For me, when it comes to photographing people, nothing beats getting out on location for a photo shoot, and last Wednesday’s shoot was a prime example. I’ve written about location scouting on here before, and it’s something I love to do whenever time and opportunity presents itself.
When a client contacts me, often with very little idea about the specifics of the images they wish to have me create for them, just a general idea of the mood and feeling they want them to have, having a pool of locations available allows me to find one that best suits that person, one that matches their look and personality as well as the outfits they might’ve chosen, and shows them off to their very best, rather than just going out and trying to make them fit visually into a random location that doesn’t really offer us what we need or do them justice.
So, unless you’re the type of photographer that lives solely in the studio, I find a good stock of potential shooting locations to be just as important a tool in a photographer’s arsenal as the equipment they use, and even their ability to use it.
This past month, spare time was spent mostly scouting for more potential spots to hold our Wilderness Walkabout Workshops. Now that the bluebells are starting to disappear, it was time to find new locations, and revisit old ones to see what else is growing in their place.
It was during one of these scouting sessions a couple of weeks ago that I discovered the location you see in the image above. As is often the case with scouting photos, this shot really doesn’t show you the best of this location, but it’s not like we’re out to create masterpieces here. It’s minimal gear just to record the locations for future reference.
So, another quick shot with a person in it (yup, that’s me), to give a bit of a sense of scale and we were on our way to the next spot on our list.
The timing of the discovery of this location couldn’t be better, as I received a call from the lovely Rose, the following day enquiring about a location shoot.
I’ve worked with Rose before, although not to photograph her. Rose had booked in the past me for a dog portrait session. The adorable beagle and chocolate labrador shown in a previous post are both hers. This time, however, she wanted to be the subject of the photographs.
Over the course of a couple of hours we had a good chat on the phone and online about the types of photographs she wanted and some ideas for the overall feeling and mood. That way, we were both on the same page when it came time to shoot.
After having gone through the images of several different possible locations, when I showed her the two photos above, her heart was set.
That’s the one! That’s where we’re shooting!
Upon arriving at the location, rather than the “mostly sunny, partly cloudy, with maybe a light shower around 2pm” day we expected, we were confronted with rain. No problem, let’s sit in the car for a little while and see if it stops.
So, we spent a little time going through images again on the iPad while we waited, and waited, and waited. After about half an hour or so, it looked like it was letting up, which it did a bit, but it didn’t entirely stop the whole time we were there.
Fortunately, even with the light rain, it wasn’t too chilly. So we set about making our plan of attack, and got clothes and equipment prepared, with lots of plastic bags gaffer taped over the tops of flash units to keep the mist out.
Please note that while we do not normally post images from our intimate location portrait sessions publicly, Rose has kindly allowed us to share a few with you.
As invariably happens on location shoots, the time flew by, but we managed to cover a lot of ground. Sometimes, as it did on this occasion, that time flies by even more quickly when the weather kicks in full strength and causes us to have to cut the session short. So, the rest was rescheduled for another day when the sun decided to be a bit more cooperative.
The weather is always a risk of shooting on location, but it’s one I feel is well worth taking.