Locations, Ideas, Themes : How To Pick The Best Location For Your Next Photo Shoot

Unless you only work as a studio photographer, chances are you have a lot of location scouting ahead of you. I don’t have to tell you that the right – or wrong – choice of location can determine the success of the entire photo shoot. And who wants to risk that?

So, here are the basics of how to pick the best location for your next photo shoot to help you out!

Photography 101: How To Pick The Best Location For Your Next Photo Shoot

You found the right model for the job, you have the equipment ready, and the idea of a beautiful outdoor shoot is slowly forming in your mind. You’re missing something, though – a location.

If the question how to pick the best location for your next photo shoot is what’s bothering you, stick around for my fail-proof tips!  

Get All Necessary Permits Ready

Not to disappoint you, but you can’t just pull out your gear anywhere you want and start shooting. There are rules to be followed.

Some areas, like national parks, beaches, and such do require special permits, especially if you plan on shooting there with all your photography equipment. That’s why it’s always better to check if there are any permits you have to get before the photo shoot.

Public Places And The Right Timing

When you’re shooting in a public place, you better be prepared for lots of people walking into your camera’s field of view. Another thing you should consider before opting for an urban area is how comfortable your model is with posing in front of other people.

That’s why it’s best to pick a time of the day when the area is a bit less busy.

Think About Light Conditions

When it comes to shooting outdoors, light is one of those make-or-break moments.

Why?

Well, the main reason would be the fact that there’s no way for you to stop the sun from moving – natural light changes throughout the day, creating different shadows, so what looked beautiful at dawn, might not seem so great at noon.

Keep that in mind when you’re choosing the location, too.

Make Sure The Clothing Fits The Scene

I think this should fall into the common sense category, but it’s still something worth mentioning – your models need to dress for the part.

It’s not just about creating a certain vibe, though. More often than not, advising your models to dress in accordance to the outdoor location also helps keep them safe.

On that note, wear something a bit more comfortable while you’re taking breaks and walking around the area – I prefer to wear my shoes for plantar fasciitis, for example, and I encourage my models to do so, too.

You don’t want anyone to twist their ankle because they tried walking down the beach in high heels, do you?

Have A Plan B Ready (In Case Something Goes Wrong)

Sometimes it turns out your ideal place is unavailable at the last minute, even with all the careful planning that went into preparation.

What are you supposed to do then? Cancel the whole thing?

Well, I hope not.

That’s why it’s always better to have a plan B ready. You never know when things might go wrong, so have an alternative area nearby where you’ll be able to shoot without disturbances.

The Bottom Line

These are all simple tips on how to pick the best location for your next photo shoot, but they’re worth nothing if you’re not willing to be thorough, and check everything twice before you even book a shooting.

Remember, it’s your job to keep everything under control, for your and your model’s sake.

The Art Of Self-Portraits: 4 Tips For Taking A Good Self-Portrait

You can deny it all you want, but we’ve all taken a selfie at least once in our life. You know how it goes – hold your smartphone at arm’s length, find your “good” side, and snap a picture.

But when it comes to self-portraits, things are a bit more complicated than that. If you want to learn more about it and get some much-needed tips for taking a good self-portrait, keep on reading!

Self-Portraits Vs. Selfies: Is There A Difference?

Is it okay to think of selfies as the self-portraits of the 21st century?

That’s a legitimate question for you to ask.  

The motivation behind these two phenomena is simple and quite similar – both a self-portrait and a selfie aim to portray and somewhat embellish the definition you have of yourself. Think of them as relatives – close, but not quite the same.

Self-portraits take time, careful composition, and creativity. They document who the person is – or was – better than any selfie ever could, and as such, they can be viewed as art.

You wouldn’t compare a Kim Kardashian’s selfie to Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait, wouldn’t you?

4 Essential Tips For Taking A Good Self-Portrait

Now, I know why you’re here. You’re looking for some tips for taking a good self-portrait, right? Here are five simple, yet useful tips you can try today!

1. Don’t Try Too Hard

Trust me, people will notice, and they will call you out for it – no one likes a try-hard, especially not when it comes to self-portraits. I get that you’re trying to look all mysterious and cool, but let me tell you something:

If you have to try to be any of those things for your self-portrait, then you’re probably not. It’s okay – and actively encouraged, even – to experiment with emotions and facial expressions, as long as you find a way to make it work.

On that note, make sure you’re comfortable, too – if you want to take a picture in a good pair of shoes  because they feel good, by all means, do.

2. Make Use Of Self-Timers, Burst Modes, And Tripods

Nothing turns a good self-portrait into an average-looking selfie like an outstretched hand in the corner of the photo.

These things all exist for a reason, you know?

Also, pre-focusing is a must with self-portraits. Turn off autofocus, and use something – a stuffed animal, a broom, whatever – to focus on, and mark the spot before you step into the camera’s field of view.

3. Mirrors Are Your Friends

No, I’m not talking about the annoying bathroom mirror selfies trend. I’m talking about playing with reflections and using mirrors as props.

It doesn’t stop there, though – any shiny surface that allows you to catch a glimpse of yourself in them is a good enough reflection for a self-portrait. For instance, give puddles and windows a try!

4. Lighting Is Vital

Self-portraits are a form of photography so of course, light plays a huge role in getting a good shot.

There are plenty of ways for you to play around with light. Of course, natural sunlight is the absolute best, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to make fake lighting work – a flashlight in a completely dark room always creates a dramatic effect.

Final Touches

The next time you’re in the mood for turning the camera lens your way, make sure you give these tips for taking a good self-portrait a try. I’m pretty sure you’ll be surprised with the results.

Do you have any other tricks up your sleeve that help you take breathtaking self-portraits? Leave them in the comments below!