Dear Olivia, How Do I Choose A Location For My Photoshoot?
Yay, locations! One of my favourite parts of photography is the wonderful excuse I have to get out of the house and go exploring. If I just really can't be bothered to sit at my desk all day, and I feel an urge to get out of the house and explore... guess what... I can! Cause it's actually part of my job to know where the best locations are. A location is probably the second most important part of a photograph (in my opinion, some photographers may have different ideas on that subject). Depending on where you are, you'll get different light, different moods, and different feels to each image.
So let's say you've booked a photographer for a shoot (be that a commercial shoot to promote your new wedding dress collection, or a photoshoot of you and your partner), a location will be high on your list of things you want to discuss. I approach this a few different ways.
What sort of feel do you want your images to have? Do you want them to feel adventurous? Are you after a more cosy, laid back feel? Or are you after something really sleek and polished? Well, obviously if you're an adventurous soul and you want images of you and your partner climbing over rocks, looking out over vast cliffs, or gazing out to sea, you're going to want to find a spot that shows off those things. A coastal location, or perhaps a woodland location would work best for your shoot. However, if you're more of a homebody, you might opt for your photographer to join you in your home, where you can cuddle on the sofa!
If you're a wedding dress designer, and you want to promote your next collection, but you want all the focus to be on the dresses with no distractions at all, you might opt for a studio shoot! The best thing I can recommend, is get inspired, look at images you love (Pinterest is wonderful for this!) and communicate with your photographer about what mood you're after.
One of the questions I always ask people is what kind of images they've seen that they've liked, and ask them why they like them. It's really important to have a dialogue with your photographer about what it is your aiming to achieve with the images you're having taken. If they're photographs you'll use as keepsakes, finding a location which has some kind of meaning to you is probably what you're going to want to aim for. Maybe it's the spot you first met? Or a beach cove where you shared your first kiss? If the location has some kind of emotional meaning to you, you're going to love your images even more.
When it comes to commercial photography, the aim may be less emotional, and more about the story you want to tell. Behind every brand campaign I produce, I try to have a storyline to follow. People relate to stories above all else, so how amazing would it be if the images you're using to promote your brand actually had a narrative behind them? Coming up with a very clear storyline for your images is going to make it a million times easier for your photographer to understand your vision, and for your clients to connect with the images as well! So choose a location which reflects the story you're trying to tell; whatever that may be.
Feel free to ask as many questions as you like, or if you've got a photoshoot coming up (even if it's not with me!) please don't be afraid to reach out and ask for advice. I love helping people achieve the visions they have :)
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