Thursday, September 2, 2010

Picking the perfect location for pictures - Photo Thursdays

Eventually, whether you are taking pictures for someone else or your family is getting their pictures taken, the question is going to come up. Where are we going to take these pictures? First off, is there anyplace that is nostalgic to the family that is being photographed? Are the passionate about a college team whose campus is close? Then photograph on campus. Are they big into boating? Then photograph at their favorite boating locations. If a family feels a nostalgic connection to a location, they tend to like those pictures even more. What if they there aren't any places like that? Here is what I look for in my locations.

#1. Parks are always a good bet. They have lots of room to run around and usually lots to photograph. How can you tell if the park by your house is a good choice? Here is what I look for.
  • Shallow Creeks. Especially on a hot summer day, it is fun to let your little ones wade into the water for some cooled off fun.
  • Bridges and waterfalls. There are so many things you can do with a good bridge. Bridges also help to break up the background so you don't look like you are shooting on a straight green field.
  • Fun and colorful playground equipment.
  • Large rocks. Posing a group of people around large rocks almost always looks good.
#2 Cool old buildings.
  • Brick buildings. You can do so much just leaning against the side of a brick building. Think outside the box. The red brick building in the above collage is a dry cleaner.
  • Columns. A lot of old courthouses have columns. Columns are especially gorgeous when shooting bridals!
  • Old cabins or other historic old buildings. Good old fashion buildings bring something to your photo.
  • Colorful buildings. The red building that the couple is jumping in front of is nothing special, it is actually a law office but that color is fabulous! It makes the pictures pop.
# 3 Water - Be careful at these locations with lots of small children
  • The beach or shore of a lake is always a great location. That is beautiful scenery at its finest.
  • A large waterfall makes a great backdrop but be careful with large groups at this type of location because there is often no where to sit.
  • A swimming pool. Who knew that a swimming pool with all of its deck chairs and life preservers and picnic tables would be a great location but it is!
#4 Things your cities may have laying around.
  • Railroad tracks. They are so versatile and you can use them in single person pictures all the way up to small families. They always look so rustic and cool. Be careful on live tracks, the best are tracks that are no longer used.
  • Amphitheaters. Does your city have a place where they hold outdoor concerts? Chances are that places is open a lot of the day and just waiting for your pictures to be taken.
  • Gazebos or other fixtures by city offices or in a park.
  • Reflective buildings. A lot of cities have that reflective material on their offices. It can make for some really fun pictures.

#5. Use the seasons to your advantage.
  • Is there a place that the snow falls beautifully. Keep in mind that mediocre locations often turn amazing with the addition of snow.
  • Flower patches. Look for flower patches, even dandelions, anywhere you can find them. Don't be afraid to ask someone to borrow their lawn for a moment or two, but make sure you ask.
  • Large wheat fields or other farm fields are always gorgeous but remember to ASK permission.
  • Places where there are lots of trees in the autumn are going to create massive piles of leaves. Leaves create a colorful places to photograph and many opportunities for fun leaf fight pictures.
I hope this helps give you ideas for your next photo shoot and hopefully maybe even the perfect location.

All of the images were taken by me. If you want to see more of my work, you can go here.


Prairie Mother said...

Great tips, thanks! I've just moved to a new state and we always send out family Christmas cards from a neat location and you've given me some new things to think about.

Mystee said...

Great tips :)

Also, I'm ur newest follower ♥
Feel free to stop by...Friday's are family friday on my blog too :)

Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said...

Great post and tips again! Love all the photos! said...

Great suggestions. I especially like using old buildings as a back drop.

MultipleMum said...

hi from Friendly Follow Friday. I think I will learn a lot from your blog! I am a complete doofus at photos! Stop by my blog:

Shelley said...

I love taking pics but in no way a professional. Maybe I can glean some tips from you. I am your newest follower. I hope you can follow me back at

Marissa said...

wow, found you through friendly friday and LOVE your blog! Your pictures are fantastic, LOVE some of those bridal portraits :)

I'm your newest follower!!

Tarunita said...

Great blog!

I am your newest follower from Friendly Friday Follow :)
Looking forward to read more from you.

Stray Stitches said...

Thanks for the great tips!

Cranberry Morning said...

Love all your helpful posts!!

Julia said...

awesome tips!! i don't have a fancy camera.. maybe you can do a post about the little cheap automatics!! :)

coming back from SITS... so glad they featured you! love your site!

Diva said...

Stopping by from SITS...great tips!

Momma of Three {Kenna} said...

Following from Friendly Friday.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Thanks - that's a great set of ideas :)

{leah} said...

Great tips!!! I'working on taking better pictures and your suggestions were great!

{thank you for stopping by!! :) }

Christina said...

Love these tips, thank you for sharing them!