How to Choose a Location for Your Photography Session
One of the benefits of choosing to do your photo session with an independent photographer is the ability to not be confined to a studio. Although newborns are often photographed at home, the large majority of the rest of my sessions are done at an outdoor location of my clients’ choosing. I love to capture my young subjects outdoors, discovering and enjoying their surroundings. Nothing beats the warm buttery late afternoon light that one gets outdoors. No studio lighting system can duplicate it. That late afternoon sun just adds such a magical, nostalgic feel to the images.
There are things to keep in mind when selecting where you would like to have your portrait session. One thing that a lot of clients are not aware of is how many locations are now charging photography permit fees.
The average photography permit fee in Chicago right now seems to come in right around 125 dollars. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you are in absolute love with the location, or it holds special meaning to you, it may well be worth spending the extra money. But there are plenty of locations that are available for free.
I often shoot at the Chicago beaches and nearby forest preserves, as these are public property, and at the time of this post, do not require any permit to photograph on the grounds.
When my client asks me for location suggestions, I know exactly what I’m looking for. I look for a location with plenty of open space, ideally a good distance in front of a tree line that backs up my subject to the West. The reason I do this, is because I get a nice distance to separate my subject from any distractions. The tree line filters the setting afternoon sun in a way that gives my subject gorgeous lighting. This is the perfect formula for the look you see in much of my work.
The last thing to consider is your own (or, your family’s) style. Do you love natural settings, or is your style more urban and edgy? Capturing images that are an honest representation of your family is my goal. Just keep these things in mind, stay true to your style, and I’ll handle the rest!