Welcome to the first post of my newest series, Blogging Basics, in which I will be sharing all of my favorite blogging tips + tricks! I am so excited to be launching this series, as it’s something I’ve been toying with for a long time. I’ve done posts about blogging here and there, but I’ve never made them a staple of my blog content. Given that blogging is something I love to talk about, now seemed like a perfect time to change that. I think this will work best as a monthly series, but I am open to trying any schedule if you have a suggestion!
To kick off the series, I thought it would be fun to start with photoshoot locations. Finding locations to shoot photos was something I struggled with massively in my early days of blogging. Looking at all the interesting and unique spots other bloggers were shooting at, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was living in the only place in the world that wasn’t conducive to blog photos. Eventually, I realized that it wasn’t about being surrounded by the most obvious picture-perfect places; it was actually about finding them in hidden spots. It’s easy to assume the places around you aren’t fitting for blog photos because you’re so acquainted with them that you view them as nothing out of the ordinary. So, the key to location-searching is to approach it with fresh eyes and a new perspective.
Because when it comes down to it, LOCATION IS EVERYTHING.
Well, it can be.
A good location can completely transform a photoshoot. It can make it more fun for you, too. Here are a few tips and guidelines I tend to follow regarding the locations I shoot in. I hope they can be useful to you!
#1: The location should complement the outfit
When it comes to where I shoot, I like to be methodical. That might not sound fun, but in my experience, the best photos happen because I am strategic about them. Not every outfit is made for every backdrop. For example, if you’re shooting in a pair of jeans and Converse sneakers, you’ll probably want to go for a more laid-back, naturalistic setting than you would if you were shooting in a fancy dress and heels. Taking these types of details into account will help you properly execute your vision and avoid creating an awkward sense of discord between where you are and what you’re wearing. Though it may seem like an unnecessary nuisance, planning can make a huge difference.
Places I recommend: vary based on what you’re wearing
#2: The location should feel comfortable
Relatively close to where I live, there is this beautiful gazebo that I know would make the perfect backdrop for my blog photos. Unfortunately, that gazebo is also located on a road that’s constantly teeming with traffic. I’ve never done a photoshoot in the gazebo, and I probably never will because it’s simply not in my realm of comfort. The idea of shooting that close to so many people totally intimidates me, which is something I always factor in when I select a location. Being photographed isn’t a circumstance that comes natural to me, so it’s important that I pick places that put my brain at ease. I call them “semi-secluded” locations. Even though they’re public places that theoretically anyone could show up at any time, they’re tucked away from prying eyes and heavy foot traffic.
This is something you’ll certainly want to consider if you’re new to a). blogging and b). camera shy. Honestly, I don’t think I ever would have ventured out of my own yard if I hadn’t found a few semi-secluded areas to shoot in. It takes a lot of the stress off. And you feel more confident to try different poses and have fun.
Places I recommend: nature trails, parks and shopping plazas at early hours
#3: The location should have a location within a location within a location…
The best places to shoot have multiple locations within them. In fact, most of my shoots happen in the same four or five spots—it just isn’t obvious because the locations themselves have so much variety. If you think there aren’t any places like this around you, I urge you to think again. Hidden gems are buried where you least expect them. One of my all-time favorite places I’ve ever taken photos was a funky red brick wall that I discovered behind a restaurant in shopping plaza I was shooting in. I never would have thought to shoot in the parking lot behind a restaurant, but I happened to stumble upon it while I was walking around. The experience taught me that every location has the potential for so much more than what it may seem. You can squeeze a whole lot out of one place if you keep your eyes peeled.
Places I recommend: campuses, garden centers, the back of restaurants
#4: The location should (ideally) be close by
I put this one low on this list because it really isn’t a deal breaker. If you get the opportunity to shoot while you’re vacationing or taking an interesting trip, then by all means take it. HOWEVER, if you’re looking to take photos and you’re not traveling, I highly advise sticking near your home. Nothing can be more frustrating that discovering a cool location, shooting, going home and realizing that the photos you took look terrible, resulting in you having to drive all the way back to retake them. If the specificity of that sentence didn’t clarify it for you, you should know I am speaking from person experience. And, believe me, it is not fun.
Places I recommend: somewhere within a 20-minute drive!!!!
#5: The location should be conducive to the weather/season
Speaking from personal experience once again, you should consider the weather before you commit to a location. And I don’t just mean this in situations with rain or snow. I mean it in terms of things like pollen as well. If you’re like me and have pollen allergies, you should probably avoid heavy pollen areas in the springtime.
Places I recommend: not gardens in April
Anyway, those are some of my location-searching tips! I hope you enjoyed reading, and I would absolutely love to hear about your process for finding a place to shoot! Also, feel free to let me know what you’d like to see next from this series.
Where do you like to shoot blog photos?