Location, Location, Location
It's one of the first questions clients often ask when booking: "Where will the session be?" The answer depends on a variety of factors, mainly what style and feel you'd like your images to have and what locations we are allowed to access. While it's not the most important thing (you can still create stunning images in "ugly" places), location is a major consideration when planning your session. I have several different locations available to choose from.
There are two main types of locations: Natural (parks, fields, lakes) and Urban (streets, buildings, metropolitan areas). When determining the best location for your session, this is the first question you need to answer. Do you want a natural setting, or a more urban one? From there, you can decide what specific location features you would like. For example, you may want a natural location that features a body of water such as a lake or waterfall, or maybe an urban location with lots of colorful buildings. If you don't really know what specific elements you'd like to see, even just a general feeling helps narrow things down. Style moods like "rustic", "vintage", or "boho" are also helpful. I do have a few locations that offer both natural and urban looks in one place.
Natural locations are the most versatile and popular. You can get a variety of different looks in the same setting just by changing wardrobe and props. The images below were all taken at the same location, but the mood and theming is different in each.
In north Alabama, we have an abundance of beautiful natural locations to suit all kinds of sessions. If you are looking for very seasonal images (such as Fall leaves or Spring flowers), you'll most likely want a natural setting to showcase that. One location can look very different from season to season. Natural locations are also the most child-friendly option, especially if you have a little one that likes plenty of room to run and play.
Urban locations are very popular for senior sessions and older children. They're also great for a more unique family or maternity session. I love finding architectural elements that create interesting compositions or colors in an image. I also love the photojournalistic look urban locations can create, as we often don't have control over certain background elements like traffic or pedestrians. While some natural locations can look very similar to others, urban locations usually have more unique elements to distinguish each one.
Sometimes clients have their own property they would like to feature in their session. Whether it's a brand new home, the family farm, or a vacation spot on the lake, shooting at your own property gives your images an added personal touch and makes them completely unique to your family. Property that has lots of open shade and good lighting is perfect for portraits!
(Note that there is a limit on the distance I can travel for a session. If you are interested in a session on your property, let's discuss that before we complete your booking.)
Location vs. lighting
The location of your session plays a vital role in the story you want your images to tell, but there's one more element that is far more crucial: light. Even the most perfect location can appear unimpressive in the wrong lighting. That's why we have to take into account not only the actual scenery we'll be shooting in, but also the way the sunlight affects it. Some locations get better morning light, others are best in the evening, but only a few have good even light all day long. This is why when I send my clients a list of location options for their session, I offer only those places that will have proper light during their scheduled session time. If your heart is set on a specific location, you'll need to schedule your session during the time of day that offers the best lighting in that location.
One last thing you need to know...You don't need a picturesque location to create a picturesque portrait. Even an overgrown ditch on the side of the road can be the backdrop for a gorgeous image. A creative eye can see amazing wonders in the least obvious places. Trust your photographer. We got this!