Location, location, location is something you would often hear when talking about real estate. While that’s true, I believe location can be a key ingredient in photography as well. It can set the scene for the photo, help tell the story, and make the photo come to life. Another way to think of location is how it will influence the subject and ultimately your work. Here are a few tips to remember when finding and shooting photography at a location.
What’s the vibe?
Obviously you want the right vibe for the photo. Are you going urban, industrial, calm, crazy, etc.? These things should play a part in what location you ultimately choose. Personally, I always ask my clients what kind of location they’re looking for or if they have something in mind. Most of the time, they will have an idea and they are leaving it up to me to help bring their idea to life. My friend Imani Vonsha AKA Moon wanted a graffiti vibe that also goes with her natural look. We both had somewhat of an idea and we drove around until we found what we were looking for.
Use What’s Around You
We found the artwork for the backdrop that we wanted, but I like to use props and angle and the background to help sculpt the story. Since the backdrop had people on it, this wasn’t that difficult. However, I also used things like the flowers around and I made sure to expose as much of the area around her as I could. My goal was to make it look exclusive and mysterious. I wanted the viewer to feel like they had been there before but, they might not know where it was.
Tell the story
There are subtle things in this series of photos that help tell a story. From her outfit to the background to the posing, most of these shots were intentional. Once we found the background, I helped use what was around us to bring that story to life. Although the story idea started off as Imani’s we worked together to create art that could tell a few stories to a few different people depending on who you speak with. Everything about this shoot went well and blended together to create the story we both wanted to tell.
Scouting for locations can be difficult, especially if you’re doing it alone. I recommend scouting with someone or if your schedules line up and you have the time, bring the subject along and pick out a location together. Everyone will feel more comfortable and have a better idea of what’s going on if they can see the location beforehand and envision the final product.
Thanks for reading. If you know of any amazing locations in the Baton Rouge area, don’t hide them, I’d love to see them. Share them (or the links to them) in the comments down below.