There are many factors that are detrimental to scheduling a photo shoot, but one is extremely crucial:
Location, Location, Location

Where will your photo session take place?  Are you as invested in the client's chosen location as you should be?

The answer should always be YES!

You should feel confident in working around a location that your client has chosen because, more than likely, they chose that location for a specific reason that is important to them!

Here are my 5 tips for making your location work for you!

1.  Explore

2.  Search for Lines

3.  Keep Your Aperture Wide Open Whenever Possible

4.  Search For Anything Green!  You can always de-saturate this in post, but still make skin tones pop with the color.

5.  Trust Your Eye!

Now let's break it down:

Explore:  If you've never been there before, try showing up to your location 30 minutes before your agreed upon time to search around for things that would make a fantastic backdrop for your subjects. Take mental notes on the area.  Think of the following topics when walking around:

  • You have poses planned out, where can you place each one?

  • Are there certain trees or foliage around that you can use to frame your subjects?

  • Is there a nice "pop" of color with a crowd of flowers, leaves, pine needles, or tree bark that you might find interesting?

If you have a plan in mind, your client will trust your opinion because you're passionate about what you found earlier!

Search for Lines: (Composition)  Kiiiind of the same concept that I touched on before.  Lines will bring interest to your photography.  If the eye has a place to follow, you're bound to have a nice reaction from it.  Lines can be anything as simple as a tree row that you can place a couple underneath that draws you in to the couple themselves or a nice round frame that is done with a couple of branches.  You can literally find lines almost anywhere you look!  If you start training your eye to revert back to your toddler stages of recognizing shapes in everything you see, you're automatically bound to improve your composition.

Keep Your Aperture Wide Open Whenever Possible: Keep this little trick handy for locations that you are really going to have a hard time with.  This will ensure that your couple is in focus, but it will also leave a ton of blur in the background, so you will have a nice "haze" of color behind your subject rather than a disrupting background.

Search For Anything Green:  If you love that "desaturated" style like I do, green is always the way to go.  Green will....more than likely.....not match your client's skin tone, and you can also use your HSL Sliders in Lightroom to make a beautiful, desaturated look or completely shift your forest green from lime green all the way to a gorgeous, modern, teal hue.  It's such a nice color to experiment with in post-processing, and it's always my favorite go-to.  Tweaking your green hues can bring about a completely different mood to your photograph.


Trust Your Eye:  When all else fails, have confidence  in yourself...This will go way farther than you could ever imagine.  You're here, practicing your passion for a reason, right?  You've got this!




Backstory on this location:

Example A was taken in someone's abandoned lot right across the street from the couple's reception venue.
Example B was taken in the road right across from the wedding venue.
These locations were both "surprise" locations to say the least, and we were running out of daylight, so we had to make group, couple, and family shots happen FAST.  This was also the first time I had to throw something together with a spontaneous location, so I thought I would share my tips to all of you, so you can always be prepared! :) 

Hidden Tip #6

If the couple that you're working with is SUPER fun like this one was, use their personalities to make your location even better! :) 


Kansas City Wedding Photographer
Kansas City Wedding Photographer