Choosing the location of a photo session is not just about finding a beautiful location; it is about knowing where you want to display your photos in your home, how you want to use the photos online and what style you prefer.
One of my favorite things is to see photos I take displayed in homes. Because I love photography and home decor, I think about the process of creating the art and where that art will land in the home. Both are important.
So, when you choose your next photography location, consider:
the style you want to have in the photo
how it will look where you intend to display the photos in your home
how the photos will look for announcements, social media use, and holiday cards
I will give you an example. Katie loves the light and airy photos she sees, and she knows that the softer, muted colors feel more polished and expensive to her, so she wants that look in her photos. So, if Kathy goes to a park where the dominant color is green and brown, it will be harder for the photographer to accomplish that feeling, no matter how much light pink and white Katie wears.
The location is the backdrop and it matters. Check out the photographers that you love or the Instagram accounts you could scroll through for days. They have very specific locations and feelings in every photo they share with the world. Some edit dark and moody and others, light and airy.
Check out these photos. Which one do you gravitate to? Light or dark? Not all locations will have such a stark contrast, but where you choose to take the photos will limit or increase the choices for backgrounds and the feelings you can create in those locations.
Here are some other questions to consider about location.
Do I want an urban location?
Urban locations will have brick, buildings, street signs, windows, murals, and you can usually find lots of variety in colors and backgrounds in these locations.
Do I want a rural location?
Rural locations will have more nature inspired scenes like tall grass, trees, flowers, open fields. There is sometimes less variety depending on the park. I have been to some parks that have a great combination of nature, beautiful buildings and colors too, and those are ideal.
Get online and check out photographs and analyze why you like your favorites.
Is it the colors, the location, the creative angles?
Once you know what you like, share your ideas with your photographer. You can even send them a photo of something you love so they understand your vision.
The photographer might be grateful for it because they can then be clear about your expectations and examine if they can deliver what you are looking for. It is much better to know the photographer is not going to work vs. being disappointed when you get your photos back, so don’t hesitate to share what you are hoping.
Again, remember that if you choose a photographer that edits photos to look dark and moody and you love light and airy photos, it will be a poor match.
Obviously, look at the photographer’s work and make sure you like what they have done before. It is not fun to have a photographer that does not understand your vision, if you have one, or feels bad because you are not satisfied with your photos.
I have a style of my own, but I always ask my clients what they have in mind. I am always ready with ideas, but the results will turn out best if there is a mix of the photographer’s creativity and the clients requests. Trust your photographer once you are sure you like their work, but also be brave about making your wants and needs known; that is what you are paying for.
Also, location may be less important in regards to color if your photographer does mostly black and white photos, but you will be drawn to their photography for the black and white element before you hire them, hopefully.
What photography style do you like? Light and airy? Dark and moody?
Does the photographer understand what look you hope to achieve? Even if they don’t ask, let them know so that expectations on both ends are clear.
How are you going to use the photos? Walls in your home, social media, cards?
Will the location you choose allow for the look and feeling you have in mind?
Also, if you are curious about different locations and how they impact the photos, check out my family photos here.