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How to Choose An Outdoor Location For Your Photo Session

How to Choose An Outdoor Location For Your Photo Session

Simple tips to choose-an-outdoor-location-for-a-photo-session

You are reading this because you want toknowhow to choose an outdoor location for your photo session. Sometimes you might see a spot that looks like it would be awesome to take photos, only to find that when you go there and take pictures, they don’t turn out quite how you wanted. While some locations look gorgeous in real life, they may not translate well in photos. Keep reading to learn a few things to really look for when choosingan outdoor location for your photo session.

Find The Light

This is the very first thing you should look for when selecting a location for a photo session. Pay attention to the light. This will ultimately make or break your shot. Look for locations that offer a great deal of shade and won’t cast heavy shadows over your subjects. Notice how the light hits the locations at different times of the day. It might be a fabulous spot at sunrise, but at sunset, that same location might blind you with bright light. Look at how the light hits your subject. Then look at how it hits the elementsin the background. If the background is brighterthan your subject, it could pull the focus off of them. If you have mastered off camera flash or speedlites, you’ll have a little more flexibility with working with light.


Family of three with a toddler girl at sunset in Ahwatukee

Look For Texture

Texture translates well in photos and gives an extra pop of dimension. Look for areas that have texture. You can find texture in many places:

  • brick on buildings
  • bushes or flowers
  • mountains or rocks

Take a good look around the area you will be shooting atand see what things you can find that will add some texture into your photo.


Pay Attention to Colors

The colors in your location should complement the colors you subject is wearing. If you’re location is full of green trees, have your subject wear reds. If you are shooting in a lavender field, have your subject in yellow. Complementing wardrobe with location choice will make your photos look great! There’s a great article on Digital Photography School about how to make colors pop in your portraits that gives even more detail on making colors pop.


Ask the ClientWhat Look They Want

You may know some awesome locations for family photos with great light and lots of texture, but if that location is in an urban area, and your client wants a desert setting, that location isn’t going towork. Make sure you talk with your client about the type of photos they are hoping for. Ideally, you should have some examples you could show them so that they can see the work you can produce in each of those spots. This is a link that I show my clients to give them an idea of a location for photos.


Hopefully this gave you an idea of some things to think about when choosing a location to take photos. What do you look for in a photo location?Leave me a comment below and tell me!


* Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. They are there as a reference to you and are products that I have used or recommend. If you choose to purchase anything from any of the links it does help keep the site running and free for you, so thank you!


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