5 Photography Tips to Make the Most out of Any Location
My clients sometimes tell me that their wedding or reception location isn’t the most beautiful for formal photography. When there just isn’t time to photograph at the [insert beautiful location] that is 10 miles away, I always reassure them and tell them that we can make anything work. Here are some tips that help me make the most out of anywhere I am shooting:
1. Scout the location beforehand. No matter where or what I am shooting, I always arrive at least an hour early to any outdoor location to figure out where I want to shoot. Not only are you going to be more prepared, but this also ensures that you are never late for any photo session. When I arrive at a location, I start wandering slowly starting from where I plan to meet my clients. I look at walls, potential backgrounds, colors, and think about the story behind the location of where I am.
2. De-clutter. There are always areas that will afford a simple and clean background to photograph. If I am able to find an interesting wall or door with color and/or texture, I will photograph there and not have to worry about distracting elements in the photograph. Stairways work really well also.
3. Photographs that help tell a story. Look for locations that contribute to a story. If a lot is going on at the location where I am photographing, I look for ways to help me incorporate the surrounding location and/or people into a photograph. I might place an engaged couple in the middle of a busy cafe or have my clients interact with the location in some way.
4. Get close or use a shallow depth of field. One easy way to make any location work is to get close to your subjects so that their entire face or body fills the frame. Expression and emotion are important so make sure you are able to relax your clients and have their expressions come naturally. Use your fast lens as an advantage for locations as well – use the largest aperture you can get away with while keeping everything important in focus.
5. Angles. Shoot up, shoot down. You can use the sky or the ground as a background. Be careful of tree branches coming out of your subjects’ head and de-clutter the ground of trash and unwanted elements before you photograph there.