What Makes the Best Location for Photography?

by shelbysawyer

Brick Wall

I find that my customers spend hours researching photographers, clothes, and even poses that their dream session will have. They imagine being in a beautiful field or under a grand tree. They know how they like the light to look and how I should capture it even. This is great! The better idea my clients have of what they want, the easier it is for me to translate that with my camera. The problem is so many people don’t know where these dream locations are or that the perfect light isn’t available at any ol’ time of day. Yes, I have my spots. Yes, I do get to control when the photoshoot takes place (To an extent). That doesn’t mean my clients are able to drive two hours out of town to meet me either early in the morning or late into the evening. This doesn’t quite work with most schedules.

What does work is great communication between the photographer and the client. The better the client understands that to get these dream photographs, he will have to work with both nature and the photographer. Have you met nature? She’s wild and unpredictable. Hopefully your photographer isn’t so much 😛 That amazing golden light that flatters most everyone can only be used at certain times of the day. This will narrow down possible times for outdoor photography: morning or evening. Are you a morning person? If not, then evening session it is! If you CAN do a morning session, then I personally recommend it. Not only is it easier for the photographer (plus less mosquitoes), but I find it rejuvenates my clients for the rest of the day! You’ll already look beautiful, and you would’ve seen how beautiful you truly are too! Awesome!


Now that the time has been narrowed down, it’s all about location, location, location! This is extremely important for your photographer because it will determine if the sun will be at your back, front, or side and how he will position you. Maybe you really wanted the sunset behind you, but a certain location has buildings blocking the sun at that time of day. This is so important to really tell your photographer what exactly you want, so he can tell you which places he knows of that will foot the bill. Do you have a specific place in mind? Tell him that too, so he can scope it out and see what the lighting is like at certain times of days. Trust me from experience, the more comfortable a photographer is with the location, the better the session will go.

When thinking of your own spots look for non-distracting backgrounds. A brick wall, hedges, or a treeline make for great backgrounds and give photographs wonderful depth and texture. If you love baseball, then pay attention to whether or not there’s a busy street next to the field you want to shoot at. It might end up in your pictures. If so, then definitely tell your photographer, so you two can come up with creative solutions to make sure that street doesn’t pop up! If you want to have your pictures taken in the woods, then check and see how full the trees are! Nothing’s worse then dappled light hitting your face. Very unattractive. To solve this problem, you might have to change your time of day, location, or see if your photographer has the necessary equipment to compensate for the bad lighting.

What if you’re dream session takes place indoors? Make sure there are big windows that let in lots of natural light. Your photographer might not have a big expensive light setup to compensate for low-light conditions. Make sure to plan the shoot when the maximum amount of light is coming through the window. If it’s too bright, then a simple sheer curtain does wonders for diffusing light. Also a room with light, preferably white, colored walls is great. Light walls will bounce light to make everything appear lighter, and white walls are awesome because they won’t give your images any weird color cast. You don’t want to look pale green, do you? If colored walls are unavoidable, then let your photographer know ASAP, so they can decide if they can compensate for that or not.

So you can definitely leave all the details up to the photographer. No doubt you’ll get great images if you leave those details up to an experienced artist, but in my experience people typically have some idea of what they really want even if it’s not a lot to go off of for the photographer. If that’s the case, then listen to what your photographer is saying, and if something sounds legitimately good, then that’s great! If you’re still unsure, then tell, please! You don’t want to get your pictures back to realize you really wanted to be around water instead of a garden.


Here’s a quick run-down of what you should consider before your session:

  • Do you like golden light, low-light, or full and bright light?
  • Do you want indoors or outdoors?
  • Are you a morning person?
  • Do you want cityscape, open landscape, seascape, or woods?

Once you have an idea, then this is the perfect opportunity to tell your photographer! If you do this before you find your perfect photographer, then this will make the search easier, too. Now you know that you should find someone who’s style is mainly indoors or at sunset or whatever!

I hope this helps and answers more questions than it raises 🙂