Event photography is about capturing a moment in time; portraits are about capturing the essence of who you are. The photoshoot location is important, of course, but it’s even more important to remember that the subject of the photos is you (or your pet or children), not the scenery. Here are some things to consider:
What Helps Tell Your Story
Thinking about this can be particularly useful when choosing a location for engagement photos or senior pictures. For an engagement, think about where you met, where you had your first date, or where you got engaged. Senior pictures can be on a high school campus, but there are so many other meaningful places to choose from: your future college, your home, someplace that reflects an extracurricular interest.
There are plenty of cliches in photography: the photos in front of dilapidated barns, in fields, walking on railroad tracks. That’s not to say you shouldn’t choose such places, but if there’s a place that helps show the world your values, your personality, your history, and your future, the results are going to be much more meaningful.
The Reason for Your Photos
Sometimes you want to get photos taken just because it’s been a while. Other times, it’s to commemorate a milestone or event. To celebrate the birth of a child, candid photos at home can capture both the joys and the quiet moments much better than a generic picture of a baby swaddled in a basket in the woods. Your home is a great place to take photos for holiday cards and corporate headshots that call for a nondescript backdrop. Think about why you’re getting photos taken and what purpose they serve when choosing a location.
Public vs. Private
Does it matter to you if there are other people in the background of your photos? If so, you’ll need to choose a photoshoot location that is private or, at the very least, not busy. A public garden or park might seem like the perfect setting for a photoshoot, but if it’s a Saturday afternoon, it might be difficult to find a quiet place to take photos of just you and your family. Also consider that others may not want to be in the background of your photographs.
Private places can present issues as well. You may need a photography permit or permission before taking photos at certain locations. Even some public spaces, like gardens, may charge a fee for a photo permit, which you are responsible for paying.
The Ability to Vary Backgrounds (or Not)
Sometimes you want the same background in each picture. Other times, you want variety. If you choose a field of wildflowers, all of your photos are going to have the same background, which may or may not be what you want.
On the other hand, choose a botanical garden for your photo shoot and you have a variety of landscapes to work with all within walking distance from each other. Even your home allows you to go from room to room, take photos in front of the house, and in the backyard for variety.
Ask Me for Photoshoot Location Ideas
I’ve been doing this for over 30 years, so I have plenty of ideas and I’m more than happy to share them with you. Browse through the photos in my online galleries and choose some that reflect the look and feel you’d like for your photos. To discuss a location for your photoshoot, call Dani Weiss Photography at (404) 907-4970 or use the contact form on our website.