Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Choosing a Location {Outdoor Photo Session} Marin, Napa, Sonoma County Portrait & Wedding Photographer...Shelley Hohe

When a new client contacts me in regards to a photo session, one of the first and most important questions I ask them about is LOCATION!  Being that I prefer shooting outdoors taking advantage of natural light it is so important to make sure I pick a location that will capture the best light at the best time.  Once my clients share their interests with me whether they love the country, the city or the ocean as far as a backdrop, I go on a search for what they are wanting.

Depending on what time of day it is I start to look in areas where the sun will be setting or rising.  I always like the sun behind my clients so it is really important to make sure the sun will be in the right spot at the time of their session.  One tool that can help is The Photographers Ephemeris!  I use this for every session I do, because it shows me exactly where the sun is rising and setting at the exact time.  If you don't have this downloaded I would highly suggest it.

Secondly I want to make sure the locations I choose have a variety of backdrops.  If the session takes place in the country you can finds some nice barns, vineyards and beautiful open space with rolling hills.  If you are doing a city/urban shoot, look for neat buildings, bridges  and alleys.  For park like settings you can go to a bed and breakfast, they always have such beautiful gardens and gorgeous Victorians.  If you are going to a place like this, you always want to call ahead of time to make sure it's ok.  The last thing you want to do is get kicked off a property in the middle of your session.  

This doesn't always happen,  but I like there to be an option of shade.  Especially with my morning sessions, just in case the sun gets bright really fast.  Trees are awesome because they can act as a shade between your clients and the sun.  You can also get some amazing Bokeh and sun flares with having trees in the background!   I also like to make sure there is some type of seating whether it's a bench, fence, steps and if all else fails make sure to suggest for your clients to bring a blanket that matches their attire for them to sit on.   

Here a some photos at a few of my favorite locations I tend to bring my clients to quite a bit.  I just love how each of them offers so many possibilities.

This first location is located at a bed and breakfast in the Sonoma Wine Country...

This was a senior session...

Same location a few months later for a maternity session

 See how I was able to capture the bokeh and sun flare by using the trees as a shade...

My 2nd favorite location is in the country of Marin County...

Here is an engagement session I did...

and here is a recent family session at the same location...

I hope this little bit of information on choosing a location is helpful to not only my clients but to other photographers who are looking for the perfect backdrop for their next photo session!

Lifestyle, Portrait & Wedding Photographer serving Marin, Sonoma & Napa Counties
415.827.9646 ~ www.shelleydeephotography.com

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Copyright 2013 ~ Shelley Dee Photography

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