Location, location, location, am I right?
When you’re looking to book your photoshoot, one of the FIRST things you’ll need to solidify is the where.
There are a few different categories to consider, and you’ll want to know the pros and cons of them all.
I fucking LOVE shooting outdoors! There’s something so much fun about venturing into nature and frolicking around until we get the right shots.
And shooting outdoors has some downsides. Depending on your location, you might have a narrow window of the year where ‘good’ weather is more guaranteed.
And that good weather isn’t always a guarantee, so booking a few months in advance might be hard in case a weeklong thunderstorm rolls through. Your photographer might be able to be flexible due to inclement weather, so check their policy and back up options.
Outdoor shoots are also at the mercy of natural lighting - we follow the light so that means in winter, we’re hitting the golden hour very early and in summer, we’re hitting it much later.
Outdoor shoots also mean a lot more physical trekking, dust, dirt, bugs, and all those unpredictable and sometimes painful (stinging nettles, man) hazards.
Outdoor shoots also mean hair and makeup touch ups are on the fly, and you’ll have to be done up before we get to the location. Outfit changes also mean you’re changing outdoors, but don’t worry, I’ve got a changing cape that means you don’t have to get your tits out in public (unless you want to).
AND with all of that being said, there is nothing like shooting in the great outdoors. We get to play in nature, use the most gorgeous source of natural light, and be in settings you cannot recreate any other way.
Studio settings often come with some paper backdrops of various colors, and sometimes a few pieces of furniture, a window, or even a couple other ‘wall’ options.
Studios are controlled environments meaning we can adjust the temperature, have ready access to bathrooms, spaces for hair and makeup, private outfit changing spaces, etc.
We’re not going to be worried about bugs or dirt or weather, but we’re also going to be somewhat limited on what we can get as far as backgrounds go.
My home studio is set up in my living room, so we can play with a mixture of natural and studio lighting, and move to different spaces inside and outside of my house. But we’re not going get an insane amount of variety that we might get outdoors or in a private hire space.
3. Rentable spaces
These spaces COULD technically fall into the studio category, too, but I’m really talking about air bnb types of spaces. Peer space or scouty are two great sites to check out spaces, studios, and homes to hire by the hour.
These obvs come at an extra cost on top of your shoot, but these spaces can offer a lot more than a studio does with all of the conveniences of an actual studio.
Most of these rentable spaces are immaculately decorated, with lots of variety, often having indoor and outdoor spaces. Many are homes, but some are more commercial style spaces (think recording studio, theater, restaurant) so if you have a specific concept in mind, this is a cool way to shoot in a super interesting space you might not normally have access to.
Now…how do you decide?
There are different considerations, but the most important one to think about is what you want the final outcome to be. What is the vibe? What are you trying to convey? What will get that story or message across?
Is it a field or a plain backdrop? Is it a Victorian home or an urban alleyway?
As your photographer, I’m always here to weigh in and give opinions or options that will suit your desired outcome most. And I can give you some back up plans in case of weather challenges.
You’ll also want to be mindful of where you feel most comfortable and any accessibility requirements.
If you’re NOT interested in an outdoor walk or changing clothes in a field, you hate the thought of roughing it, an outdoor shoot might not be for you. You’d be better off finding a rentable space with some land or a friends large back yard to shoot in.
If you have specific accessibility requirements, be sure to communicate that to your photographer. Unfortunately not every studio (mine included) has wheelchair access, and some might have pets (I’ve got cats) so we want to know what requirements or restrictions you have so we can help. If you're REALLY stuck, reach out to your photographer (me) and we'll co-create a mood board, think about the vibe you're trying to achieve, and find the perfect spot to make your photoshoot dreams come true!