Five points to lookout for a perfect photoshoot location
One of the most important aspects of candid photography is choosing a suitable location. Your choice will drive all other decisions about the shoot, including what lighting and props to take, which clothes the subject should wear, and the most suitable poses to use. Shooting outside usually get much more interesting, engaging pictures by using your imagination and picking a more unusual candid location.
1. Choose a place which adds a charm to your photographs
It's easy to choose a photoshoot location based on convenience. For example, if you are located near a park, it's easily accessible to you and it will be your default shooting location. But while this may look attractive, it's not always the best option. Remember that every place has a uniqueness, this is what makes them so interesting, and it's something you should try to capture in every picture you take. For example, choosing a golden hour in beaches is an important part of a beachside photo shoot. By using a location that means something to your subject, you'll get much more personal, meaningful and memorable photos. As a bonus, they're likely to feel calmer and relax, helping you capture more natural shots.
2. Utilize the natural light to maximum
Most professional candid photographers swear by natural lighting, and some refuse to shoot in anything else. If possible, choose a brightly lit location which offers ample amount of diffused, natural light. When shooting in the outdoor location it's important to avoid the direct sun as this produces very harsh shadows. Look for some light shade such as a tree or covered seating area, where the sunlight is softer and more flattering. Shoot in the morning or early evening when the sun isn't as strong. If you're shooting indoors, try to utilize the natural window lights, so that you can make the most of any available natural light. Depending on your budget and the equipment you have available you can complement this with some artificial lights (softbox or speed lights) if necessary.
3. Choose quiet locations which always work
Crowded places, like local beaches or busy public parks, are among the worst locations for a photo shoot. You'll be constantly waiting for people to move out of the frame and dealing with questions from passers-by, plus your subject will probably feel very self-conscious and struggle to relax. Finding a quiet, undisturbed location is not as difficult as it might seem. If you must shoot in a public place like a beach, get off the beaten track - by moving just a few hundred yards away you can usually find a spot where you and your subject can set up freely. Better still, avoid popular tourist attractions and head for remote places, beaches, grassy fields, and woodland. These all provide great backdrops for a photo session, and are often completely untouched, giving you free reign to move around and experiment with different poses and angles.
4. Don't let the location distract your subject
A pristine location is very important in candid photography or couple shoots, but always try to focus on the main subject, so don't let it overpower your scene. Keep an eye during your shoot, check the photos you've taken - if your eye is drawn more to the background than the subject, you're putting too much emphasis on the wrong thing. A simple technique is to use prime or wide angle lenses with maximum aperture and open it up wherever possible. Try to keep the background out of focus, preventing it from being too distracting, making a sense of depth in the scene, and drawing the viewer's eye to the main subject.
5. Set up near shelter to stay dry
If you choose an outdoor photo shoot location, there's always a chance that the weather will spoil the day. Sometimes you'll just have to take a chance and hope it stays dry, but try to have a plan B in case the weather turns bad. If the weather turns in no time you may even be able to move your whole photoshoot under cover. Look for a location which has some sort of shelter nearby, such as a bridge, shed, or cafe. In case of quick shower, these can be your lifesavers, helping you keep yourself, your equipment, and your subject dry - particularly important if they're paying! Choosing an effective photoshoot location takes time and thought, but it's something that you should always aim to get right. By doing so you'll be able to tell a story with your pictures and capture the essence of your subject's personality, resulting in much more engaging, personal photos.