Looking for helpful shooting tips? Then take a shortcut and follow these straightforward portrait photography location tips to rock your next photoshoot.
How to Choose the Perfect Location to Capture a Portrait
Albeit fun, location spotting can be tiring and time-intensive. Here’s how to choose a cool location and take perfect photos without wasting your time.
Choose an Interesting and Eye-Catching Place
If you want to know how to make good portraits, choosing a perfect location for your future photos should top your list of things to do to make it happen.
But, even before selecting a suitable spot for your portrait photoshoot, you should decide which style you’d like. Here are some examples:
Urban style. For these photos, you can select a downtown area or a city with many buildings and metal accents, like Paris. From the classic Gothic design of Notre Dame to the ultra-modern lines of the Philharmonie, it offers something to everyone.
Homestyle. This can be any cozy location that looks like a home. It can be a cute flat or a nice small cafe.
Nature style. These are photos taken in parks, in the woods, on top of green grass fields, or with flowers to create portraits with stunning nature in the background.
Beach style. Sand, turquoise waters, colorful beachwear, and happy smiles. Beach photoshoots are usually filled with energy and vibrant colors.
- Vintage style. These are portrait photos in the background of museums, historical places, old buildings, columns, or huge arches.
Use Natural Light for Photoshoots
Many people pray for sunny weather during the photo session, but the glaring sunshine causes harsh shadows that can ruin any portrait. Needless to say, it’s important to use natural light for photos, but you have to be careful with shadows. Open shade is ideal for portrait photography because the light is ideal for showing the eyes’ beauty without so much contrast between sun-kissed and shadow areas.
Of course, almost every professional photographer out there uses software to edit the photos afterward, even if they seem ideal. That said, it is possible to play with light and remove some rough shadows to make the portrait look much better and brighter. And there is a wealth of available resources and photo-editing tools to do so, most of them free. Get started with this resource to get fresh ideas on editing portrait photos.
Monitor the Weather During the Photo Session
Weather can help you pick a good location for photos. But weather can also, if you let it, ruin everything instead. Monitor the weather forecast beforehand to avoid unexpected events such as rain if that’s what you want.
And, should the weather change last minute, have always a plan B to wing it. Or at least, take an umbrella or search for a quiet cafe nearby where you can sit and wait until the storm passes. Your car counts as a hideout place, but do not forget some snacks and hot coffee.
Time and experience will prove to you that there’s nothing such as ‘bad weather’ in photography and that some showers do not have to mean trouble per se. On the contrary, rain can be an excellent resource to give your images a different touch and feel. This app will help you edit your shots once the session is over.
Search for a Quiet Place
Finding a quiet spot is key when selecting the best location for portrait photography.
Portrait photos should be taken in a quiet place where other people cannot distract the model or appear in the pictures. That’s why it’s important to find a quiet place.
For example, if you are taking beach photos, avoid crowded places.
If you are going to the woods, find a place where other people will not disturb you.
If you are taking pictures on the street, make sure pedestrians and drivers will not disturb you.
A quiet place means a lot because your model will feel more comfortable. Pay attention to this thing and make sure you have found an ideal location to take stunning portrait photos.
Do not Let the Model Be Distracted
If you are going to an unusual place such as a museum, a street in the old town, or somewhere else, it’s better to give your model some time to get used to the place. Nothing should take your client’s attention away or you could risk not being able to get the results you want.
To start with, try shooting with your phone – these tips will help – and then switch to a camera when both of you are comfy.
Keep the model’s attention focused on you and your camera without distractions.
As we said before, it’s important to find a quiet place where other people will not be able to distract your client from shooting. Taking good pictures involves both the photographer and the model.
And the latter’s role is simply being as relaxed as possible and posing naturally.
On the other hand, the photographer should focus on capturing the best images possible of what’s in front of the camera.
Wrapping up: Portrait Photography Location Tips
Taking professional portrait photos does not come as an easy task at first but with these tips and some practice, you’ll see big improvements.
Finally, as exciting as a photographer’s career might be, finding photography clients is a daunting task for many. Needless to say, a great portfolio full of creative portrait captures will draw more people to you.
When starting, some photographers offer free photoshoots to their friends and family to practice, get experience, and create interesting portfolios. Don’t be afraid to try everything that comes to your mind if you embark on such an adventure. Letting your creativity run wild and not being afraid to see the world differently will get your foot in the door and set you on the right path to success.