J & C-27If you struggle with finding great locations as I do, sometimes we get a little bored with the same ol’ spots…

It can affect our shots and the feel of our images.  Here are some tips on what you can do to keep things fresh, not just for your client’s sake but also for your own creativity!

1.  Find out from your clients what their style is.

Are they comfy, rustic and woodsy, playful and suited to a park or garden, formal and modern, do they love simple living, fields and flowers or dilapidated buildings, modern hotel style or castle in the mountains?  Yes, in my area these options are available fortunately.  I have a stockpile of locations available for each of style-type and my client’s appreciate the creativity behind my ideas for locations.  I have shot engagement sessions everywhere, from hotel rooms (booked and paid for by the client) to wheat fields.  Get out of your usual location spots starting with your client’s style/preferences.

2. Scout locations at the beginning of the engagement/spring season.

My second photographer and I will take a weekend before the high season begins and scout out new locations, giving our clients some options once they determine what style they are after.  We are well prepared when we book with our clients and yes, it makes us look great too, with a number of wonderful creative ideas at the ready!

3.  Don’t just stick with the same plan, even if you have shot in that location before.

This may sound obvious, but it easy to get stuck in a rut.  Choose two locations per shoot, in case one falls through – have a back up plan, especially if weather will be a factor.

***Remember, if you are shooting somewhere that may require a permit you will need to call the location ahead of time and make arrangements beforehand.

A little story on this point:  The above photo was taken inside a train car as this is where the couple first became engaged.  After this image was taken, we got out at one of the stations for a few more shots and were approached almost immediately by a security guard requiring that we take our leave!  While my assistant spoke to the guard while I took a few more then we high-tailed it out of there!  While I don’t condone trespassing or creating bad memories for your clients on their shoot, I have to admit, it is rather exciting when you manage to get a few great shots in a somewhat off-limits location.  Is it better to get forgiveness than permission?  I’m still on the fence on this one but I always try to gain permission first.

A Final Note: Get your creativity and your clients creativity going too! Don’t just shoot what you have seen before.  Shoot what appeals to you and start by choosing the perfect location! (Don’t forget to create an environment of comfort for your clients – more here.)

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Justin and Jocelyn Engaged-34

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corey and christine-10

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