5 tips for choosing a unique photo location

Posted by Sadie Banks on

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it's mondaaaaaay, which means it's 5 tips day! i'm really excited about today's post because i LOVE scouting out & choosing unique photo locations. sure, i have my favorite locations that i return to over and over again, but i also like choosing unique locations that nobody else has used before. or at least choosing locations that are unique enough that locals couldn't say, "that was shot at ________ location. everybody shoots there." so here we go, 5 of my best tips for choosing a unique photo location!

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1. know the style of photos that you want
one of the first questions i ask when clients book a session is "do you want a more natural landscape or urban/city vibe?" knowing the answer to this question really helps me narrow down what they're looking for. if they want a city vibe, then i know that driving around the mountains probably isn't going to give them the type of photos they want. if they want a natural vibe, then recommending cityscapes + rooftop locations probably isn't going to mesh well with them. 

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2. open your eyes
this sounds weird, but i have found some of the most beautiful locations just by opening my eyes & paying attention to the places around me. there are SO many beautiful places that are so close to you-- wherever you live-- all you have to do is open your eyes & look for them. you'll start to see them & the world will become a new place. it's the coolest thing. 

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3. don't be afraid of small spaces
honestly, as a photographer, i can work with pretty small spaces if i need to. one of my biggest goals is to make sure that my client is more of the subject than the scenery, so if there's a specific wall that you like & want to take your photos in front of, don't be shy! try it out & see what happens! 

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4. get out and walk
sometimes driving around isn't enough. get out & walk your city/town. you'll be amazed at how many new things & places pop up that you just didn't see before. i love walking around my hometown (that i don't shoot in anymore) because i find new places & locations that i think would be so neat to shoot at. and honestly, some of my most favorite photos of all time have been in my parent's backyard or even inside someone's home. (hello, gorgeous in-home sessions. ALLLLLLL the heart eyes)

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5. go behind buildings or off the beaten path a little
city vibe pro tip: behind buildings are WHERE. IT'S. AT. it's usually a little grungy, but that's art, ya'll. also, sometimes if you're lucky, you'll score a sweet mural or something. i don't typically recommend going off the beaten path in nature because we need to be kind to nature & let it be, but sometimes when you're hiking & there is no path, you run into the most beautiful spots! (one of my dreams is to shoot in the st. george gorge one day because HELLO gorgeous ireland looking cliffs)

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bonus tip: pay attention to the light & time of day
sometimes locations don't mesh well with the time of your shoot. paying attention to the time of day or where the sun is can really benefit you-- look at where the shadows are & where the sun is shining in that particular location. photography is all about light, so if you're aware of the way the light is, you'll greatly improve your ability to choose a great photo location!

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