I decided to add this as a quick blog post because I've had quite a few folks ask me about the location of the last two images I shared on Facebook. When choosing locations with a client, I often ask them if there is any place special to them or anything they had in mind. The most common response is usually something about "not having any ideas" and "can't we just go to a park or something." Which is all well and good, and I have a handful of locations I love to use, so that's no big deal to me. This Client isn't like that, we generally seek out special locations to match the theme of their child's birthday, (Click here to see last year's session) which generally has to do with what little man is into at this age. This year we were searching for a big number 3 and we planned on making use of his match box cars since they are his world right now. Well we were stumped and couldn't find the right location we were looking for. Finally Mom mentioned to me that they had a little creek running through their new back yard, and thought it would be nice to maybe do some car pictures in the driveway or something, more of a lifestyle shoot. I nearly fell off my chair when she sent me pictures of the stream.
This is what she sent me.
As you can see it's just a plain ol' stream, not a super fancy location. I told her I would stop by within the next week and check out the lighting in that area to determine the best time of day for our session. I found some extra time after a meeting at the studio one evening and stopped on my way home. I caught Dad finishing up mowing the lawn and said to him "I'm really glad "J" told me about the gorgeous stream you had in the back! It's going to be perfect!" He gave me a look like I had six heads and said " Well I don't know if I'd call it gorgeous, but it's nice". At that point it hit me, I really do see things in a different way than the average person. I look at a location and I see texture, color and light, I just ignore all the other stuff because I know what I can do with it. I've always said I could shoot next to a dumpster if I had to, because I know I can and that I can make it beautiful.
So really, when we choose a location for a session it isn't always about fancy landscaping or gazebos. It's about the feeling of the spot, the color of the light, how the colors harmonize, and the textures that can be pulled out and enhanced. I know I'm totally going in to artsy mode right now, but that is how I look at it, with the eyes of an artist. I don't just take pictures, I create, this is my creative outlet and very often I nerd out about it, but in the end that is what sets me apart. I am a nerd for this stuff. So forgive me when we talk about a location for your session and I start rambling on about light and texture, I can't help it.
I wanted to share this to open some eyes to a behind the scenes look into the planning of a session, and how simple it can be. The very best location could very well be right under your nose, or in your own back yard.