternative plan up your sleeve.

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.




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