Photographer's best tips: How to find the perfect photo location

Photographer's best tips: How to find the perfect photo location

#Nouw30DayChallenge - Taking an amazing photo is so much more than just having the perfect settings on your camera. Our photographer Amanda Parkkinen shares her pro tips on finding the best location & creating an amazing over all impression in your photos. Blogging tips - 13

Look for great lighting
The most important thing when finding your perfect photo location is to look at how the light falls. When you're photographing, lighting is so important and beautiful light can truly make your photos. The background isn't always the most important thing, sometimes it can be worth focusing on how light and shadows fall on a specific location, as the light is most often what tends to make a photo appealing. When you've found a place you like, turn around - from what direction does the light fall and from what angle should you take your photos to get the most beautiful light in your photo? Backlight is something that almost always looks great in photos, so using that is a great tip.

"The photo above is captured next to a highway. I've chosen to get as close to the flowers and the model as possible, so the photo is compositioned in a way that it looks like we're in a lovely garden."

See through the frames of the camera
Finding a place where everything looks perfect is close to impossible. Instead, look for locations where parts of the area that can fit into the frames of your camera look appealing. Everything at your chosen location doesn't have to look perfect, the cars parked along the street or the chopped down parts of the forrest don't have to be feature in your photo. Choose yourself what parts you like from each location and put them in the photo. Dare to bring out your camera to check how the environment looks on camera when scouting for a location. The rose bush next to the wall might not look like much at first glance, but it can be the perfect location if you choose to composition the photo just right.

Keep your eyes open
This might sound like an obvious one, but try to scout great photo locations well ahead of time before your photoshoot. Keep your eyes open for possible locations you notice in your everyday life. Maybe you can find a great spot for your next outfit shoot during your run or on your way to work.

"On the photo above I've chosen to place the model in a setting where her blouse matches the flowers in the background. This is a great way to create a sence of harmony in the photo."

Create an overall impression
To create the perfect outfit shot or a wounderful portrait you want to think about creating an overall impresison in your photograph. Just because you love shooting in the forrest, maybe that's not the best place for a photoshoot if you want to create a feeling that might be captured best if you shot in a city - or vice versa. Try to find a place where your model's clothes, make-up, the image's colouring and overall feeling fit together and create a nice feeling in the photo. Try to create a line of thought in the photos, that will make your photos look professional.

Be inspiered by others
Try to pin point what sort of places and settings that speaks to you when you're scrolling through Instagram or reading other people's blogs. Is it the nice backlight in combination with light coloured buildings or maybe the pretty photos taken in someone's home that you're drawn to? A tip is to save nice photo locations in your phone, this is a great way to prepare for a photoshoot to be able to get the most out of it.

Please don't copy other people's work and try not to envy beautiful locations in USA or grand landscapes in New Zeeland. Try to be inspiered by what you see instead and find a way to make your own take on it with what you have to work with where you live.

Dare to try something new
Dare to try new places and new lighting situations that you're not used to and would normally never use. Trying new things gives you room to evolve as a photographer. Instead of always shooting your outfit photos on a street leading backwards in the photo, try a location that's totally different, like through the window of a café or in backlight on an empty parking lot. New angles and locations create a different vibe in your photos and you might discover something new you really like.

Use what's infront of your object
Last but not least in finding the perfect photo location is to use the foreground when you're shooting your photos. This means that you can use whatever is infront of the object in focus - like trees, snow and flowers to create a frame like effect on your photos. Personally I like to use flowers or leaves that matches the background and to place them next to the lens when I photograph portraits. By using the foreground you can create a beautiful harmony in your images and a plain setting can become your perfect photo location.

Text & photography: @amandaparkkinen