A great photo often begins with choosing the right photo session location. Whether you’re searching for a scenic backdrop or a spot that has been an essential part of your journey or growth, it’s crucial to consider where you want your professional photo session to take place.
Reviewing a photographer’s style is a key part of choosing the right trained professional for your session. But finding a talented photographer is only part of the equation. While your photographer can give you advice about what outfits will work well, what time of day will be best for outdoor shots, and how you should stand, they won’t know which location will resonate with you. A professional photographer can make any location look good, so it’s up to you to choose a spot that reflects your unique style and personality.
To start your location brainstorming process, write down a few words or objects that inspire you and reflect who you are. See if those words can be linked to different types of locations. If you write down that you’re active and have a deep love of the outdoors, for instance, your favorite kayaking spot or hiking trail might be an ideal spot for your photos.
If your photo session is taking place in the same town you grew up, you might want to have your professional photos taken at places that were part of your development or that had special meaning for you.
While you could also browse local photography sites for inspiration, make your photo session unique by thinking outside the box and not choosing a location where everyone else shoots. You could even take a drive over the weekend to find a location that’s a little bit different.
It’s okay to choose a spot to which you have no personal connection, as long as it is scenic or fits well with the words that inspire you.
Not every photo location has to be gorgeous to be meaningful. While you may not have any mountain ranges or rivers to have your picture taken near, beauty is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. A seemingly ordinary place can be beautiful to you because of the memories you have created there.
If you are planning a family photo session, think about the things that you love to do together. Do you go walking in the park on Sunday afternoons? Perhaps you use one Saturday as a month to cook a meal together? Use these happy routines to help you choose a location for your photo session. This doesn’t mean you need to choose a quiet location either.
Remember, family photo sessions are more than just posing for the camera. If you love riding your bicycles near the beach, use that setting for your photo session – bicycles included.
If you spent a lot of time teaching your teenager to drive a car on deserted country roads, that could be a meaningful spot for your professional photographs. Every time you and your child see those photos, those hours of driver’s training and togetherness will come flooding back.
You can use your friends and family as inspiration too. Ask them how they see your family or how they would describe your personal style to get a new perspective. If you already have a good idea of the concept or mood that you would like to create, use that as inspiration when deciding on a location – it will play a crucial role, after all.
It’s never too soon to start thinking about a location for your photo session. Once the ideas start rolling in, it takes a lot of pressure off you in the days leading up to your shoot. Don’t leave your location selection to the last minute – you will only be disappointed once you realize which locations would’ve worked really well after the fact.
If you’re new to an area and haven’t explored enough to know your photo location options, give your photographer an idea of the style and overall feel you’re looking for so that they can provide you with their professional recommendations.
When choosing an outdoor location for your photo shoot, you’ll need to keep the weather in mind. You might need to be flexible if Mother Nature decides to throw a thunderstorm your way on the day of your photo shoot. If you want beautiful pictures for your annual Christmas card, for example, make sure you schedule in enough time for a reshoot in case the weather doesn’t cooperate with you.
By planning ahead and giving some thought to the overall vibe and tone you’d like to convey, you’ll find the right spot to create a magical photo shoot that will be full of meaning and emotion.